2022 Mercedes EQC 400 Review - The Electric SUV With Hidden Character

The Mercedes EQC 400 is the first all-electric Benz - is it worth the hype?

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Among the big automotive brands, Mercedes has one of the most comprehensive EV lineups currently on the market. The Mercedes EQC was introduced back in 2019 and is the first Mercedes EV. Recently, we got to drive the Mercedes EQC 400, which at this point in time, is the only available version of the compact luxury SUV. The EQC is the founder of the Mercedes’ all-electric, EQ lineup and these are our impressions.

Exterior

2022 Mercedes EQC 400 Review - The Electric SUV With Hidden Character
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Our Mercedes EQC 400 was finished in a subtle shade of Graphite Gray. There is a wide variety of wheel designs to choose from, ranging from 19 to 21 inches. Ours had the standard 19-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/55 R19 Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires, designed specifically for high-performance SUVs like the EQC. The front fascia features the EQ-specific blanked-off grille with an LED luminescent band with distinctive light patterns, mimicking the Mercedes logo.

While the EQC scores a slightly more conventional design compared to the EQE and EQS, it scores a sleek silhouette, which is a nice balance between traditional SUV body style with a hint of a coupe, in contrast to the boxy EQB. The rear end of the EQC is almost as conventional as the side profile. The only thing giving away the lack of an internal combustion engine is the absence of tailpipes (not even fake ones).

The trim piece on the rear diffuser is a placeholder for what would have been fake exhaust tips on ICE-powered Mercedes models and frankly, they could have done away with it. We can’t help but notice the EQC taillights, which are similarly styled to the Porsche Macan. But that’s just us.

Interior

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Interior
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Being the first EV from the EQ lineup, the Mercedes EQC’s interior is not as futuristic as some of the other models. You don’t get the three-screen layout that’s present on the EQS and instead, have the familiar duo of tablet-style screens, comprising of a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen. We appreciate the fact that the EQC still has a few physical buttons, although most functions are still accessible via the touchscreen.

The interior space is something I was impressed with since both the first and second-row seats provide ample room even for full-size occupants. Even for someone who is six feet two inches (like myself), interior ergonomics and space are excellent. Our test car had a black leather interior with Space Gray, Nappa leather inserts on the door panels, dashboard, and center armrest.

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In terms of quality, the EQC is generally well-put-together with all contact areas featuring soft-touch materials. The only slight complaint I have is the slight squeaking noise once you press on the top of the inner door panel, although this can easily be chalked down to our test car having some work done to it. Still, the EQS did not have that so it may be a classic case of the most expensive models of the lineup simply being built better.

As for practicality, the Mercedes EQC 400 offers a minimum luggage space of 17.7 cubic feet (500 liters), which while slightly less than some of its main competitors, is still plenty. Moreover, once the rear seats fold down, making for a flat cargo area, luggage capacity goes up to 51.6 cubic feet (1,460 liters). The loading area is fairly high, however, which may be less than ideal when trying to put heavier objects at the back.

Drivetrain & Performance

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The Mercedes EQC 400 is the only powertrain option for the electric SUV. The dual-electric motors (one for each axle) are good for a combined output of 408 horsepower and 560 pound-feet (760 Nm). This means all-wheel-drive capability and a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.8 seconds, on to an electronically-limited top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h).

The top speed was reached without much effort, despite the curb weight of 5,335 pounds (2,420 kg), of which the 80kWh battery alone, weighs 1,433 pounds (650 kg). Luckily, all that weight is positioned at the bottom of the car, which make for some impressive driving dynamics. The EQC has a range of 280 miles (450 km) according to the WLTP standard.

With DC charging, the luxury electric SUV can recharge from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in 40 minutes. The average energy consumption is rated at 34.3 kWh per 100 miles (21.3 kWh/100 km), although we didn’t get anywhere near that with our spirited driving. The best I managed was about 43 kWh per 100 miles on a mixed cycle, with the occasional kickdown (there were more than a few of those).

Mercedes EQC 400 specifications
Powertrain dual-electric motors
Rated output 408 HP
Peak torque 560 LB-FT
Top speed (mph) 112 mph (electronically limited)
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.8 seconds
Battery capacity 80 kWh
Weight 5,335 lbs
Range 280 miles

Driving impressions

2022 Mercedes EQC 400 Review - The Electric SUV With Hidden Character
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It’s worth mentioning, that the Mercedes EQC has five drive modes – Comfort (default), Sport, Eco, Maximum Range, and Individual. In comfort mode, things happen more gradually while in Sport mode, all the inputs are sharper and the car responds with more immediacy, especially when you put your right foot down. Eco maximizes range by guiding your throttle inputs through applying reverse resistance to your inputs, while Maximum Range mode goes even further by significantly reducing the car’s performance in favor of less energy consumption.

As for the driving experience, the EQC is surprisingly agile and feels surprisingly sporty in Sport mode. The self-leveling rear suspension is surprisingly versatile, providing excellent ride quality and great stability even when tackling corners at higher speeds. It’s not a sports car, but it impresses with composure. The steering wheel is nicely weighted, but over-assisted and numb in city driving, particularly so in Comfort mode. The seat provides plenty of adjustabilities, regardless of whether you want to “hunker” down or assume the typical SUV, high seating position.

Mercedes’ Active Parking Assistance includes a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the car, making it easier to park. The interior of the EQC is quiet while on the outside, the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) produces a subtle, but distinctive sound to let the others know it’s coming.

How much does the Mercedes EQC cost?

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With premium vehicles, it’s difficult to talk about a great bargain. Still, the Mercedes EQC has a starting price of $67,900. That said, things can escalate to about $100,000, depending on the options you choose, and there are plenty to choose from.

Conclusion

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The Mercedes EQC is Mercedes’ first EV from the EQ lineup. The all-electric equivalent to the Mercedes GLC may look familiar on the outside, but underneath, it is a completely different animal compared to its ICE-powered sibling. The Mercedes EQC is a significant model for the brand since it founded a completely new lineup of Mercedes EVs. Driving it revealed that the transition from internal combustion engines to electricity does not have to be a shock to the system as the EQC comes in a familiar luxurious package with relatively sporty manners (when it needs to) and the inherent advantages of electric propulsion.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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