3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

This electric van-based MPV is expensive but good to drive and ride in

Mercedes-Benz EQV MPV (20 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £71,645 - £78,215
Lease from new From £852 p/m View lease deals
Used price £47,915 - £59,585
Fuel Economy 2.1 - 2.2 miles/kWh
Insurance group 50 How much is it to insure?
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PROS

  • Mercedes-Benz EQV is the first full-size electric MPV
  • Easy to drive, and supremely comfortable
  • Claimed 248-mile range, 204hp electric motor

CONS

  • Barely any different to the V-Class to look at
  • Expensive in cash terms
  • Limited battery range for the money

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Following on from the already-announced Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV and based heavily on the revised-for-2019 V-Class MPV, the EQV is an all-electric luxury Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV). It's a premium-priced offering, coming in with a cash price of more than £70,000, but for that, you get a 204hp motor, luxury and adaptable plush interior and a silent, refined drive.

Given that Mercedes-Benz plans a wide-ranging line-up of EQ models, the decision to launch the EQV so early in the process initially seems strange. That is, until you learn that it’s been developed by Mercedes’ commercial vehicles division, which has already produced its close cousin, the eVito van.

In terms of how it looks, there are no surprises. It looks like a V-Class with something akin to the EQC’s nose grafted to it. Inside there are a greater number of modifications, but it still looks very much like the V-Class. Interestingly, there’s the updated multimedia interface featuring the excellent MBUX system already seen on the A-Class and GLE, instrumentation is electric-specific, and the interior trim reflects the EQV's lofty cash price (the cloth-trimmed model in our images is pre-production).

What is the Mercedes-Benz EQV’s range?

Good news! It’ll be able to travel significantly further than the eVito’s 93-mile limit between recharges, with Mercedes-Benz quoting 211-213 miles of range in WLTP testing. That modest mileage may work well for city-based couriers performing ‘last-mile’ deliveries who tend to travel no more than 60 miles per day, but for a luxury passenger car it’s nowhere near sufficient.

This 200-mile plus potential allows the EQV to cover the greater distances typically required for family people carriers and VIP shuttles. A smaller battery pack with a reduced range is also likely to be offered in due course.

The batteries are located under the EQV’s floor, giving it the same kind of flexibility enjoyed with the diesel-engined V-Class – so you get the same flexible and comfortable six-seater interior with the capability of three rows of front-facing seats or conference-style allowing passengers to face each other.

Nestled under the bonnet is a 204hp electric motor that drives the front wheels – the V-Class is rear-wheel drive-only in the UK – via a one-speed automatic transmission. The 0-62mph time is claimed at 12.1 seconds and the maximum speed is electronically capped at 99mph.

What about charging the EQV?

Mercedes-Benz, like other brands set to join the ranks of EV manufacturers, is working on fast-charging solutions. How long it takes to replenish the EQV’s 100kWh battery pack (90kWh usable) depends on where it's being topped up, but at a rapid public charger it will go from 10% to 80% in 45 minutes.

On a domestic wallbox that figure expands significantly to 10 hours (Mercedes-Benz quotes a 10% to 100% figure here), which makes this an overnight operation, as is the case with most EVs these days.

Obviously all that can be monitored and managed via smartphone, and there’s all the pre-conditioning possibilities, be it warm or cold, to make setting off as comfortable and economical as possible.

What's it like to drive?

We managed to grab a couple of hours behind the wheel of a pre-production EQV, and the main first impression is very positive. We like the V-Class that it's based on, having run one long term, but electrification has added serious relaxation and refinement in to the mix. Acceleration is like a typical electric vehicle – nippy off the line and more than capable of keeping up with the flow.

You never get away from the weight and size of the EQV, though. But it's exactly as you would expect it to be – great visibility gives you confidence in traffic, and it's stable and quiet on the motorway. The ride quality is excellent on its air suspension, no doubt helped by its 2.6-tonne kerbweight, which does its best to flatten bumps in the road. It does feel cumbersome in corners as you'd expect, but B-road ability is not really a priority for this vehicle.

It does offer Eco, Comfort and Sport drive modes, and there's quite a difference between the two. Eco mode encourages slower driving, blunting accelerator response, which makes town driving a bit of a chore. Comfort is a good compromise offering better throttle response and decent ride quality, while Sport is probably superfluous.You can alter the rate of regenerative braking via steering column-mounted paddles, with one-pedal driving on the cards in the highest regen setting.

What versions are available?

Currently, there's just one battery-spec available – the EQV 300 – offering the maximum range, and there are three trim levels: Sport, Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus, maxing out at almost £80,000 in cash terms.

Find out how we rate the Mercedes-Benz EQV, continue reading