New Mercedes B-Class facelift was launched in India on 11th March, 2015. The update was carried out to align the car to the latest school of Mercedes Benz design, starting with new signature LED headlamps with DRLs (Daytime Running Light), LED tail lamps, revised front grille, new bumpers, new chrome trim on tail gate and new alloy wheels.
This, for all intents and purposes, has not only made the car look contemporary and fashionable, but also highly similar to all other updated Mercs out there. Still, the B-Class has room for improvement to make it as desirable as the other newer Mercs in terms of styling.
To talk about the essence of Mercedes Benz B-Class, it is a well crafted MPV styled hatchback that doesn’t easily show its true size. It passes itself off as a hatchback from afar, concealing its intended objective.
Mercedes Benz B-Class was launched in India three years ago, and only as time went by it made its ground firm. The luxury hatch is easily overlooked as it doesn’t really have rivalry on the same level. The kind of budget puts a spotlight on much larger SUVs from volume-focussed brands, or persuades to opt for a premium compact sedan or crossover, all of which the market is known to have a penchant for.
For starters, it’s a Merc, which guarantees a certain cocktail of luxury, comfort, practicality and enthusiasm. Cutting right to the chase, the car has abundant room for passengers as well as all the luggage and goodies you’ll carry for a long holiday. Count the offer of a peppy engine and a mesmerising steering with paddle shifters leeching to its back, you got most of what you’d be looking for, already.
The 2.1 litre (2,143 cc) four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine now pushes 136 PS max power and 300 Nm peak torque, mated to same 7-speed (7G-TRONIC) automatic transmission. Based on Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform with no changes compared to earlier model, there is not much difference in the behaviour of the B-Class, except it rushes faster courtesy of the upgraded diesel engine.
The motor sends a blast of power after crossing the highly noticeable turbo lag region, and is very much fun to squeeze and harness whatever the engine has left. But no thanks to the 7-speed auto, which needs some training to shift a little faster if the B-Class wants to be called a sports tourer. Another setback is the engine noise; the diesel clatter is clearly noticeable inside the cabin.
The shocks are marginally on the stiffer side, but is excusable given the focus is on driving enthusiasm. Speaking of which, the steering is what we enjoyed the most, which weighs in extremely well during hard and high-speed turns, and offers high resolution feedback probably better than a hydraulic unit. Even the brakes had nothing much to complain about. All these make the car really admirable; its like the driver gets his share of fun and other people inside get their own comforts for the trip.
But, a small sacrifice needs to be made, by the friends at the back seat. Giving too much attention to knee and legroom, Mercedes Benz failed to make the bench wide enough to accommodate the thighs. It is too narrow and makes tall and hefty people utter a comment about it. Once that gets into your mind, you start noticing things that are not in your favour, like, there is no bottle holder at the back!
Overall, the 2015 Mercedes B-Class maintains the class of its own, and it comes with good amount of balance of fun and features, for an entire family. Ex-showroom Mumbai price of B 200 CDI (diesel) is Rs. 28.95 lakhs and that of B 180 Sport (petrol) is Rs. 27.95 lakhs.