The interior layout, fit and finish
The 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’s mounted suitably far from the road.
Said driver’s seat is electrically adjustable on all trim levels and there’s also adjustable lumbar support to help prevent curvature of the spine on longer journeys. However, if you want a memory function — so that you can automatically reposition everything to just how 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 certainly help give you a good view of the road ahead, which is a big advantage over the I-Pace: that's not the easiest car to see out of. And 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 package brings a 360deg camera that can display a bird’s eye view of the car, to make 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. Some of the fixtures, such as the centre air vents and their plastic surround, 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 latter method is easier and safer when you’re driving; you simply swipe left and right to scroll through the icons on the screen and then press down to make a selection. There’s even haptic feedback, so that you know your commands have been registered, although it’s a pity you need to add the pricey Premium Package (available only on AMG Line trim) if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring and wireless charging.
You also get a Siri-style personal assistant as standard. To wake it up, you just say "Hey Mercedes" and then, in theory, use normal speech to control various aspects of the car, from the sat nav to the interior temperature. It’s definitely fun to use and is often very useful. But, like many voice-recognition tools, it can occasionally misunderstand what you’re saying or simply not recognise it at all, leaving you wondering why you bothered.
Overall, though, the EQC has a better infotainment system than its closest rivals, the E-tron and I-Pace.