After squashing plans to bring the EQC400 SUV stateside for 2020, Mercedes-Benz is once again promising to give the U.S. market an all-electric SUV. The German automaker has revealed its latest electric vehicle, the EQB, at Auto Shanghai 2021. Although the vehicle specs announced at the show are specific for the European market, Mercedes says it will roll out production to the U.S. in 2022. This announcement is significant because the EQB will be available as a three-row compact SUV, a unique offering in the electric vehicle class.
Related: 2022 Mercedes EQS: Think of It as an Electric S-Class
Modeled after the gas-powered Mercedes-Benz GLB, the electrified EQB is the second all-electric compact vehicle from the automaker, following the announcement of the EQS sedan, a battery-powered variant of the S-Class. The EQB shares its drive technologies with the EQS, but its dimensions, interior and seating configuration closely mirror the compact GLB.
The EQB will initially launch in China with a standard three-row configuration and a maximum of 288 horsepower. The European model will follow, giving customers the freedom to select between front-wheel and all-wheel drive as well as multiple power outputs up to 268 hp. European models will be powered by a 66.5-kilowatt-hour battery, which the automaker says can be charged from 10 to 80% in around 30 minutes.
Although it closely resembles the boxy exterior of its GLB sibling, Mercedes gives the EQB its own identity thanks to a handful of distinct features. The EQB will sport a black panel grille that will show up across the EQ lineup, a distinct lighting signature with a continuous light strip on the front and rear, and blue highlights. Also exclusive to the EQB are bi- or tri-color alloy wheels measuring up to 20 inches. The wheels are available with rose gold-colored or blue decorative trim, which designates its EV status and also matches the trim inside the cabin.
Like many three-row SUVs, the EQB’s third row is better left for children or shorter adults. Mercedes is transparent about the tight fit, claiming anyone under 5 feet, 4 inches can ride comfortably in the optional (beyond China) third row. Maximum cargo space of 60 cubic feet makes it slightly smaller than the current GLB’s 62 cubic feet.
Versus the Competition
While the electric SUV playing field is becoming increasingly crowded with options like the Audi E-Tron, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Ford Mustang Mach-E, all of these SUVs limit seating to a maximum of five occupants. The arrival of the Mercedes-Benz EQB to the U.S. next year will present families with the option of a seven-seat configuration for an electric crossover, which is currently only available on the Tesla Model X.
Although the EQB likely won’t match the Model X’s impressive range and hp numbers (up to 340 miles and 1,020 hp respectively), it will provide electric SUV shoppers with an alternative seven-seat option. Mercedes promises to reveal details like range, hp and pricing for the U.S. version of the EQB closer to its arrival for 2022.
More From Cars.com:
- 2022 Mercedes EQS: Think of It as an Electric S-Class
- 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC400 Priced Under $70,000 to Start
- 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB Review: Good, But Why?
- That Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 You Want Just Got Cheaper
- Electric Cars With the Longest Range
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