With the presentation of the EQC in September 2018, the push button for electrifying the car fleet was pressed at Mercedes-Benz. After the very cautious developments in the B-Class, a competitive SUV for the medium-haul range was the focus of the electric future. With the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the developers modified the GLC platform by installing two electric motors on the front and rear axles and a battery in the underbody. The design is more modern, but takes on the typical presence character of the GL models.
The distinctive LED light strips on the front and rear and the massive front with a stately Mercedes star are striking. If you look into the interior, you will find traditional Mercedes features such as variously adjustable seats with very good lateral support, extensive instrumentation in the cockpit and a high-quality ambience that can be individually designed according to your own taste.
At first glance, there are few signs of a purely electric car. For those switching from the GLC to the EQS, there is also the two-part widescreen cockpit consisting of the digital instrument cockpit and the 10,25-inch multimedia display in the center console. Fans of numerous switches, rockers and push buttons will find what they are looking for in the center console with a number of setting options. The traditionalists will immediately feel at home here. The Mercedes dealerships can make a switch to electromobility palatable to their regular customers. The entire ambience inspires confidence and offers an emission-free drive.
Other models such as the Fiat 500e or the Mini Cooper SE have already proven that a large fan base also accepts the switch to e-mobility. It is precisely these traditional models that have great potential to take their loyal drivers with them into the new age. When the start button is pressed, a subtle driving culture unfolds in the EQC. Neither loud engine noises nor gear changes disturb the powerful appearance.
Generalist in the premium segment
Mercedes consistently implements its own standards in the premium segment. In the SUV sector, this basically includes a whole package of different driving modes, here individual driving demands can be realized with the modes Sport, Comfort, Eco and Max Range. This selection is self-explanatory and, depending on the choice, different consumption margins must be planned. Additional fine doses can be made using the rocker switches on the steering wheel to select the level of recuperation. With the settings D + (sailing / no recuperation), D (standard / light recuperation), D- (moderate recuperation) and D– (one-pedal driving), there is also a wide selection for the driver.
Or you can use the D Auto setting to allow the car's electronics to adapt itself to the respective driving situation. In practice, you should test all settings in peace. For those who are defensive on long-haul routes, the combination of Ecomodus and D Auto is certainly the most interesting. The easiest way to drive in city traffic was with Ecomodus and One-Pedal-Driving (D-). In any case, the right combination of driving and recuperation modes can be selected for all driving requirements.
The long-distance test as a yardstick
The typical user of the EQC will prefer the medium and long haul routes. Here, the heavy SUV with the adaptive chassis can comfortably guide the occupants over all route profiles. Relaxed cruising in our test vehicle includes some extras such as ambient lighting, massage seats, driver assistance packages, Burmester surround sound system and guidance via augmented reality navigation.
On the autobahn sections of the A7 in the real north, we have of course also extensively tested the adaptive cruise control, the EQC adjusts the driving speed depending on the selection to the specified speed limit or the vehicle in front. Together with the Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist, they are the perfect tools for comfortable driving and ensure that drivers can concentrate on the traffic.
Charging on the supercharger
The most important criterion for unadulterated driving pleasure is the infrastructure of the Ionity fast charging stations on the motorway. After starting with a fully charged battery, you can display the optimal charging points for the route. We were able to use three Ionity charging stops on the motorway. With the EQC, the maximum charging power is currently limited to 110 kW under optimal conditions. If you look at the charging curve, the charging power drops continuously from the half-fully charged battery, at our stops the power was from 70% at 70 to 75 kW. Unfortunately, this means that the charging stops take a little longer compared to the Taycan or E-Tron, and there is still room for improvement in the next model years.
Despite its own weight of 2,5 tonnes, the EQC is very quick with its system output of 300 kilowatts (408 hp) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 5,1 seconds. The battery with 80 kWh capacity includes eight battery modules with 384 pouch cells. It weighs 650 kilograms and is protected with a safety cage. With 760 Newton meters of torque, the EQC offers excellent dynamic values. The electricity consumption is corresponding and, according to the manufacturer, averages 22,2 kWh / 20,2 - 21,3 kWh (combined according to WLTP / according to NEDC). However, those who use the vehicle on long journeys can estimate the real consumption at 25 to 35 kWh after our test in spring. So if you want to experience the full dynamics, you can count on a range of 250 to 300 km until the next charging stop.
The user groups are expanded for the EQC through the possibility of trailer operation, which can at least be implemented for braked trailers up to a weight of 1,8 tonnes. The support load is also designed for up to 72 kg and thus allows a bicycle rack with up to two pedelecs. In contrast, the permitted payload of 380 kilograms appears to be very limited. With four adults it is hardly allowed to load luggage.
As the first all-electric SUV from Mercedes, the Mercedes-Benz EQC still has a lot of tradition in its luggage, which primarily appeals to regular Mercedes customers. The range is heavily dependent on the selected driving mode and driving style. The current models EQE and EQS, on the other hand, are purely new concepts for electric cars. The flexible usability offers a good compromise between medium-haul and leisure SUVs.
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