Move over, Model Y.
Mercedes-Benz's plan for its new range of Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles has been quite ambitious, but in the short time that the division has been around, it has brought some exciting vehicles to our attention. The latest to arrive is the all-new Mercedes-Benz EQA, an all-electric SUV that aims to give buyers the feeling that they're in a cool car that just happens to be electric, rather than an EV that has nothing more to offer than a few gimmicks. So what can we expect of the EQA? We won't get the concept version's stunning looks, but there's still plenty to get excited about.
As has been apparent from the way Mercedes-EQ is marketing its vehicles, the idea with this new generation of automobiles is not to provide customers with an otherworldly experience that alienates those not considered tech-savvy. Instead, EQ vehicles are meant to look and feel similar to more traditional products. In the case of the EQA, that means that what you're getting is an electrified Mercedes-Benz GLA that is a close relation to the gas-powered alternative. However, pricing will be vastly different. While the GLA starts at around $36,000, the EQA will launch in Germany at the equivalent of over $57,600.
The EQA is being launched first as the EQA 250. This model will produce 187 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque, all of which will go to the front wheels - although an AWD model with more power is coming. Thanks to a drag coefficient of 0.28, the EQA is quite slippery through the air, and its 66.5-kWh battery is promised to deliver over 300 miles of range. Using a Wallbox, it will charge from 10 to 100 percent in five hours and 45 minutes, but a rapid charger can take it to 80 percent in just 30 minutes. Just don't expect it to be quick on the road. 0-62 mph will take almost nine seconds and top speed is rated at just under 100 mph.
The EQA will feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system that has become commonplace in Merc products of late. But here, it will offer Navigation with Electric Intelligence. This system "calculates [the] route that will get you to your destination fastest, taking into account charging times, thus taking the stress out of route planning for the driver." The system can also make allowance for any necessary charging stops, topography, and weather.
Mercedes says it can even "react dynamically to changes" like traffic movements or personal driving style. The idea is that the EQA won't just rely on a big battery to be efficient but will have multiple facets - like its aerodynamic drag characteristics - made as efficient as possible.
Extensive crash tests have been performed on the EQA to ensure that it is capable of withstanding severe impacts without rupturing the battery. Helping it to pass the same tests as conventional Mercs is a specially developed frame around the battery that is supplemented with a front battery guard. But you also get standard lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking at city speeds, along with the option of the Driving Assistance Package that includes features like vehicle exit warning and even a system that can detect when pedestrians are near a zebra crossing. In a car that makes no noise, these pedestrian safety measures are especially welcome.
To make sure that you don't mistake this for a regular GLA, the EQA comes with the "Black Panel" radiator grille, a continuous light strip at either end of the SUV, and plenty of blue and rose gold accents. 18-inch wheels come standard on the 250, but you will be able to get wheels up to 20 inches in size. Edition 1 models will also boast perforated leather seats that show pure blue fabric beneath their leather. This theme carries through to the innovative driver info display that can show how much power you're using and how much is being regenerated.
Also standard are a 64-color configurable ambient lighting system, an electric tailgate for easy opening and closing, and LED headlights with auto high beams. Much like with regular Mercs, you can choose from more than one trim. Available offerings for now will be Electric Art and AMG Line, each of which can be enhanced with a blackout "Night" package.
So it's going to be efficient, smart, safe, and decently equipped. It's also going to be expensive (compared to traditionally-powered Merc baby SUVs) and it's going to be slow. A more powerful model with around 268 hp and AWD is coming too, but that will be even pricier. Nevertheless, the EQA looks like it's about to ruffle some feathers with its smart approach that will lure old-school buyers into electrified vehicle ownership. But when is it coming? Well, Mercedes has not announced an official launch date but has said that Germany will start receiving early units in spring of this year. Our allocations should arrive shortly thereafter.