The new generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class will blow your mind with progressive technology and its sexy looks
by RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
Stylistically the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class has made a quantum leap. Sleek and sporty, this comfortable Sports Tourer looks more dynamic and is more agile than its predecessor. Its avant-garde interior has a unique sense of space with the futuristic instrument panel with cut-outs in front of the driver and passenger. Embracing cutting edge technology with the intuitive user interface of the incredible MBUX multimedia system, heralded a new era with Mercedes me connectivity and its unique Sci-Fi ability to learn due to artificial intelligence, which bonds people with the car.
Its strengths include brilliant graphics, “Hey Mercedes” voice control, a standard touch screen and functions such as MBUX Augmented Reality. An integrated MBUX touch control concept includes a touch screen, an optional touchpad on the centre console and touch controls on the steering wheel.
Safety-wise, state-of-the-art driving assistance systems inherited from the S-Class, crowns the B-Class as one of the segment leaders. It also has more space and more efficient engines matched with a stunning new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The chic new B-Class is more practical than ever. “In our portfolio of compacts, it’s the perfect vehicle for the whole family. And MBUX – the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience – provides also the B-Class with an all-new customer experience with functions that were previously the reserve of the luxury class,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director for Passenger Cars.
Optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps allow fast, electronic adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic conditions. This luxury class feature made its debut in the A-Class, the winner of the 2019 Autotrader South African Car Of The Year competition. Many of the incredibly innovative aspects of the A-Class has been incorporated into the B-Class.
A large roof spoiler and high-gloss black spoilers at the sides of the rear window, improves both aerodynamics and aesthetics. Innovative seat geometry and a lower belt line gives an even more generous feeling of space, while the driver sits 90mm higher than in an A-Class, providing a great all-round view that is also enhanced by narrower cross-sections of the roof pillars.
The avant-garde interior architecture uses a free-standing display unit, which comes in the widescreen version, with two 10,25-inch displays that face the driver.
Five aviation inspired round air vents gives a high-grade turbine look with finely styled air ducts, which is colour-accentuated deeper in the vent, creating the impression of an afterburner. The ambience lighting with 64 colours and 10 colour schemes, is unique in this segment and it’s fun to set the mood.
Flatter seats offer a comfortable seating position as well as a larger adjustment range, that increases the maximum headroom and seat climate control and multi contour seats with massage function, are some top end optional extras.
New ENERGIZING seat kinetics is particularly good for the back and support orthopaedically beneficial changes of posture by regularly making minute adjustments to the angle of the seat cushion and backrest.
A fine-tuned interior offers improved passage over the centre tunnel which enhances rear access and with rear seats down the adjustable load compartment floor can swallow 1540 litres.
The S-Class inherited driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, provides one of the highest levels of active safety in this segment and enhances the driving experience. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, as part of the Driving Assistance package, supports the driver in many route-specific situations, by being anticipatory and conveniently adjusting the speed at bends, junctions or roundabouts. Active Emergency Stop Assist and intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist is also available. Active Brake Assist mitigates the severity of rear-end collisions with slower moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead.
Many bodyshell components are made of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel to obtain the strongest, yet lightest possible passenger cell, which helps to make the B-Class an incredibly safe vehicle.
Two new, efficient Euro 6d compliant engines include a transverse-mounted version of the OM 654, a 1950cc diesel with 110kW and an 8-G-DCT transmission with CO2 emissions of only 122g/km, a 1,33-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine of the M 282 series with 120kW and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with CO2 emissions of 134g/km. Other new engines will follow, as will models with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Being more compact allows exhaust aftertreatment components to be installed directly onto the engine, where the exhaust temperature is higher, making for more efficient aftertreatment. Even in demanding driving situations the B-Class remains within the emissions limits.
Several suspension options are available, including a lowered comfort suspension and a suspension with active adaptive damping, which lets the driver control the damper tuning while driving using DYNAMIC SELECT.
The B-Class is so far advanced in its segment that strong sales are on the cards for this practical, yet beautiful and futuristic all-rounder. What I love about the B-Class is the perfect blend of practicality, performance and aesthetics.
Pricing ranges from R526 900 to R559 100 and includes a 5-year/100 000km Motor Plan.