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This is the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400, the first model coming from the company’s new all-electric EQ sub-brand, part of their “Ambition 2039” to go completely CO2-neutral in the next 19 years.
To most people’s surprise, the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 has none of the gimmicky embellishments seen on some of the premium electric cars on the road. Instead what you get is a well-built conventional-looking car, with a practical design and armed well for the mission zero-emission at hand.

  • Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 electric SUV review by Car India

Exterior design
Brand loyalists will appreciate the simple lines and clean design which make the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 appear classy and premium. I think the conventional-looking front grille with a large logo looks rather interesting on an EV. Interesting bits include stylish daytime running lights, blue highlights in the headlamps, and an AMG-inspired glossy strip running under the front grille. The profile looks a lot like the GLC but the EV is about 100 millimetres longer despite the two sharing the platform and having a common 2,873-mm wheelbase. The rear gets sleek lights connecting the breadth of the boot-lid but those faux exhaust tips on the rear bumper seem like overkill. Like a conventional car, the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 gets a long bonnet to make onlookers believe there’s an in-line four hidden underneath and the charging port located under the traditional fuel filling lid.

Cabin and Interior
The five-seater cabin of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 has been designed to make first-time electric car-buyers feel right at home. The interior borrows quite a few bits from the GLC, which, from a quality maker like Mercedes-Benz, isn’t really a bad thing. The layout of the dashboard, the centre console, and the impressively long MBUX display make the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 a happy place to be in. It pampers you with the usual top-class materials, finesse, and features along with a gentle reminder that it’s an electric car. To make this cabin unique, Mercedes have laced it with futuristic ribbed metal accents and delicate rose gold highlights, and use ARTICO man-made leather and indigo DINAMICA microfibre upholstery. I’m yet to come across a more plush cabin of an electric car that can match the quality and finish of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400.
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 electric SUV review by Car India

Features and Equipment
The onboard features of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 are also second to none, including things like a heads-up display that offers info such as speed and navigation directions, the MBUX infotainment gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while there are a host of connected car technologies and a Burmester music system. Yes, it does get a sunroof and ambient lighting, too, apart from other useful features such as lane-keep assist, cruise control, digital cluster, and a whole lot of safety tech. Kids will love the augmented-reality navigation, wherein the front camera projects the road ahead on the infotainment screen while giant arrows direct you to the destination.

Electric Motor
The floor-mounted battery alone weighs 652 kg. While a pair of asynchronous electric motors power the EV, one fitted to each axle, drawing energy from the 80-kWh battery to churn out a combined power output of 408 hp and 760 Nm of torque. The idea of this split set-up is to optimize energy consumption. Which means while driving gently or in city conditions, the front motor does most of the footwork. During hard acceleration and spirited driving, the rear motor plays a more prominent part.
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 electric SUV review by Car India

Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 vs Indian Roads
It took me no time to get used to the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400, because it feels like driving a conventional car. But this electric car is so low that it scraped over every single speed bump we encountered. The non-adjustable ground clearance of about 130 mm is just not enough for our road conditions. The combination of coil springs up front and air suspension in the rear does deliver a supremely comfortable ride. But you’ll be tense all the time, fearing damage to the underbelly of this Rs 1 crore-plus premium e-SUV.

(Also Read: MG ZS EV Electric SUV Review)

Acceleration and Performance
Step on the accelerator pedal and the luxurious Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 surges ahead instantaneously. The claimed 0-100 km/h time of 5.1 seconds really does trespass into AMG territory and seems to be surprisingly accurate. No doubt that the performance is electrifying and what amazed me was how noiseless the car is. The NVH level on the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 is a class apart. Before you know it, this electric luxury car’s hits 120 km/h and doesn’t hesitate to touch the top speed of 180 km/h.

Battery Charging and Range
To completely charge the battery using a basic home charger takes 21 hours, while the company fitted AC Wallbox promises to do the job in about 10 hours. There’s also the option of going from 10 to 80 per cent in 40 minutes, provided you visit the Mercedes-Benz India plant to plug into the company’s only DC fast charger currently.
The company presentation indicated that the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 has a 450-km range according to the generous NEDC test cycle. But it would seem far-fetched going by our road and traffic conditions. This luxury EV should give a real-world range of close to 250 km on a full charge. Which, to think of, should comfortably last you for at least five days of city commuting before needing to be plugged in.
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 electric SUV review by Car India

Conclusion
After a day of driving through varied road conditions, including scaling some hilly roads, the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 proved to be an extremely comfortable and spirited driving partner. What makes it a landmark model is that it is the beginning of a new chapter for the German brand which is planning to bring another 10 all-electric models over the next decade. And yes, it’s coming to India this year with an expected price of Rs 1.2 crore. The biggest highlight of this Mercedes-Benz that it truly is a luxury car and you don’t feel that guilty about the performance because there’s zero tailpipe emission.

Also Read: Tesla Tales – The Latest News from the World’s Foremost EV Car Brand

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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