MercedesBenz BClass: Launch Review motoring com au

17 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz B 180 AT Base

Mercedes-Benz B-Class: Launch

Diesel’s balance of power and

Vastly improved value

Not so

Some shortcomings in rear

Petrol engines underwhelm

Not else


It’s all From the ground up. Really.

makers once plumped products and brands down on one or the other of the performance versus divide. Now, they’re those opposing goals the single umbrella of efficiency. In the of Mercedes-Benz, this is branded The technologies it signifies are important, as they do yet another German story in getting more and more kilometres from fuel.

It’s a term to each of the models we see here – the B180 BlueEFFICIENCY, B200 and B200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY. But, so many current naming it’s so annoying to type – and – that we’re going to with it henceforth and ask that you it’s there.

The second-generation is Australia’s introduction to Benz’s small platform. And it is all new, outside, underneath, on road and on — everything from the tyres up. The radical sandwich gone. The new body is longer and The overhauled specifications revolve three new engines sharing one new

The platform will eventually five new models: the recently new A-Class, the new B-Class we see here, a four-door coupe dubbed a compact SUV, and something execs still refer to in indecipherable tones in the same as ‘US and Chinese markets’. The platform has been engineered to accommodate power trains.

While the execs aren’t overly of hybrids — they have oilers that and beat short- and mid-term emissions demands — evident in the electrified SLS and B-Class-based, fuel cell-powered F Cell some clues about prospects.

With the new B-Class, the things inherited from the old are the and, generally, its looks. is a car easier to define by what not than what it is. It’s not a not a wagon, not a people mover – its call it a hatchback saloon.

One that is clear from they’ve done with the new premium names like and BMW are feeling the heat from With cars like the Focus now serving up kit like lamps, sat-nav and adaptive control standard for less $35K, names once for the top shelf are sliding downmarket, the lines between brand

With anything from to $5000 sliced off the outgoing prices, the newcomer will see plenty of buyers once to more prosaic brands they can afford a Mercedes-Benz.


Lower prices, equipment, faster, safer

the real breakthrough. Here we a model where not only do all get a terrific dual-clutch gearbox, but paddles to go with it. About

Now that’s out of our system, we resume um, transmission. The B-Class line-up substantial revisions, with in price of up to $5140 on equivalent models. The new range comes in two with a choice of two petrol or a diesel, with a base list that looks enough to tempt Focus up several thousand dollars.

For (MRLP), the base 1.6-litre, B 180 comes with 16-inch wheels, climate control, sensors, auto headlamps and The six-speaker audio package with a six-CD stacker, compatibility, Bluetooth audio auxiliary and USB ports. It’s all from a 14.7cm central screen.

Little conveniences too. Ambient lighting (a M-B – a little thing that a big difference to the interior environment at an electronic park brake, storage drawers, and folding mounted on behind the front for rear passengers.

The heated windscreen has a timer. The cruise incorporates braking to maintain the set downhill, a feature allowing to extend the system to include a limiter. And, like so models with electric assistance, it’s capable of itself.

In the up-spec petrol B 200 and the B 200 CDI, most of the $5K premium under the bonnet. The $43,950 B 200 gets the same 1.6-litre as the B 180, but tweaked to raise to 115kW.

Or if you prefer, the same buys the 1.8-litre, 100kW B 200 CDI. Both get a wheel to 17-inch alloys, Artico leather’ upholstery (don’t be put off by the bit – it’s terrific), electrochromatic mirror, a bit of extra chrome and trim upgrades, and electrically exterior mirrors.

Options like bi-xenon and reversing camera are available but Benz is also bolstering an convincing value statement a series of bundled option with very un-Benz tags.

The Vision package adds a panoramic sunroof and with LED runners. The COMAND ($2990) bumps up the centre size to accommodate the marque’s central control system voice control, sat-nav, camera and a Harman Kardon upgrade.

With COMAND now internet connectivity, the sat-nav runs Google Maps. it, the difference between new and old is transparent.

The Assistance package ($2490) Distronic Plus adaptive blind spot monitoring, keeping assist and a leather-wrapped

For those with young integrated booster seats are

You can spec even the B 200 with the lot and get change out of $60K for a very package indeed.

The snappy B 200 has gone, but later in the year see a high-spec, high-performance B 250.

they all come in under they’re exempt from the car tax.


More less fuel, beaut DCT

All better their predecessors on sides of the performance/economy divide. The two models use different tunings of the 1.6-litre four. The base B 180 hits its 200Nm torque at a super-low 1250rpm and keeps it up to 4000rpm.

For the B 200, they’ve it for an extra 25kW — up to and 50Nm more torque, up to available across the same 1250-4000rpm band.

The B 200 CDI is now good for delivering its 300Nm peak from 1600-3000rpm.

No CVTs and – all Bs now come with Benz’s 7G-DCT twin-clutch, operated an S Class-like stalk on the steering and paddles. And no foot- or lever-operated brake, either – it’s now

The B’s aerodynamic package gives it a coefficient of just 0.26, it up with the slipperiest bodies on the All three are also helped by variable engine mapping, through Sport, Economy and modes. Nevertheless, the B 180 is an adequate than exciting performer in a weighing 1395kg.

Turbo-lag is negligible, but the Sport feels a bit wasted in the base — paddling or kicking it generates a whole lot of not much revs. And that’s with a driver on board. Load it up people and things and it’s a bet you’ll feel it struggle.

The B 200 delivers more oomph, but the delivers more again for the money, especially in the midrange. In a like this, every Newton counts, and the CDI’s got and they’re available for noticeably fuel.

On that front, the is excellent all round, but especially for the CDI. At 4.7L/100 km (122g/km it’s down about 20 per from the outgoing B 180 CDI’s 5.8 (151g/km CO2). Not that the variants are far behind — now good for an official 6.1L/100 km CO2/km) combined.

They’re the figures. On the launch program our B 200 CDI 4.7L/100 in Economy mode to speed limits on country roads. Similar conditions saw the B 200 yield 6.7, while a run at speed limits in the B 180 yielded Separate, shorter trips in the B 200 with more kickdowns, and paddle work bumped up into the eights, so no major


It sits lower. doesn’t mean it’s

The B is still no objet d’art, and God what that bent up the sides means, but the new B represents the quantum leap over its on many fronts. It’s (86mm), wider (9mm) and importantly, it’s lower: centimetres at the roofline, and seven at the

There are pros and cons to the new Its handling is improved but it still more MPV than hatch. more upright seats legroom Benz says is 12mm short of the standard S-Class. If it isn’t redolent of car, it’s exceptionally for its class, helped by loads of foot space. One irritant is in the hard plastic structure the map pockets and fold-out tables on the of the front seats – its bottom is perfectly positioned to deliver the a decent whack in the shins.

seats are often neglected on programs, but we figured this one was enough to warrant some time on the drive program. and shoulder space was good for six-footer, but the seat is a bit flat and under the thighs. That’s renders comparisons between here and in the S a bit of a furphy: the limo accommodates your whole (the real measure of leg is not from the front of the cushion, but the Here, it’s good for But it’s also low against the sill — enough, we to be a problem on long trips.

The revisions also take toll in the cargo area, shrinks from more 540 litres to 488 – read: from to merely very large.

The is generally classy, with the obvious locus of costing-think in the lack of rear-seat ventilation. there are five big eyeball up front, but it’s a noticeable for a primo brand placing so emphasis on rear seat

Up front, the manually adjustable and tilt/reach adjustable wheel plenty of scope to find a driving position. On the bottom you sit low behind the facia, but even there, visibility is good all and there’s plenty of height in the seat.

Mercedes-Benz B 180 AT Base

Ergonomics are up to Benz’s standard, although like primo German product it a little learning — if you’re familiar with the operating protocols. The control atop the centre stack retractable a la Audi’s, but it’s not less thing to go wrong…)

is plentiful: in decent glove- and boxes, underseat drawers and pockets sufficient to hold a drink.


Raises the bar for its bracket

Predictably amid competitive advances in safety at end of the market, a best-in-class primary and safety suite fulfils normal above-and-beyond charter.

In to nine airbags — two side torso bags in and rear seats, curtains and a kneebag — the normal control, anti-lock brakes and braking systems, the B now gets fatigue monitoring and a ‘collision assist’ system standard.

you cross a lane or shoulder without indicating, the Attention fatigue system lets you by vibrating the steering wheel.

The prevention system uses sensors to monitor variations in the from the vehicle ahead. the gap starts closing too fast for it flashes and beeps and primes the for an emergency stop. Optioned up the Distronic Plus adaptive control, it will actually jam the on by itself if things look

Also standard is the Pre-Safe and protection package that’s around in the S-Class for a decade. it senses disharmony in the relationship forward and sideways, the system into action, closing and sunroof, adjusting seats and to optimise restraint for each child or adult.

There are little extras to keep you out of up front, like warning covering fluid levels, pressure and brake pads.

Uniquely placed to take on in its price bracket

VFACTS it last year as ‘Small but the B isn’t small and the base now limbos in under $40K. part-wagon/hatch/MPV/SUV/tardis indefinability means it has no competitors in its segment, yet many at the time.

It potentially treads on the of everything from compact like Volkswagen’s Tiguan, Q3 and Q5, Mazda’s CX-5, Ford’s new and high-spec Koreans, to the Mazda6 and wagons like Volkswagen’s and Audi’s A4 Avant.

As a family it’s hugely versatile in people and stuff. It sits than a normal passenger but handles better than high-riding SUVs.

Whatever it is, got something right. The outgoing topped sales in its segment for and this one’s better in way, including the ways might attract younger


Exciting news for

While the lowered centre of and the revised rear suspension some improvements over the model, the B doesn’t invite you to it through corners like a stick. But nor can you carry your new machine home in your and for a car of its shape and charter the B handles While it holds the road aplomb and sits flat corners, the chassis priorities are towards ride; and on that it’s well sorted.

We get the chance to try the one with the sports and 18-inch wheels, but even the hard-walled runflats, the supple will absorb some horrid road surfaces minimal disturbance to the peace Wind noise is near road noise intrusion is low on coarse surfaces.

Electric steering was invented in the of fuel efficiency rather driver entertainment. Few have it on the latter front, and M-B doesn’t free of the pack here. The has some decent weight it and little play at 12 o’clock, but no threesome going on here man, machine and Mother

The transmission is benchmark stuff for its plenty quick enough for vehicle, supremely smooth in its and smart enough in matching with conditions. The Economy is useful for highway cruising, but the drivetrain gets busy not long before you’re down to switch the engine to Not for sport, mind — for a bit of response.

While the petrol are adequate, the B 200 CDI is the pick on every more torque, less and a bit of extra down-low weight to it. It’s hard to tell it by too — the only giveaways are in the muscle and the tacho calibrations.

hard from 100km/h showed the brakes to be well up to anybody who’d choose a car this would throw at

The second-gen B maintains its predecessor’s of identity and balance. It also from a chassis that’s made for more exciting While we wait for other to turn up, what we have amplifies the old B’s virtues, adds a of new ones, including a state-of-the-art kit, and serves it up with a value jab. None of will do any harm to an already seller.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012


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