Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer Motoring Review
Mercedes-Benz has been systematically rolling out its new range of B-Class Sports Tourers. This vehicle is likely to appeal to a young market of small starter family-types needing a high standard of safety levels; or young professionals who require a comfortable cabin space, smart car technology and who relish the idea of driving a classy car with the German three-pointed star on it.
With a zesty exterior, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer rides on an all-new platform which it shares with the new-generation A-Class series. Measuring 4359mm in length, 1786mm in width and 1557mm in height, the new B-Class crouches almost five centimetres lower on the road than its predecessor. This low ride-height helps achieve an outstanding drag coefficient (0.26) and places the new B-Class at the forefront of all cars for sale in its market segment, as far as aerodynamics are concerned. Called by some a 'hatchback saloon', the B-Class's front and rear sports a wide and prominent grill with its front headlamps extending along the sides. The rear-end features a wide rear window with a two-piece tail light design and a large tailgate with a low loading sill. Looking from the side, the bonnet flows into the A-pillars and the roof-line gives the car a longer appearance which ends in a striking roof spoiler. New to the range, the B-Class Sports Tourer comes fitted with run-flat tyres in either 17 inch or 18 inch rim designs. All models come standard with a chrome package which adds subtle detailing across the car’s exterior but there are also Sports, Night and Exclusive packages to choose from.
The cabin space is fresh and the layout driver-focussed. Flexible seating offers growing families a number of interior options, while the general ambience mimics the bigger and more expensive Mercs of today. Standard specifications across the range includes: cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, radio and 6 CD change, a media interface and air-conditioning, to mention a few... The B-Class Sports Tourer offers a full range of tech interfaces, plugs, sockets, plays and connectivity features, making it one of the most technologically advanced cars the German brand has produced so far.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer is available as either a 1.8 four-cylinder turbodiesel engine (in two different states of tune); or it comes in two 1.6 turbopetrol engines – one being a 90kW/200Nm, the other being a 115kW/200Nm. Each engine has direct injection technology and comes with Eco start/stop to reduce fuel consumption. All models are available with a six-speed manual gearbox which pushes power through the front wheels. Mercedes-Benz's 7G-DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also available as an alternative option.
Thanks to the fact that Mercedes-Benz aims to make the highest possible standard of safety available in all their new cars; the new B-Class Sports Tourer's NCAP 5 star rating attests to its host of updated and new safety features. All the 'usuals' such as an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (BAS), Anti-Lock brakes (ABS) and a host of front, pelvis, knee and window airbags are included. Added to this, all cars come standard with Merc’s PreSafe feature, collision prevention assistance, flashing brake lights, a tyre pressure warning system and attention assist. Other 'nice to haves' are active park assist and a reversing camera.
When looking a buying a car in this segment, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer makes a compelling argument thanks to its stylish features, excellent safety packages and its hard-to-ignore technological appeal. Pricing includes a six-year/120000km maintenance plan, and starts at around R375 003 for the Mercedes-Benz B180CDI auto and R423 470 for the Mercedes-Benz B250. (Prices may go up or down according to various factors, so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)