Mercedes-Benz EQC 400: electric for the long term
Search Driven for Mercedes-Benz for sale
We have officially welcomed a new long-termer into the DRIVEN garage. After a Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, we have certainly upped the ante with a brand new 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 ... Yep, the electric one.
Let’s deal with the numbers straight away: launched in early 2020, it’s a $145,700, luxury, all-electric SUV, of which 37 were sold in 2020, in a tough year; 46 have already been sold in 2021.
We first drove the EQC in Melbourne back in December 2019, where we were introduced to the “Emotional Quotient” in a C-Class-size SUV, slotting in between the conventional GLC and GLE and using around 15 per cent of the GLC, mostly steering and suspension.
The 80kWh battery will provide around 353km of motoring, which is plenty for the typical working week. Charging is at the rate of 7.4kW on AC (at home, representing a typical wallbox charger), or 110kW on DC (public fast chargers).
And, of course, it was named the 2020 NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild Car of the Year, which did come as a minor shock to us, given the price, but less so, given all three of us DRIVEN judges had it in our top three for the year. It’s a step forward for motoring, and while the price might repel some, similar technology has already made its way into the recently launched EQA, at $85,500.
So we’ll be spending around four months with the luxury SUV. After four months in the Outlander PHEV, it’ll be interesting to see how we upgrade into the SUV that’s more than twice its price, but total electric.
We’ve just collected the EQC, downloaded the ChargeNet smartphone app to locate public chargers, registered the Mercedes Me smartphone app that communicates with the car to enable charging, pre-climate control conditioning, locking/unlocking and much more, right from the phone, even if the car is across the country.
We’ve also had a chance to test its performance and with the claim of 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, we rolled off a couple of times in the 4.8 second range — so speed is plenty, though it does noticeably taper off above 100km/h, while running a quarter-mile in 13.6 at 156km/h, thanks in part to its single-speed gearbox that’s designed for legal speeds. Its top speed, for example, is just 180km/h, simply for the trivia of it.
We’ll see what it’s like to live with an EV, what it’s like to live with the 2020 NZ COTY, and quite a large helping of luxury from a $140k SUV.