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Its Got To Be Berfect

Right after the launch of the all-new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz reveals its taller mini MPV sibling, the B-Class. With the growing popularity of SUVs, some may argue that the days of the mini MPV might be numbered.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
05 Sep 2019
Vehicle categorisations aside, the new B-Class cuts a handsome silhouette, with it’s slightly lowered roofline, and is less puffy than the previous car
What we like:
Well-sorted interior
Lively engine
Comfortable ride quality
What we dislike:
Suspension has too much yield
Buzzy engine noise
ENERGIZING seat kinetics can get unsettling when driving around bends
No Type A USB ports

Right after the launch of the all-new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz reveals its taller mini MPV sibling, the B-Class. With the growing popularity of SUVs, some may argue that the days of the mini MPV might be numbered. In-fact, Renault lightly markets their Scenic as an SUV.

Vehicle categorisations aside, the new B-Class cuts a handsome silhouette, with it’s slightly lowered roofline, and is less puffy than the previous car.

The new B-Class sports a longer wheelbase, promising improved interior space. Front LED headlamps feature their very own daytime running light signature, in the form of a double torch. Mercedes-Benz has also expressed its design language, known as ‘Sensual Purity’ well at the rear, with its two-piece tail lamps integrating smoothly with the boot lid’s sculpting. The AMG-Line option also adds fancy body kitting to the front, side and rear profiles of the car.


Similar to the A-Class, the dashboard on the B-Class also features a neat single panel display, which carries on it two 10.25” screens. One which fronts its infotainment system, while the other is sited in-front of the driver, displaying digitised instrument gauges. Central to the dashboard’s design is its “afterburner” styled air-conditioning vents, which feature their own lighting.

The MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system utilises Artificial Intelligence to learn from its users. Responding to the command “Hey Mercedes”, the system can also be controlled by a touchpad on the centre console, and by Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel. While the B-Class now features newer format USB-C ports, there are no Type A ports available which means that you will have to adapt your devices.

One of the largest improvements made has to be in the quality of the interior. Panels fit well, with tight seams between surfaces. Our AMG Line car is equipped with ARTICO leather and DINAMICA microfibre upholstery, and features red double stitching throughout the cabin’s upholstery and steering wheel.

Like the A-Class, the new B-Class also features ENERGIZING seat kinetics, a system which Mercedes-Benz claim supports orthopaedic changes in seating posture, by making minute changes to driver and passenger seat inclination of cushions and backrests. The system can be rather unsettling to begin with, just imagine taking a corner, and that backrest shifts suddenly. There is also an included ENERGIZING COACH included into the package, which is essentially similar to a self-help tape or CD if you may… though gimmicky I would say.

The rear now features a larger aperture to the centre tunnel, making the middle seat more accessible, and legroom has also improved. Cargo room stands at 455 litres, and with the 40:20:40 style backrests folded, you can haul up to 1,540 litres.

The Drive

The new B200 is powered by their new M 282 series engine, which is co-developed together with the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance. The new engine features an innovative 0.2mm thick inner bore mirror coat which reduces piston drag, improving efficiency. The 1,332cc turbocharged four-cylinder unit, is also Mercedes-Benz’s first four-cylinder engine to feature cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts cylinders two and three when cruising, for added fuel economy. With gentle acceleration and allowing the cylinder deactivation to work to your advantage, the stated 17.5km/l combined cycle can actually be realised.

While it may be a 1.3+litre engine, power is rated at 163hp, which means that you will be purchasing this car together with a Category B COE. The expansive torque band which maxes 250Nm from 1,620 to 4,000rpm ensures a responsive drive. Power is transferred to the front wheels via a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With minimal power loss between cogs, the B200 does 100km/h in 8.2 seconds.

Cabin insulation is is well sorted out, though once past 3,000rpm the compact Merc’s engine tends to get buzzy, and it is quite audible from within.

The AMG Line trim which sets you back with an additional $7,000, and apart from snazzier 5-twin-spoke alloys, and some added kit, the car also sits 10mm lower than the Progressive trim model. According to Mercedes-Benz, one of the requirements development brief for the new B-Class, was that it handled like its predecessor, yet it had to deliver improved ride quality. The lowered comfort suspension on our test car did just that. The front suspension features conventional MacPherson Struts, set on forged-aluminium wishbones. Unsprung mass is reduced through the use of cast-aluminium steering knuckles, which improves the compact car’s handling. The rear suspension utilises a simple twist-beam rear axle (in simpler terms at torsion beam), which soaks up the bumps well enough.

The B-Class even for its height feels nimble and delicate, in a way quite similar to its smaller A-Class sibling. Why sure the A-Class would be sharper around the bends, however the B-Class does deliver a more comfortable ride. The soft suspension however does tend to yield a little too much, especially when approaching steeper inclines, with its front mud flap easily coming into contact with the ground. The lower-priced Progressive model we feel, which sits moderately higher would actually be more worth your dollar.

Our Thoughts

The B-Class is the most expensive mini MPV in its class (for now, since it will be a while before BMW releases its new Active Tourer). For those who wish to improve on handling (which we feel is unnecessary). Opting for the 19” rim set will automatically include the more complex four-link rear axle, which is made of lightweight aluminium for reduced unsprung weight. If the larger rim size is not your thing, you can instead opt for the Adaptive Damping suspension system, which allows the suspension firmness to be dialed up or down.

The B-Class also competes with the likes of the Renault Scenic and Volkswagen Golf SV, while the latter two are more affordable, the premium paid on the baby Merc translates to a plusher interior with more creature spoils.


Cars in this article
Mercedes-Benz B-Class B200 AMG Line (A) 2019

Mercedes-Benz B-Class B200 AMG Line (A) 2019

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