Mercedes-Benz vehicles are best known for their luxuriousness and iconic design. The German automaker always seems to outdo itself when making improvements or debuting a vehicle that will cause a stir in the automotive world. However, there’s one area where the brand just isn’t measuring up. Car and Driver’s testers recently drove the 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQA250, and it left them wanting.
Electric vehicles’ growing popularity
The electric vehicle industry began over a hundred years ago, albeit in a crude form. But it never really took off at the time. Not until Elon Musk and company came along did EVs make a comeback.
Tesla paved the way for many other all-electric vehicles to roll off other automakers’ production lines to meet demand from consumers looking to save money on gas and lessen their vehicles’ emissions.
Since Tesla made its splash, most other automakers have introduced at least one EV to their lineups. But some were slower getting here, namely Mercedes-Benz.
Only a few years ago, the German automaker announced it would release a line of electric vehicles by 2022. So while other brands like Tesla were busy manufacturing EVs, Mercedes designed and improved battery technology and automation.
Does the Mercedes-Benz EQA250 show the brand is growing with the EV trend?
Car and Driver tested the long-awaited Mercedes-Benz EQA250 near the automaker’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The all-electric compact crossover SUV isn’t available on U.S. soil yet, but the company is considering releasing it here. However, judging by Car and Driver‘s so-so experience, you might not care if it ever heads to the States.
CD’s reviewers say the EQA250 is too heavy to offer the gas-powered GLA250’s speedy acceleration times. The non-EV version can finish the 0-to-60 run in 6.3 seconds. But its EV counterpart, with its 188-hp motor, drags along at 8.9 seconds, nearly three seconds behind the gas-powered model.
Mercedes-Benz’s reputation for high performance is absent from the EQA. You won’t find as much agility, precision, or lightness with this crossover EV, making it a bit of a disappointment.
You also won’t find supreme comfort throughout the cabin. Mercedes installed a battery pack underneath the rear load floor. This raised the flooring in the rear seat area, which makes sitting back there a bit awkward, especially for passengers with long legs.
What the Mercedes-Benz EQA250 gets right
However, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQA250 gets a few things right. The exterior styling is on point, especially the wheel design, which CD’s reviewers deem “futuristic.”
Another advantage is the vehicle’s road handling. Although it isn’t as fast or agile as the reviewers would’ve liked, it was still fun to drive.
It’s also nice to hear that future EQA models promise to offer range-optimized features with an all-wheel drivetrain and 268-hp output from the electric motors.
And aside from the raised rear floor, the interior is rather comfortable. It also offers a decent number of amenities. The model Car and Driver editors tested provided plenty of useful tech goodies to play with.
Mercedes-Benz’s first EV to rival Tesla is a bit of a letdown. Let’s hope future models will improve performance and lighten the load to achieve quicker acceleration worthy of the Benz badge.