Preview: Mercedes-Benz EQA compact electric SUV promises over 268 horsepower, 300 miles of range

Mercedes-Benz last summer introduced a redesigned GLA-Class, and on Wednesday the compact crossover SUV spawned a battery-electric version called the EQA.

The EQA starts sales in Europe this spring but isn’t yet confirmed for sale in the United States, and there’s a chance we may not see it. The reason is that Mercedes is also planning an electric version of the slightly bigger GLB-Class to be called the EQB, which is a better bet for our market.

The EQA closely resembles the regular GLA-Class but sports some clear electric-vehicle identifiers like a sealed-off grille for improved aero efficiency, and an absence of exhaust tips. The design of the lights at both ends is also different, with the EQA adopting a light bar that spans the width of the rear, a design trait that’s likely to become a feature of future EQ models. The EQA also has a unique wheel pattern that ranges up to 20 inches in diameter and can be ordered in rose gold.

The interior, naturally, is similar to what you find in the GLA-Class. Here, too, rose gold accents can be added, for example on the air vents. There’s also the MBUX infotainment system which supports natural-speak voice activation.

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Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Right now Mercedes has only announced the one grade, an EQA 250 with a 66.5-kilowatt-hour battery said to be good for a range approaching 300 miles on a charge. The EQA 250 also has a single electric motor at the front axle rated at 188 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The setup is good for 0-62 mph acceleration in 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 100 mph.

More grades are planned. Mercedes said buyers will eventually be able to opt for an EQA with over 268 hp and over 300 miles of range. The automaker also said more powerful versions of the EQA would come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and adaptive dampers for the suspension (an option on the EQA 250).

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz EQA

The battery of the EQA sits in the floor and forms part of the vehicle’s structure. It can be charged at a maximum rate of 100 kilowatts, which would enable a 10-80% charge in about 30 minutes. Mercedes guarantees the battery’s performance for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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Production of the EQA is being handled at plants in Rastatt, Germany, and Beijing, China.

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz EQA

The EQA was originally going to be based on Mercedes’ A-Class hatchback. Mercedes even previewed an electric hatch in 2017 with the Concept EQA. However, the shift in consumer trends toward SUVs persuaded Mercedes to use the GLA-Class as the basis for the EQA.

Mercedes is working on several more electric SUVs, all of them bigger than the EQA. In addition to the EQB mentioned above, we’ll also see a small EQE SUV (likely in lieu of the EQC) and mid-size EQS SUV. An electric G-Class is also coming.

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