Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the smallest of six new vehicles from the German automaker's new EQ all-electric sub-brand. The new 2022 EQA sub-compact SUV will be the most affordable Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle in a lineup that will include the previously announced EQS full-size sedan, GLB-based EQB small SUV, GLC-based EQC compact SUV, EQE mid-size sedan, and GLE-Class-based EQE mid-size SUV. That is if the new EQA reaches the Canadian market (more on that in a moment).
According to Mercedes-Benz, the new EQA is being marketed as an attractive entry-level luxury EV to the world. A dynamic, all-electric compact SUV for young urban buyers with active lifestyles.
"With the world premiere of the all-electric EQA, we are giving the first glimpse into our new visual world of the upcoming Mercedes-EQ models. Our goal is to create a recognizable and emotional brand experience at the same time that combines sustainable lifestyle and contemporary luxury," said Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG.
Suppose you can get over the fact the new 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQA is essentially an electrified version of the existing GLA sub-compact SUV on paper. In that case, the 5-passenger EV looks quite impressive, though no one outside the company has had the chance to drive it yet.
To distinguish it visually from the gas-powered GLA, the EQA gets a new front and rear fascias that have illuminated crossbars between the lights. The look includes new bumpers, spoiler, and wheels; all said to enhance aerodynamics. Buyers will be able to choose blue or rose-gold wheel accents.
Blue and rose-gold are themes inside, as well. Interior lighting accents can be adjusted between the two colours. Entertainment and information screens (dual 7-inch screens are standard, with 10.25-inch options available) use the colours for much of what they display. Standard navigation differs from the one in gas-powered Mercedes models. The EQA's system maps out charging stations—and even elevation—to provide routes to maximize range.
The mechanical details are notable. The EQA is front-wheel-drive, thanks to a single electric motor up front, making 188 horsepower. That’s not far from the 221 horsepower the base model GLA 250’s 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder generates. If we assume the immediately available power of an EV, it’s likely the EQA will feel a bit quicker than its conventional cousin. Mercedes claims a driving range of 486 kilometres using a European testing formula, but Natural Resources Canada testing tends to produce lower numbers.
When the EQA first goes on sale, there will be no all-wheel-drive, two-motor option. But Mercedes-Benz plans one later in the model year. It boasts 268 horsepower. A longer-range model with a range of more than 500 kilometres is also in the works.
What’s the same?
Basing the new EQA on the existing Mercedes-Benz GLA looks like a smart decision. The new, second-generation GLA debuted for 2021 to offer buyers an alternative to an ever-expanding sea of sporty and luxurious SUVs, including the Audi Q3, BMW X2, Lexus UX, and Volvo XC40. As the smallest and most affordable Mercedes SUV available, it’s the gateway to the expanding world of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. And this generation GLA is much roomier inside than the cramped first-generation model. Most notably, there’s now rear-seat legroom for adults and additional front headroom.
When will it go on sale?
Mercedes says the smaller EQA will go on sale in Europe late in 2021. There's some question, however, whether the new EQA will be coming to Canada. The Mercedes-Benz GLC-based EQC electric compact SUV is currently on-sale in other markets, but Mercedes-Benz Canada has not yet decided if it will sell here or when.
We'd be stunned not to see the new EQA here and see it relatively soon. With most manufacturers moving quickly to offer EVs for the North American market, bringing Canadian buyers a showroom-ready crossover EV based on a gasoline model that's already selling here seems like an obvious step.
How much will it cost?
In Europe, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQA comes at an asking price of €47,540, which converts to $73,717 CDN. As the company spins up production, we expect the EQA to be an option for Canadian drivers and compete against small electric SUVs like the $56,290 Tesla Model Y and $64,950 CDN Volvo XC40 Recharge.