Audi e-tron vs Mercedes-Benz EQC vs Jaguar I-Pace: Price and specification comparison
The EV market is thriving in India and manufacturers are now getting committed to going all-electric in the near future. Modern long-range EVs hit the scene about two years ago, with Hyundai, MG, Tata Motors and even Mahindra leading the charge. However, European automakers also seem keen to join the party and are bringing their luxury EVs to Indian shores. To start with, the Mercedes-Benz EQC was the first-ever luxury EV last year in India followed by the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron, whose launch is slated for July 22. We’re itching to get all three cars for a full-blown comparison test, but we’re going to have to make do with a specification comparison for the time being. Let’s see how they stack up on paper!
Design and dimension
These three manufacturers have chosen rather different approaches to style their EVs. The Jaguar I-Pace and the Mercedes-EQC look rather distinct, and different from the ICE lineup of cars. On the other hand, Audi took a conservative approach for the e-tron’s design. It is worth mentioning here that the I-Pace has won the World Car Design of the year award in 2019, for its brilliant styling. All three cars carry smooth and sleek lines to reduce drag, which goes a long way in improving the range on these EVs. So, we will also see which is the most slippery one with the least drag coefficient.
The Jaguar I-Pace is 4682mm long, 2139mm wide, and 1566mm tall. Despite being the most compact car of the three, the I-Pace boasts its longest wheelbase of 2990mm and its compactness combined with an EV’s lower centre of mass should make the I-Pace most agile here. It has a cab-forward design to accommodate the 90kWh battery placement on the floor. And as for a customer’s viewpoint, this should contribute to more knee room and cabin space. The only inconvenience is that the rear passenger’s knees are high up which hinder under-thigh support, as we found when we drove the car not too long ago. It also has a boot space of 683-litres back and front to haul your luggage.
The Audi e-tron is the most obese here. Its dimensions measure 4901mm long, 2192mm wide, and 1632mm tall with a wheelbase of 2928mm. And there is ample space inside: most of the three cars here! It can seat three adults abreast in the back and has a generous knee room and headroom. One thing to note here is that even with the battery pack fitted on the floor like all EVs, the seats are positioned high enough so that there is good thigh support.
The EQC sits in the middle in this size comparison. It is 4762mm long, 1844mm wide, making it the slimmest of the bunch, and 1624mm tall with a wheelbase of 2873mm. It may be longer than the I-Pace, but it is shorter and narrower and doesn’t have the same squat stance. Being based on the GLC, the EQC doesn’t have the same amount of cabin space in the back. And only 500-litre of the boot space is adequate, but nowhere close to its rivals.
Mind you, these impressions about space are from having driven all these cars separately over the last few months. We will give you more detailed insights once we drive them back-to-back.
Power, range and performance
EVs are designed around the concept of restoring God’s green earth, but science gives the engineers a leeway to be cheeky. Just look at the torque and acceleration figures here! These cars will rearrange your organs while taking care of mother nature simultaneously!
The EQC has the smallest battery capacity (80kWh) of the three but it can do a 0-100kmph in a claimed 5.1 seconds and it goes all the way up to an electronically limited 185kmph. And if you behave, it has a claimed range of 450km (on the WLTP cycle) but it will be slightly lower than that in the real world. As for charging, the Mercedes will provide a regular charger for home sockets and that will fully charge the EQC in 21 hours. Along with that, the Mercedes’ technicians will visit the customer’s home to check if they can install a 7.4kW AC wall box that will charge the EQC in ten hours. The EQC can be charged at a maximum of 110 kW and if you have the access to a public DC charger, the EQC will be fully charged only in 90 minutes.
The I-Pace is the lightest and the smallest here, it has a 90kWh battery capacity and it has a claimed range of 470km on the WLTP cycle. And in dynamic mode, Jaguar claims it can do a nought to 100kmph in 4.9 seconds, which makes it the quickest luxury EV here. It has the highest top speed as well, of 200kmph. Jaguar offers the owners a 7.4kW AC wall box charger that will charge up the Jag in 14 hours and on a 50 kW public DC charging point it will take approximately one and a half hours to charge from 0-80 percent.
The Audi e-tron 55 has the biggest 95kWh battery capacity (the 50 has a smaller battery, lower outputs and less performance so we aren’t considering it for this test). It has 355 bhp in its usual driving modes but there is a ‘boost mode,’ select it and the car will supply 402bhp and 664Nm to all four wheels for a short duration of eight seconds. At this peak performance, the e-tron will accelerate from a standstill to 100kmph in 5.88 seconds, as we tested with our VBOX timing equipment. That makes the e-tron the slowest accelerating of this bunch. The claimed range for the e-tron is 359km to 484km, but our testing in Indian conditions showed a real-world range of 270-370km depending on how you drive. The e-tron will take about eight hours to charge a fully flat battery upto 80 percent with an 11kW wall box charger. The e-tron has a maximum charging capacity of 150kW and it will fully charge the battery in only 45 minutes.
In terms of features, the Jaguar I-pace has Velar like flush door handles, two touchscreens (a 10-inch infotainment display and a 5.5-inch screen for HVAC and drive modes) with Pivi Pro, integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cabin pre-conditioning with two-zone climate control as standard. Additionally, it will have a 400W, 12-speaker Meridian sound system as standard, eight-way adjustable semi-powered front seats, and a 360-degree camera system. Optional features like optional four-zone climate control and the 750W Meridian 3D Surround Sound system with 16 speakers and a subwoofer are also on offer.
Audi is bringing the e-tron with two forms — e-tron SUV and the e-tron Sportback. There will be two variants for the former, the e-tron 50 and the e-tron 55, and only one variant for the latter, the e-tron Sportback 55. The e-tron will get four-zone climate control and adaptive air suspension as standard. Additional features like ambient lighting, Audi’s ‘virtual cockpit’ digital dials, powered front seats with memory, and a panoramic sunroof are also on offer. For the higher-spec 55 variants, it has a Technology Package, which includes LED headlamps with animation projections and follow-me-home features, a 360-degree camera, an air quality package, and a 705W Bang and Olufsen, 16-speaker Premium 3D sound system.
And lastly, the EQC has a MBUX multimedia system with a new ‘EQ’ sub-menu, pre-entry climate control, Mercedes me Charge, 7 airbags, ISOFIX child seats attachment, attention assist, connected car tech, a sunroof and a voice assistant. It also gets radar-based cruise control and three-dimensional maps. One big miss on the EQC is the lack of air suspension, something that both the other cars here get. That allows them to raise their ride height at the push of a button — something that is critical for these EVs as the ground clearance is compromised with the batteries being on the floor.
The price of the e-tron range will finally be announced on July 22 and we expect the prices will start from Rs 1.2 crore. It will be expensive because it has the biggest battery here, and is also the biggest car here. But in the case of the I-Pace and the EQC, the pricing is really competitive and the difference is negligible between the two. The Jaguar I-Pace is priced from Rs 1.06 crore for the S variant and goes upto Rs 1.12 crore for the HSE variant. The EQC 400 4MATIC, the sole variant from the manufacturer, comes with a price tag of Rs 1.04 crore. All prices are ex-showroom.
Which one wins? Well, the Audi e-tron will be our pick if you desire luxury and space. But the I-Pace as it is the smallest, lightest and quickest one here with its handling and space packaging on point and should be your pick if you want performance out of your electric SUV. The EQC? Well, its appeal lies in its price and the fact that Mercedes-Benz has the widest network of all the luxury car manufacturers in India. Which one would you like to have?