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View all Mercedes-Benz EQC reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Electric SUV brings Mercedes quality to the segment

Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV (19 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Effortless performance
  • Noise and vibration superbly suppressed
  • Clever sat-nav helps eliminate range anxiety

CONS

  • Very heavy
  • Doesn’t feel as special as some rivals
  • Not exactly exciting to look at

PROS

  • Effortless performance
  • Noise and vibration superbly suppressed
  • Clever sat-nav helps eliminate range anxiety

CONS

  • Very heavy
  • Doesn’t feel as special as some rivals
  • Not exactly exciting to look at

This is the Mercedes-Benz EQC – the first in the German brand’s onslaught of all-electric vehicles, launched under the ‘EQ’ sub-brand. Though Mercedes has previously dabbled with electric vehicles (EVs) – in particular the B-Class Electric and EV derivatives of its Smart range, the EQC is its first purpose-built model, ready to take the fight to top competitors such as the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace.

Fellow German rivals the Audi E-Tron and BMW iX3 are also set to be strong competition, so the EQC has a battle on its hands. It’s also got the tough task of introducing buyers to the EQ brand, which Mercedes says will offer a full range of electric vehicles as early as 2022 including hatchbacks, saloons and people-carriers.

What’s the Mercedes-Benz EQC like to drive?

Mercedes has launched the EQC in just one guise, named EQC 400 4Matic. The 400 references the EQC’s power output – 400hp, almost identical to the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron, while the 4Matic references the car’s four-wheel drive system, accomplished by installing an electric motor on each axle.

Outright performance is impressive, and the Mercedes EQC will beat almost any comparable petrol or diesel SUV away from the traffic lights due to the instant response of its electric motor. It doesn’t respond well to being driven hard, though, and a Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model X will prove a more involving steer for the keen driver.

Where the EQC excels is out on the open road. Mercedes has done an excellent job suppressing noise and vibration, making for superb refinement at all speeds. Impressive grip means you can carry a lot of speed into corners, and the ever-present pulling power makes overtaking slower drivers a cinch.

It’s particularly easy to drive round town, too, with good visibility. A pair of paddles behind the steering wheel allows you to dial in the level of regeneration you want from the electric motor, too – on lower settings, lifting off the throttle will allow the EQC to coast, but ramp it up to maximum and you’ll be able to accelerate and slow down with just one pedal.

Mercedes-Benz EQC: range and charging time

Mercedes EQC - charging

The EQC is rated at a range of 259 miles under WLTP testing – on par with the 249 miles an Audi E-Tron claims, but less than the 292 miles or 315 miles you’d get from a Jaguar I-Pace or a Tesla Model X Long Range. These figures are all very dependent on how you drive the car, though, and the EQC is competitive in its field.

Mercedes has put a lot of work into easing range anxiety, with very clear dashboard displays showing rate of consumption and remaining range. If you begin to worry you might run out, there’s a bespoke ‘Max Range’ mode, which alters the car and coaches the driver in a bid to maximise efficiency.

This mode uses sat-nav data and traffic sign recognition to encourage you to back off the throttle at opportune moments. It alters the regeneration, working to charge the battery where it can but freewheeling if it’s more efficient to carry speed. The sat-nav’s also capable of planning routes around tactical charging stops.

The EQC’s 80kWh battery pack can be charged from 10-80% in around 40 minutes at an appropriate fast charger, but it can also draw power from a home wallbox or domestic socket if needs be.

Mercedes EQC interior

Mercedes EQC - interior

In contrast to Tesla’s stark, minimalist approach, the EQC’s interior is very similar to Mercedes’ other SUVs, particularly the GLC. That’s not a bad thing, though. The EQC is packed with technology and fit and finish is excellent. It also uses the firm’s latest MBUX infotainment system, which is intuitive and interacted with through two vast dashboard screens – very futuristic.

What might be disappointing is that Mercedes hasn’t taken advantage of its electric powertrain to carve out more space in the interior. It’s still roomy enough for four adults, but the driver’s environment is almost cosy – not at all like the vast expanse you’d find in a comparable Tesla.

Mercedes EQC: pricing, specs and release date

Mercedes EQC - rear

Mercedes will offer the EQC in a choice of six trim levels initially – with only a single powertrain on offer, it should be fairly easy to select the right model for you.

The range kicks off with Sport trim, priced at £65,640. They come generously equipped – the MBUX infotainment system with two 10.25-inch screens is standard, plus 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless go and heated front seats.

Step up to AMG Line (£67,635) and there’s more aggressive exterior styling along with 20-inch wheels and leather upholstery, while AMG Line Premium (£72,280) gains an electric sliding roof, Burmester sound system and smartphone connectivity. 

Topping the range off is AMG Line Premium Plus, which costs from £74,540 and brings a 360-degree parking camera, memory seats, a head-up display and the MBUX voice assistant – activated by saying ‘Hey Mercedes’ to the car.

Finally, there's a pair of Edition models, both based on Sport trim but with extra equipment. The £74,440 Edition 1 has an electric sliding roof, Burmester sound system, black or white paint, 20-inch wheels and wireless charging, while the limited-run Edition 1886 costs from £79,260 and adds the Driving Assistance and Parking packages to this.

Mercedes-Benz is accepting orders for the new EQC now, and first deliveries are expected in July 2019.

Find out more about all electric cars here