Pricing for the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been made available and we can confirm which derivatives of this model are coming to South Africa. However, the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class boasts much sharper exterior styling, a high quality – and technologically advanced – interior, excellent cabin and cargo space, along with new engine options too. Based on the same underpinnings as the wonderful A-Class, the new B-Class offers more room throughout the cabin, while the rear seats offer luxury saloon levels of space.
The B180d diesel uses a 1.46-liter engine with 116hp and 260nm. Our main test vehicle was the 200d with 150hp and 320nm of torque. This 2-liter four-cylinder did a perfectly adequate job of hauling the car about. The higher-powered 220d develops more power – 190hp and 400nm – but in back-to-back testing, we preferred the 200d as it seemed to better suit the driving characteristics of the B Class. A seven-speed DCT (dual-clutch) and new eight-speed G-DCT (200d and 220d) make up the transmission options.
The B180 CDI performs and handles competently enough but its greatest strengths are its interior packaging and the Mercedes-Benz build quality which seems to have returned to former glories. The B180 CDI does look expensive in the context of the wider market but everybody knows you pay a premium for the three-pointed star and the excellent fuel economy will at least help you recoup some of your outlay. It may be a tad costly but it is certainly a class act.
On the safety front, the B180 scores the same active suite as the A-Class, including auto emergency braking (AEB – branded as ‘Active Brake Assist’), lane keep assisting (LKAS) with lane departure warning (LDW), traffic sign recognition (TSR) and blind-spot monitoring (BSM). Front and rear parking sensors, as well as a reversing camera, are also standard.
The boot capacity with the seats in place can, therefore, be adjusted between 455 liters and 705 liters – and if you fold the second row down completely, there are 1,540 liters on offer. Merc also plans to offer a fold-flat front passenger seatback to help accommodate longer items but it, too, will not be available until the middle of 2019. The tailgate can be powered, as an option, and this feature can extend to gesture activation using a foot waved below the rear bumper.
On the road, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class feels more dynamic, more sporty, more comfortable, and safer than ever before. The car sets a new benchmark in safe and comfortable everyday driving and is worthy of Mercedes-Benz’ claim that this is the ‘family car re-invented’. Motorway refinement is impressive even with the standard 18” alloy wheels fitted, 6000K 9007 led headlight bulb kit, while country roads prove just how nimble the new B-Class really is. Acceleration is smooth, and gear selection is swift & precise, while the car is blessed with terrific stopping power too. The state-of-the-art, MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Infotainment System is a joy to use and is extremely beneficial in allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road while issuing commands relevant to the content of the cars infotainment system.