The first all-electric compact car from Mercedes-Benz will have you excited about the change that is coming
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What is the EQA?
This car is the cheapest pure electric Mercedes you can get, and will be for the foreseeable future, since the next models from the battery-only Mercedes-EQ label are all bigger. The EQA is the electric counterpart to the very successful GLA, so you know big things are expected of it.
Visually, the EQA’s similarity to the GLA is evident, right down to its proportions and dimensions. The overall silhouette is similar, with the EQA marked out by the black panel grille up front that is part of Mercedes-Benz’s EQ electric car identity. The rear is more visibly differentiated with a single bar taillight treatment that Mercedes-Benz says offers a “high level of recognisability”.
Similarly, the EQA’s interior essentially mimics the GLA’s, with the basic layout remaining unchanged, and only minor trim additions such as rose gold elements and unique backlighting features marking out the electric model from regular GLAs.
The EQA features as standard an online-based navigation system with ‘intelligence’ function, which can calculate the best route to the destination using prevailing conditions such as weather and traffic, as well as the car’s remaining range and availability of charging stations along the route.
The driving experience
The sole drivetrain available in Singapore for now is the EQA 250, which develops 190hp and 375Nm of torque. It enables it to go from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds, and hit a top speed of 160km/h, while energy consumption is rated at 16.2kWh/100km. The more powerful EQA 300 and 350 models with longer range and dual-motor all-wheel-drive capability are expected to arrive in Singapore next year.
As it stands though, the EQA is everything you could expect from a compact electric car. It’s almost noiseless on the move. EVs tend to hum or whirr along, but the EQA is the quietest compact EV you can currently buy. Even outside sounds are muted to a high level. The ride quality isn’t commensurately plush as it’s actually quite a heavy car weighing in at just over two tinnes, but the ride is much, much better than in the GLA, or the other cars that use Mercedes’ small car platform.
The response to the accelerator is instant, but the acceleration is rapid and linear rather than frightening so young drivers have little to worry about. Our experience with the EQA feels as if everything has been carefully calculated to deliver the experience of a relaxed ride in a big car but within a small one.
Fully charged, the EQA 250 has a range of about 480km, and Mercedes-Benz says that the car can be recharged from empty to full via an 11kW charger in around six hours. With a 100kW fast charger though, the EQA 250 can achieve an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.
More realistically in Singapore though, a 50kW DC charger could probably put in about 100km in less than 20 minutes. If you can manage an hour with a 50kW commercial charger on weekends while you grab coffee, you’ll do fine.
At 66.5kWh, the EQA’s battery isn’t that big, so the car’s impressive 400km+ range is likely down to its inherent efficiency.
So, why this car?
The introduction of the EQA is in line with Mercedes-Benz’s overall electrification strategy, which aims to have an electrified model in every segment by next year, and every model line to have an electric variant by 2025. The ultimate long term goal, according to Claudius Steinhoff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Singapore, is for the brand to go fully electric by 2030, depending on the market conditions.
He adds that while it might not be reasonable to say that they will completely stop production of internal combustion engines (ICEs) by a fixed date, the brand is very confident that Singapore will be one of the markets where a 100 percent fully electric lineup is a feasible proposition.
To that end, there will be three fully electric vehicle architectures by 2025, and the EQA will be one of the key pillars of Mercedes-EQ’s product strategy, given its status as an entry-level electric model for the brand.
Mercedes-EQ EQA 250 AMG Line
|Electric Motor||190hp (140kW), 375Nm|
|Battery||Lithium ion, 66.5kWh (net)|
|Charge Time / Type||6 hrs / 11kW wallbox|
1 hr (0-80%) / 50kW DC charger
|Electric Range||“Up to” 426km|
|Price||S$260,888 with COE (as of November 2021)|