Mercedes-Benz B-Class

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Mercedes-Benz B200 CDI

Road Test

Mercedes-Benz B-Class B200 CDI

Driven October 2008

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This is puzzling. Mercedes goes to the bother of face-lifting the B-Class with a couple of very minor exterior and interior tweaks, along with some small changes to the engines, yet the net result defines 'entirely missable'.

In terms of the looks, that doesn't phase me. It's still pretty current. The mirror-image diesel is more worrying. Not in the performance, because there's plenty of power and torque (138bhp and 221lb ft) to ferry the wife and 2.4 children along, but simply in what engineers like to dub NVH. That's noise, vibration and harshness to anyone without an MSc. - all of which are far too high for a premium product like the B-Class.

To be fair, the diesel does get quieter as it warms up, but the vibrations that come through to the cabin are pretty disgraceful. You can actually feel the steering wheel trembling in your hands, even though Merc claims to have reduced this for the face-lifted version.

All of which is a great shame, because the rest of the car isn't bad. OK, so the interior plastics and dash design could do with a spruce, but the ride quality is a big step up from the A-Class. NVH levels have actually been looked at here, because the car manages to isolate you from the road surface.

All of which begs the question as to why? If you're going to spend the money re-engineering something, why not do it to the point where an improvement is felt?

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