The Mercedes-Benz B-Class (codename W245) is a small family car introduced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz in March 2005. It is essentially an enlarged A-Class keeping the same engine and suspension system. Like the A-Class, and unlike any other vehicle Mercedes builds or has built, the B-Class is a front wheel drive vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz describes this vehicle as a Compact Sports Tourer instead of hatchback or multi-purpose vehicle, like its R-Class model, which is called a Grand Sports Tourer.
It was released in Europe in the late spring of 2005 and in Canada in the autumn of 2005. Plans to import the car to the US through Mexico were put on hold due to a strong euro, but it is likely that a new version of the car will come to the US in 2012.
Mercedes Benz B-Class Facelift
March 17, 2008 at 12:16 pm By Paul Tan Filed Under Cars, International News, Mercedes Benz
The 5-seater Mercedes Benz B-Class MPV has received a mid-life facelift which features a new hood, grille, front bumper, rear bumper, new side mirrors, and new tail lamps which are brighter. The B-Class also gets a new model called the Mercedes-Benz B170 NGT BlueEfficiency which features a dual-fuel powerplant, able to run on both premium grade petrol and natural gas, which will allow it to travel over 1,000km when it is fully fueled up with both types of fuel.
Automatic start-stop is an optional feature of two of the more economy-oriented models, the B150 and the B170 BlueEFFICIENCY. Mercedes calls it’s start-stop feature the ECO start/stop function. It automatically switches the engine off when the driver shifts to neutral at low speed whilst depressing the brake pedal. A special display appears in the instrument cluster to inform the driver. The moment the clutch is pressed or the brake pedal released, the engine springs back to life in a fraction of a second.
The new B170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY engine option uses an engine based on the B170. The driver determines which fuel source the engine is running on at the touch of a button using the multifunction steering wheel. This can be done instantaneously even while on the move. The gas reservoirs are located in the rear and underneath the front passenger footwell. It reduces the B-Class boot capacity by 128 liters to 422 liters, which is still sufficient for a decent amount of luggage.
Other new features include automatic hill-start assist which briefly maintains brake pressure after the driver releases the brake pedal to press the accelerator when starting off uphill. This prevents the B-Class from rolling backwards.
There is also an active parking assist feature which searches for an appropriate spot at the side of the road as the B-Class drives by, and if the driver wishes to use that parking spot, assists the driver by performing all steering maneuvers automatically. The empty spot is detected via ultrasonic sensors by the side of the car, and when found, a message is flashed on the dash display.
The New Mercedes B Class has abundance of space in the massive cabin and the seats fold to give huge luggage space. The cabin’s nicely trimmed with high-quality materials and high-speed refinement is good
The B-Class is as close as Mercedes comes to competing with mainstream family hatches. Its take on the sector looks much like an enlarged A-Class, so the B has tall sides, reasonably compact length and a higher-than-usual driving position. It gives a good view out and comfort is excellent, although the steeply raked windscreen can cause problems when parking as it’s awkward to see where the front of the car lies.
The B-Class uses many of the same engines as its smaller A-Class sister, so performance is adequate rather than interesting, although thankfully the B-Class is much more hushed than its sibling. However, the B is saddled with the same unsettled ride quality and mediocre handing that mar the A-Class, which means it can never rank any higher than midfield in a sector jam-packed with talented machinery.
Solid build quality and reliability are worthy, but it’s not especially well equipped or cheap to run.
Structures in the dashboard presented a potential hazard to the driver’s knees and femurs.
The B-Class scored maximum points for its performance in the side impact and pole tests.
A child-seat recognition system is available as an option from Mercedes which automatically disables the airbag for the front passnger’s seating position. The cars tested by Euro NCAP were not equipped with the system as it is not standard equipment. Without the system fitted, the airbag cannot be disabled and a rearward-facing child restraint should not be used in the front passenger seat. The label warning against such use was not permanently attached and did not meet Euro NCAP’s requirements. The presence of ISOFIX anchorages in the rear outboard seats was not clearly indicated.
The bumper scored maximum points for the protection it offered to the lower legs of pedestrians. However, the protection offered by the front edge of the bonnet to pedestrians’ legs and by the bonnet surface to their heads was rated predominantly as poor.