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Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric SUV Review: Laying Down the Foundation for Future Luxury EVs in India – News18


“The future of cars is going to be electric.”

We have heard this so many times now that perhaps we don’t realise that the future that we speak of is happening right now. If you were to take a look at the portfolio of automakers globally, you will see that almost all of them have a proper electric car on sale. That story is vastly different in India. If you were to list down the electric cars that you can buy right now, you will run out of names pretty quick. And you will also realise that there is no proper electric car on sale that does not compromise on technology, on space, design, premium features, on the luxury quotient and so on. All of that is going to change very soon, though, as Mercedes-Benz is all set to hold the title of being the first automaker in India to bring a proper luxurious electric car in our market.


And that car is the Mercedes-Benz EQC.

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So without any doubt, this is an extremely important car as it not only debuts the ‘EQ’ range of electric cars that are made by Mercedes-Benz but it will also pave the way for other luxury electric cars to come to our country. That’s a lot of pressure on the EQC’s shoulder.

By the looks of it, Mercedes-Benz has come prepared to make a lasting mark and seems to have put in a lot of work to get it right. The EQC was tested extensively all around the world and that includes India as well to make it compatible for the vast variety of conditions that our country offers, that’s a good starting point.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The really smart thing that they did, however, was that they took the already-proven Mercedes-Benz GLC as a starting point and then built an electric car around it rather than starting afresh from the ground up and experimenting with things that are yet to be proven in the real world. And this is why the silhouette of the EQC will remind you quite a lot about the GLC. However, the EQC is a lot more aerodynamic in shape which is meant to give it a better range by reducing drag.

Looking closer at the car, the first thing you would notice is the front design which will be the face of future electric cars that Mercedes will make. It does have a conventional-looking grille that does not look atrociously futuristic, thankfully, and has a blacked-out element that runs beneath it and connects the two LED projector headlamps which have blue design elements, to give you that electric car vibe. Also, the DRL spans across the front and the same approach can be seen at the back as well where you have the connected tail lamp design and that makes the car look smart.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

From the sides, the gigantic 20-inch wheels with blue inserts look great and you also have a sizeable side step which adds to the tough SUV feel of the car.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Step inside and you are greeted with a cabin that feels familiar and tells you right away that this is a Mercedes-Benz. The quality of the products used inside the car along with the fit and finish of it is top-notch. Mercedes has given the EQC unique design elements too like the pinched and highlighted air-con vents that look rather nice. Another unique design element is the stripes that run across the dash and carry on to the doors which looks great.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The highlight of the cabin, however, has to be the huge glass panel that sits on top of the dash. It houses the digital instrument cluster and the touchscreen infotainment system that runs the latest MBUX UI which makes it easy to use and great to look at. The touch response is fantastic, the animations are crisp and it has a dedicated section to show information about the EQC’s charge levels, close by charging stations and the rest of the electric car-relevant information like range, charge and so on. All of it can be controlled through the screen or by the touchpad placed down below in the centre console.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The good bits continue to the back as well. You wouldn’t mind being chauffeur driven in the EQC thanks to the amount of space that the car offers. Being 5’10”, I set the driver seat as per my height and then when I sat at the back, I had more than enough knee room, legroom and a decent amount of shoulder room and headroom. There are also window shades for a bit of privacy. All in all, this is a good place to be in and if you’re someone who prefers to be in the back, well, you really wouldn’t mind being there.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

And with that covered, let’s get to the exciting bit – how is the Mercedes-Benz EQC like to drive.

Let’s start with what drives it in the first place. Under the skin, there is an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery that promises a range of about 450 km on a full charge. This can be charged through your regular house socket which takes forever or you can use the wall box charger that Mercedes-Benz will be providing and fitting it to your house free of charge if you buy the EQC. This takes about 10 hours to charge from 10-100 per cent. If you use a DC fast charger, though, then you can charge the car up in just 90 minutes.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

Being electric, the EQC is a heavy car especially since the batteries alone weigh over 650 Kg. So to tackle that, Mercedes has fitted two motors between the axles which combined put out 408 hp that makes the EQC go from 0-100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds and that is fast.

What feels even faster, though, is the way the EQC accelerates from city speeds as it delivers 760 Nm of torque the instant you press down on the accelerator. This makes the EQC feel like it shoots into warp drive. And since its electric, there is no engine noise or transmission noise to give you that sense of speed so you end up doing ridiculous speeds in no time and without even realising it and you need to be attentive of that. But then again, that’s how well the EQC masks its weight as it gives you the performance of a sports car which would be a lot more expensive and a lot less practical than this SUV.

During the corners too, since the batteries are placed down on the floor giving it a low centre of gravity, there is minimal body roll which makes the car a lot of fun on the twisty roads.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

(Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

But what’s so “Mercedes-Benz” about this electric car is just how silent the cabin is while it is being driven. You see, in electric cars, all outside noises sound a lot louder as there is no noise coming from the engine and the transmission to cancel them out. Mercedes, however, has done a fantastic job at keeping all of that out. The ride quality, on top of that, is supple and the EQC glides over all sorts of roads that you encounter.

On big speed breakers, you need to be considerate as the soft suspension setup for our patchy roads and the massive weight of the car means that you end up scraping the car’s belly if you are not careful. Don’t get me wrong, ground clearance is not a problem at all as the EQC sits quite high. It is when the front wheels are coming over the speed breaker where, due to the soft suspension setup, the car bounces downwards which can sometimes end up scraping its belly. But then again, that’s about the only nitpicking I can do as on all other aspects, the EQC is impressive and shows just how good an electric car can be.

So having spent the day driving the electric Mercedes-Benz through some cumbersome Delhi traffic and some nice roads as well, I can safely say that the Mercedes-Benz EQC is a nice car. It impresses on almost all fronts. However, the big question that remains to be answered is the price tag that this car will come at.

You see, the EQC has no competition, this will be the industry benchmark which all other automakers have to catch up to. And for this very reason, it can be a story of success for Mercedes-Benz provided they price it well. And having driven it and having seen how good the EQC is, I hope that that’s a good one.




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