Mercedes EQC review
A great all-round premium electric SUV, the Mercedes EQC is nonetheless slightly overshadowed by other models in its class
- Supremely quiet and comfortable
- Striking interior styling
- High-tech infotainment
- Jaguar I-Pace handles better
- Audi e-tron is more practical
- Divisive styling
|Car type||Electric range||Walbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||255 miles||12hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||35mins (10-80%, 100kW)|
The Mercedes EQC is an upmarket electric SUV that's an alternative to similar models such as the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and, if your budget will stretch to it, the Tesla Model X. It was one of the first models with no combustion engine that Mercedes launched, and it's aimed at family buyers wanting an electric car with a luxury interior and SUV looks.
The EQC uses two electric motors to allow four-wheel drive by positioning one on each axle, and there's a 80kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows a driving range of around 250 miles. Charging is via Type 2 or CCS ports – if you use a 7.4kW home charger a 0-100% charge takes just under 13 hours. It's possible to use 110kW DC rapid charging, which results in a 10-80% top-up in 35 minutes. That's useful for longer trips, as 100kW-plus chargers become more common.
Usefully, there's a smartphone app as standard that makes public charging easier. On the app, you can register payment details and then use it for easy payment with about 80% of charging-point providers – including the UK's biggest single network, BP Pulse. The app can also control and view the car’s charging status and climate control (to get the car 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 tourer in the world of electric cars, although the Tesla Supercharger network is still a better option for those who plan to do a lot of miles – and that's only available for Tesla cars. Comparably fast public rapid chargers of 100kW or more (which any electric car has access to) aren't as easy to come by.
Thanks to 402bhp and 765Nm of torque from those two electric motors in the EQC, it 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 heft kerbweight. It's mainly designed to be relaxing and comfortable, which is succeeds at.
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 of its rivals – particularly the playful and 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 comfy character sets it apart from firmer-riding rivals so 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 thanks not least 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 of course, there's also that panoramic screen that stretches from the centre of the dashboard 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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingA great all-round premium electric SUV, the Mercedes EQC is nonetheless slightly overshadowed by other models in its class
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Mercedes EQC is competitive with its key rivals in terms of range, although a Tesla Model X will go further
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Mercedes EQC is competitively priced, both in terms of on-the-road pricing and finance offers
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe Mercedes EQC has a different character to any of its rivals, but it majors on comfort more than fun
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Mercedes EQC has a striking interior focused on an impressive infotainment system, plus generous standard equipment
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Mercedes EQC is a good family car, but isn't as roomy as the larger Audi e-tron or Tesla Model X
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Mercedes EQC did very well in independent Euro NCAP crash-testing, scoring the maximum five-star result
- 8Mercedes EQC: Living with itWe spend a couple of months living with the Mercedes EQC to find out of the world's oldest carmaker's first serious electric effort can justify its hefty price tag