After a 12-year hiatus, Mercedes-Benz once again has ownership of the Wheels Car of the Year trophy with its all-electric EQC.
Somewhat of a surprise packet, the seven judges deemed the Merc EV as the cream of the 31-car crop for 2020.
Where other EVs have failed at the final hurdle with range issues (think Jaguar I-Pace), the Mercedes proved it could all-but match its WLTP claim of 353km, while cocooning its occupants in traditional Three Pointed Star luxury.
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However, the crucial factor that got the EQC over the line is its normalcy in the face of futuristic technology – this is an EV without compromise.
There’s no quirk, apart from some space-age displays and design elements, while the SUV practicality remains. One judge went as far as to say that the EQC is the best SUV Mercedes-Benz makes.
That rhetoric slowly became commonplace on the eight-day test as the EQC kept ticking COTY criteria, sneaking its way into the judges’ final reckoning among a group of heavy hitters.
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And by then, most were enamoured with the Mercedes-Benz EQC as it continued to impress on the open roads of country Victoria, just as it did at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground.
Interestingly, the EQC is the first winner to be completely sans an internal-combustion engine. The Honda CR-Z utilises a hybrid powertrain (and with a manual gearbox), while the BMW i3 was offered with a range-extender variant when it won in 2014.
For a full rundown of the how and why the EQC became the 2020 COTY winner, check out the next issue of Wheels magazine, on stands from February 3.