In-depth reviews

Mercedes EQA review

The Mercedes EQA is based on the combustion-engined GLA; it's a small electric 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)

Manufacturers have tended to take one of two approaches to mass-producing electric vehicles. They either adapt a platform already used for petrol and diesel-engined models, fitting it with batteries and electric motors, or else they design brand-new underpinnings from the ground up, purpose-built for electric power.

For the more affordable end of its electric-car range, Mercedes has taken the former approach. This EQA electric SUV therefore shares its basic structure with the GLA, while the larger EQB, EQC and EQV have a similar relationship to the GLB, GLC and V-Class, respectively.

The EQA line-up kicks off with the front-wheel-drive EQA 250 Sport model, offering what is currently the cheapest route into fully electric Mercedes ownership with a starting price of just under £48,000. There are then three levels of 'AMG Line' specification: AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus.

In addition to adding kit, these version are where the more powerful EQA 300 and EQA 350 four-wheel-drive powertrains become available (although you can get them with the EQA 250 setup, too). Prices top out at over £56,000 for the most expensive variant.

As they all have the same battery, every version of the EQA will record between 250 and 260 miles' range on a charge – although the exact figure varies depending on equipment packs and wheel sizes and real-world range could be closer to 200 miles depending on how, where and in what weather you drive.

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 nice metallic air vents and a pair of 10.25-inch screens and smartphone connectivity standard across the range.

With only around half the power of rivals like the Volvo XC40 Recharge, you might expect the EQA's driving experience to be a little underwhelming. But while it’s definitely not the most exciting car in the world, it packs plenty of punch, with impressive straight-line performance and top speed. 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 boot size is unfortunately on the small side, with little in the way of underfloor cable storage. That's a shame for something likely to be pressed into family transport duties, and knocks half a star off the EQA’s otherwise impressive score sheet.

Overall, the EQA actually looks like good 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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