The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class proves to be sportier than ever before. Despite it appearing more dynamic than its predecessor in sheet metal, the B-class continues to serve as the perfect family car offering better interior dimensions for greater comfort and space. The avant-garde interior of the Mercedes-Benz B Class ensures a unique feeling of spaciousness, accentuated by the distinctive design of the instrument panel. The intuitive user interface of the adaptive MBUX multimedia system is ground-breaking. Its strengths include brilliant graphics, “Hey Mercedes” voice control, a standard touch screen state-of-the-art driving assistance system also give the B-Class one of the highest standards of active safety in the segment with functions carried over from the S-Class.
“Families of today lead an increasingly versatile and mobile lifestyle,” said Mr. Philipp Hagenburger, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Singapore “The new B Class speaks to this lifestyle by offering an attractive balance of practicality, comfort, space and safety. Coupled with MBUX, the B-Class provides every family a personalized driving experience tailored to their daily needs.”
“The latest derivative of the new generation of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz, the B-Class, writes a further punchy chapter in the success story of the dynamic Mercedes-Benz Sports Tourer,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. “With its emotional yet purist design, the new B Class blends seamlessly into the design language of Sensual Purity.”
The designers’ brief was to make the new B-Class stand out visually from the world of minivans. That brief was accepted and executed, designed with a long wheelbase (2729 mm) short overhangs, a slightly lowered roof line and larger 16- to 19-inch wheels making for dynamic proportions. The relatively squat, progressive front end with flowing transition from bonnet to A-pillar and on to the windscreen, along with the muscular shoulder of the body, underlines the sporty overall look.
The same is true with the LED high performance headlamps, the B-Class comes with its own daytime running light signature in the form of a double torch. The optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps have an especially sporty look. They allow fast, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic conditions. This feature from the luxury class, which made its debut in the compact segment in the new A-Class, now produces striking looks and added safety also in the new B-Class.
At the back, the width of the vehicle is accentuated by two-part lamps, reflectors integrated in the bumper and a distinctive black bumper bottom section with diffuser look and chrome trim strip. The large roof spoiler, along with high-gloss black spoilers at the sides of the rear window, makes for improved aerodynamics while ensuring a sporty appearance.
The cd value of the new B-Class starts at 0.24 (predecessor: 0.25). The lower roof line further contributes to a best-in-class airflow due to the smaller end face of the car. In addition, the aerodynamics engineers have reduced the wind noise thanks to extensive detail work. The benefits: a high level of alertness as well as the ability to engage in a relaxed conversation while on the go.
The improved seat geometry and lower belt line make for an even more generous feeling of space than in the previous model. The driver sits 90 millimetres higher than in an A-Class, thus enjoying an especially good all-round view – also thanks to optimised cross-sections of the roof pillars, which obscure less of the surroundings.
Interior design: Revolution, the second
The interior of the B-Class is as avant-garde as the much-praised revolutionary interior architecture of the new A-Class, yet distinctive: while the instrument panel of the sister model is split into two horizontal basic bodies, that of the B-Class has a single basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and has cut-outs in the area of the driver and front passenger. The cut-out in front of the driver houses the fully free-standing widescreen display unit, with two 10.25- inch displays. A head-up display is also optionally available.
The five round air vents feature a high-grade turbine look with finely styled air ducts, inspired by the world of aviation. In the Style equipment line, the vent surround is colour-accentuated in the depth of the vent geometry to give the impression of an afterburner. The centre console with touch-based control and input system comes with a black panel look similar to the E-Class. The ambience lighting with 64 colours and ten colour worlds, a unique selling point in this segment, allows individual adjustments, even to suit the mood.
The seats also offer a flatter and, therefore, more comfortable seating position as well as a larger adjustment range, which also increases the maximum headroom. There is also more space in the width: at 1456 millimetres (plus 33 mm), the front elbow width now has the dimensions of a mid-range vehicle.
ENERGIZING seat kinetics: supports changes of posture
With seat climate control and multi-contour seats with massage function, the new B-Class is available with optional extras that were previously reserved for vehicles from much higher segments. This opens the way to even better seating comfort.
The new ENERGIZING seat kinetics is particularly good for the back. It can support orthopaedically beneficial changes of posture by regularly making minute adjustments to the angle of the seat cushion and backrest. The innovation is available for the front seats in combination with all-electric seat adjustment with memory function.
ENERGIZING COACH which is included in the ENERGIZING packages is new. This function based on an intelligent algorithm recommends one of the programmes contained in the packages depending on the situation and individual. If a compatible wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimise the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.
Variable rear seats and optimised luggage compartment layout
The interior has been fine-tuned in many places: the improved entry aperture to the centre tunnel in the rear makes for a more accessible middle seat. The rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split. Depending on version, from mid-2019 it will be possible for the rear seats to be moved by 14 centimetres and for the backrest to be folded into a steeper position to vary the capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats between 455 and 705 litres. Although the capacity is roughly the same as in the previous model, the luggage compartment can be more efficiently used thanks to the improvements.
With the rear seat folded down and luggage loaded to the roof, the luggage compartment, which is flat thanks to the adjustable load compartment floor, can accommodate up to 1540 litres behind the front seats.
An EASY-PACK tailgate is optionally available. It can be conveniently opened or closed automatically at the press of a button, even by means of a foot movement in combination with optional HANDS-FREE ACCESS.
MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: unique experience
What goes for A also goes for B: the new B-Class is the second car model after the A-Class to feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, which created a revolution of for user interactivity in a passenger vehicle. Its ability to learn through Artificial Intelligence makes the system unique. MBUX is customisable and adapts to the user. It thus creates an emotional link between vehicle, driver and passengers.
Its other strengths include touch screen control as standard, a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit, navigation display and intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes”. The touch screen is part of the integrated MBUX touch control concept – a trio consisting of touch screen, touchpad on the centre console and touch controls on the steering wheel.
MBUX is a revolution of the user experience in the car. Emotively appealing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure and thrill through brilliant 3-D maximum-resolution graphics which are rendered, i.e. calculated and displayed, in real time.
Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class
The new B-Class comes with driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, thus providing one of the highest levels of active safety in this segment with functions from the S-Class. For the first time, the B-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is not only able to support the driver to automatically maintain the correct distance from the vehicle ahead, but also to give the driver noticeable steering assistance, even on bends. As part of the Driving Assistance package the B-Class also offers the Active Emergency Stop Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Braking Assist with cross-traffic function, PRE-SAFE® system and PRE-SAFE® PLUS.
The new B-Class comes as standard with extended Active Brake Assist, which can help mitigate the severity of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead – and now even with crossing pedestrians or cyclists or to prevent them altogether.
The new B-Class, too, was developed and tested at the new Vehicle Safety Technology Centre (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures with regard to geometry, material thickness, joining technique and material quality incorporates findings from real-world accidents. Many bodyshell components are made of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel to obtain high strength with the lowest possible weight, because the core of the safety design of the body is the highly stable passenger cell.
Driver and front passengers are provided with three-point seat belts with pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limitation. In combination with the
PRE-SAFE® system (optional extra), the front seats are additionally equipped with electrically reversible belt reel tensioners. Both of the outer rear seats are fitted with a seat belt with reel tensioner and belt force limiter. The new B-Class comes as standard with airbags for driver and front passenger, kneebag for driver and windowbags and sidebags (combined thorax/pelvis bag). Rear sidebags are optionally available.
New, efficient petrol engines
The following engine variant will be available at the launch of the B-Class:
B 200 (120 kW/ 163 hp, 250 Nm) with 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (fuel consumption combined 5.7 I/ 100 km, CO2 emissions combined 131 g/km)
All the new B-Class models are powered by new, efficient engine: four-cylinder petrol engine of the M 282 series with 1.33-litre displacement and 100 kW/ 120 kW.
Suspension: agile and comfortable
At least as agile as its predecessor while even more comfortable – that was the development brief handed to the suspension specialists for the new B-Class.
Depending on the version, several options are available for the basic configuration, 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 system uses an electronic valve, the control of which additionally analyses the driving state and optimises the damping rate individually for each wheel. In all versions of the new B-Class, the front wheels feature McPherson struts and forged-aluminium wishbones, to which are attached cast-aluminium steering knuckles. This makes the unsprung mass as low as possible in the interests of road-holding and comfort.
At the rear, the models with the entry-level engine variants come with a twist beam rear axle in the basic configuration. In combination with the more powerful engine variants or if the customer opts for one of the optional suspension systems, use is made of a sophisticated four-link rear axle, which is made extensively of aluminium to reduce the unsprung mass. The three wishbones and one trailing arm on each of the rear wheels are mounted on a subframe, which is isolated from the bodyshell by rubber bushings to reduce the transfer of vibration and noise from suspension to body. Single-tube shock absorbers and separate coil springs are used for both the four-link and the twist-beam rear axle.