Electric Mercedes EQA SUV now on sale

Electric version of Mercedes GLA starts from £40,495 after the PiCG

  • Will have few direct rivals
  • Performance version due later
  • Lots more EQ cars coming soon

The new Mercedes EQA is now available to order. You can pick from two trim levels, with the entry-level Sport model starting at £40,495 after the plug-in car grant has been applied. First customers will take delivery of their cars in spring.

The Mercedes EQA electric car was only unveiled last month, almost four years after it was initially shown at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Its design has changed since then and the EQA is now based on the Mercedes GLA crossover. It’s a premium alternative to the Kia e-Niro and Volkswagen ID.4. Small electric SUVs from Audi and BMW are still quite a way off.

2021 Mercedes EQA prices, specs and release date

The starting price of the Mercedes EQA is only £1,295 more than the GLA 250 e plug-in hybrid in Exclusive Edition trim, and nearly £2,000 less than the high-performance, flagship Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

The entry-level Sport model gets a lengthy equipment list, with adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, heated seats, LED headlights with auto high-beam assist, and 64-colour ambient lighting all standard. We’re pleased to see Mercedes’ upgraded MBUX infotainment system, with two 10.25-inch screens, is also included. It includes sat nav that takes charging stations and charging time into account.

AMG Line is £1,500 more at £41,995, and includes a sportier look and bigger 20-inch alloy wheels, plus sports seats and aluminium interior inserts.

You can add Premium and Premium Plus packs onto the latter for £3,000 and £6,000 respectively. Premium adds a panoramic sunroof, keyless start, augmented reality sat nav and wireless phone charging, and, strangely, smaller wheels. Premium Plus reintroduces 20-inch alloys, alongside a Burmester stereo, adaptive suspension, electric memory front seats and a head-up display.

Styling

From the side profile, it’s unmistakably similar to a petrol- or diesel-powered GLA. There are tweaked light clusters at each end; the front ones gain a blue stripe to highlight the car’s electric powertrain, and the rear ones are now connected by a full-width light bar. The grille is blanked out because there’s no need to cool an engine. Suitably, it shares some styling elements with the bigger Mercedes EQC SUV.

Performance, range and charging

Initially, all EQA models will use the same battery and motor, and be badged Mercedes EQA 250. This means you get an electric motor mounted on the front axle and a 66.5kWh battery. Mercedes promises a 302-mile range, although with the caveat that it was measured using the outdated NEDC test cycle. We’d expect nearer 250 miles from final WLTP figures. On-board fast-charging will allow an 80% battery top-up in half an hour from a 100kW public charger.

The EQA 250 powertrain produces 188bhp, can reach 0-62mph in a whisker under nine seconds and offers a 99mph top speed. That’s similar to the Peugeot e-2008, and the car should feel quite brisk given that all the power will be available from a standstill.

There will be a faster one, in time. It’ll have a motor on each axle and at least 268bhp, plus a 0-62mph time of around five seconds. Mercedes is also developing a longer-range version that’ll manage over 310 mile thanks to efficiency improvements.

Interior

As we expected, the inside is very similar to the GLA and the Mercedes A-Class. The MBUX infotainment system gains EQ-specific graphics and info screens.

The EQA will come with a good array of safety kit too. Active lane-keeping and braking assist will both be included along with a speed limiter function and hill-hold assist, while a Driving Assistance package with further safety features will be available optionally.

Read our guide to the best electric cars on sale now, or check out the best hybrid SUVs.

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