This is the Mercedes-Benz EQA, a new compact electric crossover that goes up against other EVs like the Audi Q4 e-tron and Volvo XC40 Recharge P6. Mercedes is going big on electric cars and it is set to launch several new electric models in the next few years, including the newly-announced EQE and EQS. The EQA is one of the most affordable electric models in Mercedes’ current lineup and it is the one that it expects to become its best-selling electric car, with prices starting from around €56,000 in Ireland and a range of up to 423 kilometres.
The EQA is based on the same platform as the Mercedes GLA, but the engine is replaced with an electric motor and a 66.5 kilowatt hour Lithium ion battery. It looks different to the GLA from the outside however, with a flush black grille, EQ headlights and an LED light stripthat runs across the front end. 18-inch alloy wheels are standard across the range, but sportier 19-inch or 20-inch wheels are also available, which does effect range slightly. There are 10 colour options to choose from, this one being denim blue metallic. At the rear there are LED lights that run the full width of the car in similar style to the Mercedes EQC, while the charge port is located where you would normally find the fuel filler cap.
Stepping inside, the EQA is very similar to the latest Mercedes GLA, but there are a few subtle differences and it is suitably premium throughout and one of the best interiors of any electric car on the market at this price point. The finish feels premium throughout with lots of high quality materials that feel nice to touch, apart from a few hard plastics in places. Another area where the EQA impresses is with Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system which comprises of two 10-inch screens that can be controlled through a touch screen, a touchpad on the centre console or with buttons on the steering wheel.
Apple Car Play and Android Auto are both standard and the system is clear and simple to use. It also gets Mercedes voice control which allows you to set navigation, make phone calls or select music on the move. The driving position is very comfortable and there is plenty of adjustment available, so all in, front seat passengers will find it easy to get comfortable on long journeys.
The EQA’s battery is located under the floor which means Mercedes has had to raise the floor of the car, and this means that your legs are raised quite high when sitting in the rear seats. The rear seating position isn’t as good as the GLA but there is plenty of room with good headroom and it feels quite spacious. There is a centre armrest with cupholders built-in and it is nice to note that the three rear seats fold down individually which is useful for quick access to the boot. There is also a USB-C charge point although it would have been nice to get two. Boot space is 340 litres which is significantly less than the Mercedes GLA which is 445 litres in size, but the space itself is good with no load lip and a small area for stowing your charge cables underneath the boot floor.
There is a useful area 31 litres of space under the bonnet where you would normally find the engine, and this is a great place to store charge cables. Unfortunately there isn’t a front trunk or storage area underneath the bonnet like you get with many other electric cars.
So what is it like to drive? The EQA uses a 66.5 kWh battery powering a single electric motor and front wheels for a total of 190 horsepower. Unlike many of its rivals, the EQA isn’t particularly fast in a straight line, it can cover 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds which is tame by most electric car standards. That said, buyers are more likely to care about the EQA’s range than how fast it can go, and it has a WLTP certified range of 423 kilometres. From our time driving the EQA, we’ve found that to be an accurate representation too.
A circa 400 kilometre range should be enough to please most buyers, but a lot of EVs coming to market with over 500 kilometres of range, so the EQA’s range could be described as decent if not top of the class. The EQA has an 11 kilowatt on board charger which means charging at home with a wallbox charger at will take around five hours and 45 minutes to charge from 10 to 100 percent.
The maximum fast rapid charging speed of the EQA is 100 kilowatts which means you can charge from 10 – 80 percent in around 30 minutes. That is somewhat slower than the Tesla Model 3 which charge at 250 kilowatts. You can choose from different driving modes including Eco and Sport, and regenerative breaking can be adjusted using these paddles behind the steering wheel.
With the most severe regernative breaking selected you don’t have to use the brake pedal regularly for urban driving as the EQA naturally slows down once you lift off the accelerator, sending power back to the battery in the process. The EQA is a heavy car weighing in at over two tonne and it is significantly heavier than the regular GLA, but it drives and corners well despite this. It is smooth and quiet and on bumpier back roads although the suspension and wheels can be hard over rough surfaces.
Prices for the electric Mercedes EQA start from €56,120 in Ireland, which is more than the Audi Q4 e-tron or even a high specification Volkswagen ID.4. There are three levels of specification to choose from with Progressive, Electric Art and AMG Line.
That said, the entry specification Progressive, which is the one that tested, is very well equipped with 18-inch wheels, front and rear LED lights, roof rails, electric mirrors, heated seats, auto climate control, a reversing camera, ambient lighting, two 10-inch infotainment screens and leather effect upholstery. Our test car has optional beige and black leather upholstery and surround interior lighting with a vibrant projection of the Mercedes logo from the door handles.
The mid-range Electric art model starts from €57,214 and adds a different 18-inch wheel design, rose gold key colouring, illuminated door sills with EQA lettering and various other design touches. The range-topping AMG Line model starts from €60,946 and it gets additional AMG bodystyling, a black panel radiator grille, illuminated door sills and AMG wheels, sports seats, a sports steering wheel and stainless steel sports pedals.
So should you buy the Mercedes Benz EQA? If you are looking for an electric car that looks and feels premium, especially on the inside, then it could be one to shortlist. What’s more, it is very relaxing to drive. It isn’t as spacious as many of its larger electric SUV rivals however, especially in terms of boot space and in the rear seats, while it is also more expensive than many of the premium options on the market. That said, the key appeal of this car is its relaxing interior and drive and that is likely to win Mercedes a lot of new fans who are making the switch to electric motoring for the first time.