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Mercedes-Benz EQT review 2023

Overall Rating: 6/10
Mercedes-Benz EQT_car

The Mercedes-Benz EQT is the premium passenger car version of the small electric van aimed at lifestyle buyers wanting to go zero emission.

Confusingly, the Mercedes EQT isn't all that different in principal to the people mover version of the Mercedes-Benz eCitan upon which it is based*. The difference between the Merc EQT and the eCitan Tourer is all in the packaging, though. Or rather in the nice bits you touch in the cab.
*Also note that the eCitan shares its platform with the Renault Kangoo E-Tech and Nissan Townstar Electric

If you're familiar with the Mercedes electric car range it has been rolling out loads of EQ models. These are the pure electric versions of their cars which take the first letter of the diesel car and stick it on the end. The Mercedes-Benz EQT is therefore based on the Mercedes-Benz T-Class, which is in fact a Mercedes-Benz Citan van. Make sense? Good.

There was once a time when these boxy little van-based passenger cars were all the rage. Multipurpose van-based MPVs were everywhere and made by everyone. There were passenger versions of the Renault Kangoo and Citroen Berlingo. Even early electric vans like the Nissan eNV200 Evalia were bestsellers. Then times changes and SUVs became the family transport of choice. Yet, despite the dip, van manufacturers have continued to make passenger versions of their vans.

Typically these are more rugged utility than luxury lifestyle, but a few models have dared to go upmarket. The Ford Transit Custom Active is a high spec luxury people mover based on a van, and in many ways the Mercedes-Benz EQT is similar. It's an eCitan with luxury lifestyle leanings, and a smarter version of the eCitan Tourer.

A red lighthouse on the Swedish archipelago of Hamneskar island, which is home to the famous Pater Noster lighthouse and hotel with the Mercedes-Benz EQT in front

What battery, range and charging in the Mercedes-Benz EQT?

The Mercedes-Benz EQT has the same 90kW electric motor as the eCitan producing 245Nm. That's the only power rating and the equivalent of 122hp. It's pretty much the average level of power you'd find in most small SUVs, which tend to have at least 100hp and as much as 150hp.

The Merc EQT gets a 45kWh lithium-ion battery which gives it a claimed range of up to 175 miles.

Charging is possible at a maximum speed of 80kW from a DC charger. That's enough to take the battery from 10% to 80% in just 38 minutes. It can also have an optional 22kW AC charger fitted that will allow the battery to be fully charged from 0% to 100% in 2.5 hours.

How efficient is the Mercedes-Benz EQT?

Mercedes claims that the EQT has combined power consumption of 18.99 kWh/100 km according to the WLTP testing cycle.

What are the trim levels and different configurations?

Initially launched as a five-seater car, the EQT will also be available with a long-wheelbase adding two additional occasional seats to make it a seven-seater.

There are three trim levels on offer. The range starts with Advanced Plus, with a mid-range Premium and top-spec Premium Plus.

The Advanced Plus package gives the EQT its basic appearance with either yellow or high-gloss black finishes, chrome details, leather trim on the steering wheel and ambient lighting. There's also height adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger, and the Mirror Package with reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

Premium comes with a number of various driver assistance and safety systems. These include the Advanced Plus package with Active Parking Assist, LED headlamps and High Beam Assist. The EQT also gets 16-inch 10-spoke light-alloy wheels and a wireless charging system for mobile devices.

With Premium Plus, the EQT gets the Navigation Package Plus for satellite navigation, as well as keyless go and larger 17-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels. Additional styling details include a chrome trim bar for the tailgate as well as trim elements in satin silver or high-gloss black.

How big is the Mercedes-Benz EQT?

Small vans are getting increasingly big, which is why they're now able to comfortably seat five and their luggage.

The EQT is the same as the Mercedes-Benz Citan dimensions with a 2716mm wheelbase, 4498mm total length, 1859mm wide and 1819mm high.

Mercedes logo with a sunset behind

What's it like on the inside?

The key difference between an eCitan Tourer and the Mercedes-Benz EQT is the upmarket interior. The EQT gets an upmarket almost suede-like trim on the doors and dash, with synthetic leather elsewhere.

It’s a high-end cabin befitting of a car with an integrated 7-inch touchscreen that runs the MBUX infotainment system. As well as keyless start as standard, there's automatic wipers and headlights.

More importantly, the interior also gets a heat pump as standard for the air conditioning, which improves its suitability for cold weather and improves the cabin's heating efficiency.

The Mercedes-Benz EQT also has three Isofix child seat mounts. It's possible to mount a children's car seat in the front passenger seat and the left and right rear seats. Automatic child seat recognition is also installed on the front passenger seat to ensure that the front passenger airbag is deactivated.

Interior of the Mercedes-Benz EQT

What's the Mercedes-Benz EQT like to live with?

To sit in, and be in it's a pleasant, quiet van with ample space and nice materials.

As pleasant as the EQT is, though, it still feels like a van and its boxy interior is noisier than you'd imagine when on the road. Even with an electric motor and plenty of premium materials there's still a noticeable hum from the road. The whine from the electric motor is also a fraction louder than you'd find in an equivalent Mercedes car. It's not a bad characteristic, it's just not quite up there with the other EQ models.

Rear seat space is also quite limited. The rear seats are raised compared to the front seats to give occupants legroom. That means adults will be staring at or slightly above the level of the person in the seat in front. As a result the view for occupants in the rear wanting to look out of the front window is good, but you do feel quite close to the ceiling above you.

The main feeling, however, is that the borrowed Renault components are even more noticeable against the premium Merc tweaks. That's a bit of a let-down in what is, overall, a smart adaptation of a van platform.

rear passenger seats

How much space does the Mercedes-Benz EQT have?

There’s plenty of rear storage - after all this is based on a van. The five-seat version has bootspace of 551-litres but with the seats folded that increases to 1979 litres.

If more space is needed, or the maximum compartment length of 1804mm isn't enough, there is the option of roof rails. These can support up to 80kg.

The EQT is also capable of towing - a handy ability for an electric lifestyle vehicle such as this, especially for those in need of towing a trailer or perhaps a small boar or jet ski. Towing capacity for a braked trailer is up to 1500kg.

What's it like to drive?

We've already mentioned that the EQT is a little noisier than we'd like, but that aside, it's a great car to cover miles in.

You have to keep in mind that it is still a van, so it isn't as dynamic as a hatch or SUV, but don't let that put you off.

The Mercedes-Benz EQT handles well, with direct steering and a fairly soft and comfortable ride at the front end, with a much firmer rear. There's very little body roll, and it feels nicely balanced thanks to a fair wide stance on the road.

With 90kW of power from the electric motor, the EQT isn't lightening quick, but it's not slouch either. There's more than enough instant torque available to get you going quickly, and even when loaded up with family or friends it's sufficient enough for a decent turn of pace.

What about regenerative braking and driving modes?

You'll find the options for either Comfort or Eco modes in the EQT. Comfort is the standard mode the car defaults to, while Eco is selected through a button on the dash. It limits the top-end power by one third and dulls the throttle response so that you can't floor it and rundown the battery. It also adjusts the heating/cooling controls - but not so much that we found it caused any problems.

Other settings to tweak include the levels of regenerative braking. The Mercedes-Benz EQT has three selectable driving modes with D-, D or D+ options. The minus setting is the most severe, giving a strong amount of retardation, while the regular D mode gives you just a small amount. D+ essentially allows you to coast.

The system is very successful in clawing back energy into the battery and if some careful planning and reading of the road ahead you can make great gains.

car driving between white houses

What about safety?

The Mercedes-Benz EQT has seven airbags as standard. There's driver and front passenger airbags, window bags, thorax side bags and an additional centre airbag. In the event of a severe side impact, the centre airbag is deployed between the front seats to reduce the risk of the heads colliding.

Driving assistance systems fitted as standard include, Hill Start Assist, Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blindspot Assist and Speed Limit Assist.

Additional active safety systems available with the Driving Assistance Package including Active Distance Assist (Distronic) which automatically maintains the set speed and the distance to the vehicle in front. It's adaptive cruise control with a fancy name. There's also Active Steering Assist which helps centre the EQT in the middle of the lane. The system uses the detected lane markings to keep you in the middle of the road, even if it's a twisty road.

Should I buy a Mercedes-Benz EQT?

There's no doubt that the Mercedes-Benz EQT is a very capable upgrade to a regular van. Although it is better equipped than a commercial vehicle it has still got all the same performance and range abilities.

When you look at what the rest of the Mercedes EQ models do and look like, the EQT feels a little bit flat. If it were simply a passenger version of the eCitan there might be fewer expectations, but the Mercedes name and the abilities of its larger EQ electric vehicles does dampen what the smallest model in the range is trying to achieve.

If you're after a fully electric people mover in the spirit of the MPVs of old, then the EQT fits the bill. It is by no means in a class of its own. Although not quite in the same category as the Volkswagen ID Buzz and Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo, the EQT is still a five/seven seater and therefore a rival of sorts. The Ford E-Transit Courier will also be a competitor and there are many versions of the Stellantis ProOne family of Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall that also play in this space.

The Mercedes-Benz EQT doesn't quite feel special enough to justify the name or the price.

Mercedes-Benz EQT

Price: £36000- £42000

Power: 122 - 122
Torque: 245 - 245Nm
Payload: 375 - 516kg
Volume/Area: 0.55 - 1.98
Loadspace Length Max: 1804 - 1804mm
Things We Like:
Smart interior upgrades, high levels of safety systems, attractive design
Things We Like Less:
Some bits don't feel Mercedes enough
Overall: 6/10

Driving: 7/10
Interior: 7/10
Practicality: 6/10
Value: 6/10
First Published: May 21, 2023
Last Modified: April 6, 2024  
Written by: thevanreviewer

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