You’ve never been more spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a small SUV with a posh badge. Yet the Mercedes-Benz EQA is well worth considering thanks to its classy look and feel, well-equipped cabin and quiet drive. It’s also the cheaper, five-seat brother of the bigger Mercedes-Benz EQB. Here’s our five biggest reasons for opting for the EQA:
1. It looks… well, conventional
There’s no shortage of electric cars around now that look like they’ve rolled off the set of a Ridley Scott sci-fi epic (like Hyundai’s IONIQ 5) or a wacky retro reinvention (ORA Funky Cat, anyone?). But what if you don’t want to stand out and make a scene?
The Mercedes-Benz EQA might be for you. Based on the popular Mercedes GLA petrol or diesel SUV, the EQA’s overall shape is identical, however it does get a unique front and rear-end look and cool lighting to set it apart. Ultimately, you’re unlikely to find people crowding around it with smartphones when you get back from the shops, but the smart and sophisticated look means it isn’t trying too hard to impress.
2: There’s plenty of wow factor inside
Alright, so the Mercedes-Benz EQA’s exterior might not get your neighbours hot under the collar but letting them sit inside might. In terms of design the EQA’s cabin is like an exclusive city nightclub rather than a dated country pub, with high-end materials and an attractive design. Even the air vents are funky, and at night they’re backlit with a choice of colours like the rest of the cabin.
3: Shush! Keep the noise down
Being an electric car, the Mercedes-Benz EQA is already free of a lot of noise and vibration. But for an EV at this price point the cabin is one of the quietest around, making you feel like you’re driving something bigger and more expensive than you are.
At speed the cabin stays well insulated from wind noise, and the tyres don’t kick up too much of a racket from the road surface either. It makes longer journeys less tiresome and reduces the need to whack the stereo volume to a point where everyone gets a headache.
4: Clever adjustable regen braking
Every electric car has regenerative braking, and most let you adjust the level of this regen effect through various driving modes. But the Mercedes-Benz EQA has something even cleverer up its sleeve.
Alongside the different drive modes, the EQA has an ‘auto’ setting for the regenerative braking. This uses the car’s in-built sensors, cameras and sat-nav data to predict the road ahead and decide how much braking you’ll need – for example if you’re approaching a slower vehicle or a junction.
Want to take manual control? You can use the paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the braking from pure coasting (great for motorways) or proper one-pedal driving for town use.
5: Speak easy with natural voice commands
Many modern cars make you do basically everything through the central touchscreen, but Mercedes-Benz gives you choice with the EQA including a separate touchpad and voice control. But this isn’t just any voice control; the EQA has one of the best systems around.
Called the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant, the system responds to a wide variety of spoken commands but also natural speech. That means you don’t need to give it detailed instructions, you can just say “Hey Mercedes, my feet are cold” and the car will point the heater at your toes.
You can ask about the local speed limits, get it to explain various car features in plain English and even have it tell jokes, although it’s not exactly Peter Kay...