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 a 263-mile 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
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric249-263 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)37mins (10-80%, 100kW)

As a manufacturer, there are two ways to go about building your new electric car. You either design a bespoke platform from the ground up, or you 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'll soon be an EQB, EQE and EQS, and the brand already sells a converted version of the V-Class, called the EQV.

The EQA line-up is pretty simple, and follows other models in the Mercedes range. Things kick off with the EQA 250 Sport, which starts at just over £40,000. AMG Line costs £1,500 more, and then there’s the usual Premium and Premium Plus packs, adding extra luxuries and features.

The good news is that the EQA will do up to 263 miles on a charge and even AMG Line Premium cars come in at under £50,000, which means most buyers will qualify for the government’s £3,000 plug-in car grant. But be careful – top-spec Premium Plus cars tip over that threshold, meaning the £6,000 premium (over AMG Line) is more like £9,000 – so be sure you really want or need that extra kit.

Pleasingly, the EQA feels like a proper Mercedes. 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 Mercedes 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 petrol 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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