Mercedes-Benz has launched their most compact fully electric vehicle in Malaysia, the EQA. Based on the existing second-generation GLA, this zero-emissions version is now available for RM278,201 for the sole EQA 250 variant.
This is the third Mercedes-Benz launch in about 3 weeks. This blitz kicked off in late February with the local debut of the W206 C-Class followed days after with the Maybach duo S-Class and GLS, and now this.
There’s quite a lot to set the EQA apart from the switch in powertrain, of course, as Mercedes-Benz has had to make some rather drastic alterations to the base car to accommodate a proper floor-mounted battery. Visual changes are also plentiful, as are those given to the interior.
Like all other of the automaker’s EQ range, it gains a body that’s made a little sleeker through the air. The most apparent of this is the front grille (or lack thereof) where a gloss black panel has filled in the usual slats and now houses a horizontal light bar to join along the reformed headlight cluster and its DRL strip.
Elsewhere, the EQA features a closed cooling system, a nearly enclosed undercarriage, and subtle aero deflectors to result in a drag coefficient of 0.28.
This linking light strip motif is also repeated at the rear, though the tail lamp housings themselves seem to be more faithful to the GLAs. Apart from this, there are other small aesthetic touches to set the EQA apart such as the unique 19-inch and body colour options.
Inside, the cabin experience isn’t far removed from the GLA’s or even an A-Class. The dashboard, general ergonomics, and switchgear have been retained though obviously there are EQ-specific graphics and readouts on the MBUX interface that powers the infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster.
The EQA 250 is powered by a front-mounted single electric motor that outputs 190PS and 375Nm that’s good for an 8.9-second sprint to 100km/h which is about level with GLA 250’s performance figures (8.7s to 100km/h).
It derives power from a 66.5kWh lithium-ion battery that Mercedes-Benz claims can deliver a maximum range of 429km (WLTP). It supports fast DC charging up to 100kW which can take its depleted reserves from near zero to 80 percent in around 32 minutes.
However, when plugged into a more conventional 11kW AC charger, a full charge should be completed in about 6 hours. Though the EQA 250 is covered by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s conventional 4-year warranty, an extended 8-year/160,000km warranty is given to the battery.
With these prices, oddly enough the closest EV competitor of comparative size and spec in the Malaysian market to the EQA would be from Hyundai of all brands, specifically their recently launched IONIQ 5 that’s priced between RM199,888 and RM229,888 in its single-motor 2WD forms.
Neither BMW nor Audi have rolled out EVs quite as compact as the EQA such as electric versions of the X1 and Q3, respectively, so it might be the case that Mercedes-Benz will have this particular corner of the market all to itself for a little while to come.
The closest possible German rival on the horizon would be the Volkswagen ID.3, but there’s no indication that VCPM is terribly keen on bringing that to our shores yet. There is the MINI Electric (or Cooper SE) that's kind of German (you know, BMW Group) but that’s a 3-door hatch.
Down the line, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia may decide to bring in more variants of the EQA such as the 300 and 350 with more power and dual-motor all-wheel-drive capability as these units are expected to hit certain markets in Southeast Asia later in 2022.