Mercedes-Benz EQC 2019 reviews: how does it compare to the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace?
Five-seater crossover is the first of ten electrified cars expected over the next four years
Mercedes-Benz’s first all-electric production car is finally on sale, and the critics have put the car through its paces to see how it stacks up against its rivals.
The EQC is the German carmaker’s take on the electric SUV, an emerging sector in the motoring world that currently features the Audi E-tron and Jaguar’s I-Pace crossover.
It is built on a modified version of the platform that underpins the combustion-engine GLC crossover, says Auto Express. Bespoke architecture for the firm’s next EVs will arrive at a later date.
And there are quite a few EVs in the works. Mercedes plans to launch a total of ten electric EQ models by 2022, The Daily Telegraph reports. By 2025, the firm expects EV sales to account for between 15% and 20% of its overall sales.
Mercedes’ push towards an electric future is officially under way now that the EQC is on sale. Here’s everything you need to know about the EV, along with the final verdicts from the critics:
Prices for the EQC kick off at £65,640 for the EQC 400 4Matic Sport, followed by the limited-run 1886 Edition at £79,260, says Car magazine. There’s also a “non-launch” edition model - the EQC AMG Line Premium Plus - which comes in at £74,530.
“This SUV is slightly more crossover than 4x4, but it’s clearly a Mercedes,” says Auto Express. The “huge grille” adorned with the three-pronged star is distinctively Mercedes, while the vehicle’s “rounded lines and proportions” are similar to those of the GLC it’s based on.
Using the same architecture as a combustion-engine vehicle may have streamlined production, but the motoring magazine argues that EQC isn’t as roomy inside as other electric cars. The wheelbase is shorter than the Jaguar I-Pace, which “affects rear space”, while rear room isn’t what you’d call “cavernous”.
Thankfully, things start to improve on the road. The EQC’s electric powertrain delivers “instant linear acceleration”, so overtaking slower vehicles “becomes a breeze”, says tech news site Pocket-lint.
“Steering is firm and confidence-inspiring and suspension geared to smooth and comfortable on-road driving,” the website says. Drivers also have the option of adjusting the energy recovery settings using a pair of paddles behind the steering wheel, similar to changing gear in an automatic vehicle.
The car’s conventional styling and driving feel, along with the ability to adjust the recovery system on the go, shows that the EQC will clearly appeal to both “technophiles as well as EV lovers”, says Autocar.
“Electric cars simply don't come any more refined, well-appointed, luxurious or laid-back than this,” the magazine concludes.
So how does it compare to its rivals?
Audi’s E-tron is “spectacularly ordinary to drive” and has “barely a sense of occasion” compared to the Mercedes, The Daily Telegraph says. Though the E-tron’s 248 miles falls short of the EQC’s battery range, the Audi EV is “good” for its class and its 402bhp motor system offers “strong performance”.
The I-Pace, meanwhile, is “better to drive” than the EQC, yet it doesn’t match the “relaxed and well honed” feel of the Mercedes EV, the newspaper says.
Battery and range
The EQC is powered by two electric motors, one on each axle, that are connected to an 80kWh lithium-ion battery, says Pocket-lint.
The motors produce a combined power output of 402bhp, helping the SUV go from 0-62mph in a sports car-rivalling 5.1 seconds, the tech site says. Battery range comes in at 259 miles under the WLTP measuring system.
The new EV is relatively practical, featuring enough room for five occupants and a host of hi-tech gadgets for those up front.
These include Mercedes’ new dual-screen MBUX infotainment system, which allows drivers to track the car’s “range, charge status and energy flow”, says CarBuyer.
The panels, located behind the steering wheel and above the centre console, also double up as satnav screens and the instrument cluster.
However, the car is let down by its 500-litre boot, which is smaller than those of the Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.