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Driven: Mercedes B-Class Edition 1

Driven June 2014

Driven: Mercedes B-Class Edition 1

The B-Class doesn't get enough credit for being the first Mercedes hatchback in India. To be fair it was overshadowed quite quickly by the flamboyant A-Class, which frankly does have the wow-factor that the B lacks. But just like the A, it was too offered with both diesel and petrol engines and to keep the price in check, the diesel B was stripped of a number of features that the petrol B offered.

With the recent announcement of the special edition of the A-Class, Merc hasn’t shied away from offering a special variant of the B-Class too.

While the A-Class is the sportier hatch, the B-Class leans more on the luxurious side of travel. This Edition 1 B-Class tries to up the luxury factor of the regular model, especially at the rear seat.

The B-Class was always exceptional as far as hatchbacks are concerned because cars of this sort aren’t conventionally known to have very comfortable and spacious rear seats. Now, Merc has made the rear seat even more tempting in the B-Class Edition 1 by offering two individual entertainment screens with auxiliary data inputs and a new centre armrest with glass holders. It makes the B-Class the first hatchback of its kind in India.

Apart from the rear-seat entertainment, the diesel B’s feature list comes close to that of the petrol one. And just like the Edition 1 A-Class, the limited edition B-Class gets an electrically-controlled passenger seat, a panoramic sunroof, and new 16-inch alloys, black ORVMs and ‘Edition 1’ badging on the outside.

The new Bad Road Package prevails here too, which make the Edition 1 B sit higher than the regular B. Merc’s timing seems to be perfect to make their cars higher to the ground with the onset of the monsoons already mutilating of roads.

B-Class, apart from being the first hatchback from the company, was the first front-wheel driven car with a three-pointed star on the hood. Users and critics were a bit skeptical of the transition from luxury sedans, but all went well for the B. It handles well and the front differential copes up well in keeping the car tight in its line.

The ride on the B is not a problem. It’s not too bad in keeping the potholes-to-spinal-trauma ratio in check. There’s a bit of suspension noise when it goes through a pothole, but it’s not alarming.

Under the hood, you’ll find the same 2.2-litre diesel block that powers the A, C, E and the ML. It’s tuned to make 107bhp and 250Nm. It’s not too quick, but not too sluggish either – it hits a 100kph in 10.65 seconds.

Mercedes didn’t reveal the price of the Edition 1 B-Class at the time we hit the press, but here too, we expect the price tag to exceed that of the regular B180 CDI by Rs 2 lakh approximately. Pegged slightly lower than the A, the B180 CDI Edition 1 will set you back by around Rs 32 lakh (on-road, Mumbai).

If the A is too small for your needs but you don’t really fancy a full-fledged sedan, the B fits the bill perfectly. The new features will definitely make your passengers happier.

The numbers
4cyl, 2143cc, diesel, 107bhp, 250Nm, FWD, 7A, 0-100kph: 10.65sec, 30-50kph: 1.90sec, 50-70kph: 2.35sec, 80-0kph: 25.99m; 2.36sec, city kpl: 13.7, highway kpl: 18.8, top speed: 190kph, Rs 32 lakh (estimated, on-road, Mumbai)

The verdict
A luxury hatchback that drives well too. New features make the rear-seat more comforting

Agasti Kaulgi

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