In-depth reviews

Mercedes EQA review

The Mercedes EQA is the maker's second EQ-branded electric car; based on the GLA, it's a small SUV with up to 264 miles of range and 100kW rapid charging

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Strong range
  • Tech-filled cabin
  • Decent value for money

Cons

  • Rivals charge faster
  • Boot isn't the biggest
  • Top spec misses out on grant
ModelElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
EQA 250250-263 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)37mins (10-80%, 100kW)
EQA 300 4MATIC255-264 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)37mins (10-80%, 100kW)
EQA 350 4MATIC255-264 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)37mins (10-80%, 100kW)

As a manufacturer, there are two ways to go about building a new electric car. You either design a bespoke platform from the ground up, or you can take one of your existing petrol or diesel models and make the battery, electric motor and all of the associated hardware fit. Mercedes has chosen to do the latter, presumably to save money and improve its economies of scale.

Its first attempt was the GLC-based EQC, and now it has turned its attention to the smaller EQA SUV. If you’ve not guessed already, the EQA is based on the petrol, diesel and plug-in-hybrid-powered GLA. The EQ branding signifies this is as a pure-electric model; there's also the EQB, EQE and EQS, as well as a converted version of the V-Class, called the EQV.

The EQA line-up is pretty simple to start off with. The entry-level model is the EQA 250 Sport, which starts at just under £45,000. Then there are three levels of 'AMG Line' spec: AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus. In addition to adding extra kit, these version are also where the more powerful EQA 300 and EQA 350 four-wheel-drive powertrains become available (although you can get them as an EQA 250, too). As they all have the same battery, every version of the EQA will do in the region of 260 miles on a charge, although the exact figure varies depending on equipment packs and wheel sizes.

Pleasingly, the EQA feels like a proper Mercedes inside. Quality is very good and no matter which one you go for, each is loaded with equipment. The cabin offers the 'wow' factor we’ve come to expect from the brand, with a pair of 10.25-inch screens and smartphone connectivity standard across the range.

With half the power of rivals like the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8, you might expect the EQA to feel a little underwhelming from behind the wheel. But while it’s definitely not the most exciting car in the world, it packs plenty of punch, with impressive straight-line performance. It’s perhaps a little safe and predictable rather than fun, but those trading up from a petrol SUV will feel right at home.

Space and practicality is a bit of a mixed bag; the cabin is roomy but the boot is on the small side, with little in the way of underfloor cable storage. It’s a shame, and knocks half a star off the EQA’s otherwise impressive score sheet.

The EQA actually looks like incredible value for money in this segment, however, and makes the only-slightly-more spacious EQC – and many variants of the GLA – look eye-wateringly expensive. Despite being based on a combustion-engine platform, the EQA blends space with a smooth electric motor and predictable driving manners to make this one of the most convincing electric crossovers to date. For a more detailed look at the EQA, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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