Apart from the expensive Tesla Model X, it is difficult to find an electric vehicle for large families. With its 8 seats and gigantic trunk, the Mercedes EQV remains the best solution for emission-free troop transport. Even if it is based on an old conception.
Appearing at the end of 2020, the Mercedes EQV only represented 19% of Class V sales in France in 2021, i.e. 141 copies. Nothing to jump to the ceiling. It must be said that this electric “Van” remains confined to the utility range of the manufacturer with the star. If it manages to seduce some individuals in Germany, the EQV is mainly popular with Taxis and VTC in our region. Despite mixed success, it still works better as a Class V than its little brother, the eVito.
An electrified V-Class
Technically, the Mercedes EQV is based on the platform of a thermal Mercedes V-Class. Apart from the presence of the logo on the tailgate and the small connection hatch on the front bumper, it is also impossible to spot this emission-free version. To be able to house its imposing 100 kWh battery (including 90 kWh of usable capacity) under its floor, the EQV is only available in the Long (5.14 m) or Extra Long (5.37 m) version, which which allows a great habitability. This is also the strong point of this EQV which offers 6 seats as standard with 4 independent seats which can therefore be positioned facing or facing the road. Legroom, elbowroom and headroom are unmatched among electric vehicles today.
Our test model had two additional seats, with two rows of three seats charged €914 each. Resting on rails, these seats can move back and forth and be positioned back to the road to form a workspace. A folding table is also available for an extension of 982 €. The modularity would be almost perfect if all these seats were sliding. But they remain fixed and require a lot of muscle (or four arms) to be manipulated, especially since the rows of three seats have two solid foundations. And once these heavy chairs have been removed, space must be found to store them outside the vehicle.
With its volume of 1,030 liters in a 6-seat configuration, the EQV’s boot is a benchmark in the electric vehicle market. Its limited depth is compensated by the immense loading height, but also the space between the seats which allows you to easily accommodate a suitcase or install a large dog. Another major advantage is the huge tailgate with a very low loading threshold which facilitates loading provided that you allow plenty of distance to open it. Passenger accessibility is equally exemplary thanks to the very high front doors and the large sliding left door as standard. However, count €2,256 to benefit from a second sliding door on the right with electric openings.
It’s in the old jars…
At the front, the presentation is a bit dated with needle instrumentation and a digital on-board computer. The small multimedia screen seems lost at the top of the imposing dashboard. Behind this old-fashioned appearance hides excellent ergonomics. The controls make sense and many physical keys for essential functions avoid having to use the small touch screen. It’s finally more reassuring and intuitive than in the last EQ. Added to this are plenty of storage spaces, comfortable upholstery and a well-cushioned edge for the driver’s knee. A very rare note! Two downsides however, the absence of a hands-free key and the connection of a cable to operate AppleCar Play.
More urban than it looks!
Despite its substantial size, the EQV proves to be very pleasant to drive in urban use where it offers fantastic visibility thanks to its dominant driving position, its large mirrors and its huge glass surfaces. The silent operation of the engine, the absence of vibrations and the lively acceleration contribute to driving pleasure at low speeds. The turning circle (12.9 m) remains quite acceptable with regard to the size of the vehicle. The thick tire sidewalls protect the rims from curbs and the short hood makes maneuvering easier. As for the width of 1.93 m (excluding mirrors), it is not excessive compared to the 1.99 m of a Tesla Model X. It is just unfortunate to have to add 1,940 € as an option on the EQV to benefit from the reversing camera with 360° panoramic vision.
On our test model equipped with conventional suspensions with tires with thick sidewalls (245/55 R17), comfort was of good quality, but not without reproach, because small vibrations were felt under the buttocks and the lower back. A phenomenon that is essentially felt when empty and at low speed. Variable regenerative braking can be adjusted manually via the paddles or automatically. The D+ mode evolves into freewheeling while the D- accentuates the engine brake. The D- – mode allows you to go almost to a standstill, but not completely. It therefore appears necessary to always use the brake pedal, which lacks consistency and precision. In fact, the transition between the regenerative engine braking and the activation of the pads on the discs lacks finesse.
A colossus with feet of clay
Thanks to its 204 hp and its instantaneous torque of 362 Nm, the induction motor (asynchronous 3-phase and 6-pole) frees itself well from the pachydermic mass and the Norman cabinet profile of the EQV. The acceleration as the times are sufficient to fit on the fast lane and the 160 km / h top speed is easily reached. But the flexibility of the suspensions as the limited adhesion of the tires invite to adopt a very ecological conduct. To optimize directional stability and comfort, AIRMATIC pneumatic suspensions are required (€2,659). These adapt continuously to the profile of the road or driving modes and can also vary the ground clearance. The EQV is therefore assessed at 110, or even 120 km/h maximum, the speed at which air and road noise remain very well muffled.
But it is also and above all consumption that encourages wisdom. Count at least 35 kWh/100 km on average at 130 km/h in good weather (18°) or barely 250 km of maximum autonomy. This leads to stops every 200 km to leave a little margin. In mixed city and road use, expect 300 km of real autonomy, or an average of 28 kWh/100 km. A radius of action a little tight to go on vacation, especially since this electrified version of the V-Class does not allow you to tow any trailer. A peak! However, the rapid development of fast charging infrastructure and the opening of the Tesla network now makes it easier to get away from it all these days. Thanks to its CCS combo socket conveniently located on the front left of the shield, the EQV accepts a maximum charging power of 110 kW to go from 10 to 80% in 45 min. On alternating current, the 11 kW charger allows a full tank in 10 hours.
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The price of beautiful neighborhoods.
Available from €79,936 in the Long version and €80,830 in the Extra Long version, the Mercedes EQV is not cheap, especially since it is necessary to add some very expensive options as we have seen above. Our test model in Avantgarde finish including 8 leather seats, two electric sliding doors and automatic rear air conditioning claimed €90,880 including tax. A price which certainly remains lower than that of a Tesla Model X. The American luxury SUV is certainly much faster, more secure with a greater radius of action and first-rate connectivity. But if we consider that luxury is space, then the price of m2 remains more interesting at Mercedes.
- Serious build quality
- 8 individual imperial seats
- Quiet and smooth ride
- The very clumsy basic chassis (without AirMatic)
- High consumption
- No towing possible