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I like the underdog – the less popular option with lots of heart, right?
MPV’s are like that for me – pushed to the side by the trendier SUV. It’s not fair really! The multi-purpose vehicle and the old-school 4x4 are the pillars on which an SUV is built. But who is really using the SUV’s off-road capabilities? No one! So, why not buy a car that’s used for its function, right?
People can be so image-centric!
For those of you who are broader minded, let me introduce you to an excellent MPV from Mercedes-Benz, B-Class. Now in its third generation, the new B-Class offers clean, sleek lines with a sporting influence. The B-Class has a short bonnet, tall roofline and large doors. It’s a meeting of form and function. A smart car by design the B-Class features a host of modern features that can be found on the brand’s flagship S-Class. Pity they aren’t all standard features, ‘cos some are pricey; things like – if you are lazy and switch the car off, it will automatically put the car into Parking gear and apply the electronic hand brake. Apply the car’s electronic hand brake and open the car’s door, the car will automatically go into Park gear for safety. It is these simple features that allude to a car created with a lot of thought.
The interior of the new B-Class borrows some detailing for the A-Class, like the long landscape flat screen LCD screen that floats on the dashboard. Perched like a mini-billboard TV, this system replaces the standard instrument binnacle and smaller infotainment screen. It is very modern and unique. One could argue that the design is very funky for a function car that will most likely be used as a mom’s taxi. Who said Mom can’t be trendy? Other materials and design elements are top quality and very pleasurable on the eye and from a functional perspective.
Being an MPV, the car must be good on accommodation! It’s a compact vehicle with comfortable seating for 5 and nicely sized boot. Its design means that there is lots of head, leg and knee room. Obviously, the rear seats fold flat to reveal a cavernous space for loading. In essence, the B-Class ticks all the practical boxes.
Locally, the B-Class is driven by two motors, a 1.3-l turbocharged petrol motor, badged a B200 and a 2.0-l turbocharged diesel motor, badged a B200d. These two new engines combine refined driving and fuel efficiency. Despite the petrol motor’s modest size, it still scoops up 120kW/250Nm of power and torque that will hit a sprint to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds. This peppery-sounding motor is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch motor that should see you sipping between 6.5 and 10-l/per 100km. The diesel features an 8-speed auto. You can expect to consume 5.2 to 9-l/per 100km.
The overall ride is comfortable while remaining agile for some sporty sprints. You can even flick the B-Class into Dynamic mode to unleash more of its athletic potential. But take it from me, its best in Comfort mode and driven within the boundaries of legal road rules. Calm, pleasant, relaxing - three good descriptive.
As far as I’m concerned, the market is oversaturated with crossover and SUV options. Within the available pool are some outstanding and some very ordinary options. The MPV deserves a place in the market, especially the B-Class. A great product that does what it needs to and more.
Side note – I prefer the B-Class over its sporty sibling, the A-Class. The B-Class is a better-rounded product that adheres to the Mercedes-Benz slogan, “The best or nothing”.
No direct rivals other than a host of compact crossovers and SUVs.
B200 R526 900
B200d R559 100
The service and warranty
The B-Class is sold with a 5 year/100 000km maintenance plan.
B200d R559 100
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