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Review: Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI
Driven July 2013
Almost a year after it's launch in India, Merc's luxury family hatch, the B-Class has finally got a diesel engine option under its hood. The 2.2 litre common-rail diesel unit is the same as in the A-Class with 109bhp and 250Nm of peak power and torque, respectively. On the road, all this power comes to life very well. Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch 'box, the B-Class feels quick on the open highways where it builds speed effortlessly.
The diesel is noisy on the outside but you can hardly feel any coarseness inside the elegant and spacious cabin. The steering is surprisingly heavy which can be tiresome in heavier city traffic. However, it is accurate. What helps is the sorted dynamics of the B-Class as it feels amazingly planted on the road, even when pushed around corners or during quick lane changes. At triple-digit speeds, this road behaviour is very confidence-inspiring. The brakes are effective but a bit nervous in slow-moving traffic.
All the wonderful dynamics, however, have compromised the ride a bit. It's hard at low speeds and very unlike a Merc. At high speeds, ride quality is business as usual, keeping occupants away from all road harshness. The cabin is made up of some fine quality materials. Those new-age SLS inspired air con vents appear here too. Then there is a fine wood finish on the dash which adds a touch of luxury. Equipment could have been better though, with Merc leaving out basics like parking sensors and even GPS. Seats are plush and legroom and headroom are adequate. The boot is wide and easy to access but the space-saver spare wheel juts out, robbing a bit of space.
While the petrol version comes in a higher Sport spec, the Diesel will only come in Style trim. Which is not a problem because all that you won't get is a sunroof. This also drops down the price tag to Rs 22.6 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai without Octroi). The B-Class doesn't dazzle you at first glance but it makes a case for itself as a safe and relatively luxurious family hatch that also doesn't mind being shown the stick. Wish this diesel engine that can clock an average of 16.5kpl in the real world, it is now an even more potent proposition.
4cyl, 2143cc diesel, 108bhp, 250Nm, 0-100kph: 10.65sec, 30-50kph: 1.90sec, 50-70kph: 2.35sec, 80-0kph: 2.36sec, 25.99m, FE: City - 13.7kpl, Highway - 18.8kpl, Rs 22.6 lakh (ex-Mumbai)
The frugal and meaty diesel adds more practicality to the big family hatch. More of a tourer now.