We are recruiting for Sales Consultants now! Excellent remuneration opportunity! View opportunities Read more

4.9 out of 5 24,942 reviews

Mon to Fri: | Sat:

Mercedes-Benz EQV Review

Introduction

If you're rolling your eyes at yet more initials to remember in the Mercedes-Benz range, don't fear. The EQV will be a lot more familiar than you realise, and it's based on a vehicle that's been sold by Merc for a considerable time.

The V-Class (yes, it's old enough to have a single letter) is the Mercedes people carrier. Although it has the profile of its Vito van – and shares much of its DNA with it – the V-Class added some windows, seats and a plusher interior. And, over the years, it has found use as a minibus, a private hire vehicle, airport taxi and an everyday car for large families.

The EQV, meanwhile, is simply an electrified version of it, with the diesel engine consigned to the history books and replaced with the power of electrons.

Select's rating score* - 3.2 / 5

At a Glance

One of the most striking things about it is that Mercedes-Benz has managed to take a van and make it look desirable as a 'car'. Although it's still van-shaped, headlights that swoop downwards, and a chrome-surround lower grille spanning the width of the front, have given it an attractive appearance.

Around the side, horizontal lines and side skirts add creases into the doors, even hinting at a tinge of sportiness, while body-coloured bumpers feature, too.

At the back, the most striking feature is the enormous rear windscreen, shaped like a square with the corner cut off at the bottom, stretching to the very top of the vehicle, with a modest overhanging rear spoiler coming off the roofline.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-1

Although we expect it won't be enough to win any beauty awards, we're hard-pressed to believe a van could ever be so lovely to look at.

Now Mercedes has taken it a stage further by ripping out the engine and replacing it with batteries and an electric motor.

Key Features

There are three trims to choose from – and they’re all sporty. There’s Sport, Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus.

That suggests a lot of, erm, sportiness.

Sport includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, ambient lighting, roof rails and electric rear windows. You also get electric sliding doors, LED lights, parking assist, a reversing camera, heated lumbar support, climate control, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, a DAB radio, and a SatNav with live traffic information.

Sport Premium includes the Mercedes' Exterior Design Package, which adds a black radiator grille with chrome fins and that earlier mentioned rear spoiler. There is also a 360-degree reversing camera, electric seats, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration in the infotainment system.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-2

Sport Premium Plus adds 18-inch alloys, an upgraded Burmester surrounding sound system, plus you get AIRMATIC air suspension, which lifts the body at lower speeds for a more comfortable ride.

All come with the same front-wheel-drive electric motor, which produces 204PS. That power output doesn't seem a lot, considering this is a heavy vehicle.

Nevertheless, with the branding focus very much on ‘sport’, we’ll hope the handling makes up for it.

Range & Batteries

The battery is 90kWh with a claimed range of 213 miles (211 for the Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus trims).

Given it's such a large vehicle, this is a reasonably impressive figure, although we suspect you won't achieve this in practice in the real world.

Performance & Drive

Well, to answer your burning question in a nutshell. No. It's not quick.

In fact, given electric power is supposed to provide instant throttle response, we're pretty disappointed.

While 204PS is perfectly acceptable for a four-door saloon, this is an MPV, which is basically a minibus. And, thanks to the added mass of all those batteries, it weighs in at just under 2,650-kilograms. Whopping!

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-3

The result? 0-62mph takes a lethargic 12.1-seconds and, once you’ve done that, you’ll find you won’t be able to get it above 98mph.

Okay, we hear you. ‘You’re not used to driving these sorts of vehicles – this is hardly a supercar, and it's been built for practicality, not performance’.

Fair point. Until you realise that a V-Class with a mere 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine manages 0-62mph in 7.8-seconds – and tops out at 137mph. So just because it's fundamentally a van doesn't mean it’s incapable of matching an average family car.

Almost paradoxically, the acceleration is quite good off the line, with an instant burst of power taking you up to a slow-ish driving speed, which is acceptable for stop-start traffic. Nevertheless, it creates a first impression that sort of masks the fact it's painfully sluggish. So, if you’re driving around cities and airport perimeter roads – which is where this vehicle is likely to find itself – you find it's still very much up to the job.

We tested the EQV with no passengers, and there was a sense of bounciness to the ride. But, we're assured that, with passengers and their suitcases on board, the EQV is more planted. And that's fair enough - this isn't the type of vehicle you'll typically drive around on your own.

Taking it around a corner at speed is out of the question, though. The steering isn't exceptionally responsive, and there's quite a lot of body roll. As a result, you won't have the confidence to push the EQV anywhere near its limits.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-4

Overall, given the ‘sport’ moniker, the driving experience is quite frustrating.

Again, yes, we know it's essentially a van, so how can we criticise it for poor handling?

Well, you've got the point – and, if you're leasing one of these, the only reason is for the seven seats with luggage room to spare. If you want a seven-seater, then a Tesla Model X has much better handling, while hybrid Range Rovers also exist nowadays.

But still, just because it’s a large vehicle doesn’t mean it can’t handle well.

Granted, the EQV is built to get many people from point A to point B in comparative luxury as a private hire vehicle. But it's also a vehicle that will be driven for long distances and by someone who will be spending hours behind the wheel. So, it's little consolation if you can't enjoy doing both those things at the same time.

The lack of any real personality in the driving experience makes the choice of ‘sport’ branding odd.

Charging

The EQV supports Rapid Charging up to 110kW and, when used, getting from 10% to 80% charge takes approximately 45 minutes.

A wall box will take around 10 hours and can be controlled from a smartphone app at home.

You can also use the app choose to pre-warm (or cool) the vehicle, which is good for those freezing winter’s mornings (or rare blazing hot summer afternoons).

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-5

Running Costs & Emissions

There are no emissions to speak of, given electrons power it.

If you're going to be leasing one of these for airport runs, then it stands to reason that you'll be topping up the charge quite regularly.

Of course, the cost to charge entirely depends on circumstances, most notably where you’re charging it and whether it’s a fast or rapid charger that’s topping it up (quicker charging tends to be more expensive). Or, if you’re charging it up at home, then you’ll be wanting to ensure you have the cheapest energy tariff.

Nevertheless, you’ll be looking at something around the five pence per mile mark, which is roughly a quarter of what it would cost to run a V-Class diesel.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-6

Of course, those comparisons depend on any number of variables, from driving habits to weather conditions, to energy and fuel prices. But it should at least put it into perspective.

Given the EQV is worth north of £70,000, the servicing isn't cheap. However, just for info, the model's three-year warranty has no mileage limit attached.

Interior & Technology

The inside is the EQV's party piece.

If you remember the lack of quality the last time you went on a minibus – awful patterned seats and an appearance as inspiring as a Tupperware box on wheels – then head to the very opposite end of the scale, and you'll end up with the EQV.

In fact, if you’ve ever seen the interior of a Mercedes van and been disappointed that its ‘luxuriousness’ bears no resemblance to a Benz car, then this will make amends quite nicely.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-7

You get leather seats as standard, while the darkened interior is broken up nicely with bits of aluminium trim. It looks smart and, if you're being driven in it to get to the airport, you'd almost say it's on the verge of limousine territory rather than a taxi.

The driving position is high up, providing superb visibility, helped by the large windows. Of course, with rows of seats and this being a long vehicle, rear visibility is restricted. But, a 360-degree camera available in the Sport Premium and Sport Premium Plus models takes care of that, while the rear parking sensors will help ensure you don't reverse into anything.

The 10.25-inch touchscreen has Mercedes' MBUX system, which is excellent, stylish, well laid out, user-friendly and responsive. If you prefer, there's a trackpad on the centre console that can control it.

Just bear in mind that the entry-level Sport trim doesn’t get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, though, which is pretty shoddy given the price of the vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-8

Practicality & Boot Space

Ironically, in a vehicle built for practicality, it's virtually impossible to measure the boot space. Why? Because there are so many different combinations of seating arrangements available.

Seats can be moved about; they can face each other, be put next to each other, set apart from one another or be removed altogether. Suffice it to say, you won't be struggling for space unless you intend to fit eight people in, plus a grand piano. But, even then, we won't be surprised if it fits.

But this highlights one problem. The EQV is really for people who need a large-capacity vehicle because the seven seats you get in a large 4x4 aren’t enough. This is for folks who need an eight or nine-seater.

Yet, while the V-Class can have up to nine seats, the EQV can only have eight. Why? The nine seats of the V-Class was one of its unique selling points – a car that fits more people in it than just about anything else you can lease.

The passenger seats are comfortable for long journeys, and they can be arranged as you please to maximise legroom.

Headroom won’t be an issue unless you’re among the world’s tallest people.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-9

Safety

It may not surprise you to learn that Euro NCAP is yet to crash-test an EQV.

The organisation did assess a V-Class back in 2014, though, and that scored five stars, including a 93% rating for adult occupants, 87% for children and 85% for safety assists.

Euro NCAP's criteria have changed since then, though. So, the same V-Class probably wouldn't score as highly today, and there's not anything else that compares with it.

'EQ' is what Mercedes is calling its electric range. Its two other EQ vehicles have been tested: the EQA, which earned five stars in 2019, scoring 97% for adult occupants, while the EQC was assessed in the same year, also notching up five stars, scoring 96% for adults.

These figures aren't necessarily indicative of what the EQV will achieve, but they should provide a decent benchmark.

In terms of safety systems, they’re all included as standard, including tyre pressure monitoring, brake assist, attention assist, blind spot assist, hill-start assist and traffic sign assist.

That’s a lot of assistance.

It also includes a driving assistance package, which can stop the vehicle in an emergency, automatically steer to take evasive action, prevent you from veering out of your lane, and maintain the distance to the road user in front - which is helpful in traffic jams.

Mercedes-Benz-EQV-2020-10

Options

There isn't an options list for the Mercedes EQV, but the entry-level Sport trim includes just about everything you might need.

That said, we’re disappointed to find that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t included in the Sport. Of course, you can add it for some extra money, but honestly, Mercedes, it's a £70,000 plus vehicle. Surely you could’ve just thrown it in?

Alternatively, you’ll get it as standard on the dearer Sport Premium trim. However, if you want even more and opt for the flagship Sport Premium Plus grade, you'll need to have even deeper pockets.

Somewhere else that Mercedes will make more money is the paint colour options. There are two solid shades – pebble grey or red – to choose from, but you'll have to fork out more if you want metallic paint, which is available in dark blue, graphite grey, a slightly lighter grey, white, black, silver or red.

Rival Cars

There’s very little out there that compares with the EQV, certainly in terms of electric vehicles.

Nobody else makes an electric van as a people carrier, so if that's the appeal, then you're stuck with this one.

If the appeal is that it’s electrified, then there’s only really the Tesla Model X, which is more expensive and only a seven-seater rather than eight.

If you want a Benz but need something far less expensive, you might want to check out the sister vehicle, the Vito Tourer.

Suppose you're happy to settle for diesel power. In that case, the Citroen SpaceTourer, Ford Tourneo Custom, Peugeot Traveller, Renault Trafic Passenger, Toyota Proace Verso, Vauxhall Vivaro Life or the Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle are all worth looking at.

Or, if the allure is that the EQV is a large all-electric vehicle – but you can make do with five seats – then the likes of the Audi E-tron, BMW iX3 and the Jaguar I-Pace might be tempting, too.

If the driving experience matters most, then a BMW X5, Volvo XC90 or a Range Rover might be worth thinking about – and all are available with hybrid options if you're environmentally conscious.

Verdict & Next Steps

The EQV is quite frustrating. It has so much going for it – a masterstroke in turning a van into a comfortable, luxury cruiser in a conversion that ‘Pimp My Ride’ would have been proud of.

It has practicality that’s so great it can’t be measured – and now you can ride along, saving the planet and your fuel bills, in the sound of silence.

But the silence comes at a cost.

The drivability is poor – performance is a big let-down, and although we get that this isn't the point of the EQV, we still feel there’s been too little focus on the vehicle's handling. It could be better with some tuning, especially given that the three trims are called ‘Sport’, ‘Sport Premium’ and ‘Sport Premium Plus’.

The reality is, its sporting credentials are all in name only, with the possible exception of the aesthetics. The vehicle itself doesn’t live up to the billing.

In practice, this is only a vehicle you'll lease if you're a limo operator, an airport transfer company, or you happen to need to drive around with seven passengers (no, we still can't understand why you can't have eight passengers like in the V-Class).

If you can cope with transporting just six passengers, a large 4x4 is likely to be a far better option.

Where to next?

View latest Mercedes-Benz EQV leasing deals- guide price from £713.64 per month inc VAT**

Looking for a great leasing deal? Check out our incredible range of Special Offers

New electric MPV? Read our latest Reviews and find the right model for you

Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive Leasing Guides

Interested in everything motoring? Why not catch up on all the latest Car Leasing News.

*Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Mercedes Benz EQV

**Correct as of 15/10/2021. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £6,422.76 Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.

Useful links

Other reviews