The new Mercedes-Benz EQC will have its official market launch in Ireland in October
The new Mercedes-Benz EQC will have its official market launch in Ireland in October

I travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, to drive the new Mercedes-Benz EQC. The EQC is a significant new model for the brand because it’s Mercedes’ first all-electric model to be brought to market. The new SUV will go on sale in Ireland in the region of €90,000, with an official launch planned for October.

Styling

The EQC is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLC, however classic Mercedes-Benz design has been given a fresh twist for this pioneering new electric model. This is a large and imposing car in the metal with an extended roofline and low waistline placing it visually between a conventional SUV and an SUV Coupé. A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface enclosing the LED headlamps and grille bearing the three-pointed star motif and bordered at the top by an illuminated optical fibre. The horizontal LED light bar at the rear also distinguishes this new model.

Interior

Inside, the EQC has a very conventional Mercedes-Benz interior that means that all the equipment, screens and controls will be familiar to any owners of the current generation of Mercedes’ models. Material quality is high and some new trim elements include rose gold accents on the air vents and a ribbed edge on the instrument panel. The MBUX multimedia system comes as standard and has ‘Hey Mercedes’ driver assist and command features. EQC-specific MBUX functions include display of range, charge status and energy flow.

Practicality

The EQC is a mid-size SUV with seating for five. The use of the GLC platform rather than a bespoke EV platform means that there have been some compromises to interior space including a large transmission tunnel in the rear. Still, two adults will be comfortable back here. The boot has a decent 500 litre capacity and an electrically opening tailgate of course! The EQC can tow up to 1800 kgs.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz EQC
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz EQC

Powertrain

The EQC has an 80 kWh battery and there are two electric motors mounted at each axle, front and rear. Together they generate 402 hp and a massive 765 Nm of torque! The WLTP range is rated between 374 and 417 km. The EQC is suitable for AC charging at home or using faster DC charging on the public charging networking using the CCS connector. According to Mercedes-Benz, a fast charge can increase battery power from 10 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes.

On the road

The EQC has a permanent all wheel drive system and selectable driving modes also feature. Battery recuperation is also possible using gearshift paddles located behind the steering wheel. On the road, the Mercedes-Benz EQC is powerful and extremely refined. Acceleration between 0 and 100 km/h is a brisk 5.1 seconds, while the EV transmission is effortless and smooth. Steering is fluid and intuitive and despite its size and weight, the EQC handled our twisty test route with ease.

Equipment

Market launch will take place in October when an EQC 400 4MATIC model appears in dealer showrooms. Pricing and equipment will be confirmed closer to launch. Before that, a limited edition EQC Edition 1886 model will arrive. These models will be available exclusively in metallic high-tech silver and include special badging, styling tweaks and equipment. The Edition 1886 recalls the year in which Karl Benz invented his famed Benz Patent Motorwagen.

A fast charge can increase battery power in the new EQC from 10 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes.
A fast charge can increase battery power in the new EQC from 10 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes.

Pricing

The EQC400 will be priced in the region of €90,000 before Government grants and reductions. Official pricing will be announced closer to launch in October. According to a source at Mercedes-Benz Ireland, the 1886 edition will carry a premium of €7000 or €8000 on top of that. A small number of dedicated EQ dealers will be appointed from the current Mercedes-Benz Irish dealer network.

Rivals

Mercedes-Benz is not the first premium brand to bring an electric SUV to market. Buyers may also be interested in the Tesla Model X, the Jaguar I-PACE and the Audi e-tron.

Verdict

The EQC is an exciting new pioneering model for Mercedes-Benz, marking the debut of the EQ brand and the first Mercedes-Benz electric production vehicle. The EQC is the trailblazer for what will be a growing family of all-electric vehicles to come from Mercedes-Benz under its EQ branding. And it’s a very good entrant into this new market, being stylish and innovative enough to turn heads, with a powerful battery delivering competitive range for these times and impressive performance. Mercedes-Benz values have not been compromised and the EQC is sophisticated on the road and in the cabin.

Ultimately, the EQC carries a premium but is a highly desirable all-electric SUV!

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC is expected to cost in the region of €90,000
The new Mercedes-Benz EQC is expected to cost in the region of €90,000

Caroline Kidd