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Mercedes Benz EQC: manufacturer's first electric 4x4 is a fully charged beast

May 6, 2021
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The German manufacturer has taken anything requiring fossil-fuel powering out

So here it is, then: Mercedes’s first all-electric SUV. The German manufacturer has taken anything requiring fossil-fuel powering out, and replaced it with two electric motors and a whopping great battery.

It’s the future, we know, but Mercedes has pulled off a neat trick here by giving you a car that resembles (both inside and out) its laudable GLC range, but with a near-silent powertrain.

Evidently, the EQC had rather more work carried out on it than that glib assertion above might indicate, but that is basically what has happened. All well and good, but this begs the question: is it any good?

Well, Mercedes said it wanted to create a car that was silent, efficient, and safe.

First box ticked. This car is intensely quiet when you’re inside the cabin. In fact, it radiates peacefulness. Anyone who finds traffic stressful could do worse than cocooning themselves inside an EQC. A lot of big cars protect you from the elements these days, but this vehicle has serenity in spades.

Frankly, you can’t argue with the efficiency, either. Admittedly, that’s true of almost any electric vehicle these days, but that’s the point. Low hurdle to cross, that one.

Resembling, as we’ve established, the GLC range, safety isn’t an issue either. We could drill down into the various features that protect driver and passengers, but no one inside a modern Mercedes need have any worries on this front. Suffice to say, that it has been fitted with all the latest-generation driver-assistance systems.

So, initial job done, then.

The test model came in a burnished hue known as graphite grey, and, while not everyone is sold on matte-finish cars, something about them seems a nod to the future. The EQC has a notable black-panel radiator grille, a luminescent band in the front and rear, and a widescreen cockpit.

It’s no slouch, either – the powertrain will get the car from 0-100 kilometres per hour in 5.1 seconds, and, foot to the floor, will reach 180kph.

The cabin is unsurprisingly opulent, with the usual neat Mercedes layout. It includes the MBUX interior assistance system, which detects and interprets hand movements, and massaging seats that make life more comfortable for all concerned.

Even in the UAE, with its electric powerpoints popping up everywhere, you still have to bear in mind that getting a battery fully juiced up requires time – a rapid charge takes 40 minutes on an EQC.

It may seem obvious, but these are times you have to factor into your day. The test model was dropped off to Abu Dhabi from Dubai, and it needed sufficient power to get it back again. It wasn’t a problem, but, as we said, this was more hassle than five minutes spent in the nearest petrol station.

That is a minor inconvenience though. The EQC is every bit as capable as its petrol-powered GLC counterparts in terms of day-to-day use. It is evidently a rather less raucous option though. You get more than 420 kilometres out of a single charge, which should be sufficient to ensure you aren’t left stranded without power unless you’re extremely distracted or somewhere incredibly remote.

Mercedes’s marketing team says the future belongs to electric drive. And it’s not something any of us needs to fear, with vehicles like the EQC popping up along the way.

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