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Mercedes-Benz EQA review: An EV with impressive range and slick design

By Kathryn Chung

<em>Andrei Diomidov</em>
Andrei Diomidov
High-tech but surprisingly low-fuss, the latest Mercedes-Benz EV is perfect for a long drive.

When Mercedes-Benz first entered the electric vehicle (EV) market with its EQ range, it introduced a new era for the brand, driven by “human-centred innovation”. The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250, the third model in the electric fleet, beautifully demonstrates that push for innovation, boasting an impressive range, slick design and intuitive tech features.

Range

No doubt the first question most people have when looking at an EV is ‘what kind of range does it have?’ This is where the EQA hits it out of the park, with a range of up to 400 kilometres. Of course, this can be affected by different driving modes (eco is the most economical, while sport uses the most energy) and other features like heating and air conditioning, but overall, the EQA’s range stacks up incredibly well compared to its competitors. And with smart energy-saving features like regenerative braking, you can easily spend a day driving around the city or going off on road trips without having to worry about plugging it in.

Andrei Diomidov

Handling

Since the EQA has such an impressive range, it is an ideal EV to take out on the open road. This is where it hits its stride. Driving it from Auckland city to Tāwharanui Regional Park, it handled incredibly well on the twists and turns of the country roads, making for a smooth, yet powerful ride – something EV drivers will appreciate especially given the quietness of the electric engine.

Comfort

The EQA is beautifully suited to long road trips, and comes with thoughtful touches to elevate your comfort – with the help of some clever technology. Seat kinetics, under the MBUX system’s ‘comfort’ setting, use gentle rolling movements in the seat to relieve muscles, while customisable lumbar support aids posture.

The intelligent thermal management is also a nifty feature, creating a pre-entry climate control so that the vehicle is already warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer, all before you start the journey (all you have to do is set your departure time via MBUX or the Mercedes Me app and it’s ready to go).

Andrei Diomidov

Safety

Along with the standard safety features you’d expect from a modern vehicle, the EQA makes the most of its cutting-edge tech to improve on-road safety. Blind spot assistance on the mirrors – turn on the indicator and it gives a visual and audible warning for hazards – is a particularlystand-out safety aspect, as is the Active Lane Keeping Assist, which gently nudges you back in your lane if you veer off or get too close to other drivers.

Design

When it comes to the interiors, the stylish hallmarks of the Mercedes-Benz brand are not lost on the EQA. For an SUV, it feels refined and luxurious, with soft ARTICO leather, Mercedes-Benz’s signature substitute for animal leather. Meanwhile, the spiral-look interior trims lean into the car’s progressive character. The exterior design forgoes flashiness for a more modern, refined shape. At night, however, it gets a cool, sporty edge. In the interiors, ambient LED lighting on the dash, console and doors – which can be adjusted to different tones – feels a little futuristic, while exterior light strips that wrap around the front and rear exteriors exude an air of cool confidence. LED lighting serves two purposes; reducing energy consumption, while still offering impressive performance – the adaptive headlights powerfully illuminate the road without glaring other drivers.

Andrei Diomidov

Intuitive tech

These days, hopping into a new car can be a little daunting, what with new displays and fancy tech to get your head around. With the EQA, it pays to have a good play around, but the great thing is, this technology is incredibly intuitive and easy to learn. In the minimalist console you’ll even find a wireless phone-charging pad. Directions and speed are effortlessly easy to manage with the heads-up display (part of the MBUX Innovation Package), while a voice control system – triggered with “hey Mercedes” – lets you manage everything from maps to music with hands-free ease

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