The first fully electric SUV from Mercedes was the EQC, a large and pretty expensive option for most people. Therefore, the EQA is Mercedes more mainstream offering in a compact SUV form and at a much lower price point compared to the EQC. Starting at just over £43K the EQA will be affordable to a much wider audience compared to the EQC starting from £65K, but what about towing? Well, the EQA can tow, however, its 750 kg towing capacity is disappointing really, especially considering the latest competition.
Key Mercedes EQA 250 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 750 kg
- Availability – 2021
- Price – Starting £43,495 (Sport) > £45,490 (AMG Line)
- Range (EV Database) – 220 miles
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 110 miles
- Maximum Charge Rate – 110 kW
Mercedes EQA 250 HP & Torque
- Sport/AMG Line – FWD with 188 HP and 277 lb-ft of torque
Mercedes EQA Towing Capabilties
The larger Mercedes EQC features a 1,800 kg towing capacity, and while I fully expected the EQA being a smaller vehicle to feature a lower towing capacity I was expecting more along the lines of a 1,000 to 1,200 kg towing capacity. The 750 kg towing capacity of the EQA is very disappointing, as it means its only really capable of towing light camping/cargo trailers and that’s it. What’s even more disappointing is you will have to pay Mercedes £750 extra for the privilege to utilize that tiny 750 kg towing capacity.
To be fair to Mercedes though, they are not the only premium brand to sell a fully electric SUV with a disappointing towing capacity of 750 kg, the BMW iX3 and Jaguar I-Pace also have the same towing limitation. The Ford Mustang Mach-E also features the same disappointing 750 kg towing capacity. With all these cars, when they are branded as Sports Utility Vehicles with a 750 kg towing capacity I don’t feel they are living up to their sales pitch. It’s not as if its not possible to produce a fully electric SUV around the same price point or even cheaper with a higher towing capacity which I’ll discuss below.
The EQA just like its larger sibling EQC is a converted EV from a platform originally designed for a petrol/diesel powertrain. Well, the problem with this approach is you are trying to shoehorn batteries into a platform not ideally suited to an EV layout of batteries in the middle of the vehicle. Though I do think Mercedes managed to pull off a pretty good job converting the larger EQC into a full-electric vehicle and getting a reasonable range/towing capacity.
However, I think the EQA is severely compromised. Consider the fact that the EQA weighs in at over 2 tons which is considerable for a compact SUV, even an electric compact SUV. That additional weight is partly due to the battery pack, but its also likely due to additional chassis reinforcement to hold the battery pack into position. Hence the downside of an EV conversion compared to vehicles designed to an EV from the ground-up is often excessive weight. Also bear in mind the petrol/diesel GLA which the EQA is based on can tow 2 tons.
Mercedes EQA 250 vs The EV Towing Competition
So as I’ve already referenced above, there are other EVs around this roughly £45K price bracket which are also limited to a 750 kg towing capacity namely the BMW iX3, Jaguar I-PACE and Mustang Mach-E. However, there is a growing list of other EVs around this price bracket which are much more capable electric tow cars.
For instance, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range can tow 1,000 kg and has a real-world range roughly 60 miles more than the EQA for the same money. Granted, the Tesla Model 3 does not have the same interior space as the EQA as its not a compact SUV, so let’s look at other compact SUV options. Well, there is the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq which can tow 1,000 to 1,200 kg and feature a compact SUV design along with the Nissan Ariya which is able to tow 1,500 kg. Furthermore, there is also competition from the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and KIA EV6 which can tow 1,600 kg. The upcoming Tesla Model Y will also have a 1,500 to 1,600 kg towing capacity.
However, its not just the towing capacity where the Mercedes EQA is not competitive, the maximum charging rate of 110kW is sub-par as well. Lower priced options such as the ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq can charge at up to 125kW, with the Nissan Ariya being slightly faster at 130kW. However, the competition from the Hyundai IONIQ 5, KIA EV6 and Tesla Model 3/Y which can all fast/rapid charge between 230/250 kW is where the 110kW maximum charging rate of the EQA is really shown up.
Finally, there is the powertrain, the EQA for £45K is only offered as a front-wheel-drive option. Whereas, the competition is offering AWD options. For instance, you will be able to get an IONIQ 5/EV6 with AWD for the same price as the EQA and they will provide more range! Hence, that speaks to the efficiency of the Korean manufacturer’s electric powertrains/software that they are able to make an AWD electric car more efficient than Mercedes can make a 2WD electric car.
My Thoughts On The EQA…
So obviously I’m pretty disappointed with the 750 kg towing capacity on the Mercedes EQA 250, I was hoping for at least a towing capacity of 1,000 kg. However, the package as a whole I find pretty underwhelming, even without factoring in the towing capacity. The range/efficiency of the EQA is below that of other similarly priced EVs and according to the WhatCar/Carwow reviews above, the ride/handling are not to level I would expect from paying the premium of owning a Mercedes. Apparently, the interior materials/fit and finish are above average, but that seems to be the only highlight of an otherwise very average electric vehicle compared to the current competition. Furthermore, that maximum charging rate of 110kW for a new EV released in 2021 is just not competitive at all.