Skip to main content

One of the best values in electric SUVs comes from the last brand you’d expect

If you want an electric SUV, you had better be prepared to open your wallet. So far, the vast majority of great electric car models that have been released up until now have been crossover-sized — leaving those who want an electric SUV stuck with options like the $70,000+ Rivian R1S.

Or so I thought.

Over the past week, I’ve been driving the Mercedes-Benz EQB250+, a car that I thought was likely to be needlessly expensive because, you know, it’s a Mercedes-Benz. It turns out, however, it’s not so bad. In fact, at least as far as electric cars go, it could almost be considered affordable.

It’s still not really a budget model

Let’s be very clear right off the bat. The EQB isn’t cheap — and if you’re looking for a car on a budget, it’s probably not the car you’ll buy. But when you compare it with some other electric SUVs, it’s on the low end of cost, at a base price of $52,750. That’s more than $20,000 cheaper than the Rivian R1S, and in a different world than the Tesla Model X, BMW iX, and Mercedes’ own EQS SUV, which can easily stretch to six-figure MSRPs.

Mercedes-Benz EQB250+ Rear Three Quarter
Christian de Looper / Digital Trends

To be sure, there are less expensive electric SUVs, but I don’t really consider the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6 as SUVs, despite how they’re marketed. The EQB250+ is bigger than both of those — and it even has an option for a third row of seats. The Toyota bZ4X is a little bigger too, and it’s also a fair bit cheaper than the EQB250+, at a starting price of $42,000. So is the Tesla Model Y, which I also hesitate to call a real SUV, but which also has an option for a third row of seats, and starts at $50,490, a few thousand dollars cheaper than the Mercedes.

There are likely to be more options in the near future that undercut the EQB250+ in price — like the upcoming Kia EV9. But until then, the fact is that a Mercedes-Benz is cheaper than many of the best-known electric SUVs out there.

What do you get for that?

So what do you get for that comparatively low price? A pretty luxurious driving experience, in fact. The Mercedes-Benz EQB offers many of the same features as the much more expensive EQS. You’ll get incredibly comfortable seats, with premium materials throughout, and a dual display at the front for infotainment and instrument monitoring.

Mercedes-Benz EQB250+ Steering
Christian de Looper / Digital Trends

It drives well too. It offers a quick acceleration like other electric cars, and handles very smoothly, largely due to the low-mounted battery.

Speaking of the battery, it’s perhaps the main downside of the car. The range on the EQB isn’t terrible — but at 245 miles, it lags behind much of the competition. Some buyers will be able to look past this range — after all, it isn’t terrible. But I want all electric cars to have a range of at least 300 miles, and the EQB falls short of that. Not only that, but the EQB doesn’t charge all that quickly either, at only 100kW. That means that it takes a little over 32 minutes to charge the car from 10% to 80%, which again, isn’t terrible, but is a little slow.

The competition

So, what if you want to buy an electric SUV and have around $50,000 or so to spend? Should you go for the EQB? Well, it kind of depends.

Kia EV 9
Kia / Kia

If what you’re looking for is a luxurious experience, then yes — I think the Mercedes-Benz EQB is the best electric SUV under around $55,000 or so. But if your concerns are more about buying and owning an electric car, then there are better options. For example, if you’re concerned about range and charging, then it’s probably worth considering the Model Y, or going for something smaller like the EV6, Ioniq 5, or Mustang Mach-E.

Again, however, it may also be waiting a little. A slew of new electric SUVs are set to launch in the near future — including the likes of the much larger, likely similarly-priced, Kia EV9. The EV9 is a true SUV, and it’ll offer a much faster charging speed, at 350kW. The EV9 is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023, so it should be available in the U.S. pretty soon.

Topics
Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Best electric car charger deals: $100 off home charging stations
The handle of the Grizzl-E EV charger plugged into a vehicle.

While they may not dominate the market just yet, electric vehicles have become pretty massive in the past few years, with many people seeing them as the perfect alternative to traditional combustion engines. Of course, because EVs aren't as widespread, that means that there aren't always a ton of charging stations around, and sometimes those have inoperative or full chargers, leading to quite a few issues down the road. Luckily, you can get some excellent car chargers at home, which is why we've collected our favorite car charger deals for you below to save you trouble.
Seguma 16Amp Level 1/2 EV Charger -- $120, was $160

If you need a more basic charger, this Level one and two charger from Seguma is a solid option and can deliver 16 amps and 3.84kW, which is pretty substantial. It also comes with a NEMA 6-20 plug and a standardized J1772 connector, which should work on most EV vehicles out there except for Tesla, which has its own connector. There are also some intelligent charging features, which include things such as protection against things like under and over voltage, leakage, and lighting, and it has an automatic cut-off when your EV is fully charged.

Read more
Revamped Lucid Air shows this luxury EV’s bandwidth
Front three quarter view of a beige 2024 Lucid Air Touring.

If you’re only going to sell one car, you’d better make it count.

The Lucid Air electric car finally took flight in 2020 after years in financial limbo. While Lucid plans to launch an SUV called the Gravity and a line of smaller, more mainstream models, the Air remains Lucid’s sole product nearly four years after its launch. The Air has evolved in that time, adding multiple configurations that allow this one car to fill several niches.

Read more
With 1,800 horsepower, Bugatti’s Tourbillon brings plug-ins past the Prius
The Bugatti Tourbillon is a plug-in hybrid.

Plug-in hybrid technology has reached the automotive industry’s upper echelon. Bugatti has unveiled the Tourbillon, the long-awaited successor to the Chiron, with a gasoline-electric drivetrain rated at 1,800 horsepower, 3D-printed parts in the suspension, and an unusual sound system that has no speakers.

Bugatti developed the Tourbillon on a blank slate. The big coupe’s proportions are relatively close to the Chiron’s because the two cars need to fulfill a similar mission: cruise safely and comfortably at jaw-dropping speeds. Bugatti hints that hitting 250-plus-mph is well within the Tourbillon’s scope of capabilities. For context, the Chiron set a speed record and became the first car to break the 300-mph barrier when it reached 304 mph in 2019, so the brand knows a thing or two about speed.

Read more