New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range

The new Mercedes EQA is a premium rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Kia e-Niro, with a maximum claimed range of 302 miles

This is the new Mercedes EQA. It’s the first compact premium electric crossover on the market - competitors from Audi and BMW are still years away from production - so Mercedes hopes it will steal a march on its rivals by diving into the segment first.

The Mercedes EQA will go on sale in the UK in February and, although UK prices are yet to be finalised, the brand has confirmed that it’ll have a starting price of €47,540.50 in Europe. That works out at around £42,000 in the UK – or £8,000 more expensive than the equivalent combustion engined BMW X2, before any government incentives have been applied.

From launch, Mercedes will only offer a single powertrain and battery combination, dubbed the EQA 250. The system comprises a 66.5kWh battery pack and a single electric motor mounted on the front axle, for a combined output of 188bhp and 375Nm of torque.

Mercedes says the EQA 250 will have a 0–62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 99mph. The entry-level model will also have a maximum range of 302 miles – although it’s worth bearing in mind that the figure was homologated under the outmoded NEDC regime.

However, those craving a little more performance shouldn't worry, as Mercedes will soon expand the EQA’s line-up with a twin-motor, all-wheel drive variant. Final performance figures are yet to be confirmed, but the company has said it’ll generate “more than 200kW” (268bhp). The system will also have 500Nm of torque, offering a 0–62mph time of around five seconds.

Mercedes will also introduce a slightly more efficient model, with a maximum range of 310 miles. Unlike other manufacturers, though, the improved driving range is achieved with a handful of efficiency tweaks rather than fitting a bigger battery. As such, charge times are unlikely to differ from the standard car, taking 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent capacity using a 100kW fast-charging station.

New Mercedes EQA: design and platform

Due to its size, the EQA is based on a modified version of the platform currently used by the A-Class and GLA crossover. Despite its roots as a platform for combustion-engined cars, Mercedes has adapted the chassis to make space for an electric motor and a battery pack under the vehicle’s floor.

The GLA’s platform was also extensively strengthened to support the added weight of the battery pack. The firm’s engineers added new cross members under the floor and a guard for the front of the battery pack to prevent it from being punctured in the event of an accident.

In an effort to squeeze the maximum possible amount of range out of the car’s battery pack, Mercedes’s engineers paid particular attention to the EQA’s shape when it was on the drawing board. The sharper lines of the GLA and A-Class have been softened and the crossover’s frontal area has been made as smooth as possible, in an effort to make the EQA cut through the air cleanly. The underside of the car is also completely enclosed by an undertray, resulting in a drag coefficient of just 0.28Cd.

This design theme will continue over a range of future EQ models, including the upcoming seven-seat EQB SUV and the EQS saloon. Mercedes’s design chief, Gordon Wagner, commented: “The EQ brand obviously needs a purpose-made language. We showed that with the EQS concept car.

“That shows our language and, when it comes to EQA and EQB, of course, they will share that language and they will share a family resemblance within EQ. They will carry the EQ form identity with a similar face and integration of the grille and headlights we have shown on many cars already.”

Futuristic looks and clever aerodynamics aside, though, there are still some noticeable links to the rest of the brand’s production vehicles. Like the EQC, it features a pair of slimline LED headlamps and a similarly shaped blanked off radiator grille. Buyers also get a familiar set of five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

New Mercedes EQA: trim and equipment

UK specifications for the EQA are yet to be confirmed. However, Mercedes has released the crossover’s European trim-levels, some of which will make their way onto the UK market.

The German market EQA range is separated into three trim-levels – Progressive, Electric Art and AMG Line. Standard equipment for the base model includes faux-leather upholstery, electrically adjustable seats, a leather sports steering wheel, a 64-colour ambient lighting system and an electrically operated tailgate.

Mercedes’s mid-range Electric Art gets back-lit trim for the dashboard, rose gold piping for the seats and a nappa leather sports steering wheel. The car’s treadplates are also illuminated with “EQA” lettering and the standard 18-inch alloys are swapped for a set of two-tone ten-spoke units. Whether this variant will reach the UK is yet to be announced.

However, Mercedes’s popular AMG Line specification is all but certain to go on sale in the UK. Upgrades over the standard car will include a redesigned radiator grille, an AMG-specific diffuser and a unique set of 18-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels – while adaptive dampers can be specced as an option. Inside, buyers should also get AMG-branded floor mats, stainless steel pedals and a pair of figure hugging sports seats.

Mercedes’s latest MBUX infotainment system will be a common fixture across the EQA line-up. The base-model should come with two seven-inch screens, while more generously equipped variants will feature a pair of 10.25-inch screens – and both systems will provide smartphone connectivity and integrated sat-nav.

As you would expect from a Mercedes, the EQA has a wide range of driver assistance technology, with active lane-keeping assist and active braking assist fitted as standard. Mercedes also offers an optional Driving Assistance Package, which adds active steering assist, active blind spot assist and active speed limit assist system, which can automatically adjust the car’s cruising speed depending on the speed limit.

What do you make of the new Mercedes EQA? Let us know in the comments section below…

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