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First Drive

First Drive: Mercedes EQV

The story:
Mercedes strikes first in terms of large electric people-carrying potential with its second all-electric EQ model, following on from the EQC SUV.
Category:Large MPV
Key rival:Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life
MERCEDES-BENZ EQV SPORT
Price:£70,610
MPG:Range – 211 miles
Emissions:0g/km
On sale:Now

 

Mercedes’ second full electric model on a journey to eight EQ-branded cars is its most practical, because the seven-seat EQV is an all-electric version of the V-Class, itself closely related to the medium-sized Vito van.

The pure numbers are both good and bad. The price is huge, with the EQV kicking off at a shade over £70,000, which is too high to get the £3000 Government grant. However, it does have an official range figure of 211 miles from its 90kWh battery, giving it decent potential as an executive travel workhorse.

First Drive- November 2020- Mercedes EQV- Image 1And there are plenty of hints of workhorse, with premium equipment such as keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and electric seats missing from the standard equipment list for a £70,000 Mercedes. Also, it’s noticeable that the dashboard design harks back to that of older Mercs rather than the newer design with multiple screens that is appearing on new models. Still, at least the over-sensitive touch pads on the steering wheel of newer ranges aren’t present.

The entry Sport model driven here does get electric rear doors and powered boot, LED headlights, a rear camera and an eight-metre charging cable.

The first thing that’s obvious on the road is the horrible brake pedal feel, or rather the absence of it. There’s just a short push straight into heavy resistance that makes it rather tricky to apply the brakes smoothly.

Other than that the EQV offers brisk pace and rides well, but the extra weight of the batteries doesn’t help the driving experience.

First Drive- November 2020- Mercedes EQV- Image 2It also looks very similar to the regular V-Class, with only a few styling cues and badging to denote the EV model.

But the V-Class’s practicality is undiminished by the switch to electric power, and the EQV will easily take seven people and their luggage in calm and relaxed comfort.

However, it needs to, because the PSA Group will shortly bring large seven-seat electric MPVs from Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall that offer a range of just under 150 miles but a price tag from almost half that of the EQV.

paul barker

The verdict

Range and practicality are big plus points, but the EQV looks expensive next to the large people-carriers on the way from volume brands, even though they have significantly shorter ranges.