Mercedes EQC SUV review
"The Mercedes EQC gives EV buyers a luxurious and comfortable option that's incredibly refined"
- Clever tech
- Impressive build quality
- I-Pace is more fun
- Average interior space
- No 'one-pedal' driving
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 arrived 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 was the first Mercedes EV to wear the ‘EQ’ badge, one which is now given to all hybrid and electric models made by the brand. It also showcases a striking new design language, and while it might not be quite as radical looking 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.
The EQC’s range of up to 256 miles improves on the 237 miles offered by the Audi e-tron, and is just behind the smaller, lighter I-Pace, which manages around 296 miles between charges. However, all fall short when compared to the Tesla Model X Long Range, which is capable of up to 314 miles.
When you can find a top-notch public fast-charger, the EQC is quick to top-up again, however, the Audi e-tron and Tesla Model X both support slightly faster charging. A 110kW charger takes the EQC's 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.
See how this car scored on our sister site DrivingElectric