The interior layout, fit and finish
The Mercedes EQC is a bit smaller than the Audi E-tron, but, crucially, it still feels like a proper SUV when you’re sitting behind the wheel. That’s thanks in no small part to a driver’s seat that is mounted suitably far from the road.
The seat is electrically adjustable on all trim levels and there’s also adjustable lumbar support to help prevent backache on longer journeys. If you want a memory function – so you can automatically reposition everything so it is just the way you like it at the touch of a button – you’ll need to fork out for the pricey Premium Plus package (available only on AMG Line trim).
The lofty driving position and relatively thin front pillars give you a good view of the road ahead, which is a big advantage over the Jaguar I-Pace (not the easiest car to see out of). While the EQC’s high haunches don’t do over-the-shoulder visibility any great favours, all trim levels come with a reversing camera and parking sensors at the front and the rear of the car. Adding the optional Premium Plus package brings a 360deg camera that can display a bird’s eye view of the car, which makes manoeuvring in tight spots even easier.
An appealing mix of gloss black plastic, genuine leather seats (on all but entry-level Sport trim) and plenty of polished metal highlights make the EQC look really upmarket inside. Build quality is generally pretty good – better than the Tesla Model X – but isn’t quite on a par with the E-tron or BMW iX3. Some of the fixtures, including the centre air vents and their plastic surrounds, are wobbly and a bit of a let-down.
The infotainment system can be controlled either by prodding the 10.3in screen or by using a touchpad mounted between the front seats. The second method is easier and safer when you’re driving – you simply swipe left or right to scroll through the icons on the screen then press down to make a selection. There’s even haptic feedback, so you get vibrations to tell you your commands have been registered, although it’s a pity you need to pay extra for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring on Sport/AMG Line models (it comes as standard on AMG Line Premium and Premium Plus models, as does wireless smartphone charging).
You also get a Siri-style personal assistant as standard. To wake it up, you just say "Hey Mercedes". Then, in theory, you can use normal speech to control various aspects of the car, from the sat-nav to the interior temperature. It is fun to use and is often very useful but, like many voice-recognition tools, it occasionally misunderstands or fails to recognise what you have said.
Overall, the Mercedes EQC’s infotainment system is not be as intuitive as the iX3’s iDrive system (with its simple rotary controller and snappy software), but we it to the E-Tron and I-Pace touchscreen-only systems.
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