Having premiered as long ago as the Paris Motor Show in 2018, Mercedes-Benz has followed-up the reveal of the updated A-Class with the subtly tweaked B-Class.
The eighth model after the A-Class sedan and hatch, CLA, CLA Shooting Bake, GLA, GLB and Chinese market only A-Class Sedan L to make use of the MFA2 front-wheel-drive platform, the B-Class’s mid-life tweaks come on the back of reports earlier this year alleging it will be discontinued along with the A-Class before 2025.
What will therefore be the sole revision to the three-pointed star’s rival for the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer comprise a new front bumper and restyled headlights with optional LEDs, redesigned LED taillights, four alloy wheel designs maxing out at 19-inches, a choice of ten colours and gloss black wheels on models fitted with the AMG Line styling pack.
As with the A-Class, the interior tweaks are just as subtle and apart from a series of materials, colours and veneers, involves a new centre console and steering wheel, an optional heated steering wheel trimmed in Nappa leather on AMG Line models, a better reverse camera and available fingerprint sensor from early next year.
The MBUX infotainment also gains an improved Hey Mercedes command, but continues to be contained within two infotainment systems; the standard seven-inch and the optional 10.25-inch intertwined with the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
Besides the reverse camera, Benz has also improved the Lane Keep Assist and Active Steering Control system, while adding a new option in the shape of Trailer Manoeuvring Assist.
As on the A-Class, the B-Class retains the plug-in hybrid model, now with a more bigger battery and more powerful electric motor, but sports the 48-volt mild-hybrid EQ Boost system across the range that ups power by 10 kW for short periods.
Engine options are identical to those of the A-Class, sans the AMG derivatives, with the B180 and B200 being motivated by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance co-developed 1.3-litre turbocharged engine and the B220 and B250 by Mercedes-Benz’s own 2.0-litre turbo-petrol.
In the B180, output is rated at 100kW/230Nm while in the B200, figures stand at 120kW/270Nm. The claimed top speed is 212 km/h for the former and 223 km/h for the latter, with the respective 0-100 km/h times standing at 9.4 and 8.4 seconds.
At the top-end of the petrol B-Class spectrum, the B220 develops 140kW/300Nm and the B250 165kW/350Nm, both fitted as standard with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
Whereas the former will get from 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 234 km/h, the latter will reach a V-Max of 250 km/h after getting from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds.
Buyers fancying diesel power will be privy to three versions of the 2.0-litre OM 654 mill; the 85kW/260Nm unit in the B180d with those in the B200d and B220d outputting 110kW/320Nm and 140kW/400Nm respectively.
Top speed figures are 200 km/h, 219 km/h and 234 km/h with 0-100 km/h being reached in ten, 8.5 and 7.4 seconds correspondingly. All models are front-wheel-drive with no 4Matic option available.
Completing the B-Class is the B250 e which, like in the A250 e, receives an 80 kW electric motor to go with the 15.6-kWh battery. Combined with the carryover 1.3-litre turbo-petrol, outputs remain at 160kW/450Nm with the claimed all-electric range increasing to a maximum of 77 km.
Fitted with an 11 kW on-board charger as standard instead of the previous 7.4 kW module, the B250 e will accelerate from 0-100 km/h 7.6 seconds and top out at 223 km/h.
Set to go on-sale in Europe later this year or in early-2023, expect the B-Class to arrive on South African soil in due course.