The Mercedes EQA 250 at a glance
EQA stands on a mixed platform
Daimler currently has a handful of pure electric vehicles in its range, including the Smart sub-brand. With the exception of the Smart EQ derivatives, all of these e-cars are still based on combustion models, which caused malice especially at the market launch of the Mercedes EQC in mid-2019. Business with the SUV is so sluggish that it was recently decided to cancel the market launch in the USA entirely.
That fate should not be shared with the new Mercedes EQA, especially because it is cheaper (at a high level) and thus supposedly more accessible to a broader masses. This is how the 140 kW / 190 PS EQA 250 starts (combined power consumption: 15.7 kWh / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km²), before deducting any bonuses, from a confident 47,540.50 euros and competes directly with the price the higher equipment lines of VW ID.4, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Compared to that group, however, the Mercedes MFA-2 platform reveals its first and at the same time most important weakness – the space available in the luggage compartment.
Small trunk, range of up to 428 kilometers
Although it sits comfortably in the front and back, the trunk is even smaller with a meager 340 liters (up to the lower edge of the load compartment cover) than in the VW ID.3. The reason for this is the high-build battery in the rear area and the necessary charging technology, which takes much of the EQA’s variability away. The power storage itself has a net capacity of 66.5 kWh and, according to the manufacturer, should enable ranges of up to 428 kilometers.
In the practical test, this information appears quite realistic if the Mercedes EQA 250 is preferably used in urban areas. If someone from Stuttgart can recuperate in city traffic, if you move them at a constant speed over the City-Ring, hardly more than 15 kWh per 100 kilometers flow through the power lines. Disillusionment on the other hand on the highway. With less than 20 kWh per 100 kilometers, the front-wheel drive 250 can hardly be moved here, which reduces the effective range to just over 300 kilometers.
With 100 kW on the fast charger
The Stromer should then be hung up on a charging station again, whereby the MBUX navigation system has proven to be a useful partner. When I drove from Munich to Frankfurt, the software suggested a 30-minute charging stop near Erlangen, which then worked without any problems even with a sufficient range buffer. A maximum of 100 kW flow through the lines during the DC charging process, which is okay, but not groundbreaking in view of the burgeoning 800-volt competition. Mercedes itself specifies 30 minutes for a charging process from 10 to 80 percent (under ideal conditions).
On the longer journey across Germany, the Mercedes EQA 250 turned out to be an excellent long-distance car. The cabin is largely of high quality, very well insulated, the seats are comfortable and the MBUX system keeps the occupants happy thanks to the Burmester-branded sound system. Only when it comes to operation does the Mercedes infotainment remain a bit cumbersome, which alludes to the steering wheel controls.
Mercedes EQA with a lot of comfort
When it comes to the actual driving chapter, the EQA remains an emotionally pale appearance. The 190 PS and 375 Nm torque from the start accelerate the ready-to-drive 2.100 kilogram Stuttgart car in an acceptable 8.9 seconds to 100 km / h, the speed limit is already 160. On the highway, the comfortably tuned adjustable dampers are pleasing, the smooth steering is indeed A good thing in the city, but lacks precision on country roads.
The long-serving steel brake also grips boldly, but because of the high recuperation power of the EQA (which can be set in five stages) it only needs to be used very rarely – for example to get the car to a stop the last few meters before the traffic lights.
It is often said that electric cars on combustion platforms are only an emergency solution. This does indeed apply to many models, but with the EQA, Mercedes has evidently learned from past mistakes and got the best possible out of it. The very high base price, an overall small trunk and an interior that is not quite as airy as the competition, which was initially planned as an electric car, are the biggest drawbacks of the electric GLA offshoot. On the plus side, on the other hand, there is a range suitable for everyday use, an overall comfortable vehicle set-up, good workmanship and an MBUX system that, with small exceptions, can be operated intuitively. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)