Mercedes-Benz reveled its new B-class MPV, which is claimed to be more dynamic in terms of handling and more comfort than its predecessor, thanks to technology and features borrowed from the S-class and A-class.
The third generation MPV has been developed under the internal codename W247, and is the fourth model of Mercedes’ range of eight new smaller cars that are scheduled to arrive, preceded by the fourth-generation A-class hatch and sedan.
The new B-class retains the one-box silhouette of its predecessors but gets its design cues from firm’s latest design language, featuring the A-class’ ‘predator face’.
Rivalling the BMW 2-series Active Tourer, the five-seat Merc MPV is slightly longer (4,359mm), wider (1,786mm) and taller (1,557mm) than its predecessor, with a 2,929mm wheelbase and a reduced drag coefficient of 0.24.
The shorter overhangs on the new B-Class are designed to maximise interior space. Wheel sizes will range from 16-inch to 19-inch.
In international markets, there will be five engines on offer – two petrols and three diesels. The B 180 and B 200 will use the four-cylinder 1.33-litre M282 petrol engine, with 136hp and 200Nm, and 163hp and 250Nm, respectively.
The entry-level B 180d is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel that produces 115hp and 260Nm. A new 2.0-litre diesel will be available in two states of tune – 150hp/320Nm and 190hp/400Nm (B200d).
The petrol and 1.5 diesel are mated to 7-speed automatic gearboxes, with an 8-speed transmission available with the 2.0 diesels. More engine options and the option of four-wheel drive are expected next year.
The new car’s suspension has been developed to keep the previous model’s agility while adding comfort. It uses front MacPherson struts and a twist- beam rear axle as standard, with electronic damper tuning among several options.
The inside of the new B-class takes cues from the new A-class, although the instrument panel is split into two units. The MPV features two digital displays, each ranging between 7.0-inch and 10.25-inch, depending on the specification. There is also an optional head-up display.
It is also the second model in Mercedes’ range to sport the newest version of the MBUX multimedia system, which includes touch, voice and gesture control, and Mercedes Me connectivity. The B-class also comes with a raft of optional driver assistance and safety systems first seen on the S-class, allowing it for semi-autonomous driving in certain situations.
Depending on options, the rear seats can be moved by 140mm, expanding boot capacity from 455 litres to and 705 litres, similar to the previous model. This expands to 1540 litres with the rear seats folded.
Mercedes’ small model blitz is set to continue with new versions of the CLA and GLA, along with the new GLB, due in the coming year.
Mercedes in India had the previous-gen B-class on sale before it was discontinued. The new model may be coming to our market sometime next year, after all-new A-class hatchback arrives in early 2019. It may arrive in time with the all-new A-class sedan, which will come to India in LWB form.