Oh it’s a B-Class. How is it new?
The B-Class has always been one of the more modest-looking Mercedes cars around, so with this facelift some attempt has been made to sex things up a little with the small multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).
The LED daytime running lights are now smooth light lines encased in the headlight unit itself, the air intakes gape more, the car’s leading edge also sees a chrome lip spoiler.
We tested the range-topping B200 model in ‘Urban’ trim, and it certainly does have an urbane cabin. Not everyone likes white interiors, but this one was pulled off with a notable high level of fit and finish – the soft, white leather makes the spacious interior seem even more airy, for instance.
That sounds nice. Is it docile and easy to own?
Very much so, perhaps to a fault: Don’t get a B-Class if you crave supreme driving excitement.
Powering the car is the same 1.6-litre turbo-four engine, the 156bhp ‘200’ version, which has plenty of thrust, although disappointingly the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is still a bit slow to shift.
To be fair, the B-Class has never been about dynamic handling either, and this car is no different. It’s a doddle to drive around town, the classic Mercedes experience with the large wheel and relaxed steering encouraging you to take things easily. Indeed that’s the entire spirit of the car: but it feels most happy gaining velocity gradually and encouraging you to be sensible and drive below the speed limit.
So it should be very practical?
Yes, and rather safe too. Sensibility is the name of the game, with the Collision Prevention Assist alerting you if you’re going to hit something, while Attention Assist nags you if you nod off.
As a result your passengers will never feel at all threatened, and you can carry a mix of five people or up to 1,457-litres of cargo. Usefully, it also comes with cargo netting, a tonneau cover and a foldable storage crate as well as a variable-height floor in the boot.
Should I get one?
Yes, although perhaps not the B 200. it’s not totally illogical to want a B-Class, just that a more modest variant, like the $157,888 Cat A-eligible B 180 Style model, makes more sense that the King B shown here. The most expensive ‘Urban’ trim is shown here too, which adds $8k to the price for 17-inch rims, the leather wheel, additional interior trim and dual-pipe exhaust system.
And the B-Class refreshed as it is, steps back onto an increasingly crowded stage: The Citroen Picasso C4, Ford S-Max, Volkswagen Touran have always been the competition, but there’s also the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (with a newly-announced seven-seat model), the upcoming VW Golf Sportsvan, plus seemingly a million and one SUV-crossy-overy-thingies that have five seats and near-MPV usefulness.
Mercedes-Benz B 200 Urban
Engine 1,595cc, 16V, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 156bhp at 5300rpm
Torque 250Nm at 1250-4000rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 220km/h
0-100kmh 8.4 seconds
Fuel efficiency 5.5L/100km
Price $184,888 with COE