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The Top Gear car review: Mercedes-Benz EQC
What is it like on the road?
Awesome refinement is its main appeal. Low-speed motor whine is absent, and high-speed tyre and suspension noise are also brilliantly suppressed. It’s fabulously serene. The ride isn’t pillow-soft, so you know there’s a bumpy road beneath. But it does filter out secondary harshness really nicely. So it’s fabulously serene.
But it’s a two-and-a-half tonne car and feels it, especially since the damping – which isn’t adaptive – is soft. Chuck it around bends and it rolls and pitches and generally comes over all calm-down-madam on you. Just ease off and stretch the range.
Acceleration is really solid if you ask, thanks to front and rear motors of 204bhp each. The 0-62mph number is 5.1 seconds, and it’ll get close to that even in poor grip because the traction control is so good.
But the performance impression comes more from the motors’ instant wits than it does from the actual sustained rate of acceleration, which is tethered by the mass. Also, like many EVs, its acceleration from above 60mph or so would be beaten by a combustion car in kickdown mode. There’s no kickdown here: it’s single-speed.
You can set the EQC’s regenerative braking at several levels. The cleverest is the efficiency-chasing ‘auto’ setting. This uses the car’s camera and radar sensors, and navigation data, to build up a picture of what’s ahead. The speed of the car you’re following, the speed limits applying and upcoming, hills and valleys and junctions and bends – they’re all taken into account. Dashboard symbols encourage you to lift early and coast, and regeneration cuts in only when needed.
This can feel odd, because the car doesn’t consistently behave according to your foot position. But it eventually encourages you into range-stretching behaviour that doesn’t actually lose you much time in normal traffic.