Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 (2020) - An elegant electric SUV
The new Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 is an elegant and luxurious electric SUV set to compete with the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron. The EQC is visually stunning inside and out with many features similar to those found in the impressive GLC. The EQC is the first model in the Mercedes range to feature electric power only with no diesel or petrol variants on offer, which is part of the new EQ sub-brand.
We now have all the big manufacturers producing all-electric cars which highlights that they are here to stay and will play a big part in the automotive industry in years to come. The Mercedes EQC is arguably the most attractive of the current crop of premium electric SUVs, with a sleek and sculptured body silhouette.
There is only one EQC model available badged 400 4MATIC. There are then four trim levels to choose from, starting with the entry-level Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and lastly the top-spec AMG Line Premium Plus. Each trim level offers some of the best and latest Mercedes technology along with premium and luxurious materials throughout.
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Engines, Power and Performance
The EQC is powered by an 80kWh battery and a pair of electric motors, one located on the front axle and one on the rear axle. The electric motor is located on both axles to aid the 4MATIC (4WD) system, standard on all EQC's. There are four driving modes to choose from; Max Range, Eco, Comfort and Sport along with five recuperation levels to help regenerate the battery; D Auto, D+, D, D- and D- -.
The total power output generated is 408hp and a monstrous 760Nm of torque, which combined with a single-speed automatic transmission, help the EQC sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1secs. This is pretty impressive when you think that the EQC weighs nearly 2.5-tonnes and is actually faster than the new Ford Focus ST which achieves the feat in 5.8secs but weight around 900kgs less.
The 80kWh battery comes with an eight-year/100,000miles warranty, so there is no need to worry about having to pay out a vast sum of money to replace if something were to go wrong. The battery has a WLTP range of 259-miles, not quite as good as the Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model X but it does manage to trump the Audi E-Tron (250miles).
The EQC can be charged in several ways. You could opt to use a household 3-pin domestic plug socket, although this would take around 40hrs to charge the battery fully. There is a Homecharge callbox, which can be purchased through Mercedes' charging partner BP Chargemaster, for £899 which includes VAT and installation. Opting for this allows you to charge the EQC in 11 hours fully. If you purchase the Wallbox, you will also receive three months of free membership to Polar, a public charging network with over 7,000 charge points throughout the UK. Using a public rapid (110kW) charging station, you can charge the EQC to 80% in just 40mins.
Interior Quality and Technology
The EQC interior is filled with the latest Mercedes technology and looks familiar to that found in other luxury Mercedes'. It has a superb fit and finish using premium materials and is very modern and chic.
Each EQC features the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system which can be controlled via voice recognition or touch input. Voice control is used via the phrase "Hey Mercedes" and can be used to select radio stations, destinations, phone calls and messages and also EQC-specific commands which include requesting your vehicle is ready for a set time.
The infotainment system uses a dual-touchscreen set-up combining a 10.25-inch driver instrument display with a 10.25-inch central media display as one long screen.
Some of the standard features include sat-nav with 3-years live traffic information, DAB Radio and 9-speaker Audio system. Another cool feature is 'Keyless-Go' allowing the owner set-up driving authorisation. The EQC will recognise the Keyless-Go car key when it is within a 2-metre range, and you will not need to take it out to access all of the functions of your vehicle, including starting and driving.
There is a variety of optional features available such as smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with wireless smartphone charging, both of which come as standard with the AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus trim levels. The two higher trim models also benefit from an upgraded and superb Burmester surround sound system, with 13 performance speakers allowing you to enjoy your favourite songs with stunning sound quality.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The interior space in the EQC is a little underwhelming, and I would have hoped for a little extra space front and rear given its electric powertrain system. That's not to say it's small by any means, having that little extra would have given the EQC a trump card over its rivals.
Space in the front is on a par with the majority of mid-sized SUVs on the market. It has enough legroom and headroom to accommodate those 6ft and over. The front seats both have multiple electrical adjustment capability along with electronically adjustable lumbar support, allowing you to find a relaxing and comfortable driving position.
In the rear, a couple of adults will fit in with relative ease, although three could be a bit of a squeeze for anything longer than a short journey to the local cinema. There is a generous amount of legroom for a car of this ilk, but headroom could hinder those who are over 6ft tall, due to the low sloping roofline which gives the EQC its sporty, coupe-esk style.
There are various useful storage cubbies such as a couple of cupholders front and rear, a spacious glove box and door pockets front and back so you should be able to find a home for most of your items.
The boot has a capacity of 500-litres which will rise to 1060-litres with the rear seats folded down, it's not class-leading, but it's still a big boot and will cope with the majority of luggage or large items you will need to stow away.
The EQC scored an impressive 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests, thanks to a selection of the latest and advanced safety assists as standard. Some of the standard safety assists include; Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Departure Warning and Cruise Control. Each EQC also comes with the Mercedes Parking Package with Active Parking Assist and a rear view camera.
The Mercedes EQC was a long time coming, and Mercedes made us wait a little longer than expected, but it was well worth it. The EQC is a staggering piece design and development, and the first glimpse of what Mercedes are capable of moving into the all-electric automotive era.