Given the popularity of SUVs, it’s no surprise that battery-powered versions are proving a big hit with buyers. Tesla has had plenty of success with its Model X, the same goes for Audi and its e-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace has also impressed as the brand’s first EV.
But there’s an important premium manufacturer missing from that list – Mercedes. But fear not because this firm has the EQC – a bold high-quality SUV that aims to bring all the attributes that buyers love about a normal petrol and diesel Mercedes, but now in electric form.
The EQC was the first Mercedes to be launched under the new ‘EQ’ nameplate, which is being used for EVs and hybrids across the brand, and showcases where the brand is heading when it comes to electric cars. That’s why it looks a little different to the other Mercedes range, but still with the prominent three-pointed star on display. But is the EQC worth choosing over other electric SUVs? Let’s take a look.
Powering the EQC are two electric motors, with one positioned on each axle that allows this Mercedes to have four-wheel-drive.
Together, they produce a powerful 402bhp and 760Nm of torque – allowing the EQC to sprint to 60mph in just 4.8 seconds and it would reach a top speed of 112mph if given the space, too.
The EQC’s 80kWh battery isn’t quite as large as rivals, but scores on its efficiency, with Mercedes claiming you can expect 259 miles from a single charge. That’s longer than what Audi claims for its e-tron, but lags slightly behind the Jaguar I-Pace and the upcoming BMW iX3’s range.
As for charging, the EQC can be plugged in at rates of up to 110kW, and using the quickest connector the battery could be topped up from 10-80 per cent in just 40 minutes. If you charge at home with a wallbox, expect it to take around 11 hours to charge from 10 per cent to full.
Ride and handling
As with plenty of electric cars, it’s the refinement of the EQC that impresses the most. It allows for a very quiet and relaxing experience in the cabin, though there’s certainly still plenty of punch to it if you press hard on the accelerator and could easily leave some performance cars descending further into the rear-view mirror.
The additional weight of the batteries does add noticeable heft to the EQC behind the wheel, though, especially around town where it can be a bit unsettled on potholes and speed bumps. Once up to speed, though, it’s a brilliantly comfortable cruiser.
Interior and equipment
While the EQC’s bold styling might make it stand out next to the rest of the Mercedes range, the interior is a far more familiar story, and just about identical to models like the latest E-Class. It’s brimmed with equipment and technology – not least the large digital dial screen that runs into the main 10.25-inch driver display. The quality throughout is also superb and easily justifies its price – the solid milled aluminium switches on the steering wheel being a particular highlight.
And if you’re looking for an electric family car, the EQC won’t leave you disappointed. While lacking a seven-seat option like you get on the Tesla Model X, it’s still an impressively roomy five-seater, while a 500-litre boot is a good size. Just be aware that the sloping roofline might mean some taller adults scrape their heads on the roof lining in the back seats.
In terms of equipment, there are four grades to choose from here, though all come laden with kit. The standard Sport model comes with luxuries like keyless entry and start, an electric boot, Multibeam LED headlights, leather upholstery and a range of driver assistance kit. AMG Line is next, bringing a sportier look, larger 20-inch alloy wheels and leather sports seats.
AMG Line Premium brings larger 21-inch alloy wheels, an electric sunroof and Burmester sound system, while flagship AMG Line Premium Plus versions gain a 360-degree camera system and a head-up display.
Next to rivals, the EQC really is quite favourable priced – costing similar to the Jaguar I-Pace, which doesn’t get much equipment as standard, and being several thousand pounds cheaper than the equivalent Audi e-tron.
Granted, with prices starting from £65,720, this is not a cheap car, but with a good electric range, high-quality interior and generous levels of equipment, it puts up a good fight in this respect.
The EQC arguably competes in one of the toughest segments in the electric car world, but Mercedes has undoubtedly created an EV that can hold its own.
With its brilliant refinement, great performance and focus on quality, it’s a well-rounded electric car that fits the bill nicely if you’re looking for something a little more premium.Enquire on a new Mercedes EQC