WITH just 15 coming to Australia, the Mercedes-Benz EQC Edition One brings full electric power to a platform based on the popular GLC SUV, bundled up in a package designed to celebrate the birth of mainstream EV power for the German car maker.
The stylish EQC features its own unique light signatures at the front and rear, both sporting a full LED light strip, with blue highlights designed to denote its electric vehicle status. It’s also the first of what will be a fleet of EQ model offerings.
It runs two electric motors, with one providing power to each axle. The EQC’s configuration is such that it it feeds power as predominantly a front-wheel drive vehicle when driving in normal conditions, but tap the pedal, and you get hit with both barrels.
Instant torque and a tonne of grunt combine for 300kW of power and 760Nm of torque. In a nutshell, it’s delivering instance performance at that point.
Unlike say Tesla though, who have created a front trunk, or frunk, in their vehicles, Mercedes-Benze have chose to use the space to house all of the associated componentry and battery technology under the hood, maintaining a more traditional vehicle feel.
The EQC sits on 21-inch multi-spoke rims, with a chrome and gloss black design, which really sets it apart. The only down fall of these futuristic looking wheels is just how painful they are to clean.
Ride is taken care of with a combination of front springs and rear air suspension. We’re not sure whether not having air at the front is a lost opportunity, because the front end does tend to crash into potholes and over speed bumps a little.
An EV is a completely different driving experience, if you’ve never had the opportunity though, and it can take some getting used to. Aside from the fact there’s no gears, you’ll also need to get used to regenerative braking.
That will see you freak out the first few times you go to hit the stop pedal, and the first inch or so of pressure does nothing, because it’s regenerative. You will then over compensate. Once you get the hang of it though, It does offer a flawless, smooth drive.
Steering wise, it’s a fabulous car in a straight line. Pick up is incredible, with the 0-100km/h sprint achieved in 5.1 seconds. However, it is rather top heavy, and as a result, there’s a bit of body roll, so slowing down for corners is vital, especially at speed.
There is however the convenience of not needing petrol, and charging, although we’re not actually sure that’s a good thing. It can lead to range anxiety, even with a claimed distance of 430km. That number obviously varies, depending on your driving style.
That leads to a never ending quest to know where every single fast charging station is located, not matter how far into your journey. When you find one, you can charge to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. A standard wall box takes up to 13 hours.
That kind of makes the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Edition One a little inconvenient to drive, especially over distances. But in the future, we’re sure these issues will be ironed out and there will be more fast charging stations around.
For now though, there are a limited number available, which means you really have to plan your longer trips.
It’s a very family friendly car though, with a one touch self-opening and closing boot, and 500-litres of carbo space. You can of course extract more space from the boot area by lowering the second row seats. There are ISOFIX and tether child seat anchors too.
Interior styling is, in a word, stunning. The first thing you notice is the double screen MBUX infotainment and instrument units. The system is the heart of the Mercedes-Benz user experience, controlling everything from drive modes to ambient lighting.
Two separate controls for the left and right side are also offered on the steering wheel, as well as the addition of a track pad just in front of the centre console that controls the left side of the screen. You can of course simply touch the screen.
The EQC’s design is quite unique, with the vents inspired by circuit boards, and their copper colouring matched to that of electrical wiring. Even the switches for the air conditioning feel like they’ve been lifted from a plane.
Among the other goodies loaded into the landmark EV by the German car maker is the Hey Mercedes voice interaction platform. Think of it as Siri for your car. You can call on her (or him if you choose), to change songs, lower the volume, and make calls.
You can also set the air conditioning temperature, among a number of other things. She’s a little temperamental, and only gets it right about 80 per cent of the time. Don’t say Mercedes in conversation either, or she’ll instantly interrupt the party.
We dare say the more you use it, the more in tune with your voice it will get, meaning the fluency of it all working will become better. But in the short time we had to test it out, this feature got quite frustrating.
Some other creature comforts of the Edition One EQC include push button start, an automatic electric handbrake, and heated and vented (cooled) seats. There’s a proper head-up display too as part of the impressive safety technology suite.
It also comes with active distance assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and speed limit assist. And because it’s an Edition One, you know there are some extra bits not found in the normal EQC electric vehicle.
This includes a beautiful white leather interior. We should also mention that its sold exclusively online, and is a fixed price motor vehicle. You can jump into a standard EQC from $137,900 plus on-roads.
The Edition One will set you back around $160,000 plus on-roads. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
Our 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Edition One was purchased from Mercedes-Benz of Sydney, and loaned to us by its generous owner. To find out more about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Edition One, contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer.