Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Mercedes EQC might be a little more expensive than a BMW iX3, but it is priced broadly in line with the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-tron. The Tesla Model X costs a few thousand pounds more to buy, but it is a bigger car with seven seats. All of these electric SUVs make for seriously cheap company cars, thanks to the tempting benefit in kind (BIK) tax rates available on all pure electric vehicles.
It's a little less efficient per mile than a Jaguar I-Pace, but we're talking only around one pence for every mile. Plug in at a regular 7kW home charging point and a full charge (0-100%) will take roughly 11 hours. You can, of course, charge your EQC much quickly at public charging points – the very fastest 110kW CCS chargers deliver a 10-80% top-up in as little as 40 minutes.
To help you with this, you get a three-year subscription to Mercedes Me Charge. That gives you access to a multitude of public charging stations across Europe (their precise location and availability are shown on the infotainment system). Charging isn’t free, but a single contract covers all billing, so you won’t need to sign up to umpteen different charging point providers.
At the time of writing, only Tesla's extensive Supercharging network gives you the ability to travel long distances with the peace of mind that there'll be a reliable fast charger somewhere nearby.
Entry-level Sport trim is our favourite as it comes with plenty of kit, including 19in alloys, climate control, keyless entry and heated front seats. Granted, you don’t get smartphone integration as standard, but this is a very reasonably priced option.
We’d skip the base AMG Line trim as this is effectively just a styling pack, but stepping up to AMG Line Premium gets you a 13-speaker Burmester sound system, wireless phone charging and an augmented reality function for the navigation. Range-topping Premium Plus also gets some genuinely useful standard equipment such as the parking package we mentioned earlier, a head-up display and a memory package for the seats, but it is simply too expensive to recommend.
Independent testing by Euro NCAP found the Mercedes EQC to be one of the safest premium electric cars and it scored the fill five-star rating. It outperformed the E-tron, iX3, I-Pace and Model X for child occupant protection, although it was just pipped by the Model X for adult occupant protection. All EQC trims levels come with plenty of active aids to help prevent a crash in the first place, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance.
Meanwhile, the optional Driving Assistance Plus package, which is available on AMG Line trims, adds loads more safety aids, including Pre-safe Plus, which can prime the safety aids if you’re about to be hit from behind and will alert when you’re approaching pedestrian crossings.
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