Mercedes Classe B (2019)
By amk, 15/02/2022

Mercedes Classe B (2019)

© C. Choulot

Mercedes B-Class (2019)

First impressions

Published on:09/03/2019

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Some manufacturers do not swear by SUVs. Mercedes is one of these and is updating its minivan, the Class B. More modern, better equipped and more comfortable, the latter has certain arguments for a price that is not always attractive.

© C. Choulot

Using the platform of Mercedes' latest compact, the A-Class, the third generation of the B-Class MPV gains in build quality and comfort. It also receives state-of-the-art equipment as well as many driving assistance systems.

Quality of life on board

© C. Choulot

The interior finish is of an excellent standard.

Installation on board rhymes with pleasure. The interior of the Class B is indeed very welcoming and the finishes are almost flawless. The materials, well padded and very well adjusted, offer a visual aspect of the most flattering. Undeniably, the Mercedes minivan is the best finished in its class with the highlight of the original air vents that are very pleasant to handle.

© C. Choulot

The trunk is not the biggest but is practical.

But the Mercedes minivan sins by its somewhat limited modularity and we regret the absence of three individual seats in the back, which other competitors such as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer offer. Fortunately, the bench seat can be split, but it will still be necessary to wait to have the sliding bench seat option (on 14 cm) and the possibility of raising the files to a more vertical position in order to modulate the volume of the trunk between 455 and 705 litres.

© C. Choulot

The rear space is sufficient.

At present, the space allocated in the back is quite generous and passengers will be able to travel at ease. At the front, if the multiple adjustments of the seat make it possible to find a good driving position and if their semi-bucket shape provides very good support, we regret the prominence of the side bolsters which can prove to be annoying.

The Mercedes minivan sets the bar quite high in terms of ergonomics. If it may seem complicated at first glance, the management of the various functions is ultimately quite intuitive and simple. The driver can indeed modify the display of the two screens in several ways: either by using the mini-pads located on the steering wheel (the one on the left manages the display of the instrument cluster and the one on the right the central screen), either use the pad or even the few shortcut buttons located on the central console.

The digital instrument cluster is very readable.

The icing on the cake, the minivan is fitted with the second-generation MBUX multimedia system with voice recognition as standard. Just say "Hello Mercedes" and the system wakes up and listens to your request: program a destination, change the temperature in the cabin, change radio station, etc. Even the sunroof can be operated by voice. Effective, this device works with all types of voice, man, woman or even child, with or without accent. No need to articulate too much to make yourself understood, which greatly simplifies use.

Driving

We drove the Mercedes B-Class in the 180 7G-DCT petrol version: a 136 bhp 4-cylinder petrol unit mated to a dual-clutch gearbox. This duo was generally satisfactory with an average consumption established at just under 7 liters per 100 km (6.9 precisely) on journeys made on the motorway and expressways. However, surprisingly, we noted a rather unpleasant noise when revving up. A defect amplified by the fact that the gearbox sometimes lacks responsiveness and forces the engine to remain in the turns, therefore to be noisy. Fortunately, this will be the only grievance we will issue. During our journey, the engine was willing and had enough punch to fit properly into traffic. The Class B proved to be very comfortable thanks to effective suspensions on the road and an almost ideal firmness.

We also liked the precise, high-assist steering that adapts well to speed. In town, it becomes very supple and docile, which makes it possible to carry out all maneuvers with ease, while it firms up as soon as you drive to offer a good feeling of the road. It should be noted that all B-Classes are fitted with the Dynamic Select system, which allows the characteristics of the vehicle to be modified according to five driving programs: Comfort (balanced and optimized in terms of consumption), Sport (offers more agility and dynamism), Sport+ (further increases the sportiness of the vehicle), Individual (allows the various steering parameters to be adapted to the running gear via the drive train) and Eco (focused on minimum fuel consumption).

On the road, however, we noted two unpleasant flaws. Already the seams located on the top of the dashboard are reflected in the windshield, which can be annoying. Next, we found the driver assistance systems a bit too responsive, notably the Active Lane Keeping Assist. Thus, when leaving an acceleration lane, before the turn signal was activated, the system several times thought it had involuntarily crossed the line and applied the brakes.

Security

The new B-Class gets a good number of safety features from its big sister, the S-Class. In particular, it receives the Distronic active distance control assistant, included in the Driving Assistance Pack. Thanks to its camera, its radar with a range of 500 m and by using navigation data, this system can come to the driver's aid and automatically adapt the speed in bends, intersections or roundabouts. Another option is the Pre-Safe device, which prepares the vehicle and the occupants for a possible impact: automatic tensioning of the seat belts, closing of the openings, etc. Finally, the Class B is equipped with active emergency braking as standard. , Active Lane Change Assist, etc.

The Mercedes B-Class in a nutshell

The B-Class is a very well finished minivan, comfortable and pleasant to use. It also offers high-tech equipment without becoming too complicated to use. Qualities that come at a high price. The B180 starts at €32,500 to which you will have to add more than €5,000 to have the sophisticated driving aids and the dual-clutch gearbox. In comparison, a BMW 218i Active Tourer starts at €29,950 and a Volkswagen Touran 1.5 TSi is displayed at a minimum of €30,400.

The +

Manufacturing quality

Equipment level

Approval

Driving comfort

The -

Sensitivity of driving aids

Reflections in the windshield

Lack of storage

© C. Choulot

yves martin

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