IF you’re an electric-vehicle sceptic, you might want to look away now. Because although Mercedes hasn’t exactly reinvented the EV with its rather pretty EQC, it has shaken up the luxury SUV sector quite a bit.
Of course, it does have rivals, but fans of the three-pointed star will be delighted to see a mid-sized Mercedes SUV packing in silent propulsion and squeaky-clean eco-credentials.
Dig deep enough and the ECQ is essentially a GLC with a beautiful restyle, and all the oily bits replaced with two motors, front and rear. Buried deep within is an 80kw/h battery pack, and this all adds up to some impressive numbers for the marque’s first dedicated EV.
110kw charging, 402bhp and 765nm of torque, with 0-60mph in just 5.1 seconds are among the headline figures, and stunning 21-inch wheels help keep the drag co-efficient down to 0.28.
As for range – well, that’s a tricky one. Mercedes says the EQC is good for 255 miles, but the car I had on test never showed more than 165 miles remaining on the display whenever I topped it up. Realistically, under sensible driving in Eco mode with full regeneration turned on, I’d expect 200 miles would be perfectly possible. So range is good, if not remarkable.
All this electric trickery does add quite a bit of weight to the EQC, and you notice it early on. It’s beautifully refined and serene, but heaving two and-a-half tonnes around on soft dampers is always going to make itself apparent.
That said, the weight does nothing to suppress the performance in a straight line. With such a mountain of torque it properly sprints away from standing, pinning you into the comfy seats.
Its curvaceous styling, including the distinctive LED strip running below the bonnet-line, continues into the interior, which is typical Mercedes fayre. Beautifully finished, sensibly laid out, oh-so comfortable and capped off with the brilliant MBUX infotainment system with its twin-screen layout that integrates most functions into one of the simplest platforms on the market.
Rear space suffers a little from the short wheelbase, but boot space is good and visibility is fine.
The spec is generous, too. Even in the basic Sport trim there’s plenty of goodies and step up a few grades to the Premium and the luxury is piled in, for not a huge amount of extra money.
In top Premium Plus spec, the EQC can be had for less than £80,000. While Sport models start at just over £70,000.
And when you consider the GLC on which it’s loosely based can be had for around £45,000 it does make silent motoring seem rather expensive.
But with a useable range, such brisk acceleration, and that gorgeous styling, the EQC really has done enough to distance itself from its fossil-fuel cousin. It definitely feels more luxurious and infinitely more refined.
The EQC is more than good enough to throw a strong option into the mix if you’re in the market for a premium electric SUV.
And, given it’s now been joined by plenty of other electric cars in the Mercedes line-up, the EQC has paved the way for a bright future for the brand.