By : RACHNA TYAGI
Fads come and go but frankly, one fad that I didn’t really think much of, until only a few years back, when it arrived on the scene, was the colour, Rose Gold. However, this was before I saw an Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments offering this pen in Rose Gold. Back then, this colour was aimed primarily at the Middle Eastern market. Last year, one of my favourite Japanese watchmakers offered a digital watch in Rose Gold. Fast forward to 2022. Now, the German car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, has gone and painted its latest EV, the EQB, in Rose Gold! I mean, an entire SUV in Rose Gold???!!!! What do you think of that? Now, I bet I know what many of you who’re reading this are thinking. However, let me tell you this… even when I saw the EQB in Rose Gold both late at night and very early in the morning (While it was still dark), I wasn’t so sure about this colour. However, after driving it around for a few hours in Kodaikanal, when I stopped for taking pics and saw it glistening under the morning sun, the spectacular colour just took my breath away. Suffice to say that Mercedes-Benz has got the Rose Gold colour so right that even naysayers are going to have a hard time writing vile things about it because is just happens to be the most exquisite Rose Gold colour out there. It is fresh, it is elegant, and most importantly, it is capable of looking absolutely stunning despite all the dust and debris that it gathers while out and about on its duties. In fact, the more and more I observed this Rose Gold colour, the more and more I found myself being drawn to it. The fact that at its heart this Rose Gold colour has a certain effervescence, unlike deeper and more somber-looking Rose Golds gives it a very youthful and sporty quality – a big plus for this rather largish looking SUV.
Now, while on the dimensions, let’s just say right away that the EQB, isn’t small by any stretch of imagination. In fact, it is even 274 mm longer than the GLA. It is a rather big SUV that looks absolutely remarkable on the outside with its blanked-out grille in piano black and chrome, that makes it stand out distinctly as an EV. Furthermore, the attractive headlamps with the DRLs, and the blue line running right below it, set it apart. The fascia is set into two parts, with the grille taking up most of the space, followed by the black slats in the chrome enclosure neatly integrated into the front bumper. In fact, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the EQB is a handsome SUV, what with lines on the bonnet making it really stand out.
The rear of the EQB is clean with a beautiful LED light strip running across both the tail lamps, making it really stand out. There isn’t too much badging and the crease line on the tailgate looks really classy. The chrome strip running across at the bottom, just below the number plate looks good and because of where the number plate sits, the entire rear of the EQB looks contemporary and rather distinguished.
Inside, there are a few touches of Rose Gold on the air-con vents, for instance. However, we wish the steering (atleast on this colour) also received the Rose Gold treatment – and no, it wouldn’t be a bit much! That steering of the EQB in Rose Gold would be a great way to distinguish this EV from its other ICE brethren at first glance, especially considering the fact that the car maker has even ensured that the key fob also gets the Rose Gold treatment. The seats, which are well scooped out, ensure more knee room for the other passengers, and also get an elegant Rose Gold fabric touch which looks distinct. The one thing that really stood out was the size of the windows – really large, and so are the sun roofs, split into two, making the cabin of the EQB look really massive.
Besides, there are little touches such as a gorgeous backlit trim inside the cabin that truly elevates the EQB’s cabin to the next level. Then there is also Mercedes’ fabled MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system which needless to say, is very good indeed, with its learning-capable software, Voice Control and hi-res screen offering super crisp displays in all kinds of lighting conditions. Audiophiles get 10 speakers with 225W which is really saying something!
Mercedes-Benz is very clear about the back row seats that it is offering and says it is for “Pre-Teens” and for your “pets.” Also, once you have folded down the second and third row seats, the EQB also gets a boot capacity of a whopping 1620 liters giving you more than enough space to fit a lot of luggage for the for your really long roadtrips.
The EQB gets two electric motors which produce 168kW power (Around 225.29hp) and according to Mercedes-Benz, they optimize consumption in city traffic. Besides this, the EQB gets a battery pack bolted underneath which has a maximum voltage of 367 V and has a usable energy content of 66.5 kWh. The EQB can be charged via a CCS charging socket for AC and DC, with a maximum power of 100 kW with DC charging. Charging from 10%-80% happens in 32 minutes. 10%-100% in 6h 25 mins, in 11kW, and here’s the best part – all EQB buyers get a complimentary AC Wallbox.
Mercedes-Benz says that the EQB gets a sophisticated thermal management system which reuses the waste heat from the electric drive system. This results in providing drivers with better range, thanks to the system, which has been configured in a manner to offer exceptional efficiency. All of this is evident when you drive the EQB for several hours in a hassle-free manner, neither are you worried about the SUV overheating despite using almost all the comfort features on the SUV nor does getting from point A to point B in an EV even seem like something that you really need to plan in advance anymore.
Driving the EQB in Kodaikanal was sheer joy. It performed every task with great aplomb and made negotiating those hairpin bends, tackling mud roads while off-roading, and even gliding on the roads past the tiny villages, really effortless. Not once did we experience any range anxiety, nor did we feel like we didn’t have enough power to negotiate the different kinds of terrain there. The EQB just took everything in its stride and was up for all kinds of challenges that the road threw at it. Quite admirable really, especially because it is such a plush EV. The ground clearance of 165mm just gave me complete peace of mind knowing fully well that the chances of damaging the battery that is bolted underneath was really slim and I’m happy to report that despite taking the EQB through some pretty bad roads, it turned out to be everything that Mercedes-Benz’s vehicles are known for – solid, sturdy and safe. Not once did it make me nervous about the way I was treating this SUV which was far from gentle, despite the fact that it was an EV.
The 11.8m turning radius on the EQB did a great job for an SUV this size making it a breeze to maneuver this EV around, even on certain mountainous roads where it didn’t seem possible at first but eventually turned out to be super easy! It has to be said about the EQB that it is easily one of the finest EVs with barely a hint of sound from either of its two electric motors, thanks to the brilliant noise encapsulation around the electric motor and superbly insulated passenger compartment. The company claims to have even worked on tyre noise reduction. Believe me when I say, the only sound I heard whilst seated inside the EQB was that of me rolling down my driver’s side window in that pristine environment. Indeed, what a noise-free future Mercedes-Benz is working towards! Overall, it was great fun driving the clean, sophisticated and sporty EQB around and frankly, I really had a blast pushing this EV to its limits. (The EQB’s top speed is 160 kmph). The one thing that Mercedes-Benz could consider doing though is upgrading the R18s on the EQB with R19s that the GLB gets.
The latest EV from Mercedes-Benz has a lot going for it. Besides getting dual motors, it produces enough electrical power and is a torquey EV. It also gets a very good top speed and comes with quite a few charging options, not to mention five colours, Rose Gold, Cosmos Black, Mountain Grey, Iridium Silver, and Digital White. In terms of safety, the EQB, gets some pretty advanced safety systems for safer driving and offers exceptional crash safety as well as passive safety features making it a very safe EV to drive.All these factors should definitely make it worthy of your consideration, especially if you’re in the market for an EV in this price range of INR 75-80 Lakh. And if still in doubt, the eight-year battery warranty should allay all fears.
In toto, the EQB is a terrific EV from Mercedes-Benz and that Rose Gold is definitely something that you should check out, however, obnoxious the idea of a gold-coloured car may sound to you at first. Believe me when I tell you, you are going to be pleasantly surprised, especially because after you have seen the EQB in flesh as every other car in yellow gold will just pale in comparison. Yes, you read that right. I only wish Mercedes-Benz had brought the Rose Gold colour a tad bit earlier when it was still considered supreme luxury, now, the colour has filtered down to the level of high-street fashion and what that basically means in Auto lingo is that even non- luxury car manufacturers have already begun toying with it, albeit using different names, of course. From manufacturers of writing instruments to watchmakers to car makers, everybody seems to be after some of that Rose Gold sparkle. But then, like they say… “Better late than never,” right?