Cars/ First-drive/ Volvo XC40 Recharge Vs Mercedes EQB350 Vs Audi E-tron 55 | The Best of Luxury EV SUVs in India

Volvo XC40 Recharge Vs Mercedes EQB350 Vs Audi E-tron 55 | The Best of Luxury EV SUVs in India

Our picks across segments of luxury electric SUV’s to ascertain what makes the most E-sense!

For

Volvo XC40 Recharge - Exhilarating Performance, Connectivity, Squat SUV proportions
Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic - Interior Design, 5+2 seating, Relaxed Drive
Audi e-Tron 55 - Driving Comfort, Cabin Ergonomics, Build Quality

Against

Volvo XC40 Recharge - Wow factor missing inside & outside
Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic - Not exactly a cheap family runabout
Audi e-Tron 55 - Weight, Compromised range

Interior

Intelligent Inside?

Well, the XC40 Recharge actually is – with its 9-inch central infotainment unit powered by the Google Assistant. All you say is ‘Hey Google’, and ask it to play music (switches to Spotify), ask for directions using the familiar Google maps that mimics the directions layout onto the 12.0-inch driver display as well. Easily understands most spoken accents here and was the least buggy and fastest to respond. Such a breeze!

It also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Build quality is superb, with plenty of plush looking and feeling materials used throughout the cabin. But the dark fabric of the seats and charcoal-coloured topographic trim inserts create a rather sombre interior atmosphere. Both front seats offer four-way lumbar support, manual cushion extensions and height adjustability and the XC40 Recharge will happily take four tall adults and there’s plenty of storage space for their effects. The boot is small at 419L, smaller than in most rivals, but you also get a small frunk to store some knick knacks and charging cables.

The EQB’s intelligence resides in its packaging to accommodate seven seats – with three in the middle row and two smaller ones out back. And even the middle row can be moved front and back to liberate the last row’s legroom. There’s a bunch of driving modes too; they cycle through Eco, Comfort and Sport to fiddle with powertrain response and – if you’ve ticked the right boxes – suspension softness. 

The rose gold accents on the air vents, 64 colour ambient lighting, and a slick looking widescreen MBUX infotainment rounds things up nicely for the driver and passengers, and versatility is inbuilt with both 2nd and 3rd rows folding flat for a large flat boot floor.

The e-tron’s cabin isn’t as futuristic as its name though as it’s been around for more than 4 years and newer competition seems to have caught up. But the sheer quality and fit-finish on the inside featuring a mix of leather and open pore wood are top-notch, and overall, it’s definitely a great place to be sat in. There’s a twin screen setup – one for the infotainment and the other for the climate control, both of which are angled towards the driver. The front seats are broad with firmer cushioning. And the rear bench can actually seat 3 abreast in comfort. Lots of Storage spaces available given it’s a grounds-up EV platform and charging areas in the front are aplenty and with a deep recess in the central console area where I always manage to drop my phone into instead of placing it softly onto!



TopGear Magazine June 2024