Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Before we start going into detail about how comfortable the Mercedes EQC is and how competently it goes round corners, you will probably want to know how many miles it can do between charges. Well, according to Mercedes, it should be capable of travelling up to 255 miles (WLTP-certified) before it conks out.
In our Real Range tests, though, which involve a mix of motorway, country road and city driving, it achieved 208 miles on a full charge. While that is better than the 196 miles we got from the range-topping Audi E-tron 55 Quattro, it’s quite a way behind the 253 miles achieved by the Jaguar I-Pace EV400.
You certainly won’t have any complaints about its acceleration, though, because the EQC can hit 62mph from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds. That makes it faster than most hot hatchbacks or, more to the point, the Audi E-tron and BMW iX3. The I-Pace and Tesla Model X are faster still, but you would have to be a real speed freak to care.
Indeed, you’re probably far more likely to be concerned about ride comfort, which is something the EQC does well, up to a point. On the average motorway, the ride is mostly calm and comfortable. It takes the initial sting out of potholes because the set-up is quite soft and absorbent, but it doesn't deal with the aftershock very well.
The result is that, around town or on a country road, any unevenness causes the EQC to pitch and wobble ceaselessly, which can get quite annoying. That's why the better-controlled iX3 or I-Pace (especially when fitted with standard 18in wheels) would be a better choice if ride quality is important to you.
However, the Mercedes EQC is very quiet — quieter than its main rivals. There is very little whine from the electric motors when you accelerate or decelerate, and just mild wind noise on the motorway. Road noise is a distant background murmur, and the suspension is the only irritation, as you can hear it boom away over bumps.
The EQC is not a great choice if you like going round corners quickly. Unlike the iX3, which is remarkably agile for an SUV, and the Tesla Model 3, which is one of the best-handling electric cars, the EQC does not appreciate being hustled.
If you corner with any gusto or ask it to change direction quickly, it sways about before running out of front-end grip sooner than you might imagine. Drive normally, though, and it's perfectly adequate, and the steering is light, precise and well-suited to motoring around town. It doesn’t give you a brilliant sense of connection with the front wheels during more spirited driving, though.
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