In-depth reviews

Mercedes EQC review

A decent all-round premium electric SUV, the Mercedes EQC has become overshadowed by more up-to-date arrivals in the class

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£66,525 - £75,415
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Supremely quiet and comfortable
  • Striking interior styling
  • High-tech infotainment

Cons

  • Jaguar I-Pace handles better
  • Audi e-tron is more practical
  • Divisive styling
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric255 miles11hrs (10-100%, 7.4kW)40mins (10-80%, 11kW)

The Mercedes EQC is a large and luxurious electric SUV that kicked off a wave of new electric models from the German brand. It has a number of strong rivals, including the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PaceTesla Model X and recently launched BMW iX. This is one SUV not really designed for off-road adventures, but instead refined and comfortable transport with no tailpipe emissions.

There are two electric motors, one driving each axle for four-wheel-drive traction in slippery conditions. An 80kWh battery pack provides a driving range of around 250 miles in ideal conditions. Charging is done through Type 2 or CCS ports, with a 7.4kW home wallbox taking the battery from 10-100% in around 11 hours. Speeds of up to 110kW are possible using public rapid charging, which can give a 10-80% top-up in 40 minutes.

A standard smartphone app makes public charging easier: you can register payment details and then use it for easy payment at about 80% of charging-point providers. The app can also control and view the car’s charging status and climate control (to get it warmed up in time for an early start, for example), as well as sending driving routes directly to the sat nav from your phone. All this makes the EQC a great long-distance tourer, although the Tesla Supercharger network is still better for those who plan to do a lot of miles.

Thanks to 402bhp and 765Nm of torque from those two electric motors, the EQC can go from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds. It doesn't feel as rapid as that time suggests, but it's still a very fast car in a straight line – although it's hardly sporty, as it's not all that agile thanks to its hefty weight. It's mainly designed to be relaxing and comfortable – and it is.

It's also easy to drive around town, particularly with the regenerative braking system in ‘auto’ mode, which varies the brake forces automatically in a smooth and intuitive fashion. However, it has to be said that the Mercedes is also less finessed through corners than some rivals – particularly the more enthusiastic I-Pace. While its handling is good enough for most, the EQC always feels like a heavy car that’s focused on comfort and refinement. Still, having that distinct character to set it apart from firmer-riding rivals is no bad thing.

Even by the supremely excellent refinement standards of its peers, the EQC is notably quiet. There's very little motor whine, not much wind and tyre noise, and good comfort over rough roads. Here is a car that unashamedly aims to soothe your brow rather than raise your heart rate, and does it very well.

That's especially thanks to the interior, which is one of the Mercedes' real selling points. The rose-gold coloured vents may be divisive, but the simple yet striking architecture and variety of tactile materials feel superb. And there's also that panoramic screen stretching from the centre of the dash to behind the wheel.

Complete with a huge touchscreen, touchpad, voice control and top-notch graphics, it isn’t always easy to use – the voice control is hit-and-miss, and some functions are well hidden behind confusing icons or deep in layers of menus. However, the key functions are easy to get to grips with from the off, and the screen itself has some of the best graphics you’ll see in a car.

Overall, the Mercedes EQC is a seriously compelling electric car that plays the comfort and technology cards very well, but it still struggles to offer a unique selling point comparable to the greater range and practicality of the Tesla Model X and the far superior handling and style appeal of the Jaguar I-Pace. For more on the Mercedes EQC, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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