Mercedes-Benz EQC

400 Premium AMG Line

Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, front, action
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, front
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, charging
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, interior
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, rear
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, side
Mercedes-Benz EQC, 2023, charging point

IT's been a while since I've been behind the wheel of mid-size or large Mercedes. And I'd almost forgotten just how good they steer and ride.

This car, however, was rather different from its predecessors in that it's Merc's first fully electric model.

The EQC is clearly based on the well established GLC but about 100mm longer with electric motors mounted on each axle as part of the four wheel drive system.

Bodywork tweaks allow the EQC to be easily differentiated from the regular ICE model. And the burning question for most potential buyers will how far it goes on a single charge...250 miles is the claimed range.

It's hard not to be impressed by the quality of the cabin furnishings, both visually and to the touch.

All the features and controls are thoughtfully placed and pleasantly weighted giving an impression of longevity and luxury. Less appealing is the reflection on the windscreen from brightwork strips that decorate the dash.

Start the motor and engage ‘drive' from traditional steering wheel stork so favoured by the German marque and you're about to become aware of just how quiet the car is.

Obviously, no combustion commotion. But wind and tyre noise is minimal and the EQC is so well screwed down and stiff that rattles or creaks are totally banished.

With 402bhp at your beck and call and 561lb ft of torque, it's hardly surprising it gets a wiggle on. 62mph comes up in under six seconds and the linear power takes a bit of readjusting to if you're not used to electrification.

Perhaps the biggest treat in store for new owners is the crispness of the steering and its precision. Few decent size SUVs can match this dynamic quality. Similarly the ride, even over poor surfaces, matches that of a luxury saloon, yet the damping is firm enough to allow and even encourage enthusiastic cornering. The perfect compromise.

Despite the general level comfort and an absorbent ride, there's little roll around bends. Excellent grip afforded by the 4WD system and huge tyres accompanied by good visibility make it a rapid cross-country express.

Space inside the smartly but soberly appointed cabin is ample rather than generous. Those in the front are well catered for, but backseat legroom can be at a premium if the electrically operated front seats are taken right back.

No shortage of space in the electrically operated rear boot which with a capacity of 500litres can absorb all the family luggage. Still on the practical side of things, there are wide door pockets for clutter and water bottles and a deep centrally placed lidded-box in the front.

Although the range is given at 250miles, around the 240 mile mark was the most we could charge it to. And with the air con in full swing while travelling at a fair lick, the range soon diminishes.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 Premium AMG Line

Price: £78,975

Mechanical: One AC synchronous electric motor per axle, 80kWh battery, 402 bhp driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 51.1 sec

Combined MPG: 250miles

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 0

Bik rating: 2%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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