First impression about design
Well looking at the new B-Class one can surmise that there is a lot of influence from the new C-Class design on it. The family resemblance begins with the incorporation of the wider front grill and a completely new headlamp design unit. They still feature similar LED daytime running lights as before except that they now become a part of the headlight cluster.
From the side you might not notice any changes and that’s alright because the changes are so minor apart from the addition of new alloy wheel options.The metal parts remain the same while only the plastic sections have been remoulded, hence the term ‘plastic surgery’.
Move to the rear and once again you need a keen eye to notice the changes. The bumper is slightly modified and now incorporates the tailpipes at each end. The rear lights however do include LED lighting which looks cool.
As is the case with cars of today you can add additional exterior packaging kits. Mercedes-Benz offers a Style package which features standard trimmings and an Urban package kit which features a more dynamic style. I rather fancy the AMG kit which gives the B-Class sportier characteristics.
Has the interior changed?
Apart from a new, more stylish steering wheel – as seen in the new C Class - and a redesigned centre console, not much has changed. The interior still remains classy throughout with typical Mercedes switch gear and quality.
The tablet-like screen mounted on the dashboard has been enhanced. It now features higher resolutions and a better looking interface again, as with the C-Class. One can expect the same practical package as before with enough room to transport a family.
How is it to drive?
On the road the B Class feels the same as before, it’s good and goes about its job very well. Reports suggest that the suspension has been tweaked but Mercedes-Benz can't give us exact details on that. Sometimes it even feels like a sporty hatchback when driven with some flair. I will admit though that if you spec the car with low profile tires it can get a bit bumpy at times, but then again that’s the price you pay to look good.
Expect the same petrol line-up with the B200 (100kW/300Nm) and B250 (130kW/350Nm) while on the oil burner front there are two models in the form of the B200CDI (115kW/250Nm) and B220CDI (155kW/350Nm). Transmission options are the familiar 7G-DCT automatic gearbox or six-Speed manual.
The B Class has been with us for some time now. The Merc designers have kept it looking fresh and stylish however with the arrival of the new BMW Active 2 Series earlier last week, the B Class has its work cut out for it now more than ever. The B-Class has one big advantage though and that is and existing customer bas that knows what they are getting
|Mercedes-Benz B200 CDI||R404 200||(auto/manual)|
|Mercedes-Benz B220 CDI||R448 000||(auto only)|
|Mercedes-Benz B200||R388 300||(auto/manual)|
|Mercedes-Benz B250||R464 800||(auto only)|