Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4 Squared Review< Back to blog
Electric off-road cars are somewhat of a niche offering, but a luxury EV (electric vehicle) is a common sight on our roads. So, what happens when you combine both these concepts? You get the Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4 Squared of course.
Sales of the standard EQC, which launched back in May 2019, have been too few to worry the ever-popular Tesla Model X rival. Just 700 have been pushed in Europe since then, but the German giant hopes to increase the EQC’s desirability by adding off-road capabilities to the existing model.
The rugged Merc EQC hasn’t been confirmed for production yet, but the showcasing of it on the brand’s social networks is a promising sign that it could well be in dealerships before we know it.
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Do you want to find out more about the personality of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4 Squared? Read on for details of its price, key features and more to discover what you can expect from it.
What is it?
In a nutshell, the EQC 4×4 Squared is a jacked up version of the standard electric luxury SUV. An off-road vehicle suspension sits underneath it, plus chunky 20″ wheels that give the car plenty of ground clearance that makes getting over challenging obstacles easy as you’d like.
Amazingly, none of the typical cabin serenity offered from EVs’ near-silent motors is never compromised when you start hitting the rougher stuff.
A limited-slip differential makes light work of limiting wheelspin on slippery surfaces that would challenge the average motor, such as a mud track or a stream of water. On top of this there’s instant four-wheel drive, 400bhp from the electric motors and an ‘Off-Road+’ specific driving mode that tweaks the onboard electronics so that it really rolls its sleeves up and gets stuck in.
What’s it like to drive?
Stability and ride comfort aren’t the two qualities you’d think of first if someone was to ask you ‘What would you expect from an off-road vehicle?’ However, there’s now an increasing demand for all-terrain cars to match the level of interior refinement offered by modern road cruisers.
We’ve seen it in the likes of the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender and Merc’s juxtaposing thirsty, beefy G-Class. Comfy cloth/leather interiors are standard, so too are full infotainment systems and a plethora of advanced driver assistance/convenience technologies.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4 Squared continues this trend. Despite its high-riding body and massive alloys, there’s no rough feedback when you’re off the beaten track. This is mostly thanks to the sophisticated systems Mercedes has packed into it (i.e. limited-slip differential, four-wheel drive, portal axle etc.) which ensures there’s plenty of traction on awkward terrains such as snow, mud and shale.
Because Merc knew that most of the Squared’s customers would want at least some ability to keep composure on the road when one inevitably crops up, you’ll be glad to know that it has enough ability on the mains. It handles keenly and a range of more than 200 miles on a full charge from the 80kWh battery (the same one fitted in the standard version) means there’s plenty of flexibility for daily driving and the occasional long-distance trip.
Structurally you may find the off-road EQC has slightly less practical build than its city-going twin. By this we’re referring to the prominent wheel arch flares that jut out slightly, adding a bit more width to the vehicle – it’s not much, but you’ll want to keep an eye on it before going full steam ahead through a narrow gateway.
Quality inside the EQC 4×4 Squared is identical to the standard model, but as standard you’ll get some additional programming options that allow you to make the most of the car’s rugged nature.
One neat feature is how the regen braking function doubles up as a hill descent control function, helping you ease down difficult slopes and at the same time charge the batteries. A handy feature if you’re out and about in the wild and don’t have quick access to a charger. However, we’d recommend that you use this car as more of a fun weekend away adventure vehicle than a full-time mountain-goer. For that you’d need to be towing a really good diesel generator in order to create enough electricity to keep your EV topped up on juice while you’re out in the sticks.
The beautiful MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system greets you when you step inside. This comes as standard with twin 10.25″ digital displays – the dashboard one being touchscreen – that show you everything from remaining charge and sat nav directions to your Spotify playlists and other apps through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
It’s not yet clear as to whether real leather seats will be standard, but they are in all but the entry-level Sport model in the regular EQC. So, one would hope that a first iteration of this car, if it were to go to small-scale production, would feature this typically Mercedes touch of class.
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