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Mercedes EQA review

Mercedes EQA is quiet, nippy and comfortable, but isn’t as practical as hoped, and nor does it have a big enough range.

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wowscore
6/10
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
With nearly 60 years of experience between them, carwow’s expert reviewers thoroughly test every car on sale on carwow, and so are perfectly placed to present you the facts and help you make that exciting decision
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Quiet on the move
  • Decently roomy cabin
  • Brilliant infotainment

What's not so good

  • Compromised boot space
  • Rear seat uncomfortable
  • Range isn't as good as hoped

Mercedes EQA: what would you like to read next?

Is the Mercedes EQA a good car?

The Mercedes EQA is an alternative to the likes of the BMW iX3 and VW ID.4. It’ll also cost less than the Mercedes EQC SUV, despite having a greater range.

Moving from the GLA to the EQA is like coming across an android version of yourself. It looks really familiar, but it just goes about things in a quiet and efficient way. You can’t image the EQA having a laugh or telling rude jokes; it’s like a really swotty version of yourself.

The new Mercedes EQA is based on the GLA, but Mercedes has made plenty of changes to make sure you can tell them apart – the most obvious being a new front-end.

There’s no grille – electric cars don’t need big grilles, because they don’t have a hot engine that needs cooling. Instead, you get a big piece of shiny plastic, with a small air intake underneath – just like on the bigger EQC.

The full-width daytime running light between the headlights has also been inspired by the EQC (though you can also get one on a Volkswagen Golf).

It’s a bit trickier to tell the Mercedes EQA from the GLA when you look at it from the side, but the EQA does get some chrome strips, side skirts and a set of new alloy wheels. These kick-off at 18-inches and can be had up to 20-inches, and they’ve all been designed to cut through the air better than the alloys on a GLA.

The designers have been busy at the back, too. You get some new brake lights and another full-width light bar. And, because this takes up a lot of space on the bootlid Mercedes had to move the number plate down onto the bumper instead.

The Mercedes EQA feels classy enough, but kit such as adaptive cruise should be standard for this price.

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

The new EQA’s interior is basically the same as the GLA’s. It has the same simple layout and an almost identical dual-screen infotainment system as standard. This means you get two small seven-inch screens as standard.

Thankfully, most versions get a pair of larger 10-inch displays that look much nicer. There’s also the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice command feature, which tries its best to understand commands spoken in plain English. Although, this system isn’t as good as BMW’s personal assistant.

Sat-nav comes as standard, and it’ll let you program routes according to where the fastest charging points are located, and how much charge you want to have in reserve when you arrive.

If you want 64-colour ambient lighting in a basic GLA it’ll cost you £3,000 as part of the Premium Pack, but this comes as standard in the EQA, along with a new mood-lit dashboard.

Depending on which version of the EQA you go for, you can also get rose gold trim on the air vents. And you can get seats with matching trim made from recycled plastic bottles. Like most electric cars, the EQA is a five-seater. So, if you’re after a small 7-seat EV, you’ll just have to wait for the Tesla Model Y

There’s only one choice of motor and battery at the moment. This model is called the EQA 250 and it comes with a single electric motor with 190hp and 375Nm of torque. This lives under the bonnet and drives the front wheels. It’ll accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds, which is about the same as a regular GLA 200 with a 163hp petrol engine.

Weight is the reason the new, more powerful car isn’t any quicker – the EQA weighs just over two tonnes, which is 370kg heavier than a GLA 200.

The standard Mercedes EQA gets regular coil springs and dampers. But you can pay extra for adaptive suspension. This lets you choose from soft, comfortable settings, or you can firm everything up to make the EQA feel sportier to drive. It works really well, dealing with road scars and speed bumps easily.

Mercedes EQC Range and Charging

The new Mercedes EQA can do a pretty impressive 265 miles on a charge according to the latest WLTP tests. This means the EQA can actually manage a few more miles than the bigger (and more expensive) EQC. However, our test suggested that a real-world range of nearer 190 miles is perhaps more likely.

The 66.5kW battery will take just under 6 hours to charge from 10% to 100% using an 11kW wall box. You can also plug it into a 100kW public fast charger, which will recharge it from 10% to 80% in half an hour.

There’s a long-range version on the way that will do more than 310 miles on a single charge. That’s about the same as a Tesla Model Y Long Range, which can manage 314 miles before needing more juice.

Mercedes is going to make a sportier version of the EQA with two electric motors. This will keep the first electric motor under the bonnet, but it’ll add another one under the boot floor to drive the rear wheels to make it four-wheel drive.

This version will have around 270hp, so it should be a whole lot quicker than the standard EQA, but it’ll probably still be slower than the 306hp AMG GLA 35. That’ll cover the 0-60mph sprint in 5.2 seconds.

You can rest easy knowing the Mercedes EQA comes with loads of clever safety tech. You get all the basic stuff, such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping alert, as standard but there’s also a system that’ll spot pedestrians in the road. And, it can warn you if it spots someone on the pavement who looks like they’re about to step onto a zebra crossing. It’ll also alert you if you’re about to open your car door into pedestrians or cyclists.

On top of that, you can also get Mercedes’ latest adaptive cruise control, so the EQA can accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways. The bad news is that you have to pay extra to have this installed, no matter which trim level you choose.

How practical is it?

Cabin is pretty roomy but the rear seat feels uncomfortable and the boot isn’t very big.

Boot (seats up)
435 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,320 litres

The Mercedes EQA isn’t actually as practical as you might hope.

Yes, there’s plenty of space up front, so the two occupants will have no reason to complain. In that respect, it’s pretty much identical to the standard GLA.

Moving backwards, your first impression is likely to be that there’s just as much room in the back as there is in the GLA, but it’s all a very clever illusion.

You see, the batteries sit partially beneath the rear seats, which has meant the seats themselves have had to be lowered to preserve headroom. The downside of this is that you end up sitting with your backside not that much higher than your heels, in almost a squatting position. Not that comfortable at all.

Also, the standard GLA’s rear seats can be slid back and forward to vary rear legroom or boot space as needed, and the backrest reclines, but none of this is available in the EQA. Pity.

The Mercedes EQA has pretty decent in-car storage space. There’s a roomy space under the centre console and in front of that, there are a pair of cupholders and some more storage. You’ll also find and a USB C slot and a 12-volt socket.

The glovebox isn’t huge but it does come with an extra shelf. Meanwhile, front door bins are big enough to take a couple of water bottles each. There are large door bins in the back doors too.

Back-seat passengers also get a couple of USBs and pull down the centre armrest to access two more cupholders.

There are two Isofix anchor points on the outside seats and fitting a rear-facing child seat is easy as you shouldn’t have to move the front seat forward to fit it.

Boot space has taken a hit with the presence of the batteries beneath the boot floor.

For comparison, the standard GLA has 435 litres of boot space when measured to the parcel shelf, but the EQA has just 340, and there’s no clever under-floor storage.

The news isn’t all bad though, because you can still fit five carry-on cases in there, and there’s no lip to lug things over.

Fold down the rear seats in a standard GLA and you’re left with 1,430 litres of space, but the EQA cuts this to 1,320 litres. Still, at least the rear seats lie flat, and there’s no step in the boot floor.

What's it like to drive?

Driving experience is light, quiet and nippy in town, but feels a bit pedestrian out of it.

There’s just the one choice motor and battery just now, although Mercedes will add a longer-range version in time.

The current EQA 250 has a single electric motor that generates 190hp and 375Nm of torque. This lives under the bonnet and drives the front wheels. It’ll accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds, which is brisk but nowhere near as quick as some rivals.

Weight is largely to blame, because the EQA is pretty portly at just over two tonnes. That’s a full 370kg heavier than a GLA 200.

According to Mercedes, the EQA can do a pretty impressive 265 miles on a charge. This means the EQA can actually manage a few more miles than the bigger (and more expensive) EQC. However, our road test suggested that a real-world range of nearer 190 miles is perhaps more likely.

The 66.5kW battery will take just under 6 hours to charge from 10% to 100% using an 11kW wall box. You can also plug it into a 100kW public fast charger, which will recharge it from 10% to 80% in half an hour.

If you charge it using a three-pin plug at home, a full charge will take more than 22 hours, so you’ll need to take a day off. However, a 7kW wallbox cuts this to 9.5 hours, so can be done overnight.

Electric cars tend to spend a great deal of their time in town, so have to excel there, and the EQA does very well indeed.

The lofty driving position gives a great view of not only the other traffic but also both front corners of the car, which makes manoeuvring much easier.

The powertrain itself is also very quiet, in fact it’s almost silent, which makes for a very relaxing experience, although the performance it puts out is a bit more tame than we’ve come to expect from electric vehicles. In reality, it’s going to be brisk enough for most.

That’s the ‘go’ covered, so what about the ’stop’. Well, the brakes are strong, but you can also adjust the level of regeneration from the electric motor, and in its strongest setting it slows the car pretty abruptly when you ease off the accelerator. In effect, you can drive the car just using the right-hand pedal, with no need to touch the brakes in most scenarios.

The standard Mercedes EQA gets regular coil springs and dampers, but you’d do well to pay extra for the adaptive suspension, which comes as part of the Premium Plus pack.

You can choose soft, comfortable settings, or firm everything up to make the EQA feel sportier to drive. It works really well, dealing with road scars and speed bumps easily. We’d leave it in Comfort, because the EQA is never going to feel sporty to drive.

What's it like inside?

The cabin of the Mercedes EQA is just as beautiful as that in the identical GLA, but we’d avoid the lighter faux-leather.

Mercedes EQA colours

Solid - Night Black
Free
Solid - Polar white
Free
Metallic - Cosmos Black
From £595
Metallic - Denim blue
From £595
Metallic - Digital white
From £595
Metallic - Iridium silver
From £595
Metallic - Mountain grey
From £595
Metallic - Rose gold
From £595
Designo metallic - Patagonia red
From £795
Designo magno (matte) - Mountain grey
From £1,795
Next Read full interior review
Buy a new or used Mercedes EQA at a price you’ll love
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