Mercedes EQA: a new star for the electric car

CLS, GLE, CLC, GLA, SLS – letters that sound like Mercedes synonyms to drivers. Now we have to add a new combination of letters. The brand with the star moves into another dimension. It’s EQ, two letters that symbolize the new “electromobile” universe towards which the Stuttgart firm has decided to follow. A universe where we find the new EQA, launched this year. A model that we were able to discover, thanks to the loan of one of these models by Willermin, Mercedes dealer in Castelnau-le-Lez, France. We took the wheel of an EQA 250 AMG Line. The goal: to see the promise of a 100% electric SUV from Mercedes.

Mercedes EQA: a German “Swiss Army knife”…

At first glance, one might think that this is just another Mercedes SUV. This model is based on the GLA, one of the brand’s best-sellers. Above all, it is the smallest and most affordable electric model. And in a way, the most pragmatic of the EQ range. An SUV yes, but is it a vehicle that can offer multiple uses? A sort of a “Swiss Army knife” for the road, but German…

Electrical character

More compact than its predecessor, the GLA, with which it shares its platform, the EQA is slightly longer (4.46 m, + 5 cm) due to its more generous bumpers. Its electric character can be seen in its front end. This one is equipped with a full grille. No need for an air intake for this electric block. At the rear, the design has been revised and offers a light signature that crosses the tailgate from side to side.

Up to 426 km of autonomy for the Mercedes EQA

This SUV is different in many ways. One of the main ones is its engine. A 140 kW (190 hp) asynchronous (or induction) electric power unit drives the front wheels of this EQA. While not a stellar performer, in terms of performance, this unit does provide a certain amount of driving pleasure (the 0 to 100 km/h covered in 8.9 s).

On the battery side, the car is equipped with a battery with a capacity that reaches 66.5 kWh. For a weight of 480 kg. The brand with the star announces a range between 399 and 426 km on the combined cycle WLTP. To power it, the EQA is equipped with an 11 kW charger in alternating current (AC). No 22 kW option. This would allow for faster charging at many public charging stations. Too bad…

It’s a cocktail of departmental roads, city roads and freeways that we subjected this Mercedes EQA to. We headed to the roads of the Languedoc coast for a first handover. The first thing we noticed is the comfort of the vehicle. Inside, there is no doubt that we are at the wheel of a Mercedes. The brand had the good idea to do away with the “tablet” version of the panel in the middle of the dashboard. Here, we find two screens of more than 10”, on a single slab, all in length.

The left screen displays driving information. The one on the right contains the multimedia. A large tablet with touch-sensitive navigation. It can be used by running your fingers over it, or by using a pad that takes the place of the usual gearshift. A panel that hosts the “MBUX” technology that integrates the intelligent voice command “Hey Mercedes”. As with your smartphone, you ask, and the “Mercedes voice” executes your request.

Rear seat comfort

A real ease of use for the driver and the passenger. Note the strong presence of plastic on the center console. The seating area has the same atmosphere as the GLA. Driver and front passenger are in a very neat environment. The high driving position allows a very clear view. Ideal in urban traffic. We regret that the seats are not very supportive. A small negative point. When the car’s power is required and you would like to be a little more supported on your seat.

In the back, nothing to say for a daily use or in family. Three passengers will be very comfortable. The central seat is quite comfortable, even with the central tunnel, which is not very pronounced. The position is a bit low. This will make you raise your elbow to lean against the windows. Note that the Mercedes EQA abandons the 60/40 sliding bench of the last generation GLA in favor of a 40/20/40 folding formula. An opportunity to carry more luggage. And this, without losing too much space for the rear passengers.

Regeneration paddles on the steering wheel: an asset for eco-driving

With four driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Individual and Sport). We find the advantages of a full electric. All the torque is available by pressing the throttle. No problem to propel the 2040 kg of the whole.

The “Comfort” mode is a compromise between performance and range. Ideal for everyday use. The “Eco” mode is best used in the city. At low speeds, energy consumption is lower. The driving experience is optimized by the management of the regeneration modes with the paddles located on the steering wheel. It is possible to vary the strength of the engine brake.

From a freewheeling mode (D+), to the most important regeneration (D- -). A management of the engine brake that almost allows driving with only one pedal (no total stop). Once you get used to it, you can stop touching the brake pedal in clear traffic.

Pleasant dynamic driving for the Mercedes EQA

As for the “Sport” mode, it is the one that provides the most sensations. We used this mode to test the dynamic qualities of this EQA. On hilly and winding roads, in the hinterland of Herault, the car revealed its dynamic capabilities. A little more firmness in the steering. Firmer suspensions with a little roll. The electric fun and dynamic, in SUV version, is possible with this EQA. But the front axle takes the torque of 375 Nm! The ESP calls you to order. Eco-driving is to be preferred… Note that in “Individual” mode, the driver can configure the car’s driving parameters.

On the highway, it rolls!

This SUV has the vocation to drive on long distances. This is what we did by taking the highway between Montpellier and Perpignan, (round trip). Over a 250 km journey, the Mercedes EQA demonstrated its driving abilities. Set at 130 km/h, the atmosphere is very quiet and the average consumption was between 24 and 26 kW/h/100km. A charge of less than 30min, on a fast charging station allowed to recharge 80% of the battery. And not all of it had been consumed by the time we arrived in Montpellier. With the EQA, the highway is worry-free.

This EQA is pleasantly surprising. It is a good everyday driving experience. All this with an “electric” philosophy. The EQA is less expensive than the competition in the SUV sector. A good point for the development of electromobility. The EQA should soon see the arrival of a 350 4Matic version with two electric motors and 292 hp. A Mercedes SUV that seems to have been born under a lucky star…

Pierre-Jean Côme

Motor: electric

Maximum torque: 375 Nm

Transmission: traction

Gearbox: automatic

Actual power: 190 hp (140 kW)

Fiscal power: 6 HP

CO2 emission: 0 g/km (Euro 6 standard)

Chassis type: unibody

Power steering: yes

Turn radius: 11.4 m

Front suspension type: MacPherson

Rear suspension type: multi-link

Max speed: 160km (0-100km/h: 8.9s)

Length: 4.46m

Width: 1.83 m

Height: 1.62 m

Width: 2.73 m

Front overhang: 0.913 m

Rear overhang: 0.821 m

Number of seats: 5

Trunk volume: 340 l

Usable trunk volume: 1,320 l

Loading threshold height: 702 mm

Unladen weight: 2,040 kg

Front wheel size: 235/55 R18

Rear wheel size: 235/55 R18

Spare wheel type: puncture proof kit

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