The second generation of the B-Class car heralds a new compact class era at Mercedes-Benz in terms of both design and technology.
Photos: Azfar Hashim
The new B-Class is a typical Mercedes sports tourer, offering plenty of space combined with impressive dynamic performance as a hatchback saloon.
The characteristic lines of the exterior design indicate both of these attributes: front and rear sport a width-emphasizing design, with a wide, prominent grille and headlamps extending along the sides at the front while the rear end features a wide rear window, two-piece tail lights with horizontally offset meander and a large tailgate with low loading sill. The new B-Class measures in at 4,359 mm long, 1,786 mm wide and 1,557 mm tall.
One striking aspect is the reduced height: at 1,557 mm, the new model crouches almost 5 cm lower on the road than its predecessor. In response to requests from many customers, the sitting position is now more upright. However at the same time, the headroom has been further improved: with a maximum headroom of 1,047 mm at the front (without sliding roof), the B-Class is among the most spacious cars in its segment in this discipline too.
The B-Class is optionally available with the so-called Easy-Vario-Plus system. This enables simple reorganisation of the interior so as to enable the transportation of bulky items. Features of the Easy-Vario-Plus system include fore/aft adjustment of the rear seats by up to 140 mm (thereby increasing the luggage compartment volume from 486 to 666 litres) and a front passenger seat whose backrest can be folded forward onto the seat cushion.
The three large round vents in the middle and their uniquely designed cruciform nozzles add a sporty attribute to the interior's emotional design idiom. The display, which is available in two sizes (147 and 178 mm) appears to hover over the vents. With its stylish design — the trim frame with galvanised finish contrasting with the piano black of the front panel — and slender lines, the colour display (TFT) is a highly attractive feature in the cockpit.
The new four-cylinder petrol engines (internal designation M270) mark the launch of a completely new engine series. The combustion process is based on the third-generation Mercedes-Benz direct injection system (which was introduced last year with the BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 engines). Its use in the B-Class marks this technology's debut in the compact segment. The new four-cylinder engines have been designed for both transverse and longitudinal installation.
Currently, only the B 200 is available locally. This 4-cylinder engine produces 156 bhp @ 5,300 rpm with maximum torque rated at 250 Nm which is available from as low as 1,250 rpm. It take 8.4 seconds to hit 100 km/h from standstill, while the top speed is 220 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 5.9 litres per 100 km (138 g CO2/km), undercutting its predecessors by up to twelve percent.
Another Mercedes-Benz premiere is the new 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission in the B-Class. This transmission is extremely compact, extremely variable with regard to adaptation of the engine speed thanks to seven gears, features an electric oil pump for start/stop capability, shifts gear without any interruptions in tractive power and combines the comfort of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission.
As a world first in the compact segment, the B-Class features a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist as standard, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The Collision Prevention Assist system gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise possible braking response. This is initiated as soon as the driver emphatically operates the brake pedal.
Price is set at $168,888 for the B 200 Chrome Package and $175,888 for the B 200 Sports Package. Both prices includes COE.