Mercedes has been offering Reunion customers for a few months now the 100% electric version derived from its GLA compact SUV under the code name: EQA. Faced with very limited competition in the premium segment, EQA is positioning itself as a major player in the electric compact SUV market.
The Mercedes EQA is the electric version of the GLA. Just as the EQC derives from the GLC (see test at Eco Austral n°360) and the future EQB from the seven-place GLB. If, from the outside, the difference may seem small between GLA and EQA, the electric version still has some specifics that happen on the front and rear faces. The all-gloss black grille (black panel) gets two chrome bars in our test version EQA 250 AMG Line finish.
Typical Mercedes interior!
When turning on the lights, we noticed a redesigned light signature and the optics connected by an LED light strip. The shielding is more aggressive and mimics the presence of diffusers at the ends. At the rear, a thin red stripe runs across the entire tailgate and connects the lights, while the plate runs down to the bottom of the bumper. compared to GLA.
Upon discovering the cabin, we see that the interior is heavily inspired by the manufacturer’s current trend: we are in a Mercedes! The EQA oozes technology and this premium ambience is unheard of in the electric car segment: superbly-finished, perfect-fit plastics, Alcantara on the door panels, aluminum and leather tips with red stitching, not to mention customizable ambient lighting. The multimedia system, of course, integrates the particularities that accompany the needs of the electric car (energy consumption-recovery, recharge level, etc.)
On-board space is in line with segment averages, even for the rear seats. The only downside is the volume of the trunk which is granted 95 liters (the lower part occupied by components linked to electrification) to offer only 340 liters, compared to the thermal brother GLA that offers a beautiful 435 liters.
Equipment and prices
The EQA is based on a simple offer with two engine options, namely our test model the EQA 250, which develops a power of 190hp available in three finishes: Progressive Line, Business Line and AMG Line, and the EQA 350 4Matic, a 292hp all-wheel drive available only on AMG LINE. These two models have the same battery capacity displaying 66.5 kWh.
As standard, the EQA has a range of equipment, including the MBUX and Hey Mercedes multimedia system, as well as other safety features: LED headlights, Easy-Pack tailgate or HD reverse parking assistance. The list is still very long, and to that are added the packs:
• Premium Pack (heated seats, keyless-go (locking and unlocking of doors without using keys), advanced 225W 9HP + sound system with box, etc.);
• Premium Plus (head-up display, sunroof, panoramic camera, etc.);
• Driving assistance package (semi-autonomous driving and everything that comes with it);
• Urban Guard anti-theft protection pack (alarm, anti-lift, volumetric, location of stolen vehicle, etc.);
• Sport Black package in the AMG line (specific bodywork elements).
The price of the EQA starts from 61,200 euros for the EQA 250 and our test model, equipped with metallic paint (900 euros) and the Premium Pack (1,600 euros) is displayed at 63,700 euros. The EQA 350 4Matic is displayed from 72,500 euros.
Road test: comfort and performance
Behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQA, our first sensation is that of a pleasant drive. This sensation is obviously caused by the total absence of engine noise and silent running. We are in “Comfort” mode and the SUV is very agile and has quite enough power. Despite a very high weight, with 2.1 tons, the EQA still offers a bit of sportiness. In “Sport” mode, the cavalry delivers a huge torque of 375 Nm (Newton meter) pushing hard with every press of the throttle. The steering is more direct, the suspensions firmer and, above all, the responsiveness is much improved: 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 8.9 seconds! It’s a lot of fun to never run out of horses and overtake in the blink of an eye.
However, the EQA is above all a family car that isn’t made to be driven at very high pace, especially in twisty sequences where you feel the front axle wobble a little. A “Sport” mode, therefore, that would be preferable in a straight-line situation or in a fast lane. In the city, this mode is a little violent, and it is preferable to favor the “Comfort” or even “Eco” mode for the well-being of passengers.
Descending from our little getaway in the heights of Sainte-Marie, we adopted an eco-driving mode by selecting the “Eco” mode and playing with the paddles. Unlike a thermal car, these allow the management of energy recovery, and for an electric car this is the minimum. With four “power levels”, you can choose between the freewheel in “D+”, the motor brake in “D”, the heavy motor brake in “D -” and finally the hard brake in “D –“. An efficient system and so playful that it’s easy to play (especially on descents), almost without using the brake pedal.
The different driving attitudes during the test do not allow us to advertise low consumption or ideal range, but as an indication, our average electricity consumption was around 21 kWh / 100 km and a starting range showing 332 km (89% charged battery) . Which is more than enough to move around the island serenely!
The EQA thus embodies all the qualities and versatility of the GLA, Mercedes’ renowned on-board technology, and a truly accomplished electrified piece. This new EQA should have no problem attracting customers looking for a 100% electric SUV thanks to its compact size and more attractive price than the first EQC electrified SUV.