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Mercedes-Benz EQA 250

Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.


In late 2019 we were treated to a first drive of the all-new Mercedes-Benz EQC. This generously proportioned electric SUV ticked all the quality boxes but at nearly €100,000 including the grants, it was far from cheap and a difficult entry point into EV ownership for Mercedes buyers. Now things have changed and Mercedes-Benz has their sights on the next generation of eco-conscious motorists. The arrival of the new EQA 250, which is essentially the all-electric version of their popular compact A-Class range, opens up a new audience. With its GLA-styled SUV body, the EQA’s fully electric pedigree is evident in its distinctive Mercedes-EQ appearance and reminds us very much of the EQC we previously tested. At the front you get the striking black panel grille with the famous star, EQ blue headlamp strips and a distinctive fibre-optic strip running along front and rear to denote its Mercedes-EQ family membership. Opening the driver’s door you will see the electric character continue with backlit trim and rosé gold decorative elements on ventilation outlets, seats and the key. All this combines to leave you under no illusions that you are in a premium vehicle.



Features

True to Mercedes-Benz ambition to establish a strong market presence in Ireland for their electric-powered EQ model range, they have fitted a plethora of high-end features to the new EQA. Purchasers can look forward to high-performance headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist, electrically operated tailgate, light 18-inch alloys, and 64-colour ambient lighting in the cabin. Specification can also include luxury seating with adjustable lumbar support, reversing camera and a leather sports steering wheel. Available also is the popular Night Package and two design/equipment lines Electric Art and the AMG Line which our test car was fitted with. Regardless of the specification you choose Mercedes-Benz have been very conscious that low wind resistance equates to high efficiency and better battery range so it has a 0.28 Cd value and aerodynamic features that include front and rear aprons, smooth underbody, closed cooling air system, and wind-optimised wheels with spoilers to make it as slippery through the air as possible.



Power

Our test car was the single motor EQA 250, which has a 140 kW power output and combined consumption of 15.7 kWh/100 km. This gives you a WLTP calculated range of 426 km although our mountainous test route was a little more demanding on the battery. People often worry about cold weather usage of electric vehicles also but with a heat pump that uses waste heat from the electric motor to warm passengers, increase range and reduce the draw on battery power, you can rest assure that the EQA is as thermally efficient as possible. Its motor is isolated from the chassis and body to improve comfort and reduce noise and vibration. Future variants to include the EQA300 and 350 will include all-wheel-drive with outputs of 200 kW and a WLTP calculated range in excess of 500 km. This in our opinion will be real world livable range.



Safety

Safety is naturally going to be a priority for Mercedes-Benz and by bringing in some of the technology found in the A-Class and GLA you will expect the EQA to do well in its upcoming NCAP test. Occupant protection includes driver and front passenger airbags, driver’s knee bag, and first and second row window bags. Front side airbags are also standard. Add to this Active Brake Assist, Active Speed limit Assist, a Lane Keeping Assist function and a blind spot warning system fitted to all Mercedes cars. All EQA models sold Ireland also include ‘Hey Mercedes’ driver assistance feature with all of their navigation and electric intelligence supports. We would expect a five star safety rating for the EQA.



Costs

This is where it gets interesting because the EQA 250 with Progressive line as standard has prices beginning from €51,125 inclusive of SEAI grant. The government have changed the SEAI grant rules now and the cut off point has been set at €60,000. This pushes our test vehicle which was the AMG line priced at almost €65,000 over the threshold and no longer qualifies for the grant. This means you have to be careful with your specification if you want to avail of the current €5000 grant.



Summary

Living with the Mercedes-Benz EQA for a brief period was a pleasure. It manages its battery well, pulls four people along with ease thanks to the 275Nm of torque on offer and feels so compliant, regardless of the surface you may find yourself on. Yes there are cheaper EV cars on the market here in Ireland and some are more practical when you consider the EQA has just 340 litres of boot space but few offer the driving characteristics of the Mercedes. In a way the EQA has become the first premium brand in this price point here in Ireland. Soon it will be joined by the new Audi Q4 e-tron and possibly the Tesla Model Y and BMW iX3. For now if you can hit that sweet spot to avail of the SEAI grant, you could be enjoying some premium EV motoring before you know it! Be sure to take a test drive from your local Mercedes-Benz agent.



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To see our full video review of the Mercedes-Benz EQA please visit the DoneDeal YouTube channel.


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