Compact, dynamic, youthful and athletic, all fitting words to describe the Mercedes-Benz EQA. Based on the ever-popular Mercedes GLA compact crossover, the EQA is the newest member of the Mercedes EQ brand following its larger brethren, the EQC mid-size SUV.
The EQA, while being labelled as an ‘entry-level’ Mercedes, doesn’t short-change buyers when it comes to next-generation EV technology. Launched in the EQA 250 guise, it uses a ‘double-decker’ lithium-ion battery setup as a structural member of the chassis, keeping weight and the centre of gravity low.
With a 66.5kWh capacity, the batteries power a 190hp (140kW) electric motor on the front axles, with an estimated range of 486km. Even if Mercedes claims are taken with a pinch of salt, the over-400km range lets the EQA do the distance for its size and class, further building its case against range-anxiety.
The higher than average range of the EQA, while mainly due to battery technology improvements, is also bolstered by significantly improved aerodynamics. Mercedes have adapted for its compact EV. Being the first Mercedes-EQ model to utilise fully digital aero development, the EQA manages an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.28Cd. Adapting aerodynamic measures such as efficient front and rear aprons, an almost entirely flat underbody, specially optimised Aero wheels and specifically adapted front and rear wheel spoilers, Mercedes have pulled out all the stops to eke out as much range as possible for the EQA.
The EQA is obviously based on the GLA, but there are tell-tale signs to differentiate the two. The most obvious difference is the grille, or in this case, the lack there off because there’s no engine to cool. So in place of a grille is a ‘Black Panel’ with a central star. The continuous LED light strip, a Mercedes-EQ signature design, adorns the top of the panel and links the full LED headlights.
The side profile of the EQA is almost precisely the same as its GLA brethren, with the only difference being the unique 18-inch Aero wheel design. The rear of the EQA seems like a miniaturised version of the larger EQC, with slim LED taillights and the full-width LED light strip. The licence plate has also been relocated to the bumper.
While following the familiar Mercedes family design, the interior has some distinctly unique EQ touches so that the EQA stands out. A new-style back-lit trim element and rose gold-coloured decorative trim on the ventilation outlets, seats and the vehicle key add a subtle but uber premium touch.
The Edition 1 special model additionally features perforated leather seats, through which blue fabric can be seen. With their electric car-specific displays, the instruments pick up on the same colour scheme with rosé gold-coloured and blue highlights. The Edition 1 special model additionally features perforated leather seats, through which blue fabric can be. Noise, harshness, and vibration (NVH) levels have been a focus for Mercedes engineers to ensure comfort levels are at its best.
Mercedes have also featured a comprehensive suite of standard equipment for the EQA. Electrically operated tailgates, leather seats with four-way electrical lumbar adjustment, a reversing camera and a multi-functional sports steering wheel are all part of the equipment buyers will get. Further customisations are available in different trim levels, such as the AMG Line and Electric Art and the Night Package.
A quirky feature of the EQA is its towing capability. While most compact crossovers have almost zero towing capacity, the EQA can tow up to 750kg, which is more than enough to pull your jet ski. Like Tesla’s heating system, the standard equipped heat pump forms part of the sophisticated thermal management system to reduce electricity usage while maintaining the heating capacity of older systems.
As good as the equipment levels are, the technology on-board the EQA is second-to-none. Equipped with the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system. This powerful system projects a crisp and clear graphics on both the central and driver’s instrument display, which can be individually configured with various options. Media and electric car-specific displays such as charging options, battery status, and regenerative braking can be part of the customisable instrument cluster.
Part of the EQA’s extensive safety system includes intelligent driving assistance such as Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist. The latter comes with autonomous emergency braking at city driving speeds. Additional features are available as part of the Driving Assistance Package, including turning manoeuvre function and emergency corridor function. Exit warning function that alerts the driver to approaching cyclists or vehicles and when pedestrians are detected, also form part of this package.
The EQA is expected to follow in the successful footsteps of the GLA, albeit targeting the greener portion of the same market segment. Do note that there’s a more powerful, longer-range EQA is just over the horizon to cater for you who likes to charge down the road with electrifying speed.