Mercedes cuts sandwich but Bclass still tempts appetite | The…

8 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz B 180 AT Base

Mercedes cuts sandwich but still tempts appetite

not groundbreaking, but the B-class has quality and appeal

Large cars are work for prestige carmakers, their high prices, materials and cutting-edge equipment.

the small stuff that’s For example, why pay more for a Mercedes-Benz than a small Ford or

To answer that question we revisit 1729, when Montagu became the Earl of In the midst of a life in politics, authority and affairs with opera singers, the earl the semi-culinary concept of the sandwich. The liked a gamble and he decided between two slices of bread was an meal because it could be to him at the card table and eaten virtually no interruption to the game.

In its form, a sandwich is a cheap Add complexity and elegance to the filling and you something the most fashionable houses can charge a premium for. It’s all in the execution.

A small sandwich

Mercedes-Benz to revolutionise small-car design, the so-called sandwich platform of the A-class in 1997. The concept was a hollow double-floor raised the up high and the front-mounted engine was and tucked partially underneath the occupants’ feet. This virtually the entire length of the car to be for passenger space, which the tiny car incredible legroom. The construction method also the A-class equivalent crash-safety to the larger E-class. Mercedes-Benz two patents for the technology.

The sandwich has been used for every Mercedes-Benz to date, including and long-wheelbase versions of the A-class and the B-class launched in 2005. The also serves as the base for zero-emissions F-Cell, as the double is the ideal future-proofed place to put hydrogen fuel-cell stacks.

The new B-class

The sandwich platform was supposed to revolutionise small-car Past tense. Because the all-new B-class just here has similar styling to the previous model, it’s not on a sandwich platform. Nor is the next-generation which will arrive year looking low and sleek than tall and practical.

gives many reasons for the abandoning the revolution. But I’ll you the most important one: to reduce costs. The sandwich requires a lot of bespoke hardware. Now it’s gone, the marque’s front-drive models can share components with other in the Mercedes-Benz range. That’s the of the car industry in 2012. That’s disappointing, actually.

Backward and

Here’s the good news: the new B-class lacks in innovation, it up for in quality and driver appeal. The is still ultra-spacious, the materials are of higher quality than the old car and a wealth of advanced equipment. has been a subtle shift with the seat height by 71mm but the driving position is more upright. That’s a bit odd and I had getting comfortable on our preview in Melbourne.

The four-cylinder turbo engines in a are all lively and ultra-efficient but the most change is the Mercedes-designed seven-speed gearbox, which works and lays to rest the appalling Variable Gearbox (CVT) of the car.

The new B-class is nowhere as intriguing or groundbreaking as the old. But it is a more appealing proposition to and own. That’s certainly the for Mercedes-Benz’s New Zealand operation. In the previous B-class ran out with still at the top of its segment; here, it at the bottom.

Crossing over

In the bigger what Mercedes-Benz lacks is a range of crossover vehicles small ones to compete the likes of the new Audi Q3/Q5 and BMW By 2016 there will be two in the lineup: a small wagon on the B-class platform and a right-hand version of the mid-size GLK that has in Europe since 2009.

It all a little too late automotive is fickle. BMW had this genre ages ago. Audi was off the mark but it’s there now Mercedes-Benz should have better. After all, the M-class helped create the crossover segment.

Mercedes-Benz B 180 AT Base

For now, the Star is desperate for some niche appeal and the new B-class surely have some there. The one-box profile, interior and relatively high position suggest it could be a crossover.

The crossover imperative is also why has just launched a $99,990 of the new M-class. The ML 250 BlueTec is still a pseudo-off-roader but the price and 2.1-litre turbo diesel engine are to tempt people upward smaller rivals.

Is a four-cylinder a hard sell? Not in Australia. but yes in New Richard Emery, general of sales for Mercedes-Benz passenger admitted. New Zealanders still their luxury vehicles big engines and are prepared to pay for them: example, the four-cylinder E-class has hard work. If we had a smaller to offer right now, we wouldn’t need the ML 250 BlueTec.”

But you do you have to do. You have to eat.


What exactly is it?

The all-new second generation of idiosyncratic small hatchback.

1.6-litre turbo-petrol producing (B180) or 115kW/250Nm (B200); have combined fuel of 6.1 litres per 100km. B200 CDI has a turbo-diesel producing 100kW/300Nm, consumption 4.7 l/100km. All have a dual-clutch gearbox.

Anything in the equipment list?


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