Driven Mercedes Benz B200
The old B-CLASS had the mommy car narrative for quite some time now, however with the all new B-CLASS even I, would not mind having one. It now appeals to the millennial market alongside the new A Class range.
Upon collection the large diamond chrome grille grabbed my attention from the offset while the optional Multibeam LED and daytime running lights brought the exclusivity full circle. The rear is reminiscent of the A-Class featuring two-part brake lights and a distinctive black bumper bottom section with single-exiting exhaust tips on both sides, adding to the sporty appeal.
Lengthwise it measures in at 4 419mm compared to the first generation’s 4 270mm, slightly bigger, but the current model’s design gives it the perception of being longer than the numbers suggest. To counter any trace of a top-heavy appearance, there’s a set of 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels down below.
With outputs of 120 kW and 250 Nm and a curb weight of 1410 kg, performance is brisk, but not exhilarating. These outputs are claimed to result in a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 223 km/h, and subjective on-road impressions back up the claims. That’s decent enough to get around in normal use but won’t win many drag races. Heavy loads also have a marked effect on the available acceleration. We averaged around 8.0 ℓ/100 km however it is capable of returning an average consumption figure of 5.6 ℓ/100 km.
The gear ratios are well-chosen to keep the little engine on the boil, and the transmission is programmed to be both smooth-shifting and responsive. As long as the driver doesn’t select Eco Mode, there will be few complaints about the accelerative power on tap, and it will remain pleasingly fuel-efficient as well.
In addition to the spacious cabin and body-hugging seats, comfort levels are also enhanced by very effective sound insulation. There’s some tyre reverberation on rough surfaces, and the wind sometimes swooshes along the exterior mirrors, but that’s about the extent of the noise interference into the B200.
As you can tell, the B200 is quite the car, but here is where the tables then turn, it’s not as comfortable as the A Class. Another thing is that it’s not for tall people. Leg room is there but with height comes high sensitivity for the comfort of your back. The seating position is quite high, yes, a clear site of the road is key yet if too high well you get the gist.
For this particular car with all the bells and whistles you will pay about R 800 000, I say for the experience this car will give its worth the price tag. Even if you are tall ☺!