We street check the fashionable compact individuals 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 just lately – 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 gentle contact. Delicate 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 preserve their palms on the brand new flat-bottom steering wheel. And, apparently over time, it may even predict private habits due to synthetic intelligence. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are additionally commonplace.
The MBUX system is slick and updates the inside, whereas the removing of the rotary controller within the centre console provides to the extra fashionable, minimalist look.
Traditionalists shall be happy to see that Mercedes has saved the three spherical turbine-look air vents beneath the centre touchscreen. Others would possibly suppose 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 expertise. Mercedes says the system ensures a quieter begin than standard starter motors and permits ‘crusing’ with the combustion engine switched off throughout regular cruising.
General, 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 commonplace with an eight-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automated transmission.
With a high velocity of 136mph, it may 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 be by the entrance wheels.
It’s barely sooner to 62mph (8.2 seconds) and faster general (139mph), whereas gas 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 expertise has been up to date on the brand new B-Class. Necessities comparable to automated emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping help, automated headlights, velocity signal recognition and cruise management are all commonplace throughout the vary.
Aside from the updates, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class is far the identical as earlier than, which isn’t any dangerous factor.
There’s ample leg and headroom for 5 individuals, whereas the seats are snug. General, 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 powerful 1,540 litres.
On the street, the B-Class presents good visibility, due to 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 changing into vocal when pushed laborious.
There’s a alternative of driving modes (Eco, Consolation, Sport and Particular person), however Consolation is simply tremendous and most closely fits the sensible character of the automobile.
With gentle steering, it’s particularly simple to drive on the town, however it additionally cruises properly 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 individuals in consolation.
As for rivals, the B-Class’s most blatant one is the BMW 2 Collection Lively Tourer, which can be provided as a plug-in hybrid.
Verdict: The brand new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is probably not the good automobile on the street, however it’s a cultured and wise household alternative providing consolation, security, practicality, good construct high quality and high badge attraction.