New SUV

2022 Mercedes EQB is an all-electric version of the GLB SUV

The Mercedes EQB is coming to the U.S. in 2022.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The formula is simple enough. Take the Mercedes-Benz GLB and add electric power making it a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Meet the 2022 Mercedes EQB (which may not come to the U.S. until the 2023 model year).

This take on the GLB is the same size as the traditional GLB. It is a subcompact SUV that, like the EQC before it, adopts the last letter of its "GL" name and adds it to the electric lineup's "EQ" nomenclature.

Shown first in a spec for China's customers, the EQB changes out the grille of the GLB for the typical Mercedes-EQ black panel with a central star. There is a continuous light strip at the front and rear of the car, bordered by full-LED headlights with blue highlights within the lamp housing. At the top are studded roof rails.

2022 Mercedes MQB: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Each EQB rides on light-alloy wheels in a bi- or trim-color design, up to 20 inches in size. A rose gold-colored wheel and wheels with decorative blue trim will be available in some markets.

Customers in China will get the EQB with AMG Line styling. It will have an output of 288 horsepower. In Europe, customers will be able to choose between front- and all-wheel drive versions of the EQB, and have the opportunity to pick the right power level for them. Some of the outputs are rated over 268 horsepower.

Usable battery capacity for Europe is 66.5 kilowatt-hours. A long-range version is also planned.

Mercedes says that the EQB can be charged at up to 11 kilowatts with alternating current using the onboard charger. Charge time will vary by infrastructure and country-specific vehicle equipment.

At DC fast-charging stations, the EQB can charge at a rate of up to 100 kilowatts. When that happens, the charging time to get from 10 to 80 percent charged is a little over 30 minutes. The car's CCS connector is on the right-hand side.

2022 Mercedes EQB: Interior

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes me Charge technology is available in Europe and the U.S. allowing plug-and-charge.

The cabin of the GLB is designed to seat up to seven. The car's available two third-row seats are capable of fitting people up to 5 feet 4 inches tall, and can accommodate child seats. Altogether, up to four child seats can be placed inside the GLB.

Headroom for occupants of the first two row of SUVs is average for a compact SUV (about the same as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forester). It has up to 60 cubic-feet of cargo space.

The interior of the EQB is straight out of the GLB playbook with some design accents to jazz it up a bit. Depending on the design and equipment line chosen by the buyer, a backlit trim piece and rose gold-colored decorative elements can be featured on the air vents, seats, and vehicle key. The instruments, with their electric car-specific displays, pick up on the same color scheme with rose gold-coloring and blue highlights.

The car comes with navigation with electric intelligence, an algorithm that incorporates navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the vehicle sensors into its efficiency strategy, calculating the fastest route including any necessary charging stops. Additionally, the tech ensure that the battery is brought to the proper charging temperature before a planned charging stop.

2022 Mercedes EQB: Seating

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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The EQB features active lane keep assist and active brake assist as standard. An Assistance Package includes pedestrian and cyclist detection when turning corners.

The EQB will be built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Germany. Look for it to arrive arrive at U.S. dealers in 2022.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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