Mercedes were a bit slow to the electric market, but the company are planning to launch several new electric models in the coming years. Last year, the German manufacturer launched their massive electric people carrier the EQV and now they have the impressive EQB electric car on sale.

I drove it last week and was very impressed. In the recent past, the problem with many electric cars was that they were not very attractive to look at. But the EQB looks like a regular Merc. The only external clue is that the normally attractive grille is now much duller.

The famous three-point star has long gone from Mercedes cars, but there is a badge on the bonnet and the logo now brightens the rather dull looking area where the grille used to be.

As usual with electric cars, the first question I am always asked is about the range. Officially the range in the EQB was given as 419km, but one day I got to 444km after a full charge.

Of course much depends on how carefully you drive the car. It can go from zero to 100km/h in eight seconds and the top speed is 160km/h, but that kind of driving  is definitely not recommended in an electric car.

With a 40Kw battery, the EQB charges fairly quickly at public charge points. However, if you are thinking of buying an electric car you will probably need a home charger. I have read where some prospective electric customers have had issues when trying to have an electric charger installed. So check everything out in advance.

It’s a seven-seater, but I didn’t have much need to use the third row of seats, preferring the extra space in the boot when the third row was folded down.  With the third row folded down you can get 495 litres of space, but no room for a spare wheel. 

The car has a kind of a rectangular, boxy look, but nothing wrong with that. The two roof rails add to the SUV look. The exterior colour was Mountain Grey. Inside the seats had a touch of rose gold and titanium grey pearl which certainly brightened up the décor.

The back seats are raised slightly to accommodate the battery pack underneath and that means the rear seat passengers will be sitting a little higher that those in the front. And if you only have two back seat passenger they can leave down the arm rest for more comfort.

In order to avoid any rows over space between passengers in the second and third row, the second row can slide forward and back, and its backrests can be  also be adjusted.

The controls on the dash are well laid out and easy to use. Often for me the radio controls are the ones that are most often used and the volume control is on the steering wheel.

Mercedes are providing an electric seven-seater compact SUV, something that none of their main rivals are currently providing.

The price Irish pricing for the EQB starts at €64,030 for the EQB 250 Progressive. I drove the 300 4Matic version where prices start at  €65,660. My test car had a few expensive option extras, which brought the price of the car to €72,571. Road tax is €120.

No doubt about it, that’s a lot of cash to splash out, but it’s a Mercedes and that means it’s classy.