Motoring

Motoring: New, smaller electric SUV shines for Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz introduced its first all-electric SUV on to the market in 2019 in the shape of the EQC, which was based on its already successful GLC. Now they have added another, yet smaller SUV, to their all-electric model range.

Called the EQA, the newcomer aims to offer a cheaper way into the German premium brand’s quickly expanding EQ range. The EQA sits on the same chassis as the GLA, although it’s been given some revisions to allow it accommodate an electric powertrain.

The EQA is powered by an electric motor which works in conjunction with a 66.5kWh battery, while easy charging options allow a full charge (10% to 100%) in as little as five hours and forty-five minutes from a domestic wall box charger, or just 30 minutes from a public rapid-charge facility (10% to 80%).

Trim, Power and Drivetrain Options

The EQA is available in three trim levels, with the EQA 250 Progressive being the base model, while Electric Art and AMG Line trim options are also on offer. A choice of power outputs (190, 228 or 292bhp — badged EQA 250, 300 and 350 respectively) and drivetrain options (front-wheel-drive or 4MATIC all-wheel-drive) across the range enables EQA customers to choose the trim, power and drivetrain that suits their needs best.

The entry-level EQA 250 comes with a single electric motor with 190bhp and 375Nm of torque for instant acceleration. Positioned under the bonnet, and driving the front wheels, it will accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 8.9 seconds — which is about the same as a regular GLA 200 with a 163bhp petrol engine — while an official range of up to 423km’s from a fully-charged battery should be enough for a number of days driving between charges for many drivers.

Visual differences between the Mercedes-Benz GLA and EQA include the installation of a shiny gloss plastic front panel on the EQA in lieu of the traditional front grille on the GLA, along with the addition of lights strips front and rear, which is similar to its larger sibling, the EQC.

Well-Appointed Cabin

The cabin in the EQA feels like a proper Mercedes-Benz, with great interior space and enough room in the back for taller adults to sit behind the front seat occupants, while the tall doors make it easy to get in and out. The EQA’s battery pack is located under the cabin and this results in a boot capacity of 340-litres, but this cargo volume can be increased to 1,320-litres when the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat backs are folded flat.

Overall build quality is impressive and no matter which model is chosen, standard equipment is generous, with dual 10.25-inch displays creating a widescreen look across the top of the dash.

The intuitive infotainment system is excellent, with sharp graphics and a touchscreen which responds quickly to all inputs. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard across the EQA range, along with a nine speaker audio system.

Test Car

My test car was an EQA 250 ‘Progressive’ finished in non-metallic Night Black paint with optional beige macchiato and black ARTICO leather interior. Key standard equipment on my car included: 18” 5-twin spoke light alloy wheels, 4-way lumbar support, acoustic ambient protection, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, light and sight package, 10.25” media display, mirror package, parking package with reversing camera including PARKTRONIC, ambient lighting, charging cable for domestic socket, charging cable for wall box and public charging stations, comfort suspension, cruise control, Easy-Pack tailgate, extended MBUX functions, hard-disc navigation, heated front seats, keyless-go, LED high-performance headlamps, MBUX Multimedia system, pedestrian protection, and automatic climate control.

Instant Torque and Acceleration

The EQA handles in a predictably safe and secure fashion, while decent levels of regenerative braking mean that you can drive mostly with one pedal, making trips around town a little easier. This standard system is intuitive to use and it allows the driver to adjust the rate of deceleration in order to coast along a level road, or maintain speed on a downhill stretch.

The suspension in the EQA provides supreme comfort when driving over rutted road surfaces and enhances the serenity on offer for all occupants. Anyone who has driven an all-electric car will probably appreciate the instant hit of torque and rapid acceleration from a standing start, and the EQA doesn’t disappoint in this regard either.

Pricing & Verdict

The new Mercedes-Benz EQA is a very desirable electric SUV in every respect. The interior is comfortable, it is relaxing to drive, spacious and practical, while the very latest on-board technology is impressive. With the new EQA, Mercedes-Benz has indeed created a compact SUV with ‘Electric Intelligence’.

Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz EQA starts at €51,120 — inclusive of an SEAI grant of €5,000 (Ts & Cs apply).




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