The next-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, debuting the five-seat MPV that’s closely related to the A-Class and goes head-to-head with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. For 2019 it will boast far sportier looks and a radical new fully-digital cockpit incorporating the MBUX infotainment system from the A-Class, while also serving up a sharper drive and technology from the mighty S-Class. It’s on sale from the start of December, with the first deliveries expected in February 2019.
WRAPS COME OFF SPORTY B-CLASS MPV IN PARIS
According to Mercedes-Benz, its designers were told to “make the B-Class stand out” amongst other MPVs, and to that end it has short overhangs, a lower roofline and wheels measuring up to 19-inches in diameter, for a squat aesthetic. Its nose is clearly influenced by the A-Class, with a large bonnet and low front grille punctuated by a large Mercedes-Benz roundel. It’s flanked by slim headlights fitted with conventional, LED or adaptive Multibeam LED bulbs on higher trim levels. At the rear there are two-part light clusters, a black diffuser and spoilers surrounding the rear window that help reduce its drag coefficient to 0.24 Cd – a figure Mercedes-Benz says is the best in its class.
Inside, the driver sits 90mm higher than in an A-Class and thin window pillars along with a low beltline improve all-round visibility. The dashboard has also been designed to give a spacious feel and features the same turbine air vents as the E-Class, designed to look like an aircraft afterburner. Ambient lighting can shine in 64 colours and ten ‘colour worlds’ to suit your mood. The digital displays steal the show, though, especially if two 10.25-inch screens are fitted. More basic versions get two seven-inch screens, or a combination of the two sizes. Practicality is boosted by a 33mm increase in elbow room, along with standard 40:20:40 split and fold rear seats. From mid-2019 some versions of the B-Class will also get rear seats that can slide by 140mm and have a tilting backrest, allowing the boot space to be altered from 455 to 705 litres. With the rear seats folded there’s 1,540 litres of cargo space.
Diesel engines will form the backbone of the range, with B 180 d, B 200 d and B 220 d versions all getting a seven- or eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with no manual option. The B 180 d gets an OM608 1.5-litre unit from the A-Class with 114bhp and 7G-DCT gearbox, returning between 64.2 and 68.9mpg. B 200 d and B 220 d models feature the new transversely-mounted version of the OM654 2.0-litre diesel powerplant and features twin selective catalyst reduction. It’s the first diesel model in the world to be announced that is certified to the Euro-6d emissions regulations that become law in January 2020/2021. Fitted with a brand-new eight-speed 8G-DCT twin-clutch automatic transmission with either 148 and 187bhp on tap, it can manage between 62.8 and 67.3mpg on the combined economy cycle, with CO2 emissions of 115 to 119g/km.