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Driven: Queue forms for electric Benz EQA

High demand for just-launched Mercedes-Benz EQA250 in Australia as EV momentum builds

8 Jul 2021

MERCEDES-BENZ Australia has launched its second electric vehicle – the EQA250 small SUV, priced from $76,800 before on-road costs – and will follow this up with an all-wheel-drive EQA350 4Matic version in November or December. 


With the EQA250 priced competitively against EVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander ($66,000) and upcoming Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric ($76,990), Mercedes-Benz has already seen strong demand for the EQA in Australia.


In the first two months since Australian EQA250 deliveries began, 88 units were sold, and supply is already virtually all spoken for until Christmas.


“The initial reaction from Australian customers has really been overwhelming,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia head of media relations and public relations Jerry Stamoulis.


“It has only been in dealerships a couple of weeks and we’re already hearing stories of customers walking in looking at a vehicle such as a GLA and walking out with an EQA.”


The EQA shares much of its DNA with the strong-selling, new-generation GLA small SUV, including wheelbase length, doors, roof, glass and interior architecture, though with bespoke packaging of its rear battery pack and, on the forthcoming EQA350 4Matic variant, rear electric motor.


With the GLA having expanded vertically to become more of an SUV-style vehicle than its hatch-like predecessor, it became the ideal donor model for the electric EQA, and Mercedes-Benz says buyers are responding to that logic.


“We’ve already had customers tell us that they’ve been waiting for a compact electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, either to step across from what they’re currently driving or to supplement their existing car,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia media relations and product communications manager Ryan Lewis.


Arriving 18 months after Mercedes-Benz’s first electric vehicle, the EQC medium SUV, the EQA marks the entry point for the Stuttgart firm’s ‘EQ’ sub-brand and will be quickly followed by several Mercedes-EQ models over the next 12 months.


These will include the EQS electric limousine due late this year and the seven-seat EQB in 2022, with Mercedes-Benz Australia also considering an EQT version of the T-Class compact van range.


Further down the track, an EQE sedan, EQE SUV and EQS SUV will follow, though a long-range EQA variant will emerge before any of those all-new electric models.


As reported by GoAuto back in March, the EQA arrives comprehensively equipped, though initially with just one drivetrain to begin with. 


The EQA250 features a single 140kW/375Nm electric motor driving the front wheels, fed by a 66.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack – giving it an ADR81/02-measured range of 480km.


A more powerful EQA350 4Matic is set to arrive by Christmas featuring an additional electric motor on its rear axle, expanding outputs to 215kW/520Nm for a much quicker 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds (compared to a leisurely 8.9 seconds for the EQA250).


Mercedes-Benz Australia has decided not to import the mid-level 168kW/390Nm EQA300 4Matic, featuring identical energy consumption to the EQA350 and a 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds.   


Interestingly, the EQA350 4Matic’s quoted range and energy consumption (493km, 15.8kWh/100km) are near-identical to the front-drive EQA250’s.


Mercedes-Benz says battery recharging time for both models to go from 10-80 per cent takes 30 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger, whereas a dedicated AC wallbox will take just over four hours.


From launch, the EQA250 will be offered in two versions – the standard car and a tricked-up ‘Edition 1’ model for a $7300 premium. 


Standard equipment includes an MBUX infotainment system with dual 10.25-inch touchscreens, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation and wireless phone charging.


There are heated and electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, Artico upholstery, a leather sports steering wheel, ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, an electric tailgate and keyless entry/start.


Adaptive dampers and multi-link rear suspension are also standard, along with LED light bands across the front and rear ends, adaptive LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels and a three-year Chargefox subscription.


Safety kit includes the full Driver Assistance Package – active distance assist, active steering assist, active brake assist, evasive steering assist, active lane keeping and active blind-spot assist.


Three options packs comprise an AMG Line sports package ($2950), a Vision package ($2900), and an MBUX Innovations package ($2500).


The AMG Line pack includes an AMG-specific front apron and twin-blade front fascia, 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, exposed stitching on the dashboard and door tops, back-lit spiral-look trim elements, AMG Artico/Dinamica upholstery, and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel in Nappa leather with perforated sections.


The Vision package adds a 12-speaker, 590-watt Burmester surround-sound stereo, a panoramic glass sunroof and a 360-degree parking package, while the Innovations package adds a head-up display, MBUX interior assistant and augmented reality for the navigation.


Ventilated front seats and panoramic sunroof can be individually optioned for $1200 and $2300 respectively.  


The EQA250 Edition 1 focuses on additional visual flair with matte-copper 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, AMG Line exterior trim and gloss-black details.


Interior features on the Edition 1 include unique Neva grey leather and ‘Cyber Cut’ blue upholstery, back-lit spiral-look trim elements, blue door panels and centre console stitching, chrome silver and blue air vents, flat-bottom sports multi-function steering wheel, AMG pedals, illuminated door sill panels, Edition 1 floor mats, and a unique vehicle key with copper-coloured surround.


When the EQA350 4Matic arrives, its standard features will include an AMG Line exterior and interior, as well as 20-inch AMG alloy wheels.


In Europe, Mercedes-Benz received more than 20,000 EQA orders in the three months following its early-2021 reveal.


In Australia, the EQA’s donor vehicle, the second-gen GLA, is having a bumper 2021. Across the first half of the year, sales have increased 36 per cent to 1712 units, placing it fourth in its segment behind the Audi Q3 (2912 sales), Volvo XC40 (2346 sales), and BMW X1 (1963 sales).

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