We get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQC – the EV version of the mighty GLC…
The EQC was the first all-electric model from Mercedes-Benz when it was launched in 2019, and its upmarket rivals include the BMW iX3, Audi Q8 e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and Genesis GV70.
Handsome and well-proportioned, it has aged well and has serious road presence. Inside, it’s a classy blend of technology, comfort, space and excellent build quality.
The EQC’s 80kWh battery pack sits in the floor, while two electric motors are positioned on each axle, enabling four-wheel-drive.
Producing a substantial 402bhp and 560lb ft (760Nm) of torque, it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 112mph.
Claimed range is up to 254 miles, which is average these days, and closer to 200 miles in real-world driving.
The EQC has a maximum 110kW charging capability, meaning a boost from 10-80% can take 40 minutes. Naturally, it will also charge overnight using a 7kW wallbox.
To put that into context – cheaper, newer rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 have a charge rate of up to 350kW – that’s 10-80% in just 18 minutes.
Naturally, there’s the commanding view of the road you’d expect from a big SUV, while the latest MBUX infotainment and driver information system (which stretches across most of the dashboard) is a particular interior highlight.
The MBUX’s party piece is the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice-control feature which, for the most part, understands commands said in plain English.
And thankfully, there are still plenty of switches and buttons spread around so not all functionality is controlled via the touchscreen.
There’s a decent amount of space in the cabin too, though taller rear passengers might struggle for headroom, thanks to that elegant roofline. It should also be noted that this is a five-seater – you’ll have to go for an EQB if you want three rows.
Boot capacity is a useful 500 litres, expanding to 1,460 litres with the 40/20/40-split back seats folded.
On the road, Mercedes-Benz has done a fine job of masking the EQC’s 2.5-tonne weight and it’s only when you push on in faster, twisty roads that you realise that discretion is the better part of valour.
In its element on motorways and fast A-roads, where it’s an effortless, refined and relaxed cruiser, there’s also plenty of punch in reserve should you need it.
The steering is light and precise, especially around town, plus there’s ample grip from those huge wheels (20 or 21 inches, depending on the trim level).
The ride is excellent, and for the most part it glides over poorer road surfaces, only coming unstuck over sleeping policeman and steep driveways, for instance, where the low front air dam rubber flaps scrape unless you’re extra cautious.
So, the EQC is an impressive EV, but it comes at a price. The entry-level AMG Line starts at £74,330, the AMG Line Premium is £78,975, while the range-topping AMG Line is priced from £81,225. To give it its full title, our test car was an EQC 400 4MATIC AMG Line.
And as you’d expect from a car in this price range, the EQC is one of the safest vehicles on the road, achieving a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. A full suite of safety and driver assistance systems are available, with parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind-spot alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and LED headlights as standard.
Verdict: The Mercedes-Benz EQC should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a premium zero emissions SUV. It may not have class-leading dynamics or range, but it’s fast, safe, spacious, comfortable, loaded with tech and oozes class.