Mercedes EQC Review
The Mercedes EQC is a classy, all-electric SUV.
It combines executive-level looks and comfort with family-oriented practicality.
Instant torque from the whisper-quiet electric motors provides both excitement and safety.
Whether it's dry or wet, the EQC's all-wheel-drive powertrain will keep you glued to the road.
The Mercedes Benz EQC is an enticing first EV from a top-notch manufacturer.
Mercedes EQC Review Sections
- At a Glance
- Key Features
- Range, Batteries & Performance
- Running Costs
- Practicality & Boot Space
- Rival Cars
- Verdict & Next Steps
Select's rating score* - 3.8 / 5
The Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC is a large SUV that backs up its premium price with a premium driving experience.
There are four trim levels to choose from, but the battery and performance characteristics remain the same whichever trim you select.
For the full picture, read our Mercedes EQC review below. You can either go through the sections in order (best) or jump to specific sections using the links above.
|Model||Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC|
|Battery size (usable)||80 kWh|
|Official WLTP range||248-252 miles|
|0-62 mph||5.1 seconds|
|Top speed||112 mph|
|AC charging maximum||7.4 kW (AC)|
|DC charging maximum||110 kW (DC)|
This Mercedes electric SUV is packed with clever tech and design features. Here are some of the highlights:
Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX): This is the comprehensive, in-car infotainment system, controlled by voice, touch or even gesture on the top spec.
Four-wheel-drive system: The EQC switches intelligently between two- and four-wheel drive to suit the conditions, always maintaining your safety as a priority.
Augmented reality navigation: Available on the top two trims, the sat nav shows a live video feed of the road with arrows and street signs dynamically displayed.
Mercedes me: A range of online services – via mobile, tablet or computer – that allow you to interact with the car in an intuitive way, control key settings, etc.
A high-end EV requires a high-powered battery pack for both performance and range.
Mercedes has blessed the EQC with a large 80 kWh battery (usable capacity). The battery dictates:
- How far the car can go on a single charge, and
- What kind of performance you can expect.
In terms of Mercedes EQC range, according to the official WLTP figures, it's between 248 and 252 miles. In reality, though, electric cars only achieve their WLTP range in perfect conditions. You should allow for an EQC range of between 200 and 230 miles in the real world. Read our Range Guide for more details.
The meaty battery – together with a powerful electric motor on each axle – delivers excellent performance, as you would expect from Mercedes. Accelerating from 0-62 mph takes just 5.1 seconds. Blink and you'll miss it. Top speed is also ample at 112 mph. Total power is a hefty 300 kW, or 408 bhp in old money.
What's the EQC like to drive? It's basically a doddle. Get in with keyless entry, press the start button, and you're off. No gears to change. Plenty of power on tap when you need it. It's so easy to drive, and being a 4x4 with an elevated driving position, you feel like the lord or lady of the manor as you roam around wherever you want.
As with all electric cars, there are various driving modes on offer, ranging from ultra-sporty on the one hand to very dull on the other. The modes are:
- Maximum range
'Sport' mode delivers the full capabilities of the battery and electric motors, but range will be reduced if you drive aggressively.
'Maximum range' mode is useful for motorway driving if you want to go as far as possible before having to charge. The throttle response is severely limited on this setting.
Its suspension, including self-levelling rear air suspension, is superb. You hardly notice imperfections on the road. The EQC's turning circle is also first class for such a large vehicle – ideal for parking and manoeuvring in a tight spot. Some reviewers have found its cornering abilities lacking, but unless you are really pushing it, you will be pleasantly surprised at how flat the car is around corners.
It's worth mentioning the Mercedes EQC is very quiet inside the cabin. At low to medium speeds, it's almost completely silent. Once you get up to motorway velocity, you start to hear some wind noise. Overall, it's a beautifully refined and peaceful driving experience.
Mercedes-Benz has taken charging seriously and given the EQC a very respectable 110 kW maximum charging rate.
The Mercedes EQC has a 'CCS Combo Type 2' charging port. You use a Type 2 plug for home/work charging on a standard single-phase AC electricity supply, and a larger combined CCS/Type 2 plug at rapid DC chargers. Our handy Charging Guide can help you navigate the dark arts of EV charging.
Charging at home, work, supermarket, gym, etc.
- Maximum charging rate: 7.4 kW
- Electricity supply type: AC
Every hour of charging on a dedicated 7.4 kW charging point adds roughly 23 miles of range.
If you did have to charge the EQC's battery from 0% to 100%, it would take about 10 hours 50 minutes.
Public rapid charging at motorway service stations
- Maximum charging rate: 110 kW
- Electricity supply type: DC
If you're on a longer trip, or need to get miles into the car quickly, the EQC can be rapid-charged at up to 110 kW. That's pretty quick, though many chargers are still limited to 50 kW at the moment. The sat nav will help you find charging stations en route.
In theory, you can add about 115 miles of range with 20 minutes of charging on one of the newer 150 kW rapid chargers. In practice, the EQC's peak charging rate of 110 kW is only sustained for a certain amount of time. Basically, charging any EV takes longer than the mathematical calculation suggests. Here are further permutations including the ultra-fast 350 kW chargers that Ionity is building out:
|Rapid charger speed||Battery state of charge||Time to charge|
|50 kW||from 20% to 80%||58 minutes|
|150 kW||from 20% to 80%||26 minutes|
|350 kW||from 20% to 80%||26 minutes|
Have you heard of 'regen' or regenerative braking? When you lift your foot off the accelerator in an EV, the car starts slowing down and uses the kinetic energy to charge the battery. Controlled by paddles behind the steering wheel, the EQC has four regen settings: D+, D, D- and D--. In D+, the car coasts pretty much like an internal combustion engine car. In D--, the regen effect is very strong and you'll slow down quickly, adding range as you do so.
Regenerative braking technology can change the way normal braking feels. In the EQC, if you slam on the brakes, the feedback to your foot feels heavy. It's worth testing this out early on so you know what to expect.
One of the main attractions of a 100% electric car is a vastly lower monthly 'fuel' bill.
Most electric car drivers do the majority of their charging at home. Your exact fuel/energy savings in a Mercedes EQC depend therefore on your electricity tariff while you are plugged in and charging.
With a cheap night rate, you can secure amazing fuel savings. If you currently spend £1,500 a year on petrol or diesel, you could be spending £150 on electricity in an EQC with home charging. Our Electricity Tariff guide gives the full picture.
Although the OTR Mercedes EQC price is quite steep, the low running costs – together with a low monthly lease – make it far more palatable.
Other ways you save money in an EV include:
- Lower servicing costs, as EVs have fewer moving parts than traditional cars
- Exemption from the London Congestion Charge
- Access to clean air areas, e.g. the London ULEZ zone
- If the EQC is a company car, 0% Benefit in Kind tax (BiK) in the 2020/21 tax year
- 100% First Year Allowance (FYA) for companies
Given the impressive savings available with fully electric cars Mercedes will soon be upgrading their models across the range.
The Mercedes Benz EQC is a Battery Electric Vehicle or 'BEV' for short. It's powered just by a battery and has no tailpipe.
It is therefore emissions free. There are no greenhouse gases or particulates that you would get from a diesel car.
If you want to be totally environmentally friendly in a Merc EQC, you need to charge it with renewable energy, such as wind or solar. There are now a few energy companies that can provide 100% green electricity to your home.
If you get solar panels installed on your roof, you can supplement grid electricity with your very own free, green energy. Effectively, you would be driving partly on sunshine.
When you sit in the EQC's driving seat it feels luxurious and high tech, with a commanding view of the road.
The interior styling is attractive. A mixture of different materials and textures creates an appealing first impression. The large, central air vents are angled towards the driver, making you feel very much in control.
You immediately notice the incredibly wide, seductive touchscreen panel that runs from the driver's side over halfway towards the passenger seat. This screen forms the basis of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, which is their infotainment system.
The right-hand side of this panel is a 10.25-inch instrument display – viewed through the steering wheel – providing information to the driver, such as speed, remaining battery range, outside temperature, etc. A mini trackpad on the steering wheel allows you to scroll through and change various settings.
The left-hand side of the panel comprises another 10.25-inch screen, that can be accessed both by the driver and the passenger, either by a large central trackpad or by touching the screen itself. The functions of the MBUX system are covered in the Technology section below, but include a comprehensive satellite navigation system.
Legroom and headroom are fine in both front seats. Storage is also excellent, with plenty of room for bottles in the door bins, plus a large central storage area between the seats.
The seats themselves are just what you would expect from a premium German manufacturer. Very comfortable for both short and long trips. The seat and steering wheel positions can be adapted to suit any preference.
In the back row, there is room for three adults. The middle seat is narrower, so best for a child if possible. Legroom and headroom are both good, except for the middle seat. Mercedes has left in the transmission 'hump' which you normally find in a petrol / diesel car, and you have to work out what to do with your feet.
Storage is great, with bins in the doors, as well as cupholders and additional space in the central armrest. There are also two air vents which you can angle left and right.
The top two specs offer a sunroof, though it's not panoramic, and only covers the passenger seats. On a grey British day it can feel a little dark in the back, especially as the doors are quite high in relation to the windows.
Having said that, there is lovely, atmospheric ambient lighting inside. This is complemented by intelligent lighting at various points on the outside of the vehicle, which aids safety at night.
Electric cars often come with advanced tech and the Mercedes EQC is no exception.
Depending on which trim level you choose, you can enjoy:
- Voice, touch or gesture controlled infotainment system in the form of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), covering Phone, Navigation, EV settings, Radio, Media, Comfort settings, Apps & General settings
- Mercedes me Connect app, offering live traffic information, parked vehicle locator, remote locking and unlocking, battery charging status, cabin pre-warming, and so on
- Mercedes me Charge, providing easy access to public chargers with sat nav integration
- Augmented reality navigation
- Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
- Burmester surround sound system, with 13 high-performance speakers
- Active Distance Assist DISTONIC
- Active Parking Assist and 360° camera
- Active Brake and Steering Assist
- Active Blind Spot Assist with Exit warning function
- Active Lane Keeping Assist
- Cruise control
- Head-up display
- and many more technological wonders
There are USB slots in the front for phone charging, as well as the option to upgrade to wireless charging on the top two specs. Two more USB slots can be found in the rear.
The Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC will be a popular executive car, but is also a sensible choice for ferrying the family around.
Let's start with the boot. It's a solid 500 litres in size, opening up to a massive 1,060 litres with the rear seats down (40/20/40 seat split).
Instead of having to push the seats down in the old fashioned way, Mercedes has designed two buttons inside the boot which magically cause the seats to flick away from you into the flat position. Very convenient.
There's also extra boot space under the main boot floor; ideal for charging cables and other bits and bobs you need to travel with, but don't want to be visible.
Finally on the boot, the Merc EQC has a fully automated boot door. You can either lift up the rear logo badge to open it, or press a button on the key. The boot can also be opened from the driver's seat.
Generally, the EQC is a very practical, well-sized car that can cater for pretty much any situation. Plenty of space for five people, easy to drive and park, two ISOFIX anchors for child seats in the back, and adaptable for large loads.
When it comes to manufacturing electric cars Mercedes knows instinctively how to make them safe, and the EQC was awarded 5 stars by the independent Euro NCAP organisation.
The EQC also received very high ratings by Euro NCAP for Adult Occupant safety (96%) and Child Occupant safety (90%).
There's tons of safety tech we have already mentioned above, but sometimes little details really stand out. For example, if you're on a motorway and thinking about over-taking a slower car, your wing mirror will display a red warning triangle if there's a vehicle in your blind spot. It may seem trivial, but is in fact a very effective safety feature.
The Mercedes Benz EQC also makes you feel safe as soon as you get in it. It's a large SUV with a high driving position, backed up by abundant power from the twin electric motors, and it gives you plenty of confidence from the get go.
The EQC has four trim levels, as follows:
- EQC Sport
- EQC AMG Line
- EQC AMG Line Premium
- EQC AMG Line Premium Plus
As with most premium cars, there are so many features and options in the brochure, you can't see the wood for the trees. We have separated them all out for you on our individual Mercedes EQC lease pages. Just click on this lease deal link, pick one of the four trim levels, and browse all the options for each trim to your heart's content.
A quick heads-up:
- Colours: there are 10 to choose from, starting with the free-of-charge polar white non-metallic
- Wheels: the Sport comes with 19-inch alloy wheels and the top of the range AMG Line Premium Plus has 21-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys
This Mercedes electric SUV is a highly accomplished EV, but that's not to say the competition is taking it lying down.
Its main electric competitors are:
The Jaguar I-Pace is in some ways very similar to the EQC. Both are premium 4x4 SUVs. The headline on-the-road (OTR) price, and typical lease costs, are almost identical for the base models of both vehicles. The boot is a tiny bit bigger in the Jaguar, and rapid DC charging is a bit faster in the EQC (100 kW compared to 110 kW). They do, however, differ on range. The I-Pace has a bigger battery which gives it about 30 miles extra real-world battery range, plus better acceleration (it's lighter, too). The Jaguar probably beats the EQC on looks, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
With the Audi e-tron – another upmarket all-wheel-drive SUV – battery range is about 10 miles better, though acceleration is slower (5.7 seconds compared to 5.1 seconds in the Merc). Boot size is a really generous 660 litres in the e-tron (the EQC is 500 litres), so ideal for carting bulky stuff around. The Audi also beats both the EQC and I-Pace on rapid charging. It boasts a very quick 150 kW DC charging rate. In terms of aesthetics, the e-tron is less radical than the I-Pace, and more in line with the traditional image of the EQC.
The Tesla Model X, though also a 4x4 SUV, is a different beast entirely. It's considerably more expensive at the base model level compared to the EQC, e-tron and I-Pace. However, performance and range are class-leading: 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, top speed of 155 mph, about 280 real-world miles on a single charge of the battery. The Model X can be factory configured either as a 5, 6 or 7-seater (EQC, e-tron and I-Pace are all 5-seaters). The latest Model X can also be rapid-charged up to a mind-blowing 200 kW at compatible charging stations.
To summarise: the Mercedes EQC is a terrific, high performance, four-wheel-drive, family-sized, executive SUV.
It will enhance the corporate carpark, just as much as it will your drive at home. Pound for pound, its rivals are no better than the EQC, just different.
The EQC also brings with it the trusted Mercedes reputation for quality and refinement. It's a hard package to beat.
Where to next?
- Mercedes EQC car leasing available from just £499.98** per month.
- Looking for a great car lease deal? Check out our incredible range of Special Offers.
- Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive Leasing Guides.
- Interested in everything electric? Why not catch up on all the latest Electric News.
* Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top six leading independent car website reviews of the Mercedes EQC.
** Correct as of 22/10/2020. AMG Line trim, based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £4,499.82. Ts & Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.