Mercedes EQA350 2023 – Australian electric car owner real world experience review

The following is a discussion with Aussie electric vehicle (EV) owner Simon about their purchase of a Mercedes EQA350 2023 and experience driving, servicing, charging etc.

EDITOR: I’m publishing a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their EV ownership experience.

This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision. 

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.

Was your electric car bought or leased?

Leased not bought.

Please describe your purchasing / lease process experience … Easy, Mediocre, Frustrating..?

I had a wonderful purchase experience through Mercedes Doncaster who were patient with my million questions, explained everything clearly and even gave me a demo for a weekend.

Then when my lease finance was delayed they patiently held the car for me while the lease company sorted it out. 10/10 experience.

What has the regular servicing / dealership experience been like?

It’s had to go back once to get a minor thing corrected and that was seen to the next day and resolved while I waited.

The support when I was having issues with my Mercedes Wallbox was a bit slow but eventually resolved as well.

25,000km/annual service isn’t due til Feb next year but its going in for a software recall shortly so another experience around the corner.

How do you regularly charge your car for day to day usage?

Plug in to specially installed faster EV charger at home (set to use solar power or grid, whatever’s available)

What has your day to day normal charging experience been like?

I simply plug it in when I park in my garage and the Mercedes Wallbox charges overnight or during peak solar.

I can turn it on manually if I need to it charge immediately and I can control the battery percentage to charge to. I usually just do 80% which is plenty for daily driving.

How do you charge your car for longer road trips on the weekend or during holidays? Do you prefer any particular brand of public fast charger during road trips eg Evie, Tesla, Chargefox and why?

Mercedes included 3 years charging with Chargefox so I do try to use them exclusively.

That said I have all the apps with the various provides just in case and have used them so I know what to do.

I also prioritize parking at parking garages in the city that offer free charging so I can top off while parked.

The EQA has a max charge speed of 100kw so I don’t look for the super fast 350kw chargers as they’re not necessary.

What’s the farthest road trip you’ve done in your EV and what did you learn from this experience that would be useful for others to know?

I went for a spin up to the Vic High Country, Falls Creek as I like to holiday up there. About 750km return.

There is charging all along the Hume Hwy so that’s no stress. There’s even a Chargefox charger up the mountain at Falls Creek itself which is awesome.

I stopped at all the chargers along the way just to get used to the experience of using a fast charger and learning the apps. In future a single 20 mins top off would be enough to get me there.

Brought my 10 amp standard power socket charger to use at a friends house I stayed at overnight for a little extra but wasn’t really necessary.

I wanted to know what driving at 110kph on the freeway did for efficiency, what effect driving up (and down) the mountains had on range etc. I’ll explain some details below, I’ve included what $ would’ve been without free charging.

If you’ve done a long road trip and would like to share your experience of it please share. Detailed EV trip diaries give readers the confidence to do the same themselves.

Overnight Trip up to Falls Creek from Melbourne to give my new Mercedes EQA350 a run on the highway and mountains.

The 350 has a 66.5kWh battery pack (same as the EQA250) but upgrades to two electric motors developing 215kW and 520Nm combined, for a 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds.

Apologies upfront I haven’t logged a roadtrip with an EV before so this is a bit haphazard but I think its discernible. Few lessons for next time.

Night before plugged into the wallbox and set to charge to 100%.

Departed at 730am with 100%, averaging 20.4 kWh and stopped at Euroa on 57% – 150km.

Inside for a nature break, bought an orange juice and a Chapstick back out and we’re at 72% in 15 minutes so one percent a minute at 50 kW.

Had to muck around with the Chargefox app as only limited chargers running and they are throttled power to 50kw output on the fast charger’s. The RFID card didn’t seem to do anything. Drink my juice and head off to Glenrowan for final top off. 18 mins 15kw $7.15

Pulled up to BP Pulse Glenrowan and a super simple affair. Open bp app. Scan QR code. Plug in and press go. Charging at 75kw. Had some breakfast and a coffee. 20 mins 25kw $14. Back onto the freeway and onto Snow road towards Myrtleford.

Stop off in Bright for a nature break and to collect my friend joining me up the mountain. Excuse to try Evie charger and app. Good Length on the cable. 10kw $5.80 13 mins @ 50kw. 300km.I didn’t note the charge level but going down Tawonga Gap I charged up 3% with regen on the way down. Going up Falls Creek (briskly) used 20% charge.

Falls Creek Charge Fox site has 4 AC slow chargers and expensive for the speed ($0.60) but for destination charging it’s ok. 1hr 37mins 18.5kw $11.

Total charge level 71%.
$38 – 68.5kw. 20.6kwh/100km.

Descending Falls and regen boosted up to 75% battery level. Arrived in Bright @ 66%.

Charged overnight on the granny and expected ~90% before departing in the morning.

Made it to 84% overnight so roughly +12kwh from the granny. $0.

Reset the trip meter and decided to stop at Euroa again as only needing a small top up and it’s the cheapest charger with RACV discount ($0.48c).

I thought I would use less energy coming back towards Melbourne as it trends downhill but that was not the case. Got to Euroa avg 21kwh 150km. Put in 18kwh in 20 mins and car said it’ll get home with 22% remaining. Cool. $8.75.

On the freeway sitting on regular speed it slowly dipped to 20% estimate. Looked like a headwind the way the trees were blowing and still sitting on 20.5kwh/100 exactly 301km when I arrived home.

Mercedes doesn’t have the sexy charge graphs and energy reports that Polestar and Tesla do so it’s a bit fussy to work out exactly how much in / out charging there was.

I think I could reliably do 300 km from 100% at highway speed.

The charge curve is 100 kW from 8% up to 90% which is great.

I knew it wouldn’t be as efficient as a Tesla or Hyundai, but the packaging, the styling, interior, power output, comfort levels… just the complete package works for me.

A few reviews scorn the EQA/B Benz as they’re not a “pure” EV platform but it is quiet, smooth and luxurious and I love it.

So overall fast charging was:
86.5kwh – $46.75. 720km.
12kwh free at accom.
98.5kwh / 720km + 40kwh (free solar) to get it back to 100% = 19.2kwh average. I’m ballparking 20kwh for my future trips.

Compared to my 2018 Golf which would do that trip with maybe one tank at 55L @ $2.05L – $112

I didn’t really stop more than I would anyway so I don’t consider charging wasted time.

I could’ve eaten in the car if I wanted to speed things up a bit but I don’t like to eat and drive.

Next time I would just stop once at Euroa on the way up. Charge on top of the mountain and then top off at Euroa on the way home.

Does your EV have any special features like V2L reverse charging from the car to your portable/home appliances? If yes please share your experience using this special feature

It does not have V2L which was a mark against when buying. I would’ve liked this feature but it wasn’t a deal breaker.

We don’t camp and it has abundant USB C which charges almost everything we need on a daily basis.

If you have roadside assist included with the car purchase/lease and have had to use it, which company provided the service and what was that experience like?

It has 5 years Mercedes roadside assist. Thankfully have not had to use this.

If you have had issues with your car and asked for these to be fixed under warranty, did the car brand do the right thing and fix it without causing you stress?

So far so good.

It needed the windscreens polished and wipers replaced after 6 weeks.

I suspect due to being a new old stock vehicle it had sat around a bit and the rubber perished. Mercedes did it without question the next day after I reported it.

What are the 3 strongest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

It is a regular car on the inside which is what we wanted. It has the same switchgear, screens and stalks as a Mercedes GLA which makes it easy to change to from a petrol car and find accessories.

It is from an established legacy car maker that it well practiced at making quality cars and has abundant service and support. It does not suffer the INSANE insurance prices of other EV brands right now.

It doesn’t look like an EV, its just a nice car that happens to be electric. It’s not the best at anything on paper but its the best package and interior quality we found in our search.

What are the 3 weakest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

Its a petrol platform with electric fitted so its not a bespoke EV and that shows in the bootspace.

It’s range is not the best nor is it the fastest.

The Mercedes Wallbox was included in my sale but I would not pay the $2500 they are selling them for.

What is your view on car software updates? Some people prefer it be done by dealers, some don’t want updates, others want them regularly over the air?

I’m from a software career so I see the value in updates improving functions over time. Overnight over the air is totally fine with me.

What questions would ask your car manufacturer HQ if you could?

It’s a minor thing but I wish you didn’t have the press the start button to turn off the car.

Similarly the amount of times I’ve thought its “on” when it isn’t.

There should be some seat sensor or something so when you sit down and put it in gear its ready to go.

Would you buy or lease this brand of electric car again and recommend it to others?

Yes I would.

My purchase experience was excellent and having sampled the other electric Mercedes in the line up I’m excited for what they come out with in the next 3 years when its time to churn the lease through.

Do you have any other comments about your electric car brand, experience etc?

EVs from legacy brands are copping a lot of flak but there’s a reason they’ve been around 100+ years.

They make great cars that happen to be electric instead of electric devices that happen to be cars. Bit of a philosophical difference but it shows in the fine details.

I drove every EV on the market before deciding on this one and on paper I didn’t think it would be the one.

I had read all the usual complaints, range, charge speed, petrol platform etc but I urge people to go and drive as many as they can before making a decision because what I thought would be perfect after I drove it was a hard no and what I thought would be a let down was surprising.

Don’t go off reviews, try it for yourself and make up your own mind.

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.


4 responses to “Mercedes EQA350 2023 – Australian electric car owner real world experience review”

  1. Tim Dhirley

    An excellent review thank you. I have an EQA250 and I will offer to do a review in a few months when I have had some more experience and a longer journey to report on.

    I object strongly to the use of the term “granny charger” in this review and in general. It is patronizing, ageist, sexist and above all simply insulting. It should not be used. It gives your site a bad name and says quite a lot about both you and your reviewer that either of you should think the use of terms like this are acceptable. My wife (who is a grandmother as well as a proud EV driver – not a slow one, either) took great exception to this, and I (a grandfather) did also.

    There are “Type 1” chargers, and even “GPO” chargers or even “powerpoint” chargers, so please use the correct terms.

    Thank you.

  2. Neerav Bhatt

    Hi Tim. Sorry I didn’t notice the owner’s mention of granny charger , will fix immediately. I agree it is not a nice or accurate description

  3. Neerav Bhatt

    Hi Tim. Sorry I didn’t notice the owner’s mention of granny charger , fixed as soon as I saw your comment. I agree it is not a nice or accurate description

  4. Simon Wile

    Hi Tim. Thanks for the feedback. I’ve always heard it referred to that way so didnt really think about it. After you’ve pointed that out though I can appreciate it’s not appropriate and will change my language accordingly.

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