“The Mercedes EQC gives EV buyers a luxurious and comfortable option that’s incredibly refined”
After decades of uncertainty, there can be little doubt that electricity is the chosen fuel for the next generation of vehicles, and manufacturers are now scrambling to launch EV models. The Mercedes EQC is the first of its kind for the world’s oldest car manufacturer, and it arrives just months after the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron, with the Tesla Model X now effectively ‘the old guard’ amongst large electric SUVs.
The EQC also launches the ‘EQ’ badge that will soon be found on every new Mercedes EV and hybrid, along with a striking new design language. The EQC might not be quite as radical as the I-Pace and Model X, but a glossy black grille surround, new headlights and full-width LED light strips between the front and rear lights help set it apart from the traditional Mercedes range.
Inside, Mercedes has taken familiar hardware like the twin widescreen displays of the MBUX infotainment system and instrument cluster, and added some design flair to suit buyers craving innovation. The dashboard has new textures and the turbine air-vents are gone, replaced by rectangular items with rose-gold accents.
Like the I-Pace, just one powertrain and battery pack is available at launch, badged EQC 400 4MATIC. Two electric motors power the front and rear axles independently, producing 402bhp in total, with four-wheel drive for traction in all weather conditions. It’s not quite as quick as the Tesla or Jaguar, but 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds is hardly sluggish and the EQC has another trick; Mercedes has built the quietest and most comfortable model in its class. There’s almost none of the typical high-pitched whine electric motors produce at higher speeds, and most bumps are shrugged off with ease.
A driving range of around 250 miles beats the 75kWh Model X, is comparable to the Audi e-tron, and is just behind the smaller, lighter I-Pace, which manages closer to 300 miles between charges. When you can find a top-notch public fast-charger, the EQC is quick to top-up again, with a 110kW charger taking the battery pack from 10 to 80% in about 40 minutes.
That’s a lot of extra range in the time it takes to stretch your legs and, given the EQC’s interior, you might not even want to get out. Quality is on par with the e-tron and there are lots of gadgets to keep you entertained. Trims include Sport, AMG Line and the luxurious Edition 1 that celebrates the car’s launch, but all get alloy wheels (from 19-inches up), LED lighting and a ‘widescreen cockpit’ as standard.
The Mercedes EQC might be based off the existing GLC model, rather than a clean-sheet design like the I-Pace, but it still has an impressive powertrain with a decent driving range and support for the latest fast-charging. It’s also as well built and tech-filled as Mercedes SUV owners will expect, without being so unfamiliar that it risks putting off more conservative buyers.
Mercedes EQC SUV