Driven: 2019 Mercedes-Benz B200
Last month Mercedes-Benz South Africa launched the all-new B-Class and it was met with significant enthusiasm from their supporters. We got to spend a week with their newest Sports Tourer, the B200. Here’s what you need to know.
The design of the new Mercedes-Benz B200 receives a full refresh. Upfront are new LED lights as standard, but our test unit was fitted with the optional Multibeam headlights that feature daytime running technology and can be quickly adjusted electronically to optimise driver sight. At the back, a new set of two-part LED taillights accentuate the width of the car, with a new black ‘diffuser’ inspired bumper just below. A large rear spoiler completes the sporty look at the rear, paired with a set of gloss black side spoilers on either side of the rear window.
The cabin of the B200 is lifted straight from its brother model, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Upfront is the colossal dual 10,25-inch widescreen display that replaces the infotainment system and the instrument cluster. There is also an optional heads up display if the screens aren’t enough. The aircraft turbine inspired air vents are painted to look like afterburners and give the interior a much sportier ambience. The centre console borrows the gloss black panel and touch-based control pad from the E-Class, allowing the driver to control settings like the 64 colour ambient lighting and the seat climate control.
The interior is also a bit wider, by 33mm to be exact. You can really feel the improvement in elbow room and overall passenger space, which has taken top priority in the B-Class. The lower rear footwell opens up more legroom for rear passengers and the seats are a lot more ergonomic. The seats are available with the new ‘ENERGIZING’ seat kinetics system which makes small adjustments to sections of the seat to improve front passenger posture which I found to be really convenient during long trips. In addition to this, the seats are also electronically adjustable with memory and massage function.
Enough about the comfort. Let’s talk about the tech and driver assistance features, and what’s a better place to start with than the Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system, or MBUX for short. The Artificial Intelligence interface can be summoned by simply saying “Hey Mercedes”, followed by a prompt such as “open the sunroof” or “close the windows”. In addition to voice control, MBUX in the B200 can also be controlled by the touch screen, touchpad in the centre console and the touch controls on either side of the steering wheel. The B-Class features DISTRONIC active distance control, as well as active lane-change assist and active brake assist.
In terms of engine options and performance, the Mercedes-Benz B200 is powered by turbocharged petrol 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It produces 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque which is sent to the front wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission. The really impressive part of the B200 is its efficiency, boasting a claimed fuel consumption figure of just 4.5-litres/100km on a combined cycle.
Mercedes-Benz B200 – R526,900