What hasn’t been negatively stated about Mercedes’ electric strategy: The EQC is only being sold at a manageable low level, other EQ models have been in the pipeline for too long. But wait! Now Mercedes is surprising us with a type of electric vehicle that Tesla does not have: the EQV based on the V-Class minivan.
Of course, the Mercedes EQV is not the only electric minivan: from Opel, for example, there is the Zafira-e Life including its PSA group brothers. Electrifying a van does not seem unwise. There is enough space for the battery, and many drive mainly in urban areas. Does the EQV make sense? We tested it to find out.
***Editor’s note: This first drive review comes from our colleagues in Germany. The EQV is not offered in the U.S. and, as such, we’ve left the specs, pricing, etc. in European formats.
What is it?
The new Mercedes EQV is, as the name already suggests, born from the ordinary V-Class that is built in Vitoria, Spain. Perhaps you have already seen the EQV’s van brother: Amazon delivers its goods with the e-Vito.
Which target group does Mercedes have in mind with the EQV? It is suitable as a family and leisure vehicle as well as a representative company car or as a VIP and hotel shuttle. Using it as a large-capacity taxi could also make sense.
There is an abundance of space: at the front two individual seats in the style of American captain chairs, at the rear either four individual seats or two benches. Whether you order the EQV with 6, 7 or 8 seats is up to the customer. In order to have enough space for the ample battery in the underbody, the EQV is only available in “long” (5.14 meters) and “extra long” (5.37 meters).
Up to 1,410 liters fit in the luggage compartment with full seating, just as much as in the conventional V-Class. How much with removed seats in the rear is not stated though.
After sitting in the high driver’s seat and looking around, there is almost as much space here as in a tram, only more elegant, more comfortable and better. The EQV is striking both outside and inside and the EQV does not scream “electric car!” I look at analog instruments, the wide, but rather flat MBUX touchscreen emblazoned in the middle.
The materials used and the workmanship are really high quality. But details like the fine Burmester sound system are not available for free. As usual with Mercedes, the list of options for the EQV is not short either.
How does it drive?
Let’s get started: EQV 300 is at the rear, but what does that mean? The electric motor has a peak output of 150 kW (204 PS) and a continuous output of 70 kW (95 PS). The maximum torque is 362 Newton meters. The electricity is supplied by a water-cooled lithium-ion battery with a usable capacity of 90 kWh. Range? Up to 418 kilometers.
It has four drive programs available: In the standard-setting C, the full drive power of 150 kW with a maximum of 362 Nm is available with high heating and air conditioning output.
With good heating and air conditioning, program E is range-optimized and offers 100 kW of power (150 kW with kick down) with a maximum torque of 293 Nm.
The E + program is designed for maximum range, the output is 80 kW (150 kW in kick down) with a maximum torque of 293 Nm, the heating and air conditioning output is greatly reduced.
In the S program, the focus is on the best responsiveness for sporty driving performance. This leads to 150 kW of power with a maximum of 362 Nm of torque combined with a steep accelerator pedal characteristic as well as high heating and air conditioning performance.
I start my test drive in comfort mode and stay with it as long as possible. Due to its size, the Mercedes EQV does not accelerate like a sports car, but it is surprisingly fast. I can reach a speed of 160 km / h on the autobahn. This 160 km / h is an option, the EQV can achieve 140 km / h as standard.
It stays quiet inside, only the infotainment and the standard chassis provide acoustic variety. It’s sprung well, just a bit rough acoustically. The optional air suspension called “Airmatic” does not necessarily have to be ordered. However, it offers the possibility of varying the ground clearance.
The EQV has a water-cooled AC on-board charger (OBL) with an output of 11 kW. It is thus prepared for alternating current charging (AC) at home or at public charging stations. Charging takes place via the CCS charging socket in the front left bumper.
This also enables charging using direct current (DC). Thanks to the standard maximum charging power of 110 kW, the EQV can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in around 45 minutes at a fast-charging station.
As standard, the EQV can charge alternating current (AC) at home or at public charging stations with up to 11 kW as well as direct current (DC) charging at fast-charging stations with up to 110 kW. It is also possible to define the battery charge level at which the vehicle suggests the next charging stop or the remaining range with which you want to arrive at your destination.
The energy recovery in overrun and braking mode (recuperation) ensures optimized and efficient driving. The intensity of the recuperation can be set individually using the paddles behind the steering wheel. Five recuperation levels are available:
In level D Auto, the EQV adjusts the strength of the recuperation dynamically and predictively, based on data from the safety assistants, the camera and the navigation system, between 0 and -2 m / s². The EQV sails in stage D +, there is no recuperation (0 m / s²).
In stage D, the EQV is decelerated by a recuperation torque that is comparable to the conventional overrun operation of an internal combustion engine (-0.6 m / s²). In stage D – the recuperation torque is increased to -1.5 m / s². In level D – – the electric motor provides its maximum recuperation torque of -2 m / s²; in this level, so-called one-pedal driving is possible.
How much does it cost?
Let’s start with the consumption: Mercedes states between 26.3 and 26.4-kilowatt hours (kWh) combined per 100 kilometers. In fact, I achieved an average of 27 kWh on my 209-kilometer test route, of which I drove 37 km in eco mode. That would be around 333 kilometers range.
The EQV 300 is initially available as a standard version, in the AVANTGARDE Line version and with a long wheelbase. An EQV exterior design package and an EQV interior design package are also optionally available.
In terms of price, the EQV 300 gross starts at EUR 71,388.10 (including 19 percent VAT). It includes a maintenance package for four years – which covers the costs of maintenance work in accordance with the service booklet and manufacturer’s specifications during this period – as well as the Mercedes-Benz battery certificate for up to 160,000 kilometers or eight years.
The purchase price also includes the Mercedes me remote and navigation services with a term of 36 months as well as the Mercedes me Charge function and Ionity membership for twelve months each.
With currently 16 percent VAT, the EQV starts at 69,588 euros, you can still deduct the state environmental bonus, which is 7,500 euros here. Nevertheless, the EQV is of course not a bargain. But the competition is hardly cheaper: The Opel Zafira-e Life costs at least 58,292 euros as a 4.96 meter long M model with a 75 kWh battery, and almost 70,000 euros with top equipment.
And the internal comparison? A similarly strong Mercedes V 220d Avantgarde in long version starts at 58,905 euros. With a premium, the EQV is hardly more expensive. Incidentally, we could also imagine the EQV to be excellent in the U.S. market. However, according to the manufacturer, export is not yet planned, which is why this first drive took place abroad and why specs, pricing, etc. are presented in European formats.
Yes, the new Mercedes EQV is not exactly cheap. But due to its spaciousness and decent driving performance, it is currently the best electric car from Mercedes. Why buy an EQC for the same money? And there is something else that speaks in favor of the electric van: Tesla does not have such a car in its range.