Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

We get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQC – the EV version of the mighty GLC…

The EQC was the first all-electric model from Mercedes-Benz when it was launched in 2019, and its upmarket rivals include the BMW iX3, Audi Q8 e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and Genesis GV70.

Handsome and well-proportioned, it has aged well and has serious road presence. Inside, it’s a classy blend of technology, comfort, space and excellent build quality.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The EQC’s 80kWh battery pack sits in the floor, while two electric motors are positioned on each axle, enabling four-wheel-drive.

Producing a substantial 402bhp and 560lb ft (760Nm) of torque, it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 112mph.

Claimed range is up to 254 miles, which is average these days, and closer to 200 miles in real-world driving.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The EQC has a maximum 110kW charging capability, meaning a boost from 10-80% can take 40 minutes. Naturally, it will also charge overnight using a 7kW wallbox.

To put that into context – cheaper, newer rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 have a charge rate of up to 350kW – that’s 10-80% in just 18 minutes.

Naturally, there’s the commanding view of the road you’d expect from a big SUV, while the latest MBUX infotainment and driver information system (which stretches across most of the dashboard) is a particular interior highlight.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The MBUX’s party piece is the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice-control feature which, for the most part, understands commands said in plain English.

And thankfully, there are still plenty of switches and buttons spread around so not all functionality is controlled via the touchscreen.

There’s a decent amount of space in the cabin too, though taller rear passengers might struggle for headroom, thanks to that elegant roofline. It should also be noted that this is a five-seater – you’ll have to go for an EQB if you want three rows.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Boot capacity is a useful 500 litres, expanding to 1,460 litres with the 40/20/40-split back seats folded.

On the road, Mercedes-Benz has done a fine job of masking the EQC’s 2.5-tonne weight and it’s only when you push on in faster, twisty roads that you realise that discretion is the better part of valour.

In its element on motorways and fast A-roads, where it’s an effortless, refined and relaxed cruiser, there’s also plenty of punch in reserve should you need it.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The steering is light and precise, especially around town, plus there’s ample grip from those huge wheels (20 or 21 inches, depending on the trim level).

The ride is excellent, and for the most part it glides over poorer road surfaces, only coming unstuck over sleeping policeman and steep driveways, for instance, where the low front air dam rubber flaps scrape unless you’re extra cautious.

So, the EQC is an impressive EV, but it comes at a price. The entry-level AMG Line starts at £74,330, the AMG Line Premium is £78,975, while the range-topping AMG Line is priced from £81,225. To give it its full title, our test car was an EQC 400 4MATIC AMG Line.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

And as you’d expect from a car in this price range, the EQC is one of the safest vehicles on the road, achieving a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. A full suite of safety and driver assistance systems are available, with parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind-spot alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and LED headlights as standard.

Verdict: The Mercedes-Benz EQC should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a premium zero emissions SUV. It may not have class-leading dynamics or range, but it’s fast, safe, spacious, comfortable, loaded with tech and oozes class.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Electrified Genesis GV70 review

Electrified Genesis GV70

We road test the new electric version of one of the stars of the Genesis range – the GV70 medium-sized SUV…

Before we start, if you’re unfamiliar with the Genesis brand, then here’s a quick recap.

Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota or Infiniti/Nissan.

Electrified Genesis GV70

Genesis was launched in the UK in the summer of 2021 and the GV70 was one of the first models, though at the time it was only available with petrol and diesel engines.

Fast forward to 2022 and an all-electric variant of the GV70 has been added to the range, though it’s marketed as the ‘Electrified GV70’, which is a term more often associated with hybrids.

Starting at £64,405, it is on the pricey side and its main competitors include the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Tesla Model Y.

Electrified Genesis GV70

Currently only available with all-wheel drive, the Electrified GV70 combines a 77.4kWh battery with two electric motors, delivering 700Nm of torque and a range of up to 283 miles.

Most of the time it pushes out 436hp and can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 4.8 seconds.

However, if you hit the ‘Boost’ button on the steering wheel you get access to the full power (483bhp), for about 10 seconds, which is enough to reduce the 0-62mph time to just 4.2 seconds.

Electrified Genesis GV70

Apart from the instant torque and the refined, whisper quiet driving experience, the EV version of the GV70 is much the same as its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) siblings – which is no bad thing.

The GV70’s classy interior has comfortable leather seats and it oozes quality. There’s a huge 14.5-inch central infotainment screen which can be operated by touch or via the rotary dial down by the gear selector.

Thankfully, it’s not too minimalist either. Instead, there are some accessible buttons and switches – and most importantly of all – physical climate controls.

Electrified Genesis GV70

There’s plenty of space for rear passengers, while the luggage capacity is a little smaller than the non-electric versions, but it’s still a decent 503 litres with the seats in place. Flip them down and there’s a useful 1,678-litre load space with good access.

For  substantial 2.3-tonne SUV that wasn’t designed as a pure electric vehicle from the ground up, the GV70 handles surprisingly well.

The suspension is on the firm side, but the overall driving experience is a relaxing one. Unlike some competitors, it can be hustled on more challenging roads and it’s good fun – especially in Sport mode.

Electrified Genesis GV70

Naturally there’s a bit of body roll in faster corners, but it’s not excessive and the Electrified GV70 remains composed.

Add precise steering, good visibility and plenty of traction to the well soundproofed cabin (there are double-glazed windows and an acoustic laminated windscreen to help minimise tyre and wind noise), and it just keeps ticking the right boxes.

There are Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes, plus a one-pedal driving option which can bring the car to a halt without having to touch the brake pedal.

Electrified Genesis GV70

It also features an e-Terrain mode, but we didn’t get to test it in anger. Let’s just say that it’s probably more than enough to get you out of a muddy field at a festival site.

Living with the Electrified GV70 is easier than some rivals too, because it comes with an ultra-fast charging capability, which can take the battery from 10-80% in 18 minutes when hooked up to a super rapid 350kW charger.

There is also a vehicle-to-load feature (V2L) for plugging in external devices, such as camping equipment, laptops or tools, for example.

Electrified Genesis GV70

It’s also worth noting that Genesis has a deal with the IONITY charging network which means five years’ of discount rates.

If safety is a priority then it won’t disappoint either. The Genesis GV70 range enjoys a five-star score from Euro NCAP, with high ratings in the occupant and safety tech categories.

The long list of standard safety and driver assistance kit includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, automatic high beams, rear-cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and a reversing camera.

Electrified Genesis GV70

Finally, don’t forget that Genesis offers a completely different VIP ownership experience.

There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout the ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: Handsome, generously equipped, safe, spacious, comfortable, packed with tech and a joy to drive, the Electrified GV70 is one of the best big zero emissions SUVs on the market. If that hasn’t convinced you, then add the VIP ownership experience and five-year warranty/care plan to the list.

Genesis UK

Electrified Genesis GV70

Wraps come off the all-new Polestar 3 SUV

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Polestar 3 SUV

Swedish EV maker Polestar has unveiled its first SUV – a car which is expected to turbo-charge the brand’s sales.

Priced from £79,900, it was also be the first Polestar to be produced on two continents – Chengdu, China and Ridgeville, South Carolina.

Polestar 3 will compete with other electric SUVs in the premium sector, including the Jaguar I-Pace, BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron.

Polestar 3 SUV

It will launch with a dual-motor powertrain, which in standard form produces 483bhp and 618lb ft of torque. That’s enough to power the 2.5-tonne 4×4 from 0-62mph in 5.0sec and on to a top speed of 130mph.

An optional Performance Pack adds an extra 27bhp and 51lb ft, shaving 0.3sec off the 0-62mph sprint.

More importantly to some, the long Range Polestar 3 will have a 111kWh lithium ion battery that has a claimed range of up to 379 miles and a peak charging rate of 250kW. It’s also capable of bidirectional vehicle-to-grid charging and features a heat pump as standard.

Polestar 3 SUV

The car’s rakish profile is reminiscent of a stretched Volvo C40 Recharge, while aerodynamic touches include air channels at the front of the bonnet, plus a raised spoiler at the top of the tailgate.

The materials used inside Polestar 3 have been selected for their sustainability credentials. These include bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholsteries.

“Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. 

“It takes our manufacturing footprint to the next level, bringing Polestar production to the United States. We are proud and excited to expand our portfolio as we continue our rapid growth.”

Polestar 3 SUV

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BMW iX review

BMW iX review

Time to road test the futuristic new flagship of BMW’s family of electric vehicles…

Let’s start by tackling the elephant in the room, because BMW’s big, bold new electric SUV divides opinion.

And I’ll admit, I had my doubts when I saw the first pictures, but let me reassure you – it looks much cooler in the metal.

It’s been quite a wait too (it was previewed as the Vision iNext concept at the 2018 Paris Motor Show), but the good news is that it’s been well worth it.

BMW iX review

The iX is hugely important to BMW. It joins the evergreen i3 and more recent iX3 (an electrified X3) in the range and heralds the transition of the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ brand to zero emissions vehicles.

Priced from £69,905 (xDrive40) to £91,905 (xDrive50) and billed as an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), at launch it’s available with two powertrain options – both using a twin electric motor set-up (one at each axle) providing all-wheel drive.

The xDrive40 makes 321bhp and 464lb ft of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. The 76kWh battery pack provides a range of up to 257 miles.

BMW iX review

The range-topping xDrive50 produces 516bhp and 564lb ft of torque, and boasts a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.6 seconds. Maximum speed is also limited to 124mph, while its epic 111.5kWh battery can return up to 380 miles.

The xDrive40 is capable of charging at speeds of up to 150kW, which is fast enough to gain more than 56 miles of charge in 10 minutes. The xDrive50 has a 200kW charging capability which can add 75 miles in as little as 10 minutes.

Both cars can be charged from 10% to 80% capacity in less than 35 minutes.

BMW iX review

About the same size as an X5 and comparable in height to an X6, the iX’s is far more futuristic – inside and out.

Each iX uses about 60kg of recycled plastic and half the car’s aluminium is re-used, while synthetic yarn made from recycled nylon waste material forms its carpeting and floor mats.

The interior is minimalistic, classy and beautifully put together. The dashboard is dominated by a curved twin-screen set-up that houses a 12.3-inch driver’s display and 14.9-inch central touchscreen running BMW’s slick next-generation infotainment interface.

BMW iX review

Then there’s the hexagonal steering wheel, an updated version of the iDrive rotary controller, integrated touch controls in the wooden veneer and slimline air vents. Naturally, voice control is available too.

BMW should also be commended for featuring a climate control system that can be accessed at all times without having to dig deep into the menu layers. Take note VW Group.

Thanks to its long wheelbase, there’s no shortage of space inside the cabin (limo-like in the back for passengers). Boot capacity is a good, but not class-leading 500 litres, expanding to 1,750 litres when the rear seats are folded.

BMW iX review

I tested both the xDrive40 and xDrive50 and it’s clear from the outset that both manage to deliver a balance of comfort, refinement and performance. In fact, the iX is one of the quietest EVs on the market.

The xDrive40 is quick, while the xDrive50 is blisteringly fast, especially in Sport mode where a video game ‘whoosh’ sound accompanies the rollercoaster-like acceleration.

The iX is new from the ground up, which means it’s been designed for optimal placement of the batteries and motors, resulting in even weight distribution and impressive body control for such a big vehicle.

BMW iX review

It’s possible to hustle the iX on more challenging country roads, but there’s no disguising its size and weight (2.5 tonnes) and it would be an exaggeration to call it nimble. Of the two models, the xDrive50 is the more agile, partly down to its rear-wheel steering.

The ride in the xDrive40 is smooth, but the xDrive50 gets air suspension, which helps it deal with lumps and bumps better, resulting in a near-magic carpet experience.

Overall, the iX is a majestic cruiser and surprisingly manoeuvrable in town too, thanks to good visibility, stacks of driver assistance tech and light steering.

BMW iX review

Without living with the iX for a few weeks, it’s impossible to pass judgement on the claimed ranges. However, with a little restraint I’d estimate that in real world driving, ranges of 225 miles (xDrive40) and 350 miles (xDrive50) are quite possible.

A quick word for the regenerative braking system which recharges the battery on the move by harvesting energy otherwise lost when you lift off the accelerator or brake. Unlike many EVs, the iX’s brakes have a progressive feel and offer serious stopping power.

Needless to stay, the iX passed its Euro NCAP crash tests with flying colours, garnering a maximum five stars. It was praised for both its outstanding occupant protection and its advanced driver assistance systems, which help to prevent accidents.

BMW iX

The iX’s rivals include the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Verdict: BMW may be a little late to the big electric SUV party, but the futuristic iX has been well worth the wait. A bold new flagship for the premium brand’s family of EVs, it offers a long driving range, impressive driving dynamics, comfort and performance, coupled with cutting-edge tech, supreme build quality and serious badge appeal.

BMW UK

BMW iX review

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

If want to drive a big 4×4, but would rather keep on the right side of eco warriors, then the latest EV from Audi could be the car for you…

Not only does it possess premium badge appeal, but with zero tailpipe emissions, it couldn’t be kinder to the environment.

What’s more, because it’s so similar to Audi’s conventional 4x4s, inside and out, it makes the switch from fossil fuels to battery electric so much smoother.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

The e-tron SUV first hit UK roads in 2019. The more athletic Sportback version (a streamlined roof gives it a coupe-esque look) followed a year later.

Now, the new ‘S’ is the sportiest version yet and will allow you to impress even the most traditional of petrol heads.

It can sprint from standstill to 62mph in just 4.5 seconds (a full second quicker than the standard e-tron) and on to a top speed of 130mph.

Naturally, it’s all-wheel drive, but unlike most of its rivals, which make do with two electric motors, the e-tron S has three – one up front and two at the back.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

It’s not just blisteringly fast, the e-tron S boasts serious road presence. Chunky, yet sporty, its front end is dominated by Audi’s aggressive ‘Singleframe’ grille and flashy LED lights. Head back and the profile is sharply styled, the wheels are enormous, and the rear is suitably pert.

The interior is just what you expect from Audi – a classy blend of soft-touch surfaces, leather, brushed chrome and state-of-the-art technology.

The cabin is spacious with ample room for rear seat passengers and a useful 615 litres of boot space (1,665 litres with the back seats folded), plus 60 litres under the bonnet (ideal for storing cables).

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Naturally, the driving position offers a commanding view of the road, while the level of refinement on the road is superb – partly down to the electric motor, but also its slippery shape and high build quality.

Tech highlights include Audi’s slick infotainment system utilising twin touchscreens, the lower of which displays the climate controls, but doubles as a writing pad for writing in a sat nav destination, for instance.

There’s also a digital driver’s display, plus stacks of safety and driver assistance equipment – and seven drive modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual, Off Road and All Road.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

You can also select Drive and Sport next to the gear selector. Drive is your day-to-day setting, while Sport unleashes all the car’s performance, increasing power for up to eight seconds.

Put your foot down and there’s that instant torque that all EVs deliver, yet it’s even more impressive in the mighty 2.6-tonne e-tron S.

Its agility seems to defy the laws of physics, delivering a composed and planted experience regardless of whether you’re cruising on a motorway or enjoying challenging country roads. It’s also more than capable of tackling off-road terrain.

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Of course, its proportions can make it a handful in town, but with great visibility, cameras and all-round sensors, you soon adjust.

However, no car is perfect and the e-tron S is no exception. On paper it has a range of up to 224 miles, but in the real world you’re looking at closer to 200 miles.

Unless you need a car to regularly cover that kind of mileage or you can’t fit a home charger, that might be a deal-breaker.

For the record, it will charge overnight from home and can take as little as 30 minutes to charge from 5% to 80% using a 150kW public charger (if you can find one).

Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro review

Finally, let’s not forget the price of the e-Tron S. The basic e-tron will set you back at least £62,560. The e-tron S Sportback starts at £88,760, and if it’s loaded with extras, can end up closer to £100,000.

Rivals include everything from the Jaguar I-Pace to the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Verdict: The Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro is a class act – an enticing, zero emissions blend of performance, luxury and driving pleasure. Spacious and with genuine off-road ability, it’s a dream SUV for many.