The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 is an all-electric SUV version of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class with a driving range of 250-263 miles.
Mercedes has been slower than some other brands to bring electric cars to market. We’ve had the Mercedes-Benz EQC, which is an all-electric SUV version of the C-Class, and there’s also the EQV MPV, but the EQA now introduces electric motoring at a lower price point.
The Mercedes-Benz EQA is an all-electric version of the GLA – in other words the SUV version of the A-Class. The exterior body style is virtually identical, and the same applies to the interior. This also means that the driver sits higher up in the EQA than in the A-Class and there’s a decent-sized (340-litre) boot – or 1,320 litres with the rear seats folded. Our test car had 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels.
The EQA has a 66.5 kWh battery and a 190 hp electric motor driving the front wheels.
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The Mercedes-Benz EQA has the usual benefits of an all-electric car, ie. it’s quiet, refined, and has instantly-available torque which results in responsive, linear acceleration. This means that the EQA is good to drive in all environments ranging from around town to motorways, although there’s some road noise on certain motorway surfaces.
There are three different drive modes: Eco, Comfort and Sport – with Sport offering the best response, as you would expect.
There are also steering wheel mounted paddles to adjust the brake recuperation, with five levels available. The paddles work well and are much better than having to go into a touchscreen to change the level of recuperation.
Handling is aided by the low centre of gravity of the battery in the floor, but the EQA isn’t a rewarding driver’s car. This isn’t helped by it being front-wheel drive, with the accompanying torque steer and wheelspin under acceleration, or the 2040kg kerb weight.
Primary ride quality is comfortable on smooth roads, but the EQA doesn’t like large speed bumps, which it feels like it crashes into.
The interior is mostly standard Mercedes, which many people are likely to approve of. One of the key features is ambient lighting on the dashboard around controls such as the air vents, which, in blue, looks very appropriate for an EV (the car had 64-colour ambient lighting), but the light reflects in the door mirrors and can be distracting if trying to reverse when it’s pitch black outside.
There’s a head-up display, a large digital instrument display, and a large central touchscreen with good mapping. With the satnav on, when you approach junctions two-thirds of the map gets taken over by a view of the road from the camera.
Here at Green Car Guide we test at least one new car every week and most new cars have automatic high beam, but with the EQA, which had Adaptive Highbeam Assist, it seemed impossible to keep the high beam on manually, it only appeared possible for the car to control the high beam itself, which wasn’t helpful at all when driving down very dark roads in the countryside.
But the biggest issue with the EQA was that, presumably due to the Active Brake Assist feature, it jammed on the brakes by itself on three occasions for no obvious reason, once while reversing off-road, and twice on the motorway (miraculously there were no cars directly behind), all of which was very dangerous and very bad for passenger anxiety levels.
The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 AMG Line Premium Plus with its 66.5 kWh battery has an official WLTP electric driving range of 250-263 miles. So what did we average over a week of mixed driving with the car?: 208 miles – which is considerably lower than the official figure, even taking the late autumn/winter conditions into account.
The EQA had heated seats, which help to minimise the need for lots of cabin heating, so improving the range, however there was no heated steering wheel, despite this being the top of the range model.
The EQA can charge at 11 kW (AC) and 100 kW (DC); 10 to 80 per cent in around 30 minutes at a 100 kW public rapid charger, and a 10 to 100 per cent charge could be achieved in five hours and 45 minutes using an 11 kW wall box (which is likely to be found at a workplace using a three-phase electricity supply rather than at home in the UK).
A three-year subscription to the Mercedes me Charge public charging service is available as standard.
Electric cars do not charge at their maximum charge rate for an entire charging session – their charge rate typically starts off high with a battery with a low state of charge, then the charge rate decreases as the battery charge increases. See the charge curve for the Mercedes-Benz EQA from Fastned:
The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 AMG Line Premium Plus costs £51,995. Options fitted to our test car were Driving Assistance Package (£1,495) and denim blue metallic paint (£595). The total price of our car as tested was £54,085.
The EQA range starts from £44,495 for the entry-level EQA 250 Sport. The AMG Line trim (from £45,995) adds features such as AMG Line body styling, 20-inch alloy wheels, and sports seats. Premium trim (an additional £3,000) includes 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, electrically-operated panoramic glass sunroof, Keyless-Go Comfort package and an augmented reality navigation system.
The EQA 250 AMG Line Premium Plus, from £51,995, includes the above equipment, but adds 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, parking package with 360° camera, electrically adjustable damping suspension with speed-sensitive steering, Burmester Surround Sound System, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, head-up display, and MBUX Interior Assistant with gesture control.
There’s also the all-wheel drive EQA 300 4MATIC and EQA 350 4MATIC.
Other all-electric Mercedes-Benz products are the EQC and the EQV MPV.
The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 is a good car overall, and is much, much better than the Mercedes-Benz GLA Plug-in Hybrid, because the EQA has a smooth electric powertrain as opposed to the very jerky petrol-electric powertrain and the strained petrol engine of the GLA Plug-in Hybrid. However the EQA, particularly in AMG Line Premium Plus trim, is expensive and has a shorter driving range than many rivals. For example, the Kia EV6 has a driving range of around 300 miles, as well as being available with all-wheel drive, and it’s cheaper than the Mercedes. Before anyone says “but the EQA has a premium badge…”, the Kia is a much better car to drive and has an excellent interior. The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.