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The new Mercedes-Benz EQC is a capable electric SUV that delivers a familiar blend of refinement, comfort and luxury.

08 Jul 2021


This technically isn't the first all electric Mercedes-Benz. There was the A-Class E-Cell unveiled back in 2011, and the brand also made an electric version of the SLS AMG back in 2013.

However, this new EQC is the first mass production model that Mercedes intends to move big numbers of. It is the first among many of the new EQ sub brand, and the first step in the brand going increasingly electric (much like most other brands these days).

Does this new EQC herald in the new era of electric mobility for Mercedes?

More than just a GLC

The new EQC marks the first car in Mercedes' new EQ sub-brand, with new all electric models to follow
Yes, this car is based on a GLC-Class. Mercedes has adapted the existing GLC architecture, thrown out the combustion engine, gearbox and all other petrol-related bits, and packed in two electric motors and a battery pack. And, of course, sheathed it in a new skin.

At first glance, you wouldn't perhaps recognise this as a Merc SUV, beyond the three-pointed star at the front. Where Merc SUVs are typically quite boxy and muscular-looking, the EQC's design is much more nebulous. The front features a unique grille design and sleek head lights packaged within a single unit, and the body features curvier lines accentuated by a longer body (100mm longer than the GLC) that sits lower to the ground. The generally curvier shapes are for the benefit of aerodynamic efficiency.

The interior is a familiar and recognisable space - classy, luxurious and comfortable
So yes, it does look quite distinctively different than a GLC, or any other Merc SUV for that matter.

Inside, it's quite the opposite. You could mistake this for any other modern Mercedes. This isn't inherently a bad thing, considering Merc cabins excel in terms of quality, sleek equipment and an overall sense of luxury. You get the same two-screen setup, all the same controls on the steering wheel and centre console, and basically the same classy ambience as any other Mercedes.

Unique to the EQC are the design of the air-con vents, as well as a slightly reshaped dashboard area with some additional slat accents. Beyond that, it's a familiar space.

Distinguishing interior details include the rose gold air-con louvres
Truth be told, I found myself wanting more. Considering this is a car that represents the future, I wanted a more futuristic and distinctive interior space.

Additionally, in the EQC you don't reap obvious packaging benefits of an EV. Where in bespoke EVs like the Audi e-tron or the Jaguar I-PACE in which the EV packaging frees up more interior space, you don't really get that in the EQC. While the space for rear passengers is agreeable, it's not quite as spacious as cab-forward designs such as the I-PACE. From an everyday use perspective, it's really no different from a GLC.

As far as practicality goes, you get a 500-litre boot, which is decent (its 50 litres smaller than the GLC), but again not remarkable. 

Making quiet peace

The most striking quality about the EQC is how quiet and refined it feels on the road
Out on the road, the most immediately striking aspect of the EQC is its refinement and comfort. It's really quiet. You can't hear the whine of the electric motors, road noise is kept well at bay, and wind noise only starts to get perceptible above 100km/h. When you're just trotting around at 50-60km/h, it is so remarkably quiet and serene.

Of course, like all EVs, it is also potently quick. The electric motors deliver 402bhp and 760Nm of torque, and on hard acceleration the car just rampages forward in absolute silence. 

Ride comfort is also generally excellent. The heft of the car actually works to its benefit in this respect. Unlike the GLC, which tends to bounce quite a bit, there's notably better ride composure in the GLC. It is only through really bumpy roads or very high humps that the soft-ish suspension begins to struggle slightly. For most driving situations, it's really very well sorted.

Driven reasonably, you can expect about 350km of range on a full charge
However, you definitely feel the EQC's weight. At almost two and half tonnes, it's quite a bit heavier than its rivals (the e-tron and I-PACE). And at low speeds, especially when manoeuvring through a multi-story carpark, you can feel the weight.

As for range, the EQC splits the difference between the e-tron and I-PACE. I managed 350km on a full charge. Better than the e-tron, but not quite as good as the I-PACE.

One step more

The new Mercedes EQC is a capable all-electric SUV. The powertrain is smooth, range is acceptable, ride quality is very good, and it definitely delivers a recognisable Mercedes-Benz experience - it is undeniably luxurious. And, it's actually quite a bit more affordable than the e-tron and the I-PACE. 

The EQC is a capable and accessible electric SUV, but buyers who want something more unique and special will be better served to wait for the EQS
Considering Mercedes was relatively late to the EV game, I think the EQC is good enough, if somewhat unspectacular. It lacks that sense of flourish or pizazz that you get with a bespoke EV. And again, considering it was developed on a fairly short two-year timeline, and uses plenty of existing equipment and architecture, it's something that's to be expected. This is a step forward, though not quite as big a step forward as some would have liked.

So while yes, Mercedes is going electric, this EQC doesn't fully demonstrate what's in store for the EQ sub-brand's future. We'll likely have to wait for the upcoming EQS to see what the brand is fully capable of.

Be sure to catch more of what the Mercedes-Benz EQC can do in our video review as well!



Car Information

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Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric EQC400 4MATIC Electric Art (A)
Rate it

Price

: $318,888

Engine Type

:

Electric Motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

300kW (402 bhp)

Torque

:

760 Nm / 2000 rpm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.1sec

Top Speed

:

180km/h

Energy consumption

:

4.7km/kWh

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