Mercedes EQC long-term test: report 8

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 in town

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 its 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

Mileage 2611 Price £74,610 Target Price £74,610 Price as tested £77,200 Test range 176 miles

12 April 2021 – Longer drives reveal more positives

Finally! As lockdown has eased it hasn’t just been the chance to meet friends and family that has brought some relief and excitement, but also the opportunity to drive the Mercedes EQC further than short, essential hops. In six months of ownership prior to now, its longest outings had been a trio 65-mile each-way hops - hardly a true test.

However, reassuringly, given the generally positive vibes previously, the abiding conclusions from these longer drives have been entirely in keeping with what we thought we knew: the EQC is a comfortable, refined, luxurious cruiser which excels most for doing everything well rather than a handful of things exceptionally.

As such, it’s hard to pinpoint weaknesses in its armoury. In common with most electric vehicles, the absence of engine noise exacerbates your awareness of wind and road noise. The bluff wing mirrors don’t help the former, although the noise is barely an issue even at higher speeds. Likewise, the car’s significant heft, while seemingly helpful to the ride at times, can lead it to crash heavily on deeper ruts and rivets on the road.

Mercedes EQC range

Perhaps the biggest shock has been induced by the weather. Remember the balmy day or two before it started raining - and even snowing - again? For a while the Mercedes EQC onboard calculator estimated a full charge to be delivering 205 miles again, a figure almost reminiscent of the peak score in late summer. But as temperatures dipped so it slipped again - blinking down to 175, rather shockingly, as I set off on a 180-mile journey full of confidence, flicked on the air-con to clear a slightly damp screen for about a minute and then watched as it steadfastly refused to revise its estimate up after I switched it off again.

In the end it was fine; another thing the past few weeks has reminded me is just how much more efficient a car is at 55mph than anything higher, especially at 65mph and above, so a period of gentle cruising helped eke out what I had. But this episode was also a reminder that, no matter how significant the developments have been over the past decade, that even in the very best electric cars there is always a need to consider range and charging options before you set off on a longer journey.

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