The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class: More Sports for the Tourer

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class puts the emphasis on sport with the Sports Tourer. It looks more dynamic than its predecessor and is more agile on the road while offering greater comfort. Its avant-garde interior makes for a unique feeling of space with the distinctive design of the instrument panel. One of the special features is a basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and has cutouts in the area of the driver and front passenger. The intuitive user interface of the adaptive MBUX multimedia system is ground-breaking. Its strengths include brilliant graphics, “Hey Mercedes” voice control, a standard touch screen and functions such as MBUX Augmented Reality. When it comes to active safety, state-of-the-art driving assistance systems make the B-Class one of the segment leaders with functions carried over from the S-Class. In addition, the interior is now more spacious, while the engines are more efficient and cleaner. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission makes its debut. Start of sales for the new B-Class is 3 December 2018, with delivery due to begin in February 2019.

“More practical than ever, more chic than ever,” is how Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes‑Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, characterises the new B‑Class. “In our portfolio of compacts, it’s the perfect vehicle for the whole family. And MBUX – the new Mercedes‑Benz User Experience – provides also the B‑Class with an all-new customer experience with functions that were previously the reserve of the luxury class.”

“The latest derivative of the new generation of compact cars from Mercedes‑Benz, the B‑Class writes a further punchy chapter in the success story of the dynamic Mercedes‑Benz Sports Tourer,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. “With its emotional yet purist design, the new B‑Class blends seamlessly into the design language of Sensual Purity.”

The designers’ brief was to make the new B-Class stand out visually from the world of minivans. That brief was accepted and executed, with the long wheelbase (2,729 mm) with short overhangs, slightly lowered roof line and larger, 16- to 19-inch wheels making for dynamic proportions. The relatively squat, progressive front end with flowing transition from bonnet to A‑pillar and on to the windscreen, along with the muscular shoulder of the body, underlines the sporty overall look.

Interior design: revolution, the second

The interior of the B-Class is as avant-garde as the much-praised revolutionary interior architecture of the new A-Class, yet distinctive: while the instrument panel of the sister model is split into two horizontal basic bodies, that of the B-Class has a single basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and has cutouts in the area of the driver and front passenger. The cutout in front of the driver houses the fully free-standing display unit, which comes in three different versions: with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), with one 7- and one 10.25-inch display (26 cm) and, in the Widescreen version, with two 10.25-inch displays. A head-up display is optionally available.

The five round air vents feature a high-grade turbine look with finely styled air ducts, inspired by the world of aviation. In the Style equipment line, the vent surround is colour-accentuated in the depth of the vent geometry to give the impression of an afterburner. The centre console with touch-based control and input system comes with a black panel look similar to the E-Class. The ambience lighting with 64 colours and ten colour worlds, unique in this segment, allows individual adjustments, even to suit the mood.

The seats offer a flatter and, therefore, more comfortable seating position as well as a larger adjustment range, which also increases the maximum headroom. There is also more space in the width: at 1,456 millimetres (plus 33 mm), the front elbow width now has the dimensions of a mid-range vehicle.

ENERGIZING seat kinetics: supports changes of posture

With seat climate control and multicontour seats with massage function, the new B-Class is available with optional extras that were previously reserved for vehicles from much higher segments. This opens the way to even better seating comfort.

The new ENERGIZING seat kinetics is particularly good for the back. It can support orthopaedically beneficial changes of posture by regularly making minute adjustments to the angle of the seat cushion and backrest. The innovation is available for the front seats in combination with all-electric seat adjustment with memory function.

MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: unique experience

What goes for A also goes for B: the new B-Class is the second car model after the A-Class to feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, which ushered in a new era with Mercedes me Connectivity. Its ability to learn thanks to Artificial Intelligence makes the system unique. MBUX is customisable and adapts to the user. It thus creates an emotional link between vehicle, driver and passengers.

Its other strengths include touch screen control as standard as well as, depending on equipment, a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit, navigation display with Augmented Reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes”. The touch screen is part of the integrated MBUX touch control concept – a trio consisting of touch screen, touchpad on the centre console (optional) and touch controls on the steering wheel.

MBUX is a revolution of the user experience in the car. Emotively appealing showcasing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure and thrill through brilliant 3-D maximum-resolution graphics which are rendered, i.e. calculated and displayed, in real time. A head-up display is also available.

New and improved Mercedes me connect services were launched with the new MBUX infotainment generation. These include navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication and Vehicle Tracking, which makes it easier to find the parked vehicle, as well as a notification function in the event of the parked vehicle being bumped or towed away.

The Mercedes me collection of apps can be placed as an icon on the screen in a user-friendly way, and can be freely sorted on the homepage like all other main applications. In addition, online content, such as current petrol station prices, can optionally be displayed. Online updating is a simple way of allowing new content to be made available in MBUX.

The new B-Class is already set up for private car sharing: Mercedes me allows the new compact car to be shared with friends and family members. Operation is simple and secure using the Mercedes me Car Sharing app.

The new Mercedes me connect services On-Street Prediction, Real-Time Information and Off-Street Information can save Mercedes-Benz drivers valuable time and reduce their stress levels while at the same time cutting their fuel consumption and emissions when searching for a parking space. The real-time information is based, among other things, on Mercedes-Benz vehicles that have just left a parking space or driven past potential parking spaces.

Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class

The new B-Class comes with driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, thus providing one of the highest levels of active safety in this segment with functions from the S‑C lass. For the first time, the B-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do so, it employs improved camera and radar systems to anticipate the traffic up to 500 metres ahead while using map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in many route-specific situations, anticipatory and conveniently adjusting the speed, e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Also on board are Active Emergency Stop Assist and intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist.

The new B-Class comes as standard with extended Active Brake Assist, which can help mitigate the severity of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead – and now even with crossing pedestrians or cyclists – or prevent them altogether.

The new OM 654q diesel engine: lighter, more powerful, cleaner

The transverse-mounted version of the latest premium diesel engine family makes its debut in the new B-Class. Despite its lower displacement – just under two litres – the around 16 percent lighter new diesel engine with 140 kW (190 hp) puts out 10 kW more than the previous engine. On the inside, the OM 654q offers efficiency-enhancing technological highlights such as steel pistons with stepped bowls in an aluminium block. The cylinder liners are coated using the further-improved NANOSLIDE® process.

With a cylinder spacing of just 90 mm instead of 94 mm, the new engine is more compact than its predecessor thus allowing the exhaust aftertreatment components to be installed directly on the engine, where the exhaust temperature is higher, making for more efficient aftertreatment. Thanks to further improved exhaust aftertreatment, the powerful four-cylinder from the modern OM 654 engine family already meets the Stage 2 RDE (Real Driving Emissions) standard coming into force from 2020, and is certified to Euro 6d. Even in demanding driving situations and under challenging environmental conditions, the B-Class remains within all the emissions limits.

This is achieved by additional selective catalytic reduction (SCR) with an ammonia slip catalyst (ASC) in the exhaust system of the B-Class. This allows a more generous dose of the reduction agent AdBlue, as any surpluses can be reduced and converted in the second SCR. These surpluses (ammonia slip) particularly occur during fast temperature changes in the exhaust tract, e.g. when moving from city traffic to the motorway.

Suspension: agile and comfortable

At least as agile as its predecessor while even more comfortable – that was the development brief handed to the suspension specialists for the new B-Class. Depending on the version, several options are available for the basic configuration, including a lowered comfort suspension and a suspension with active adaptive damping, which lets the driver control the damper tuning while driving using DYNAMIC SELECT. The system uses an electronic valve, the control of which additionally analyses the driving state and optimises the damping rate individually for each wheel.

Register your interest in the new Mercedes-Benz B Class for delivery February 2019