Mercedes-Benz EQA drive review: Baby electric SUV with big boy dreams

5
Safety
3
Performance
4.5
Feature
3.5
Design
3.5
Comfort
5
Safety
3
Performance
4.5
Feature
3.5
Design
3.5
Comfort
Pros
  • Generously packed with features
  • Respectable per-charge drive range
  • Decent looks
Cons
  • Backseat space and comfort
  • Not the quickest of EVs
Mercedes EQA is a confident entry-level all-electric car with limited rivals to compete against in the Indian EV markets. But does it deliver on the m
...
EQA
Mercedes-Benz EQA has officially landed in India as the smallest all-electric SUV from the company. Essentially based on the GLA, the Mercedes EQA is looking at attracting a younger set of EV-buying audience.
The EQA comes in one, fully-decked variant and is offered in multiple body colour options.
The styling on the outside is slightly muted and the design underlines practicality over sheer extravagnce. But that is how most Mercedes EVs have anyway been crafted. The closed grill at the front, AMG 19-inch alloy wheels and strong character lines define the front and side profile of this EV.
The connected light strip between the two tail lights on the EQA is the standout highlight of the EV, although this is fast becoming common on car models across segments.
Much like how the outside dimensions of the EQA is nearly identical to that of the GLA, the dashboard layout too is almost same. But there are some elements like the steering wheel, Burmester sound system, augmented reality navigation and gesture control that are unique to the EQA
A look at the complete dashboard layout inside the Mercedes-Benz EQA.
The backseats take some of the points away and off the EQA resume with the lack of under-thigh support and the awkward seating posture requiring a look in.
While not ferociously quick, the Mercedes EQA more than makes up for it with its comfortable drive and ride experience even when being pushed to and beyond triple-digit speeds.
The Mercedes EQA gets a 70.5 kWh battery pack at its core and has a claimed range of 550 kms. In the real world, expect a drive range of around 450 kms which is still mighty impressive. The front-wheel-drive or FWD version offers around 187 bhp and 385 Nm of torque while the top speed is capped at 160 kmph.
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The EQA comes in as the fifth all-electric car from Mercedes-Benz in India. The first was the EQC, followed by the EQS sedan, EQB and EQE SUVs.
Mercedes-Benz EQA has officially landed in India as the smallest all-electric SUV from the company. Essentially based on the GLA, the Mercedes EQA is looking at attracting a younger set of EV-buying audience.
1/9
Mercedes-Benz EQA has officially landed in India as the smallest all-electric SUV from the company. Essentially based on the GLA, the Mercedes EQA is looking at attracting a younger set of EV-buying audience.
The EQA comes in one, fully-decked variant and is offered in multiple body colour options.
2/9
The EQA comes in one, fully-decked variant and is offered in multiple body colour options.
The styling on the outside is slightly muted and the design underlines practicality over sheer extravagnce. But that is how most Mercedes EVs have anyway been crafted. The closed grill at the front, AMG 19-inch alloy wheels and strong character lines define the front and side profile of this EV.
3/9
The styling on the outside is slightly muted and the design underlines practicality over sheer extravagnce. But that is how most Mercedes EVs have anyway been crafted. The closed grill at the front, AMG 19-inch alloy wheels and strong character lines define the front and side profile of this EV.
The connected light strip between the two tail lights on the EQA is the standout highlight of the EV, although this is fast becoming common on car models across segments.
4/9
The connected light strip between the two tail lights on the EQA is the standout highlight of the EV, although this is fast becoming common on car models across segments.
Much like how the outside dimensions of the EQA is nearly identical to that of the GLA, the dashboard layout too is almost same. But there are some elements like the steering wheel, Burmester sound system, augmented reality navigation and gesture control that are unique to the EQA
5/9
Much like how the outside dimensions of the EQA is nearly identical to that of the GLA, the dashboard layout too is almost same. But there are some elements like the steering wheel, Burmester sound system, augmented reality navigation and gesture control that are unique to the EQA
A look at the complete dashboard layout inside the Mercedes-Benz EQA.
6/9
A look at the complete dashboard layout inside the Mercedes-Benz EQA.
The backseats take some of the points away and off the EQA resume with the lack of under-thigh support and the awkward seating posture requiring a look in.
7/9
The backseats take some of the points away and off the EQA resume with the lack of under-thigh support and the awkward seating posture requiring a look in.
While not ferociously quick, the Mercedes EQA more than makes up for it with its comfortable drive and ride experience even when being pushed to and beyond triple-digit speeds.
8/9
While not ferociously quick, the Mercedes EQA more than makes up for it with its comfortable drive and ride experience even when being pushed to and beyond triple-digit speeds.
The Mercedes EQA gets a 70.5 kWh battery pack at its core and has a claimed range of 550 kms. In the real world, expect a drive range of around 450 kms which is still mighty impressive. The front-wheel-drive or FWD version offers around 187 bhp and 385 Nm of torque while the top speed is capped at 160 kmph.
9/9
The Mercedes EQA gets a 70.5 kWh battery pack at its core and has a claimed range of 550 kms. In the real world, expect a drive range of around 450 kms which is still mighty impressive. The front-wheel-drive or FWD version offers around 187 bhp and 385 Nm of torque while the top speed is capped at 160 kmph.

Mercedes-Benz now has almost all bases covered. As the first luxury carmaker to launch an electric car in India - back in 2020 when the EQC was launched, Mercedes had an advantage over its direct rivals. But in recent times, BMW has seized the initiative with a more aggressive product offensive in a market that is still tiny for luxury electric models. But finally, yes finally, the Mercedes EQA has been launched in the Indian market at the entry-level all-electric car that is gunning for attention from a younger crop of environmentally-conscious - and affluent buyers.

Based on the GLA SUV, the Mercedes GLA is indeed a baby SUV compared to the larger siblings in the India portfolio like the EQB and EQE. But on paper at least, it has the biggest potential to find favour among a class of buyers who are likely to have at least one non-electric luxury car in their garage.

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Will the EQA stand out as the best-selling Mercedes electric vehicle (EV) in India or can it even topple its direct rivals, mainly the BMW iX1 that has been around for some time? Check out our first in-depth drive review of the Mercedes-Benz EQA:

Mercedes-Benz EQA: Exteriors

The EQA, much like the GLA, does not exactly look like a menacing SUV. Instead, it is more of a crossover that is designed for practicality than sheer visual dominance. This can be said for almost every other Mercedes electric car irrespective of body type. The shape and contour lines flow more elegantly than on several rival models - both in India and elsewhere.

EQA
The EQA from Mercedes-Benz measures 4463 mm in length, is 1834 mm wide and stands 1624 mm tall. This is almost exactly identical to the Mercedes GLA, the engine-powered alternative to this electric car.
EQA
The EQA from Mercedes-Benz measures 4463 mm in length, is 1834 mm wide and stands 1624 mm tall. This is almost exactly identical to the Mercedes GLA, the engine-powered alternative to this electric car.

The proportions of the Mercedes EQA are identical to the Mercedes GLA but there are several key standout highlights as far as the exterior design is concerned. The face, for instance, immediately tells you that here is an EV. In India, the model comes in the fully-decked EQA 250+ version and the EV gets a closed grille in gloss Black shade with 3D tri-stars surrounding the main Mercedes logo. The headlights on either side blend into the front grille while character lines on the bonnet add a fair bit of character to the face. There is also a horizontal light band connecting the two headlamps while the lower half of the face gets some degree of chrome treatment.

(Also check: In pics: Mercedes-Benz EQA, the smallest all-electric)

The face of the Mercedes EQA is rather simple but is smart enough to help it establish itself as an electric model. But move to the side and the slight sporty nature of the design comes into play - 19-inch AMG alloy wheels are very catchy and give a generous touch of aggressive appeal to the vehicle. There are more chrome outlines here, all the way around the window sills while there is a character line stretching across the lower half of the body.

EQA
The connected light strip between the two tail lights on the EQA is the standout highlight of the EV, although this is fast becoming common on car models across segments.
EQA
The connected light strip between the two tail lights on the EQA is the standout highlight of the EV, although this is fast becoming common on car models across segments.

The rear of the Mercedes EQA returns to being simple with a connecting light between the taillights being the only major standout design highlight.

Mercedes-Benz EQA: Interiors

Plush, typically plush - this is truly what the cabin of the Mercedes-Benz EQA is all about. Considering that this here is the top-version of the model, the company seems to have spared nothing to give it a very upmarket feel, and then some.

EQA
The dashboard layout inside the EQA can easily be assumed to be that of the GLA, whether it is the AC turbine vents or the infotainment screen. But look closer and the unique updates start becoming evident.
EQA
The dashboard layout inside the EQA can easily be assumed to be that of the GLA, whether it is the AC turbine vents or the infotainment screen. But look closer and the unique updates start becoming evident.

The steering wheel is new, the 12-speaker, 710-watt Burmester sound system is fantastic and the quality of fit and finish is typically Mercedes. The front two seats also have a generous amount of bolstering and support to allow comfortable journey. HUD or Head Up Display has been added and the in-built navigation on the main screen comes with augmented reality navigation for easier understanding of the route. There is support for gesture control as well and this is a neat little convenience feature which can be customised to a particular function on the screen - for us, it was to turn on the 360-degree camera for parking.

EQA
A look at the complete dashboard layout inside the Mercedes-Benz EQA.
EQA
A look at the complete dashboard layout inside the Mercedes-Benz EQA.

But Mercedes EQA also lacks a fair bit in some departments. The 10.23-inch main unit and the drive display continues to dwarf when the entire dashboard layout is taken into consideration. Backseat space is rather minimal and comfort is far from ideal too. Under-thigh support on the backseats is woefully missing and headroom for tall persons - those at six feet or more - is compromised. Blame it perhaps on the big battery eating into space here even though kneeroom and legspace is just about manageable for two. Thankfully, there is not much of a floor hump like in conventional luxury cars so a person in the middle can be adjusted. Boot space at 340 litres is a big let down as well.- remember, this is as much space as what sub-compact SUVs in the mass market offer.

EQA
The backseats take some of the points away and off the EQA resume with the lack of under-thigh support and the awkward seating posture requiring a look in.
EQA
The backseats take some of the points away and off the EQA resume with the lack of under-thigh support and the awkward seating posture requiring a look in.

Overall though, the cabin of the Mercedes EQA shines in terms of features and quality but feels rather wanting in terms of space and comfort.

Mercedes-Benz EQA: Range and key specifications

The Mercedes-Benz EQA has a 70.5 kWh battery pack at its core. The acceleration time from 0 to 100 kmph is at 8.6 seconds - no, not the quickest in the league for sure. The top speed is capped at 160 kmph.

The battery inside can be powered from 0 per cent to 100 per cent using a conventional 11kW charger in a little over seven hours but use a DC 100kW charger and this time comes down to a lightning quick 35 minutes only.

Mercedes-Benz EQA: Drive

EQA
Its compact proportions make the Mercedes EQA an ideal option for daily city commute.
EQA
Its compact proportions make the Mercedes EQA an ideal option for daily city commute.

The Mercedes-Benz EQA is not going to be the most excitable luxury electric vehicle and yet, it is a fairly enjoyable machine on the move. It is a front-wheel drive which offers around 187 bhp and 380 Nm of torque. There are four drive modes but acceleration, as mentioned earlier, isn't quite sensational.

But with EVs primarily being a city-based commute option, the EQA stands out in terms of the sheer refinement and control over noises from outside. The EV is in its best element when moving at traffic speeds and its compact proportions would make it easy enough to handle on typically congested roads.

EQA
While not ferociously quick, the Mercedes EQA more than makes up for it with its comfortable drive and ride experience even when being pushed to and beyond triple-digit speeds.
EQA
While not ferociously quick, the Mercedes EQA more than makes up for it with its comfortable drive and ride experience even when being pushed to and beyond triple-digit speeds.

On open highway stretches too, it is very well planted with good steering feedback and respectable overall stability. The suspension set up is slightly stiff but the ride over bruised roads isn't going to send shockwaves inside. Multiple levels of regenerative braking are aimed to improve range but ideally, only the ‘Normal’ mode is likely to be used for unhindered drive experience.

Mercedes-Benz EQA: Verdict

EQA
As an introduction to the Mercedes EV family, the EQA does a fairly good job of ticking boxes. While it can be great for small families, anyone looking at an excess of pomp and flash may just have to shell out more for the elder siblings in the same camp.
EQA
As an introduction to the Mercedes EV family, the EQA does a fairly good job of ticking boxes. While it can be great for small families, anyone looking at an excess of pomp and flash may just have to shell out more for the elder siblings in the same camp.

The Mercedes-Benz EQA is a great entry-point for someone looking at joining the Mercedes family without having to either spend big bucks on bigger EVs or find space to park one. While there are several bits from the GLA - and this isn't a bad thing, the EQA has a fair bit that is unique too. The feature list and the face, for example, are great and expect a real-world drive range of around 450 kms which is mighty impressive too. But where this EV ends up losing ground is backseat comfort and that tiny boot space.

The Mercedes EQA locks horns against the BMW iX1 which - strictly personal opinion this - looks more sporty and dominant while the other rivals include the Volvo XC40 Recharge. It is a small field of competition and therefore, the EQA can cover a decent amount of ground in relatively quick time.

First Published Date: 08 Jul 2024, 09:58 AM IST
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