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      Mercedes-Benz EQA 250+ First Drive Review

      Desirazu Venkat

      Desirazu Venkat

      What is it?

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Right Side View

      Mercedes-Benz is expanding its electric strategy, but this time, at the entry-level end of things with the EQA. It’s the smallest electric Mercedes to go on sale in India and is aimed at buyers looking at luxury for the first time or wanting a second car but in EV guise to be in with the times.

      How is it on the outside?

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Grille

      As the name suggests, the EQA is an EV version of the GLA compact SUV and picks up many of its design cues but with some obvious touches. Up front, there’s the faux Mercedes grille with the full-length LED strip running above it. The front bumper too has been slightly re-profiled, adding to the car’s ability to stand out when compared to its ICE sibling.

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Tail Light/Tail Lamp

      The only major change on the sides of the EQA, when compared to the ICE model, is the design of the alloy wheels. They are 19-inch units and are lightweight AMG design models that give the car a sporty appearance. At the rear, the taillamps are connected, necessitating the need for the bright-green EV number plate to be moved lower down the rear bumper. In all, this mid-way route of keeping the overall shape familiar but adding enough new elements has been a consistent approach for Mercedes when creating a new EV and this one is no different.

      How is it on the inside?

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Dashboard

      Like the exterior, the interior is shared with the GLA and you can see a lot of familiar elements. You get two large dual displays, the one on the left running the latest MBUX infotainment system, and the right unit being the instrument cluster. The steering wheel, design of the centre console, and even the AC vents are all shared with the GLA but in the case of this car, you get a rose gold tint for the AC vents to help them stand out. This rose gold theme has been carried over to the seats too on the front and rear seatbacks.

      As a space to use, the front seats are very comfortable, no doubt helped by the fact that Mercedes has designed this car with the self-driving buyer in mind. You get enough headroom, leg room, and shoulder room and the front seats are powered by a three-user memory function for both occupants.

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Head-Up Display (HUD)

      Move over to the second row and the story is a little less impressive due to a variety of reasons. The first is the reduced under-thigh support. This was already not great to begin with on the GLA and has been compounded here by the presence of a battery pack underneath, raising the height of the floor. The second-row bench is flat but the middle occupant is not going to have a very great time due to the protrusion of the rear AC into their knee room.

      But as a space to use, it’s not bad at all. You get the rear AC vents, two Type-C USB charging ports, bottle holders in both doors, and a proper centre armrest, which is not provided at all in certain variants of the GLA. The seats split fold 40:20:40 and can all go down together also to expand the bootspace, which is 340 litres with the second row up.

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Instrument Cluster

      You get the EQA as one fully loaded model dubbed EQA 250+. The feature list has the usual set of luxuries one would expect in this part of the market. Additionally, it also gets some neat stuff such as modifiable mood lighting, three-pointed star puddle lamps, 360-degree camera, driver assistance systems, gesture control, and augmented reality navigation, including a system that reads the traffic lights and alerts you when it turns green.

      How is it to drive?

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Engine Shot

      First, let's get numbers out of the way. It gets a 70.5kWh battery pack mated to an electric motor producing 187bhp/385Nm and only in an FWD configuration. The battery pack can be fast charged from 10-80 per cent in 35 minutes when connected to a 100kWh DC fast charger. The all-important range has been certified at 560km WLTP, which by our estimates should translate to at least 380km to 400km in the real world.

      As a car to drive, the EQA does what one would expect from a vehicle in this price range in this category. The ride quality is firm but compliant and for the most, it takes bumps and potholes without much of an issue, despite the batteries that easily add another 80kg to 100kg to the overall weight of the vehicle. This is Mercedes finding a decent balance between ride and handling. That being said, the EQA handles the rounded bumps well but the more sharp-edged ones result in an audible thump and if you are carrying too much speed, then it is unsettling for the occupants.

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Left Rear Three Quarter

      However, the steering is light and easy and offers decent feedback on what's going on under the front wheels. As a part of the deal, you get four driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual. The last mode is a mix-and-match of the other three, while the Sport mode is the most potent, allowing you to unleash all 385Nm of torque through the front wheels.

      Should you buy one?

      Mercedes-Benz EQA Instrument Cluster

      Working in favour of the EQA is the fact that its feature-loaded, electric powertrain is fun to use, especially in the full-fledged Sport mode, has a massive range, and offers good comfort. On the other hand, the rear-seat experience needs improvement. Moreover, even though the ride is compliant when it comes to smaller bumps, it does tend to crash when the potholes become sharper. Finally, Mercedes is offering a 67 per cent assured buyback value on the EQA 250+ at the end of four years, a deal similar to what it is offering on its ICE vehicles.

      Photography: Kapil Angane

      Mercedes-Benz | EQA | Mercedes-Benz EQA | EQA 250 Plus