All-new Baby Electric Mercedes EQA No Longer Trying to be Different. Closes in on Real-world Expectations
Mercedes-Benz’ new entry-level EQA is refreshing in so many ways. Revealed this week, the company’s first fully electric compact car promises ‘an excellent compromise between performance and cost’.
The EQA however breaks fresh ground. Rather than being a standalone electric car built on its own platform and completely disconnected from anything we know, EQA typifies Mercedes’ strategy of basing its EVs platforms on existing combustion-engined platforms.
This one is based on the recently released second generation conventional combustion engined GLA. It looks more like san upmarket GLA than an electric car. And it’s that relative normality that may convince owners whose lifestyles permit, to go electric without feeling like the clown with the party hat on.
Cabin upgrades, for example, do not change much at all from the GLA’s basic layout. True, the electric car is plusher and further upmarket in its finishes and trim, but it still uses the basic wide-dash Mercedes MBUX system we know and understand. Rather than someone’s bad dream of how the future may look that’s impossible to use or understand.
EQA has an EV-specific instrument cluster. But it retains the GLA’s SUV-like command driving position and handy 40:20:40 split folding rear bench. Upgrades include four-way adjustable lumbar support luxury seats, rose gold-coloured inserts and additional 64-colour ambient lighting to up the cockpit ante in the full cream electric executive cabin.
Edition 1 models add leather with blue fabric perforations, while AMG Line, Electric Art and Night packages allow for a broad level of personalisation. All pretty posh. But not too outlandish.
Benz has however done a bit to set its new baby electric car apart from its fossil fueled GLA siblings on the outside. While it retains the GLA’s silhouette, shape and glasshouse, EQA gets full-LED headlights. They form part of a single unit fibre optic grille. The taillights similarly merge into a single-piece light bar. The power tailgate is also unique to deliver on the promise that EQA is highly recognisable day and night.
A variety of distinctive wheel options will be available up to 20 inches in bi or tri-colour designs and rose-gold or blue detailing. And specifically designed to ensure a competitive 0.28 drag coefficient.
Under the skin, the EQA loses certain of GLA’s underfloor cross members to accommodate its 66.5 kWh usable capacity battery pack. It doubles as a structural component below the passenger compartment. An aluminium housing retains the car’s rigidity within the existing structure.
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