What did we drive?
Model Line: AMG Line 4MATIC
Colour: Obsidian Black Metallic
Upholstery: Black Leather
Wheels: 20 inch AMG multi-spoke light alloys
Optional Extras: Driving assistance package and Metallic paint
Transmission: Single-speed Automatic
Power: 300 kW/ 80kWh Battery & 7.4 kW on-board charger
0-62: 5.1 Seconds
Range: 252 – 256 (WLTP) miles
CO2 Emissions: 0g/km
On the road price from: £65,720
*Prices and model lines correct at the time of publication
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The EQC looks and feels like a premium car. It is no doubt a Mercedes-Benz, and not just because of the emblem on the front. The EQC retains the German manufacturer’s wide, somewhat aggressive stance – but it’s toned down; with sweeping lines and a curved rear that look great on the road. As with any Mercedes, looks vary depending on the model line – but as you can expect even the entry-level ‘Sport’ models look great.
This design doesn’t just look great – the coupe-style roof and aerodynamically optimised wheels all pull together to create a vehicle with a drag coefficient of just 0.28.
Speaking of wheels; those on the EQC look fantastic – even the standard wheels on the entry-level models. Our car had 20-inch multi-spoke alloys but the real eye-catching numbers are available with AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus models; multi-spoke, black with a high-sheen finish, a definite head turner!
Our EQC had one of the metallic paint options in Black Obsidian Metallic. Polar White would be the only non-cost option but if you’re wanting something really striking then there is also the Designo Selenite Grey Magno, although in terms of paint costs it’s certainly not cheap.
We also had the black leather interior, but those who go for Sport models will also have the option to choose the Silk Beige leather. This lighter interior will brighten up the cabin, but those who don't go for Sport can get an electric sliding sunroof on AMG Line Premium models and above.
In a new twist, the EQC offers rose gold detailing on the air vents and dash, as well as a silver chrome runaround on the dash, that looks great, but I and a few other members of the team noticed that it tends to cause a distracting reflection on the window when driving in bright sunlight.
The EQC is powered by a Lithium-ion high-voltage 80kWh battery which produces 300kW or the equivalent to 408 horsepower. It has a range of up to 259 miles and also various driving modes designed to make the most out of those miles. Comfort mode provides the ideal compromise between comfort, performance and efficiency. The other options depending on how you want to drive are Sport, Eco or Maximum Range; the latter of which significantly reduces the performance to minimise the cars energy use.
To further aid power consumption, in certain driving modes the driver's display (or heads-up display if you have it) will even come up with a ‘take foot off accelerator pedal’ message or graphic indicating a junction or downhill gradient ahead to help you make the most of those electric miles.
There are different charging options available to EQC drivers. Those who have off-street parking at home can pay to install a 7kW BP Chargemaster Homecharger and charge their car hassle-free overnight. Here is a full breakdown of charging times via Pod Point.
The car is full to the brim with exciting technology features. Unlike some of the other models in the MB lineup, all EQCs get two 10.25-inch screens as standard; one is the instrument display in front of the driver and the second is the multimedia touchscreen.
As you’d expect the EQC features the brand's intelligent user experience MBUX. This hugely advanced system can be operated in four ways; touchscreen, touchpad, steering wheel or via voice control. So you can do things like say “Hey Mercedes, play Radio 2” (or whichever your station of choice) and it’ll do it. The same with “I’m cold” (the heating goes up) or if you want a quirky response, ask it to tell you a joke.
You can do things like get the seats warm and set the AC to the optimum temperature before you even get in the car, notably without using the cars precious battery power; it’ll do this all while plugged into your home charger and only use that power.
The MBUX system will also give you real-time info on your range and charge status. The system will also help you navigate to the nearest charging station should you need it. It’ll even prepare the battery state so that it’s at the optimum temperature to be plugged in.
Alongside the MBUX system, the EQC is packed with kit and the list of standard features is a long one;
- Reversing camera
- Active Park Assist
- Active Lane Departure Warning
- Cruise control
- Blindspot assist
- Live traffic information (3 years) to name just a few.
Depending on the model line you go for there is also the option for something called Augmented Reality navigation (displays-real time images with directions on the screen in front of you) or even a heads up display.
Space and Practicality
Inside its certainly comfortable, and those travelling in the back will be more than happy, with enough reasonable room for five adults. The car comes with heat and noise insulating acoustic glass as standard, meaning that even without that engine sound, there isn’t an overwhelming increase in road noise for passengers.
There are decent size door bins with plenty of storage and cup holders and for young kids. There are Isofix points on the two rear outer seats- though the covers I found to be a little bit fiddly.
The seats fold down with a press of a button located in the boot, so a little bit of a faff if you just want to get them down quickly. That being said, they fold almost completely flat and extend the space of the boot dramatically. There are also handy features such as neat little hooks for the seat belt to avoid them getting trapped in the seats. And the middle seat can be folded down separately if for skis or golf clubs, or if you need quick access to the boot.
The EQC has a 500-litre capacity boot – which to put into perspective is 50 litres less than that of the Mercedes GLC. It’s also significantly less than that of the Jaguar I-PACE. However, it is still hugely practical. There’s underfloor storage to stow away charging cables when not in use, and the towing capacity should you need it is up to a 1,800kg braked trailer. All models also get an automatic tailgate.
Refreshingly, the list of model lines available is quite a simple one. However, even the entry-level ‘Sport’ models get an abundance of features as standard.
- KEYLESS-GO Comfort Pack
- 19-inch 5-Twin-Spoke Alloys
- Mirror Package
- MULTIBEAM LED Headlights
- Privacy Glass
- Ambient Lighting
- Heated Seats
- Active Park Assist with reversing camera
- Blind Spot Assist
- MBUX System multimedia system with 10.25-inch instrument display and 10.25-inch media touchscreen
- Artico Leather interior with rose gold
- High-gloss back trim
AMG Line (in addition/replacement to Sport models)
- 20-inch multi-spoke Alloys
- AMG-specific rear apron and radiator grille
- Aluminium running boards
- AMG brushed stainless steel sports pedals
- AMG mats
- Leather AMG sports seats
- Anthracite carbon fibre-look trim
AMG Line Premium (in addition/replacement to AMG Line models)
- 21-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys
- Electric sliding sunroof
- ENERGIZING Package
- Burmester surround sound
- Augmented reality for navigation
- Smartphone integration and wireless charging
AMG Line Premium Plus (in addition/replacement to AMG Line Premium models)
- Parking package with Active Parking Assist and 360-degree camera
- Memory seats
- Head-up display
Most notably, the EQC felt like any other Mercedes-Benz, premium and well-made and luxurious. The drive was the least ‘electric’ feeling of any EV I’ve driven recently; in which the deceleration when you take your foot off the throttle is significant.
The EQC is far less drastic, and the result is a drive much akin to that of a standard Mercedes-Benz SUV, although where speed is concerned there’s certainly nothing standard about it. Claimed vs real-life range is also commendable and the comfort levels really set it apart from its competition.
Monthly payments on the EQC will be higher than that of petrol or diesel alternatives, but the long-term benefits and savings associated with leasing an EV will certainly make it worth the while.