Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first completely electric Mercedes Vehicle in production and is this year’s first-place winner of ‘Wheels Car of the Year’.
Amongst its fierce competition, the EQC landed on top due to its excellent overall quality in delivering an all-electric vehicle that still has the expected luxury associated with the Mercedes brand. Where other electric vehicles have failed at the final hurdle with range issues, the Mercedes proved it could all-but match its WLTP claim of 353km, while cocooning its occupants in traditional Three Pointed Star luxury.
However, the crucial factor that got the EQC over the line is its normalcy in the face of futuristic technology, this is an EV without compromise.
There’s no quirk, apart from some space-age displays and design elements, while the SUV practicality remains. One judge went as far as to say that the EQC is thebest SUV Mercedes-Benz makes.
“It’s by some margin the best SUV Mercedes has ever made” said veteran judge Byron Mathioudakis.
That rhetoric slowly became commonplace on the eight-day test as the EQC kept ticking COTY criteria, sneaking its way into the judges’ final reckoning among a group of heavy hitters.
The EQC’s EV powertrain, utilises an 80kWh battery with twin electric motors for outputs of 300kW and 760Nm, the EQC has a claimed WLTP range of 353km – a figure less than both the I-Pace and Model X, but more than the yet-to-arrive Audi e-tron. Our official road-loop consumption average was 30kWh/100km with spirited driving conditions. Further real-world testing saw that figure settle in the low 20s with more representative daily use. Customers will easily extract a driving range of 340km from a full charge, which will be ample for the vast majority in this segment.
Then there’s the EQC’s instant torque and eager response as it piles on speed in an effortless, muscular, near-silent surge. Full-bore acceleration is deceptively quick; our 0-100km/h figure of 4.7sec beat Merc’s claim by almost half a second.
And its extremely quiet, only some wind rustle from the exterior mirrors above 100km/h mars the EQC’s eerie tranquillity, Tyre roar, which is a major shortcoming on the Tesla Model 3 (along with a pervading sense of cheapness for everything from seats, to trim, and build quality) is brilliantly supressed by the Mercedes EQC.
The other dynamic highlight is the suppleness of the chassis tune. With the long-travel dampers and relatively soft springs, it was agreed that this the best-ridingMercedes-Benz SUV bar none. “Soft, but not sloppy, with brilliant wheel control,” noted judge John Carey.