Mercedes EQC long-term test: report 4

The Mercedes EQC is the brand's first mainstream all-electric car. Can it eclipse the rival Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X? We've got six months to find out...

Mercedes EQC interior

The car Mercedes EQC 400 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus Run by Jim Holder, Editorial Director

Why it’s here We want to discover if Mercedes' first mainstream EV is a match for the opposition, worthy of a near-£80,000 price tag and fits into everyday life.

Needs to Deliver a wow factor befitting its price, without any limitations resulting from its mode of propulsion that compromise its everyday usability.

Miles covered 1436 Price £74,610 Target Price £74,610 Price as tested £77,200 Official range 232 miles Test range 206 miles

30 November 2020 – Discovering the path to inner peace

And.... relax. Only in the likes of Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and their ilk have I ever experienced the sense of calm and comfort that the Mercedes EQC offers from the moment I swing open the door and slide into the driver’s seat.

Strikingly, it’s provoked by a combination of consideration and anticipation. No question, the EQC has an interior that is strikingly plush, ordered and high-tech.

As well as comfy chairs and swathes of leather, plus electronically controlled adjustments for each section of the seat, from headrest to thigh support and more, and choices of heated this and that, there’s a coherence to its layout that feels just so.

It’s flash without being shouty – something typified by the copper-coloured air vents that give a gentle nod towards its electric underpinnings. Meanwhile, the vast digital dash that extends into the infotainment system sits naturally alongside the more analogue buttons, rockers and switches, giving it a naturally – not jarringly – futuristic feel.

Mercedes EQC copper vent

But you have to reach deeper again to really understand where the feel-good factor comes from, because it’s not just about getting that just-so vibe once you’ve plonked yourself in, but also an excitement about what’s to come.

Excitement, though, about the journey ahead, be it a plod to the shops or a schlep to far-flung relatives. Not because the EQC is thrilling to drive; in fact, bar the eye-widening acceleration on tap (a feature of all electric cars) if you chose to use it, it is fairly unremarkable to drive – but because of the serenity it brings to every journey.

That instant acceleration helps, as the accelerator modulation is pin-sharp so you feel in absolute control of everything you do, the Mercedes EQC responding to even the smallest of inputs. So, too, does the near silence in which you go everywhere, and as a result you feel like you are wafting above the hubbub of other road users from the raised driving position.

The result is a car that you look forward to driving, knowing that it is going to knock 10% off your stress levels as standard. So much so, in fact, that I have considered (but not yet done, before you ponder sending help) going out to work from the car during lockdown, just to enjoy a change of scene. There aren’t many cars that I’d choose to be in over my own home, but the EQC is definitely one… although it has been a strange year.

Of course, there is more to weigh up regarding the pros and cons of what the Mercedes EQC has to offer than just this, but after a few months with it, I feel that these aspects are what stand out most about the car, and that's the very first thing I would reference if someone asked me if they should consider getting one.

Not least, because if you can buy into the philosophy and feelings as described, then your mindset quickly shifts from this being an £80,000 – that's very pricey – version of the Mercedes GLC, into it being a very reasonably priced alternative to cars that carry badges that sit several strata above where even Mercedes resides.

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