Although it continues to look like a minivan, there’s a lot more to look forward to with the third-gen B-Class
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the third-generation B-Class at the ongoing Paris Motor Show. It retains the hatchback-like silhouette but gets sportier bits, so much so that the German manufacturer now calls it a Sports Tourer. Here’s what’s changed in the new B-Class.
Visually, the new B-Class looks more like a hatchback than a minivan. The design is slightly more aerodynamic as well, courtesy of the lowered roofline and a better integrated A-pillar. In fact, the drag coefficient has been reduced from 0.25Cd to 0.24Cd now. While the H7 halogen headlamps with LED DRLs are offered as standard on global models, expect the India-spec model to be launched with Merc’s Multibeam headlamps.
The new B-Class gets a range of alloy wheels to choose from, right from 16-inch to 19-inch instead of the standard 17-inch units seen on the current model. At the rear, the roof-integrated spoiler adds gives the hatchback a sporty character. Other minor updates include the new detailing on the wraparound tail lights and a faux chrome-finished diffuser on the rear bumper. The B-Class should offer more space on the inside as well since the wheelbase has grown to 2729mm from 2699mm.
But the major change lies inside as the B-Class now derives a lot of inspiration from the new A-Class. The crown of the cabin is its free-standing, single-slab touchscreen infotainment system and instrument console combo. It can be had in a choice of two 7-inch displays or as a 7-inch and 10.25-inch combo. If that doesn’t satisfy the geek in you, then you can even opt for two full-size 10.25-inch displays. These replace the 8-inch infotainment screen and 4.8-inch instrument cluster available on the previous model. The new infotainment units get MBUX operating system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) which utilises AI and Augmented Reality, taking the engagement factor up a notch.
The air vents retain the afterburner design but look a lot more sharper and get blue accents now. A 64 colour ambient lighting system is also available. Front passengers get the ‘Energizing’ kinetics seats, which Mercedes says is orthopaedically beneficial for the back and can adjust seat cushion angle along with all-electric seat adjustment and memory function. And since the rear seats are sliding units, not only can you adjust legroom but also the luggage capacity, which ranges between 455 litres to 705 litres now. Folding the rear seats completely can free up to 1540 litres of space. The outgoing B-Class had a fixed luggage capacity of 488 litres, which is expandable up to 1547 litres. Just to ease up the loading process, there is a hands-free powered tailgate as well.
Just like the recently unveiled Mercedes-Benz GLE, the B-Class also gets a host of active safety features from the S-Class, including distance assist, emergency stop assist, active brake assist, active lane change assist and more than six airbags, depending on the variant.
Powering the new B-Class is a downsized 2.0-litre Euro 6d-compliant engine with a new 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The same engine is also available on the E-Class LWB and the recently-launched C-Class facelift in India. Its power output will range between 140PS/320Nm and 190PS/400Nm.. The 1.3-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine, which was co-developed with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, will also be available in international markets. It is offered in two states of tune and is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Mercedes says it will even offer the B-Class with 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain option soon. The outgoing version of the B-Class is available with a 2.2-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Yes, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class might be coming to India, but only in the year 2019. Expect it cost slightly more than the outgoing version as it packs a lot more tech and comfort features. Currently, it is offered as a CBU (completely built unit) import and is priced between Rs 31.99 to Rs 33.03 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
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