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Mercedes-Benz EQA review: Merc's affordable EV gets almost everything right

Mercedes EQA
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Mercedes-Benz EQA is the firm's current entry-level electric car, offering a reasonable range along with a selection of high-end tech and a premium level of design and comfort. 

It's smaller than the EQC SUV; the EQA sits in crossover territory. It has a higher ride height than the combustion engine-toting A series, but isn't a full SUV as a result of its more compact dimensions. 

Prices for the Mercedes-Benz EQA start at £44,495 (around $62,000 / AU$81,000). We drove the entry-level EQA 250 Sport, with a few added options, which saw the price rise to £48,535 (around $68,000 / AU$88,000).

There are a few model levels available, however. If you opt for the top-of-the-range EQA 350 AMG Line, prices start at £49,995 (around $70,000 / AU$91,000).

Available in a number of regions including the UK, Europe and Australia, the EQA hasn't made it to all territories just yet – it's currently unavailable in North America, for example.

Mercedes-Benz EQA design

We drove

Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Mercedes EQA 250 Sport
Power
: 190hp
Battery: 66.5kWh
Top Speed: 99mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Range: up to 263 miles
Price: £44,495 

The EQA boasts the familiar design language of the Mercedes line, with a large badge on the front that sits in a sizable, ventless grille. 

There's a slender LED light bar that connects the two light blocks at the front, and a second that connects the rear illumination units. From dusk onwards, these LED strips give the EQA an eye-catching, futuristic look. 

Climb inside, and the comfortable cabin offers up enough leg and headroom in the front, making it a pleasing place to be on long journeys. 

The cabin includes some premium touches, such as turbine-like air vents and carbon fiber effect paneling. However, it is noticeable that this is one of Mercedes' more affordable EVs (electric vehicles), with simpler styling and more soft-touch plastic. 

It doesn't detract from the overall experience, though, and the EQA still looks and feels more premium over electric cars from brands at more competitive price points. 

The front seats are nicely accommodating, and they can be heated via a button on the door panel. Between the two seats you'll find a storage tray, which is big enough for a phone and keys, along with dual cup holders and a USB-C port – all of which can be covered if you want to keep valuables out of sight. 

The central armrest also opens to uncover a decent-sized storage space, plus access to a second USB-C port, while the door pockets provide room for a bottle and a few small items. 

In the rear, passengers get a reasonable amount of space – although those who are taller may find headroom a touch limited. Thanks to the EQA's more compact design, and the need to house batteries in the floor of the car, the floor in the rear is higher than usual.

It means rear seat passengers will find their knees in a higher position than they may typically expect, and some adults may find this uncomfortable on longer journeys.

The EQA comes with a reasonably sized boot, but it isn't as large as you'd find in a traditional SUV.

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Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Mercedes-Benz EQA drive, range and charging

The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 Sport comes with a 66.5kWh battery and an electric motor capable of producing 190hp.

This car isn’t going to break any speed records – it has a top speed of 99mph and a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds – but there’s sufficient response under foot to get you away from junctions and help you overtake on faster roads.

There’s a selection of drive modes for you to choose from, with ‘Comfort’ being the default option – and the one you’ll likely stick with day-to-day. 

If you’re looking for a bit more responsiveness from the vehicle, switch to Sport mode. This will get you closer to that 0-62mph time, while also stiffening up the ride a little.

Those looking to conserve the battery should instead opt for Eco, which reduces the acceleration and increases the battery regeneration under braking.

Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As for the EQA's range, Mercedes quotes 249-263 miles from a single charge – and the lower end of that estimate may be achievable if you drive conservatively. 

We managed to comfortably get around 200 miles from a single charge on the EQA, which isn’t too bad and should provide enough security for most daily trips.

If you can find a fast-charging station (the one near us has 350kW chargers), then the Mercedes-Benz EQA is quick to top up. We were able to go from 15% to 100% in 45 minutes, with over 60% replenished in 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, things take a little longer at home. On a 400V / 16A wallbox, a 90% charge takes 5 hours and 45 minutes, which means a full charge is easily achievable overnight.

Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Mercedes-Benz EQA specs and tech

The Mercedes-Benz EQA has a suite of driving aids available. On our EQA 250 Sport model, we benefited from automatic lights and wipers, climate control, cruise control, lane assist and blind-spot indicators on the wing mirrors.

There's a good reversing camera, too, which cheekily pops out of the rear badge when required. You're presented with guidelines to help you navigate into tight spots, plus 360-degree parking sensors making maneuvering much easier. 

The infotainment system is based around a duo of 10-inch displays, with the one at the center of the dash being a touch screen.

However, touch isn't the only input method available here; you also get a touch pad and some physical button shortcuts. There's a scroll wheel for adjusting the volume and a switch for drive mode, too. 

In terms of control, you get the best of both worlds. Plus, it will help those used to more traditional controls migrate over to touch-based systems. 

Sometimes, touch input proves quicker and more accurate – such as inputting an address into the sat nav – but while driving, the touch pad allows for a less distracted way of controlling basic functions. 

Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The built-in sat nav is excellent, with plenty of data and information – including charging stations – displayed on the map. The directions are clear and mirrored in the instrument cluster, which is the second of the two bright, sharp 10-inch displays.

There are a range of useful customizable views for the digital cluster, allowing you to change the information displayed in the central and right portions of the screen. 

You can also control both the main display and the digital cluster using on-wheel controls, for quick adjustments and app switching.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported via a wired connection to the USB-C at the base of the center console, providing access to core smartphone apps such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Spotify, WhatsApp and more on the main display. 

Navigation via these smartphone systems isn't mirrored in the digital cluster, however. This makes them a touch more taxing to use, since your eyes have to dart to the main display rather than flick down to the cluster screen. 

Considering the built-in navigation is excellent, and there's Bluetooth available to enable you to stream audio to the EQA's speakers, and make and receive calls, you may find that Auto and CarPlay aren't really required.

And a quick word on the sound system: it's a solid offering that pumps out a pleasing amount of bass while avoiding distortion at higher volumes.

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Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Mercedes EQA

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Mercedes EQA

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Verdict

The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 Sport puts in a good showing for a more affordable electric car. There's a good suite of tech on offer, plus premium design and a comfortable ride. 

While the range isn't the longest we've seen, it's likely to be more than sufficient for the majority of journeys. 

It isn't the cheapest EV on the market, but for those looking for a compact SUV with comfort, excellent sat nav and a solid infotainment experience, the Mercedes-Benz EQA offers you something a little more luxurious than most of its competition.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the world of fully electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars – and the tech inside them – that are available today. From the super-fast to the tech-packed, he'll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.
John McCann

Global Managing Editor

John got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile. Previously Phones Editor, John now looks after the day-to-day running of the site. When he's not got his head buried in mobile tech, you'll find John sitting behind the wheel in his regular TR Drives column.