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First drive: Mercedes-Benz EQA

Date: 22 September 2021   |   Author: Simon Harris

Mercedes-Benz's most accessible electric car to date is an early arrival in the medium SUV EV sector, but is it any good?
Standard equipment:
Cruise control, mirror package, parking package with reversing camera, LED headlights with adaptive high-beam assistance, seat comfort package with four-way lumbar support for front seats, heated front seats, multifunction leather-covered steering wheel, automatic climate control, alloy wheels, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, blindspot warning, MBUX multimedia system with widescreen cockpit (two 10in digital displays with touchpad), smartphone integration including Android Auto and Apple Carplay, ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours, Mercedes Me connected services.
Electric: 190hp, 228hp, 292hp
Equipment grades:
Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus

It's been a couple of years since Mercedes-Benz launched its electric vehicle range with the EQC. A rival for the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron, it was joined last year by the EQV - an electric version of the V-Class.

For 2021, the company introduced its most accessible electric model yet in the EQA, with front-wheel drive versions available first, but now with more powerful, dual-motor all-wheel driver options about to arrive.

The company has also launched its EQS - an electric luxury saloon alternative to the S-Class - and has announced its intentions to bring EVs to market in other sectors over the next few years.

Mercedes-Benz already had an impressive line-up of plug-in hybrid models for those not ready to switch to electric cars, but seeking some kind of electrification for shorter trips with the reassurance of an engine for longer journeys.

The EQA, similar in size to the GLA, already has a direct rival in the shape of the Audi Q4 E-Tron, and competition from other premium brands will follow.

The entry-level variant - the EQA 250e - has a 190hp electric motor, and its introduction was followed by the 228hp EQA 300e 4Matic, and the 292hp EQA 350e 4Matic.

Since the government suddenly reduced the threshold for the plug-in car grant a few months ago, none qualify for cash incentives to reduce the entry price, so the range kicks off with the EQA 250e Sport at just under £45,000. Upgrading to the AMG Line version costs an additional £1,400, while it's then possible to add additional packs.

The EQA 250e has a 66.5 kWh battery and a 100kW DC on-board charger, allowing it to charge from 10-80% in around 40 minutes, and from 10-100% in less than using an 11kW wall box (typical for workplace charging). It will recharge comfortably from a domestic 7.4kW wall box overnight.

A feature with the grand title 'Navigation with Electric Intelligence' is included as standard on both Sport and AMG Line, and calculates the route that will get the driver to their destination fastest, taking into account charging times, helping with route planning. A three-year subscription to the Mercedes Me Charge public charging service is also available as standard.

Like the A-Class and GLA, the EQA has a smart looking interior and is spacious enough to offer four adults good comfort, and take five at a pinch.

The boot is more disappointing, as while it's not exactly small (about the same space as a lower-medium hatchback without any clever storage tricks) at 340 litres it's substantially less than the similar sized GLA.

Performance is strong from the 190hp electric motor, and it never feels lacking. The more powerful all-wheel drive versions (which use the same capacity battery as the 250e) don't sacrifice usable range, although utilising their extra performance over the 250e no doubt will.

While the EQA does many things right, we think many fleets and drivers might be happier with the Audi Q4 E-Tron.

EQA 250e AMG Line 

P11D: £45,940

Residual value: 41.4%

Depreciation: £26,923

Fuel: £1,916

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,022

Cost per mile: 51.43p

Range: 261 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (1%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £8/£15

Luggage capacity: 340 litres

Engine size/power: 66.5kWh/190hp


  • Equipment
  • Premium feel
  • Low BIK tax
  • Disappointing boot space