Of the five finalists for Wheels COTY 2020, the Mercedes-Benz EQC is the dark horse.
Coming into testing, there were high expectations for the Mazda3, Tesla Model 3, Toyota Rav4 and Porsche 911.
If you asked any of the judges what they thought would make the final five before testing started, you’d be hard pressed to have a single nomination for Mercedes-Benz’s first EV.
But here it is, having barged its way into the pointy end of the field with an excellent performance at the first round of testing.
This is an electric vehicle that does away with novelty and gimmicks, and instead gets on with the job of being a damn fine automobile.
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Despite its size and heft, the EQC is also deceptively quick; beating Merc’s claimed 0-100km/h time by almost half second during testing.
Judges were mightily impressed with how the EQC rode, praising the suspension and chassis tune.
Comfort and packaging were also highlighted by the judging panel, showcasing the EQC’s ability to offer genuine practicality.
The COTY road loop is a demanding beast, and the judges tackle it with great enthusiasm, yet the EQC’s real-world consumption didn’t falter, holding steadfast throughout testing.
In order to claim the biggest award in Australian motoring, the Mercedes-Benz EQC will have to beat four pre-event favourites. Can it do it, and provide Merc its first COTY in 12 years? All will be revealed at the Australian Motoring Awards on January 30.