The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first all-electric vehicle in the brand's impending battery-powered blitz. At least for other global markets. Sadly, Mercedes has delayed the EQC indefinitely for US release.
In other markets, it kicks off Mercedes' new electrified EQ sub-brand (or "Electric Intelligence," because you can't spell "intelligence" without "Q"). A small SUV that's about the same size as the current GLC, the EQC delivers 402 total horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Mercedes claims the EQC will have a range of 279 miles based on the European test cycle.
The EQC shares the same wheelbase as the GLC, which is promising news for passengers since the GLC has tons of space inside. But for better or worse, Mercedes-Benz chose to go in a new styling direction with the EQC, rounding off all the edges and arguably removing some "Mercedes-ness" in the process. If you took off the badge and told us this was a Saab design study from around the end of that company's life, we'd probably believe you.
In any case, the EQC's interior looks to be at the top of its game. The design manages to be clean while offering lots of visual interest, from the cooling-fin-inspired door trim to the rose gold highlights in the air vents. Both gauges and infotainment are handled by a free-floating widescreen console made up of two 10.25-inch displays. Mercedes is also promising a supremely quiet interior, taking extra steps to insulate the cabin. M-B's interiors are already some of the best in the game, and the EQC should keep those good times rolling.
Of course, Tesla has raised the bar for electric performance, so expectations for any sort of luxury EV are sky-high. While the EQC isn't going to be winning drag races against a Model X, it's reportedly no slouch. The EQC uses two electric motors to drive the axles separately via electrons from an 80-kWh battery pack. Total system power is rated at 402 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque, with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
So far, so good — but right now the question is, how much range will the EQC have? Mercedes says the EQC will be good for up to 279 miles per charge, which would put it ahead of both the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron and only slightly behind the Tesla Model X in its range-topping 100D specification. However, that number comes from the European test cycle, and we know from past examples that some things are often lost in translation. Some buyers might be put off if the EQC's range comes up short since it would make the vehicle harder to use for long trips. Of course, most drivers don't cover more than 200 miles in a day, but bragging rights still matter when it comes to range.
In any case, the EQC can help you get the most miles out of every charge. Mercedes has taken steps to improve efficiency not just in the drivetrain but also in the driver. Switch the EQC to Eco mode and the accelerator pedal will provide haptic feedback to encourage lifting off for maximum efficiency in certain situations, like when you're nearing a lower speed limit. The car can also automatically adjust regenerative braking levels if a hill or slow traffic is up ahead, although the driver can control them via steering-wheel paddles.