The Mercedes EQC was not the first all-electric car to wear the three-pointed star (that was the A-Class E-Cell). But it was the German brand’s first electric vehicle (EV), with no gasoline or diesel version. It was the first of many purely electric models that Mercedes plans to launch over the next few years, under its EQ sub-brand. In other words, if you still have any doubts about the future of electric cars (or at least where they’ll fit in), the presence of the big players in the premium automobile sector should give you all the confidence you need to consider going electric.
For its first mainstream electric vehicle, Mercedes hasn’t reinvented the car. It has simply electrified it. The Mercedes EQC is the best of the German brand’s know-how but with silent electric power. Inside and out, the EQC has very similar proportions to another model, the GLC. You won’t have to get used to it, and you won’t feel like you’re driving in a science experiment. A lot of work has been done on the details of the body, the engines, the thermal systems and the electronics. Objectives successfully achieved so that silence, efficiency and safety reign in this vehicle.
That’s when you want to know how many miles it can go between recharging. Well, according to my calculations having driven several thousand miles with it, the Mercedes EQC is capable of going up to 208 miles before running out of energy. This involves a mix of highway, country road and city driving. You certainly won’t have any complaints about its acceleration, as the EQC can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds. That makes it faster than most hot hatchbacks, but you’d have to be a real speed freak to care. Indeed, you’re probably much more likely to worry about ride comfort, which the EQC does well. On the average highway, the ride is generally quiet and comfortable. Potholes aren’t too aggressive, as the suspension is fairly soft and absorbent.
The result: Whether in the city or on a country road, the EQC is a good choice if ride quality is important to you. Plus, the Mercedes EQC is very quiet – quieter than its main rivals. There is very little whine from the electric motors when you accelerate or decelerate, and just a slight wind noise on the highway. Road noise is a distant background whisper, and the suspension is the only irritation, as you can hear it bouncing around over bumps.
The EQC is a good choice if you like to hit the road. The steering is precise and well adjusted. However, it doesn’t give you a brilliant sense of connection with the front wheels during more spirited driving.
Rather than looking overtly sporty or futuristic, the EQC looks like a slimmer, more elegant version of traditional Mercedes SUVs. Up front, there’s a chrome grille that flows into two narrow headlights, while on the side, there’s a more rounded roofline and more streamlined window openings than on the Mercedes GLC and GLE.
The same goes for the interior, where the Mercedes EQC is not radically different from other Mercedes on sale. Sure, you get some neon blue detailing and a set of square air vents instead of the round, turbine-shaped elements of most Mercedes cars, but the metal switches on the center console and the dual-screen infotainment system look similar to the GLC.
The infotainment system itself is very easy to use, and even surpasses some other systems in terms of overall intuitiveness. The center screen functions as a touchscreen, but there’s also a touchpad on the center console and a few touch buttons on the steering wheel that make it easy to explore the high-resolution menus while driving. The centerpiece of the system, however, is the “Hey Mercedes” voice command feature, which includes commands spoken in English. Equally important is the spacious interior of the Mercedes EQC. There’s more than enough room for four adults to stretch out, and each seat offers enough support to help you feel refreshed after a long drive – unlike some SUVs with strangely low back seats.
Power for the five-door EQC comes from an 80 kWh battery, with an electric motor on each axle. This configuration provides a total useful power of 403 hp, but more importantly, a whopping 760 Nm of torque available at the first touch of the throttle. Of course, being a fully electric vehicle, the EQC uses a single-speed automatic transmission.
Despite weighing nearly two and a half tons, the EQC is capable of going from 0 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds and has a claimed range of 252 miles on a single charge.
Prices start at over €79,000 for the entry-level Sport version, and the range expands with the AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and Premium Plus equipment lines. All cars are well-equipped, thanks in part to the inclusion of active safety systems such as blind spot assist and active lane departure warning.
The Mercedes EQC isn’t just a posh electric SUV that’s nice to look at and cheap to run, it’s also incredibly comfortable and exceptionally quiet to travel in.
More information : mercedes-benz.com