What does an electrical future seem like? Driving the most recent electrical autos often gives an image of the newest and best in EV progress, however the Mercedes-Benz EQA is extra like a snapshot of the current previous. Primarily based on the internal-combustion GLA relatively than a standalone platform, the EQA appears to hail from the primary technology of EVs—gradual, with restricted vary, buying and selling extra on perceived virtuosity than precise advantage. By way of efficiency, it has an extended solution to go to catch a present Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt, not to mention automobiles of an identical worth vary, such because the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Mannequin 3.
The EQA, which we drove on its residence turf close to Stuttgart, Germany, at the least appears to be like the a part of a Mercedes. It is entry-level opulence at its best, particularly when the Electrical Artwork model is specified, with black and rose-gold seats, rose-gold air vents, and backlit decor strips on the dashboard. Our check automobile was thus geared up and likewise showcased the plethora of digital devices that populate the compact Mercedes fashions.
Outdoors, the EQA shares its sheetmetal with the GLA, however Gorden Wagener’s design workforce has uncluttered the entrance and rear ends to align this little electrical crossover with the opposite choices beneath the Mercedes EQ subbrand. The EQA-exclusive wheels look suitably futuristic and little question assist scale back drag.
As within the gas-powered GLA, the EQA’s powerplant, on this case a 188-hp induction motor, is fitted beneath the hood and drives the entrance axle by a single-speed gear set. This implies there isn’t any house for a entrance trunk and the rear load flooring is barely raised to make room for the 66.5-kWh battery pack. The ground can also be raised, which creates a much less comfy expertise within the rear seat. There’s loads of house between the rear bench and the entrance seats, however the elevated flooring forces the rear passengers right into a barely froglike place. The cabin is in any other case comfy and effectively appointed, as it’s within the GLA.
In Europe the EQA250, the one presently accessible mannequin, is priced barely above the 221-hp GLA250, whose efficiency it fails to match (and by a substantial margin). The 188-hp motor, which produces 277 pound-feet of torque, is hampered by the EQA’s exceptional heft. It ideas the scales at virtually 4500 kilos. The speedy response of the motor makes this automobile enjoyable to drive within the metropolis, however Mercedes’s claimed zero-to-62-mph time of 8.9 seconds is way in arrears of both the GLA250 (zero to 60 mph in 6.Three seconds) or any EV which may remotely be thought-about a competitor. Past 60 mph, efficiency trails off, and the EQA250 is electronically restricted to 99 mph. We really feel it may do maybe one other 15 mph, which might assist issues on the autobahn however doubtless put a serious dent within the vary.
On the plus aspect, the powertrain may be very quiet—much more so than many different EVs we now have pushed. And it is enjoyable to play with the configurable vitality regeneration settings. We additionally seen that even after repeated 60-to-99-mph runs, output was by no means dialed again. The efficiency, whereas modest, is at the least constant.
Within the present, virtually comically optimistic European NEDC cycle, the EQA250 is rated at 302 miles of vary. We received half of that, however admittedly we pushed the automobile to its modest limits. Alternatively, the climate was truthful, and in different circumstances the vary may drop even decrease. Mercedes says you may assist the EQA get probably the most out of its battery by informing the navigation system of your vacation spot earlier than you set off. That means, the automobile can modify its powertrain methods in accordance with the topography to maximise vary.
Going ahead, there can be each a range-optimized EQA and a extra highly effective model with 268 horsepower and all-wheel drive. The latter will supply improved straight-line efficiency, however since it will likely be even heavier than the EQA250, we doubt it’s going to do a lot to win over driving fanatics.
The truth is, every little thing that Mercedes-Benz has achieved with the MFA platform over the previous decade—precision, agility, lightness—is misplaced within the EV conversion. The EQA250 wallows round nation roads with an abundance of squat, dive, and roll and a exceptional lack of pleasure. Brake really feel is especially unhealthy throughout enthusiastic driving, and through onerous cornering the stability-control system reins within the automobile with a impolite show of authority. It must be talked about that our check automobile was shod with 215/60R-18 winter tires; efficiency ought to considerably enhance with the usual 235/55R-18 summer time tires. Not that compact luxurious crossovers see a lot off-road use, however the EQA even suffers in that hypothetical use case. Due to the massive battery pack, its breakover angle is lower than that of the GLA.
Mercedes-Benz has not determined but whether or not the EQA can be provided in the USA market or whether or not the upcoming EQB, a by-product of the GLB, will make it throughout the Atlantic. Finest saved within the metropolis—or the suburbs, the place individuals can cost it at residence—the EQA250 serves as a stark reminder that EVs nonetheless include sacrifices. This yet one more than most.
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