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Mercedes's premium electric MPV brings a touch of class – and cost – to the segment

Mercedes first presented its all-electric EQV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Offering space for up to eight, it promises a heady mixture of decent range, ultra-rapid charging, versatility and the kind of kit that you'd expect from a Merc.

The EQV sits in essentially its own segment of the market. Whilst the cynic might say it's a Vito van with some bells and whistles, it is actually an almost entirely different entity – an MPV, but one which sits above the likes of the Citroën ë-SpaceTourer and its PSA Group brethren in terms of spec and powertrain. However, at over £70k it does cost around twice as much as rivals, so what do you get for your money?

Powertrain

The Mercedes-Benz EQV is powered by an 'eATS' electric powertrain which sends drive to the front wheels via a single-motor, single-speed transmission. Power comes in at 201bhp – which is significantly more than the 134bhp from the PSA crowd – enabling the EQV to reach 100mph. With 268lb-ft of torque to go with the power, the EQV should be brisk enough for an MPV.

Where the EQV really gets the advantage over most rivals is in its battery, range and charging. Its under-floor lithium-ion battery is good for 90kWh of usable juice which gives it a range of up to 213 miles. Whilst this is hardly brilliant for a 90kWh vehicle by car standards, it is significantly more than the 145-ish miles on offer from rival MPVs.

With a maximum DC charging input of 110kW via a CCS connection, it can be taken from 10 to 80 per cent in just 45 minutes. For duties such as private hire, this is a significant advantage over other MPVs – especially in places where rapid chargers such as those from IONITY (of which Mercedes is a part) are available. A water-cooled 11kW on-board AC charger means zero-to-full charge overnight is quite feasible.

Versatility, Mercedes quality and tech

As you'd expect from an MPV, the EQV can be configured for a variety of purposes – from a spacious family bus through to an eight-seater. Seating is configurable, with the option of six individual seats or, to get that maximum capacity, bench seats.

The EQV features the latest generation of the MBUX infotainment system with EQ-specific features such as state of charge, energy flow while driving and navigation configured to show where the nearest available charging points are, as well as calculating the most efficient route based on current state of charge. On this last point, a complementary app, Mercedes me Charge, provides access to charging points across Europe without the need for multiple accounts or RFID cards, and includes the Polar network in the UK.

Important info is displayed on a high-resolution, 10 inch media touchscreen through which most of the car's settings can be accessed. Voice control is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes” and can be used to control navigation, infotainment, calls and messaging, as well as in-vehicle setting such as climate control. Through the Mercedes me App, the EQV can be pre-conditioned and configured prior to getting in and going for a drive.

Whilst on the move energy recuperation under braking/throttle-off situations can be adjusted using paddles behind the steering wheel. At higher levels, one-pedal driving is possible. An ECO Assistant also helps drivers hone their driving style to eek the maximum range from the EQV, whilst a mixture of navigation data, traffic sign recognition and info from intelligent safety and assistance systems (radar and camera) also feed into the car's ability to maximise range.

Prices

All of this tech and space – and that Mercedes badge – come at a cost. The base model Mercedes-Benz EQV Sport comes in at £70,665 on the road. As standard it gets 17 inch alloys; LED Multibeam LED headlights; Driving Assistance package; MBUX with Navigation Plus; reversing camera; electric sliding doors; easy-pack tailgate; ambient lighting; and eight metre charging cable.

Add £2230 to that for the Sport Premium and you'll get a 360-degree camera, memory package, design package, in-vehicle cables and smartphone integration.

At the top end you're going to be spending £77,145 for the Sport Premium Plus. This adds a Burmester sound system, air suspension and 18 inch wheels.

It's difficult to argue that the EQV is twice the vehicle of the MPVs from the PSA Group, but if you've got that kind of cash floating about for a premium MPV you probably can't do much better than the Merc. You can order one now ready for deliveries to commence in autumn.

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