We highway take a look at the fashionable compact folks service that’s the Mercedes-Benz B-Class…
OK, it’s not in the identical league of revelations as ‘I’ve by no means seen Star Wars’, however – up and till not too long ago – I’ve by no means pushed a Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
Initially launched as a small MPV in 2005, the present third-generation model was launched in 2019, and it’s simply been handled to a mid-life facelift.
Extra of an replace than facelift, visually it’s very mild contact. Gentle styling modifications embrace new LEDs entrance and rear, a revised entrance grille and bumper, plus a reworked rear diffuser.
Inside, the brand new B-Class has been handled to the newest dual-screen MBUX infotainment system with a digital driver’s show and central touchscreen (each 10.25-inch).
It additionally will get the improved “Hey Mercedes” voice management, so drivers can hold their fingers on the brand new flat-bottom steering wheel. And, apparently over time, it might probably even predict private habits because of synthetic intelligence. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are additionally customary.
The MBUX system is slick and updates the inside, whereas the elimination of the rotary controller within the centre console provides to the extra fashionable, minimalist look.
Traditionalists might be happy to see that Mercedes has saved the three spherical turbine-look air vents under the centre touchscreen. Others would possibly assume they’re huge and look dated alongside the cutting-edge infotainment system.
All of the petrol engines within the line-up now characteristic 48V mild-hybrid know-how. Mercedes says the system ensures a quieter begin than standard starter motors and permits ‘crusing’ with the combustion engine switched off throughout regular cruising.
Total, there’s a alternative of two four-cylinder engines – the B200 (petrol) and B200d (diesel).
That B200d is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel which develops 148bhp. It comes as customary with an eight-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automated transmission.
With a high velocity of 136mph, it might probably speed up from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds, return as much as 55.4mpg, whereas CO2 emissions are as little as 133g/km.
I examined the B200 which encompasses a 1.3-litre petrol turbo with 160bhp (although it will get a small hybrid increase, including a short lived further 14bhp). It has a seven-speed DCT and energy can also be by means of the entrance wheels.
It’s barely quicker to 62mph (8.2 seconds) and faster general (139mph), whereas gasoline economic system is as much as 46.3mpg and CO2 emissions are 136g/km.
Priced from £35,100, there are 5 trim ranges – Sport Govt, AMG Line Govt, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus, together with the restricted Unique Launch Version.
Driver help and security know-how has been up to date on the brand new B-Class. Necessities resembling automated emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping help, automated headlights, velocity signal recognition and cruise management are all customary throughout the vary.
Aside from the updates, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class is far the identical as earlier than, which isn’t any unhealthy factor.
There’s ample leg and headroom for 5 folks, whereas the seats are snug. Total, the construct high quality is spectacular and there are many soft-touch surfaces up entrance.
It’s nice for households too, providing 440 litres of boot area (575 litres loaded to the roof). Fold the rear seats down and also you get a formidable 1,540 litres.
On the highway, the B-Class presents good visibility, because of the raised driving place and huge glass space.
The punchy B200 petrol engine is usually as much as the job and refined for probably the most half, solely turning into vocal when pushed laborious.
There’s a alternative of driving modes (Eco, Consolation, Sport and Particular person), however Consolation is simply high-quality and most closely fits the sensible character of the automobile.
With mild steering, it’s particularly simple to drive on the town, however it additionally cruises nicely on the motorway. For a comparatively tall automobile, it’s surprisingly competent on tougher roads too, however then that misses the purpose of the B-Class, which is extra about carrying folks in consolation.
As for rivals, the B-Class’s most blatant one is the BMW 2 Sequence Lively Tourer, which can also be provided as a plug-in hybrid.
Verdict: The brand new Mercedes-Benz B-Class will not be the best automobile on the highway, however it’s an aesthetic and wise household alternative providing consolation, security, practicality, good construct high quality and high badge enchantment.