The EQA would be cool as a hatchback, but it would come with a major compromise that just isn’t acceptable

  • It’s a small crossover based on the 2021 Mercedes GLA
  • Battery placement in the floor
  • Could still take cues from EQA Concept
  • Should go on sale sometime in late-2020
  • 249-mile range, 60 kWh battery

Mercedes has finally unveiled the new GLA, and during the presentation, we were treated to a teaser of the Mercedes EQA EV – a model once believed to be an entry-level hatchback. The image was clear enough that we can confirm the EQA will, in fact, be a very small crossover, one that we’ve seen in the prototype form in the past. This raises a big question, though. Why isn’t the production version of the Mercedes EQA going to take after the Concept EQA that was shown off by Mercedes back in 2017, and what happened to the hatchback body style?

The Mercedes EQA Concept Was a Hatchback

2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA High Resolution Exterior
- image 730887

Mercedes gave us every reason to believe that it’s entry-level EQ model would be a hatchback. It was shown off at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show as a sleek (and rather attractive) two-door hatch that many believed would lead to an electric A-Class hatchback. It featured the EQ design styles that we’ve grown accustomed too, including to mock electric radiator grille and the attractive blue hue flowing from the body lines.

Despite the way Mercedes has changed the other EQ models that have come into production (the EQC is the worst offender), the Concept EQA actually looked like it was ready for production as it was.
2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA High Resolution Exterior
- image 730890

Mercedes said that the Concept EQA had a dual-motor powertrain that was good for “more than 268 horsepower and over 369 pound-feet of torque.” It supposedly offered a range in the area of 249 miles and could manage a 62-mph sprint in around five seconds. We never got official interior specs for the Concept EQA, but one of the biggest questions was packaging – how could Mercedes manage to create a spacious cabin while having a battery big enough to deliver more than 250 miles of range? It didn’t seem possible.

Mercedes Concept EQA specifications
Powertrain dual-motor
Horsepower 268 HP
Torque 369 LB-FT
Range 249 miles
0 to 60 mph 5 seconds
left right

The Mercedes EQA Will be a Crossover Because Batteries Are Too Big

Why the Mercedes EQA EV Won't Be a Hatchback
- image 876175

If you forget about the fact, just for a moment, that SUVs and crossovers are selling like bottled water the day before a hurricane strikes, then there’s only one good reason why the EQA must be a crossover: It needs space.

The way we see it, we never got to see interior specs for the Concept EQA for a reason.

That reason is probably the fact that Concept EQA didn’t live up to the Mercedes standard in terms of passenger space and/or cargo room.

That’s not really a surprise considering rumor has it that the production EQA will rock a 60 kWh battery pack. A small, low-riding hatchback would make packaging a battery this size very difficult without compromising interior space. Using the new GLA as a base for the EQA makes sense, then, as the crossover body style will allow for extra room to store the battery under the floor while giving passengers all the space they really need.

What Else Do We Know About the Mercedes EQA?

Why the Mercedes EQA EV Won't Be a Hatchback
- image 876329
Based on the teaser that we saw during the launch of the GLA, we can say without a doubt that the EQA will look a hell of a lot like the GLA.

In fact, the body will, for the most part, be about the same. The EQA could still take some styling cues from the Concept GLA – in other words, most of the EQ stuff the GLA doesn’t have – but it will be a compact crossover or an electric version of the GLA if you will.

The same specs are still expected, though. A 60 kWh battery pack should give the EQA a range of 250 to 260 miles, and the dual-motor setup should provide somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 horsepower or so. Torque will be closer to the 400 pound-foot range, but that figure doesn’t really matter much as we don’t expect much in terms of towing capacity. Plus, it’s not a vehicle you’re going to hot rod around in any way.

Why the Mercedes EQA EV Won't Be a Hatchback
- image 876177

In terms of cargo room, you can expect about as much as that of the new Mercedes GLA since it is, essentially, the same vehicle with an electric twist. That means that you should be able to carry somewhere in the range of about 15.36 cubic-feet, however, that figure could drop a bit depending on how the battery is integrated into the EQA’s structure. We don’t expect a big departure in passenger space either, but headroom (now 38.1 inches on the 2021 GLA) could come down another half-inch or so as there has to be room made for the battery under the seats. Legroom and shoulder room should be unaffected, so expect somewhere around 38 inches of rear legroom and about 55 inches of shoulder room.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA interior dimensions
Max. front headroom in 40.8
Headroom, rear in 38.1
Legroom, front in 41.1
Legroom, rear in 38.4
Elbow room, front in 57.3
Elbow room, rear in 57.3
Shoulder room, front in 55.9
Shoulder room, rear in 54.8
Trunk capacity (VDA) cu-ft 15.4
Mercedes expects the EQA to compete against the BMW i3, but at its age, it’s not likely the i3 will stand a chance against something as modern and as fresh as the EQA.

It could also compete against the Tesla Model Y, but we’ll actually have to wait for official specs to come out to determine if there’s actually a competitive edge here. It’s possible that the EQA could reside in a segment almost all its own for the first couple of years that it’s on the market.

Source: Autocar

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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