Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s (MBM) electric vehicle offensive begins today with the launch of the H243 EQA, which is essentially the all-electric version of the H247 GLA SUV. Arriving in EQA 250 AMG Line guise, the new model arrives fully imported (CBU) from Germany and is priced at RM278,201.25 on-the-road without insurance.

The asking price factors in the government’s decision to waive import and excise duties for EVs, along with a 50% sales tax exemption that is set to end on June 30, 2022. Due to these incentives, the EQA is only RM7,036.41 costlier than the locally-assembled (CKD) GLA 250 AMG Line. Included is four-year, unlimited mileage warranty and the EV battery is covered for eight years or 160,000 km, whichever comes first.

For propulsion, the EQA 250 has a single asynchronous electric motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed gearbox. Rated at 190 PS (188 hp or 140 kW) and 375 Nm of torque, this allows the 2,040-kg (kerb weight) EQA to set a 0-100 km/h time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h.

Said electric motor is powered by a liquid-cooled, 420-volt lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 66.5 kWh, which can be recharged fully in five hours and 45 minutes using the vehicle’s 11-kW onboard AC charger (Type 2 connection). Alternatively, DC fast charging up to 100 kW and a CCS2 connection will get the battery from a 10-80% state of charge (SoC) in just 32 minutes. A fully charged battery nets you up to 429 km of zero-emissions driving range following the WLTP cycle.

The first 1,000 customers who purchase an EQA will receive a complimentary one-year subscription with JomCharge, which allows them to enjoy unlimited charging at a 50% discount at all JomCharge charging stations.

Additionally, 13 new DC fast chargers will be installed in strategic dealer sites this year, which EQ customers can use at no cost until the end of 2023. Of course, you can also plug the EQA into other compatible public chargers provided by other companies in Malaysia, although an AC Type 2 cable is only provided for this purpose.

While the EQA does share the second iteration of Mercedes-Benz’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) with the GLA, the platform has been re-engineered to accommodate the electric powertrain. For starters, the battery is comprised of five modules located beneath the passenger compartment in the centre of the vehicle.

As a result, the floor in the rear passenger compartment is higher than in the GLA and the boot volume is down by by about 100 litres by comparison at 340 litres. Additionally, the electric motor occupies the space where you would usually find an internal combustion engine in the regular GLA, so there’s no front trunk (frunk) available.

Styling-wise, the EQA shares the same basic shape and most of the body panels with the GLA, but the biggest differentiator is the front fascia which features tapered headlamps that flow into a closed-off grille, which is finished in gloss black along with the Mercedes-Benz logo.

The standard LED High Performance headlamps (with Adaptive Highbeam Assist) also come with blue detailing to signify that you’re looking at an EQ model, and the integrated daytime running lights are linked by a single light strip running across the top edge of the grille. Moving to the rear, the taillights are also conjoined and sport the same rectangular graphics as the normal GLA.

Our EQA comes with the AMG Line package, which includes a sportier front bumper that features a prominent and wider lower apron, accompanied by slatted corner air inlets. The rear bumper gets the same treatment with corner outlets and upturned trim, the latter highlighting the diffuser fins.

Distinctive as the exterior may be, life inside the EQA should be familiar for those who’ve ever sat inside the GLA. Included is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system with twin 10.25-inch instrument and infotainment displays, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support as well as Mercedes me connected services and telematics.

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Other interior amenities are sports seats, with those at the front being powered, ventilated and having a memory function; Thermotronic dual-zone climate control (with rear vents that aren’t in the GLA); an ambient lighting system; a Nappa leather steering wheel; illuminated and EQ-branded door sills; a head-up display; a wireless charging pad; Artico man-made leather/Dinamica microfibre upholstery and black-pore linden wood trim.

The rest of the kit list includes 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, Comfort suspension Keyless-Go and a hands-free powered tailgate. The EQA also bests the GLA in terms of active safety systems, as it not only has Active Brake Assist (autonomous emergency braking), but also the Driving Assistance Package, Active Distance Assist Distronic (active cruise control with low-speed follow and restart), Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Parking Assist Parktronic and Urban Guard.

For the safety of those not seated inside, particularly due to the quietness of the electric powertrain, there’s also Acoustic Ambient Protection that generates sounds outside of the vehicle up to a speed of 20 km/h to alert pedestrians and cyclists.

What do you think of the new EQA? Would you pay the premium over the top-spec GLA for an electric drive system and a more comprehensive kit list? Or are there EVs from other car brands that have caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below. Find full specifications of the new EQA 250 AMG Line on CarBase.my.

GALLERY: 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 AMG Line official launch photos