General driving vary is probably the most important speaking level of any new electrical automotive. But it will not be the important thing purpose to purchase a 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC when it arrives within the US subsequent 12 months.
As an alternative, Mercedes is specializing in what it does finest: making automobiles that genuinely really feel extra premium than all the things else within the class. Oh, certain, the EQC will nonetheless be lots aggressive when it comes to its energy and vary. However what units it aside from the Jaguars and Teslas of the world is simply how pretty it feels from behind the wheel.
Trendy, however not a standout
Just like the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Tempo and Tesla Mannequin X with which it will most intently compete, the Mercedes EQC is a curvaceous SUV that straddles the road between compact and midsize proportions. It rides on the identical 113.1-inch wheelbase because the compact GLC-Class crossover, but it surely’s a bit of longer total, and does not stand fairly as tall.
For higher or worse, the EQC does not instantly stand out as a brand-new or electrified Mercedes-Benz providing. Certain, the fascia is a little more stylized than the corporate’s different fashions, and tasteful blue accents within the headlamp housings are a refined nod to this automotive’s electrified guts. However actually, for those who confirmed me an image of the EQC and mentioned, “That is the next-generation GLC,” I would in all probability imagine you.
The EQC pictured right here wears Mercedes’ AMG Line exterior, which provides a novel grille and a extra closely sculpted decrease fascia. On this guise, it seems even much less like an EV, and to my eyes, this therapy is probably the most interesting. When you’re the type of one who needs an electrical automobile due to the assertion it makes on the highway, the EQC won’t be for you. Personally, I am glad Mercedes does not have to depend on bizarre styling or gimmicky doorways to get its electrical message throughout. However I’ll say I am not precisely thrilled that an illuminated model of the corporate’s three-pointed star badge can be normal on each US-spec EQC.
When you’ve ever been one among Mercedes’ new SUVs, you will really feel proper at residence within the EQC.
A well-recognized but spectacular cabin
Inside, you will see the same train in restraint; the EQC’s cabin is sort of too acquainted. The middle console appears to have been ripped proper out of the GLC300, with a big flip-up panel within the center that hides a pair of cup holders. I like the rose-gold accents on the vents — Mercedes designers say they’re speculated to mimic the copper coloration of the wires discovered within the battery system — and the stylized bits of brushed steel on the doorways and behind the infotainment display are actually fairly lovely. However for higher or worse, no a part of the EQC’s cabin seems or feels new or revolutionary.
However, its inside boasts the identical very good high quality you’d count on from an SUV with a three-pointed star on the hood. Each floor feels even higher than it seems, and the quilted leather-based seats are equal components soft and supportive. Not one of the EQC’s aforementioned opponents provide an inside this plush.
4 average-size adults can stretch out in relative consolation, and the cargo maintain is massive sufficient to accommodate all of their carry-on suitcases and backpacks. Last US-spec cargo dimensions are nonetheless TBD, however given the EQC is not too far off the GLC, you may safely use that as a degree of reference.
The MBUX infotainment system has close by charging stations constructed into its navigation POIs.
Commonplace MBUX tech
The EQC’s in-car tech is headlined by Mercedes’ MBUX multimedia system, arrange on a pair of 10.2-inch screens atop the sprint. MBUX is similar right here as it’s in any of the corporate’s newest fashions, with a few EQC-specific options in-built, together with screens that present your power use and vary, in addition to navigation knowledge for close by charging stations. Talking of navigation, it comes normal on each EQC, as do Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Mercedes enables you to management MBUX in myriad methods. You’ll be able to contact the middle display, or use the thumbpads on the steering wheel or the touchpad on the middle console. After all, you can even simply discuss to the AI assistant, saying, “Hey, Mercedes” to wake it up. I nonetheless discover the AI a bit of too desperate to chime in, asking, “How can I make it easier to?” once I solely point out the phrase “Mercedes” midsentence in dialog. However I do like that I can simply say, “Hey, Mercedes, the place’s the closest charging station?” and it will show a listing of choices with out me having to go looking by the nav.
The EQC400 will speed up to 60 mph in a four.eight seconds, or about the identical as a Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
Talking of charging…
The 2020 EQC400 makes use of an 80-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery, with a 7.7-kilowatt onboard charger. On a Stage 2 wall-box charger — the type you will have put in at residence — the EQC can replenish its battery in about 10 hours. Step as much as 110-kilowatt DC quick charging and Mercedes estimates attaining an 80% cost in simply 40 minutes. Given the EQC’s comparatively standard design, you will not be stunned to study the charging port is positioned on the SUV’s passenger facet, behind the rear door, identical to a standard gasoline tank.
The 80-kWh battery supplies ample motivation for the massive EQC, with 402 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque despatched to an asynchronous motor at every axle, giving the SUV all-wheel drive. Off-the-line acceleration is quoted at four.eight seconds to 60 miles per hour, or about the identical as a Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The moment torque supply is addictive, and one of the vital enjoyable elements of EV driving. The Mercedes delivers it with none skittishness or wheelspin — only a easy, constant rush of energy. Underneath gentle energy calls for, the EQC largely runs in front-wheel-drive operation, the bigger rear motor solely kicking in when wanted.
A very spectacular factor about this powertrain is how significantly silent it’s. Sure, I do know, EVs are quiet to start with, however Mercedes went a step additional when creating the EQC and labored to isolate the electrical motor’s operational noises as a lot as potential. With the radio switched off and underneath exhausting acceleration you may hear a faint whirr, however that is it. Loads of insulation retains highway and wind noise out of the cabin, too, making for one of many quietest motoring experiences accessible immediately.
A pair of electrical motors delivers 402 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque.
Quiet, comfortable cruising
Electrical powertrain apart, the EQC strikes down the highway like some other Mercedes SUV. The chassis tuning errs on the facet of consolation over sharp dealing with — even with the automotive set to its Sport drive mode — however the EQC will not disintegrate must you toss it right into a bend. The low middle of gravity helps the crossover really feel planted and secure, and the comparatively gentle steering provides sufficient suggestions by the wheel to maintain you conscious of what is taking place at highway stage. Even on its largest 21-inch wheel-and-tire setup, the EQC provides a extra compliant experience than a Jaguar I-Tempo or Tesla Mannequin X. Given the EQC’s mission in life, it drives precisely the best way it ought to.
A few neat tips make it easier to eke out each mile, the primary of which is admittedly fairly easy (and efficient). Put the EQC in its Eco drive mode, and the throttle’s resistance will increase considerably, with an precise cease level about midway by the journey. This implies you will not be overaccelerating, which drains the battery extra quickly. Must you want extra velocity than this mode provides, kicking down on the throttle more durable will mean you can break by the cease level.
Then you might have the regenerative braking modes, of which there are a number of. Within the automotive’s normal “D” operation, it idles ahead and drives like a conventional, gas-powered automotive. D- and D– modes are activated by way of the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and dial in additional regen as desired. D- looks like one of the best setup for true one-pedal driving, whereas D– is tuned a bit too aggressively for easy operation (although I think about you’d get used to it for those who owned an EQC).
The non-compulsory AMG Line exterior offers the EQC a bit extra visible attraction.
Lastly, you may choose D Auto, which makes use of the automotive’s forward-facing sensors to gradual the automotive utilizing regenerative braking as you method a lead automotive. Consider it as being like midway adaptive cruise management: Say you are going 70 miles per hour on the freeway and carry your foot off the throttle as you method a automotive going 65 mph. On this D Auto setting, the EQC will mechanically decelerate utilizing regeneration with out you having to the touch the brake pedal. It won’t, nonetheless, speed up again as much as your cruising velocity ought to that slower automotive transfer out of the best way.
If you would like honest-to-goodness adaptive cruise management, it — in addition to lane-keeping help and blind-spot monitoring — is on the market as a part of the EQC’s Driver Help Package deal.
So, what concerning the vary?
The EQC will not arrive within the US till early 2020, so its official EPA vary estimate continues to be many moons away. Underneath Europe’s NEDC take a look at cycle, Mercedes says the EQC can go wherever between 277 and 293 miles on a full cost, relying on automobile spec. However keep in mind, the NEDC scores are notoriously optimistic, and there is no strong formulation for changing this quantity into a practical US expectation.
The EQC’s inside is as quiet as it’s comfy.
My finest have a look at the SUV’s real-world vary got here final 12 months, once I rode right-seat in an EQC prototype from Mercedes’ analysis and improvement middle in Sunnyvale, California, to the coastal area of Huge Sur and again. Loaded with 4 adults, the EQC traveled 228 miles with out recharging, the battery indicating a 7% cost on the finish of the day. Bastian Schult, the engineer who led that take a look at, was undoubtedly driving with a watch towards max vary, however he wasn’t precisely a slowpoke, both.
Mercedes officers will not speculate on the EQC’s US-spec vary, just because there are such a lot of variables to consider. However do not be shocked if the ultimate EPA quantity finally ends up being someplace between 200 and 220 miles. That’ll put the EQC behind the Jaguar I-Tempo (234 miles) and Tesla Mannequin X 75D (238 miles) — to not point out the longer-range 100D and new, 325-mile long-range Tesla fashions — and nearer according to the Audi E-Tron (204 miles).
The reality is, for individuals who’ve taken the plunge into EV life, the distinction between 204, 228, 234 and 238 miles is definitely type of negligible. These of us aren’t draining their batteries the entire time; having the ability to cost at residence or on the workplace is a given. Due to this, Mercedes executives aren’t precisely sweating what the precise EPA quantity can be.
The US EPA vary estimate will possible be someplace between 200 and 220 miles.
A concentrate on luxurious
Moreover, the Mercedes-Benz EQC greater than makes up for any vary shortcomings with its glorious lodging and fantastic on-road manners. You will possible pay a bit extra for the privilege than for an Audi E-Tron ($74,800) or Jaguar I-Tempo ($69,500). However that is anticipated for each different Mercedes mannequin, too.
Official pricing will not be accessible till the EQC launches subsequent 12 months, however I am anticipating it to fall nearer to the Tesla Mannequin X’s $83,000 MSRP — not together with accessible incentives, natch. The Tesla may nonetheless finest the Mercedes when it comes to all-out vary, however with the Mercedes’ higher on-road manners and way more premium cabin, these not offered on the church of Tesla may discover Mercedes’ newcomer EQC a strong alternative.
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