Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing and specifications for its EQA electric compact SUV, which will join the Australian market in April.
With its larger $137,900 EQC 400 4MATIC SUV available at the high-end of the EV spectrum since late 2019, Mercedes-Benz’ second move in the limited EV market is to appeal to a wider audience.
Priced from $76,800, including GST, plus an additional $7,300 for the limited Edition 1 package, the EQA represents the first sub-$80,000 premium electric SUV available locally.
This will place it squarely above the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, with the added bonus of an SUV-style body that could tick the box for those looking for a premium electric option in the popular segment.
Powered by a single motor from its front axle, the EQA has a power output of 140kW and 375Nm torque, while aerodynamics testing giving a 2.8 drag coefficient means it can drive 100km using an average of 16.2kWh of energy
In terms of driving range, often a point of contention for those hesitant to make the switch to electric, Mercedes-Benz states that the EQA has an ADR (Australian Design Rules) range of 480km from its 66.5kWh (usable capacity) battery.
Given the local specifications include the same usable capacity in the battery from 200 cells in a “double decker” five-module arrangement that appears in the German model, we can take a good guess this means the (slightly more accurate) WLTP range sits at 426km driving range in optimum conditions.
While this may play out at a little under 400km with more demanding driving, it should still equate to plenty of range for daily driving as well as road trips using the increasing number of fast chargers rolling out across Australia.
Speaking of fast charging, Mercedes-Benz is keen to ensure EQA owners have that extra assurance when driving out and about with three years’ complimentary charging via the Chargefox network.
With a top charge rate of 100kW, it can recharge from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, while at home, work or shopping centre on a wallbox with a charge rate of 11kW, a 10-80% can be achieved in 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Both an 8-metre “trickle charger” home cable and 5-metre cable for public AC stations are supplied – a nice touch given many other carmakers only supply the trickle charger.
Although at heart an electric vehicle, Mercedes-Benz says it has strived to ensure its EQA brings with it the high-quality finishes and generous equipment levels that come with all vehicles in the German luxury brand’s stable.
The German brand underlines the EQA’s “conspicuous technology” as a selling point, which includes its MBUX infotainment system with 10.25 inch touchscreen and which includes voice control to access a myriad of functions from navigation, media, phone calls and other vehicle systems.
Convenience comes in the form of keyless entry and start, a powered tailgate that can be opened hands-free, wireless smartphone charging and connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a digital radio tuner.
Comfort factors include heated electronic front seats with a memory function, pre-entry climate control, as well as luxe Atrico upholstery and multi-function leather steering wheel.
Driver-assist functions include adaptive cruise control with automatic re-start, active assist features such as steering, braking, lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign assist and parking assist with reversing camera.
Edition 1 brings additional features such as design enhancements both on the inside and outside (think blue stitching and accents), AMG exterior trim, floor mats and pedals, illuminated door sill panels and matte copper 20-inch alloys.
It’s certainly an interesting addition to the market, for a couple of reasons.
It compares well to the GLA it is based upon in terms of pricing, with the GLA 250 4MATIC base price sitting at $66,900 and around $73,500 including all on-roads, luxury car tax and GST (NSW).
Mercedes-Benz have also beat Tesla to the punch both by opening order for its compact electric SUV ahead of the anticipated Model Y electric crossover, and at a price we think Tesla may find hard to match.
Mercedes-Benz says the EQA is available to order from April and first models are expected to be delivered in June 2021.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.