After moving about elegantly in the B-Class for around a month Ninad offered me the car and I gleefully accepted. I was a little worried on how it will fare in my hands, will my...
Mercedes-Benz B-Class [2012-2015]
Mercedes-Benz B-Class [2012-2015] Review
The new B-class shines bright as the three pointed star tries to regain the lost ground. We take this soon to be launched car for a spin.
Mercedes seems to have woken up from its slumber both as far as its international product portfolio goes and its product offering in India. The new B-class is the first of five vehicles, which will be launched based on its new compact front-wheel drive architecture and will include the A-class, the CLA sedan, the GLA SUV and the coupe as shown in one of its recent concepts. And, the big news is that all these vehicles will form the backbone of the Mercedes volumes in India as they are launched over the next three years.
The B is a spacious 5-seater, which reeks of quality and technology, much like the Mercs of yore. Although, it's meant to have a van-like practicality, the car has been tastefully designed with an appealing front and sculpted sides. Large wheels and a sloping roof-line give it pleasing if not outrightly attractive.
First to be launched in India will be the petrol variants, the B180 and the B200, powered by turbocharged, direct injection 1595cc, all aluminium, 4-cylinder engines with double overhead cams operating 16 valves. They will be in different states of tune for the two variants with different power and torque curves. While there will be an option of a manual and a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission, in India we will get the automatic.
The engine on the B200 we drive was a scorcher - one of the best 1.6-litre petrol powerplants I have experienced. Producing maximum power of 156bhp from such a small engines may be one of the joys of direct injection and turbocharging, but the miracle of the two is that peak torque of 250Nm comes in at a low 1250rpm and is maintained all the way through to 4000rpm. This is evident in the way the car drives, effortlessly cruising at 120kmph in 7th gear with just over 2000 revs on the tacho.
The car retains the basic characteristics of Mercedes cars but it is much sportier than its bigger siblings to drive. Despite its high stance, it handles really well, thanks partly to a stiffish suspension and large alloys, but the ride quality needs to be better for it to work well on Indian roads. Ride is something Mercedes cars have mastered the art of and no doubt there will be some changes to the set-up for India.
While the performance is impressive, what is mind blowing are the interiors, both in terms of quality as well as the equipment they pack.
The B-class is again the first of the Mercs with a redone interior layout and I must say that it looks absolutely classy with great attention paid to the minutest details. The metal used in the inserts and on the circumference of the vents is aluminium polished in a satin-finish and looks totally high class.
Not to forget that the car also features a next generation multimedia system with lots of new features and options along with the latest of Mercedes safety and assistance technologies.
The B-class may be dubbed a sports-tourer by its maker, but it’s in effect a cross between a small car and an MPV. So, while the overall shape may not be exciting, it gets many of the plus points of an MPV. There is a large boot under the rear parcel sheet, there is also a sense of space in the cabin and one sits comfortably and higher up than in a sedan — more like in an SUV. Besides, this is the first car to adopt Mercedes' new front-wheel drive architecture and next-gen interiors, both are a big step forward. However, one is left wondering how much demand there would be for a premium utilitarian vehicle in a market like India.
Mercedes-Benz B 200
Engine 4-cyl, 16 valves, 1595cc
Max power 156bhp@5000rpm
Max torque 250Nm@1250-4000rpm
Gearbox 7-speed DCT
Wheelbase (mm) 2699
LxWxH (mm) 4359x1786x1557
Top Speed 220kmph
Price Rs 25 lakh est
Mercedes-Benz B-Class [2012-2015] Colours
B-Class [2012-2015] is available/sold in the following colours in India.
Polar Silver Metallic
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