The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is essentially an enlarged version of the A-Class hatchback, though the company is marketing it as a 'compact sports tourer'. It gets standard Mercedes-Benz styling cues like the dual-barrel headlamps with LED DRLs at front, a sculpted body with a striking body line that begins near the bottom of the front door and rises sharply over the rear wheel arches, the rear is smart with large tail-lamps and dual-exhaust pipes. Inside, the B-Class gets a leather wrapped steering and instrument cluster borrowed from the C-Class sedan, a dash-mounted multi-media screen and MMI controller. The seats are comfortable and snug and the cabin is roomy with quality parts used all around for a luxurious feel. It is available with both petrol and diesel powertrains with power sent to the front wheels.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class started the trend of very-compact luxury vehicles in India. Mercedes-Benz had been toying with the idea of introducing more affordable models under the C-Class sedan, but hesitated as customers could have reacted adversly. In 2012, Mercedes-Benz took the plunge and introduce the B-Class as the first compact luxury car in its lineup. The positive response to car prompted the manufacturer to then launch the A-, CLA-,GLA-Class etc.
The B-Class is essentially a bigger version of the A-Class hatchback but it is marketed as a 'sports tourer'. The comact-MPV like dimesions of the car show though in the design inside-out. The exterior design is not as striking as the other compact offerings from the company like the A-, CLA- or GLA-Class, but there are signature MB touches like the LED headlights with the DRLs, sculpted body and faux-exhaust-like design on the rear bumper.
The interiors are spacious and have a luxurious feel to them thanks to the materials and the features offered. The seating is in-between that of a car and an SUV, this gives the B-Class a unique feeling amongst many cars in the Mercedes range.
The B-Class is powered by either a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol or a 2.2-litre diesel motor which are not very powerful, the B-Class is no slouch though with the petrol powered variant finishing the 0-100 km/h run in 9.1 seconds. The diesel motor is good for a 9.8 second 0-100 km/h time but is also efficient at the same time with a claimed efficiency figure of 19.7 km/l.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a good options for those looking for a spacious compact car that does not burn a hole through their pockets but is also not cheap to look at or to feel. It can be a good first buy or a good compliment to one's existing fleet of luxury cars.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class does not skimp on quality or design even though it is one of the more affordable models in the company's lineup in India. The B-Class can be had with either all black interiors or a black-and-beige combination, even if you go for the more sporty black trim all around you will find that the cabin is not claustrophobic. This is thanks to the large greenhouse area around the car including the panoramic sunroof that is offered as standard.
The Dashboard is dominated by premium looking turbine-like A/C vents, two of them at the extreme ends of it and three of them above the centre console. The centerpiece of the centre-console is the new 7-inch multimedia screen, under which you will find buttons for the multimedia system though the car also comes with a rotary selector to do the same more easily. The automatic HVAC controls are large and easily operatable. The lower centre console contains cubby holes as the stalk for the transmission is placed on the steering column, this is typical Mercedes design and packaging.
The steering wheel is striking to look at with the contrast brushed-silver lower spoke which adds a sporty touch to the car. The instrument cluster with two pods, one for the speedometer and rev-counter respectively, are large and legible. The instrument binacle also gets a multi-information display which can be set to display important driving-related info as the driver chooses.
The materials used around the cabin make the B-Class a good place to be in. The leather seats, the leather trim around the car including the steering wheel and doors add a luxurious feel to the car as every part you touch reeks of plush quality. The front bucket seats are well bolstered and comfortable, the driver seat has extended adjustability to help the driver get to the best driving position possible and reduce fatigue. The rear bench seats can seat three medium-build persons abreast in comfort.
The B-Class is also a good vehicle to take on weekend holidays, the 486-litres of boot space can swallow a lot of luggage. The problem with the car sold in India is that the full-size spare wheel is placed awkwardly in the boot, which may hinder keeping the luggage properly.
Luxurious, plush and spacious
The full-sized spare wheel in the boot is not good
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is one of the more conservatively styled cars in the modern MB stable, though elements like the dual-element headlights with the Mercedes-signature LED day-time running lamps, large grille, sclupted bonnet, stylised side body panels, LED tail-lamps and stylised rear bumper are typical of the new company design language.
At th front the B-Class now gets LED headlights, which is good news as the tech seems to be brought lower down the price-bracket. The grille is two-slat design with a prominent three-pointed star logo on it. The bonnet is heavily sculpted with the prominent centre-crease and the noticeable bulge that begins from the top edges of the grille onto the A-pillar.The front bumper is also stiking to look at with a compact air-dam, a chrome-lip and the faux-side intakes with horizontal chrome inserts in them.
Move to the side and you notice that functionality has been important an important criteria while designing the car. The cabin looks spacious even when the car is looked at from outside, it is tall and long with a gentle rear-sloping roof. Additions like the chrome lower window-line and the sharp upward-rising crease on the door panels help begate the otherwise staid design on the side. The 16-inch alloy wheels, indicator-integrated ORVMs and the rear spoiler also add to the sporty look of the car.
At the rear, the B-Class looks like a scaled down version of the R-Class, it looks like a small MPV but luxurious nonetheless. The rear is dominated by large LED tail-lamps which extend onto the hatch door, the LED pattern for the lights look striking at any time of the day or night. The hatch is large and indicates to the large 486-litre boot inside. The bumper is low, whcih means that loading or unloading luggage will not be a hassle, it also gets clever chrome inserts which mimic dual-exhausts. The rear exhaust is tucked away neatly before the rear bumper.
Easy on the eyes, feels luxurious
Looks more like a compact-MPV than hatchback, especially from the sides and rear
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is offered with two powertrains. A 1.6-litre petrol motor that develops 122PS @ 5000rpm and 200Nm @ 1250-4000rpm, and a 2.2-litre diesel motor that develops 135PS @ 3600-4400rpm and 300Nm @ 1600-3000rpm. Both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which transmits the power to the front wheels.
The petrol powered B-Class can go from standstill to a 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds and go on up to a top speed of 200 km/h. Meanwhile, the diesel powered B-Class can do the 0-100 km/h run in 9.8-seconds and onto a top speed of 210 km/h. The toque-y nature of the petrol motor and bigger power band helps it accelerate faster, the more than 100kg weight deficit also helps, this does not mean that the diesel is a slouch. The dual-clutch transmission is good to potter around town (it is not jerky at low speeds) and is responsive when you need it to be.
Powerful engines, good transmission, high-speed cruising ability
Diesel engine can get vocal
Whatever variant of the car you choose, it always starts in ECO mode for maximum fuel-efficiency, the claimed efficiency figures for the 1.6-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel are 14.8 km/l and 19.7 km/l respectively.
Mercedes-Benz offers the Star Care program with the B-Class which offers 3 years of unlimited mileage warranty for the car. The Star Care Plus program allows for an extended warranty period of 4 years. The Star Ease service package reduces the expensiture on normal service schedules. The company has over 102 facilities spread over 38 cities in the country and is known for its quality of service.
Efficient diesel engine, good service network and low maintenance costs assured
Petrol engine could have been more efficient
|B200 CDI Sport||19.7 kmpl|
|B180 Sport||14.8 kmpl|
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a surprisingly good handler even though it is tuned to be a comfortable 5-seater mile-muncher rather than a out-and-out track machine. The car gets McPherson struts at the front and a 4-link rear axle, the weight is distributed intelligently which also helps keep the car planted in most situations. It stays stable over most broken road conditions at all speeds, the suspension crashes only over the most worst of potholes. It can also hold its own when cornered hard, but there is noticeable body-roll when the car is pushed to its limits. The steering is not very direct, but this car is not meant to be a drivers' car anyway. The 16-inch standard alloy wheels also keep the ride pliant but not overtly soft, owners can upgrade to 17-inch or 18-inch wheels, but the ride will suffer.
The brakes are reassuring at almost all speeds, and safety systems like anti-lock braking system with brake assist and an intelligent brake cleansing system (which removes any water on the surface of the brake disc for maximum braking efficiency) help even further.
Safety systems on the B-Class include an 'attention assist' system which recognises drive fatigue and recommends to drivers that they take a break rather than risk an accident. Other safety systems include hill-assist, hill-hold, ESP, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system. The B-Class is fitted with 9 air-bags as standard.
Good handling car, with adequate brakes. High score on safety.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is comfortable and luxurious place to be in. The seats are supportive and comfortable; the front seats are bucket seats with a seating position that is not very low neither very high this allows for a good view outside and very good comfort levels. The rear bench seat is comfortable too, though the seat back is not very laid back and the thigh support is not up to the mark. The B-Class does have enough space to seat thee-people abreast without any issues, and the clever cabin packaging means there is enough knee-,shoulder-, and head-room for even the tallest of people.
The cabin is luxurious, both in terms of looks or in terms of feel. The contact surfaces are adorned with soft-touch material, whether it be the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the leather seat upholstery, door pads etc. The threespoke steering wheel, the seats with the contrast stitching, the chrome surround turbine-like A/C vents, 7-inch free floating multimedia screen etc. add to the luxurious feel of the car. The panoramic sunroof lets in a lot more ambient light, which makes the cabin feel spacious and comfortable place to be in.
The car is fitted with McPherson struts up front with coilover springs and a multi-link independent rear suspension at the rear. The suspension is set up to be on the softer side, with a hint of stiffness. This helps keep the ride comfortable, while also ensuring that the car does not roll or bob too much under hard cornering or while going over patchy road surfaces.
Luxrious cabin, pliant ride.
There is an underlying stiffness to the suspension that can get annoying
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