Cars

New Mercedes-Benz B-Class debuts in Paris with more tech

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Perhaps, not a very interesting vehicle for the Indian market, but the B-Class has sold in large quantities in markets elsewhere since its launch in 2005. Which is why the third generation model has made its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

The designers have done a good job in integrating the “Sensual Purity” design language while retaining its MPV silhouette. The vehicle has a wheelbase of 2,729 mm with short overhangs, slightly lowered roof line and larger, 16 to 19-inch wheels making for dynamic proportions. The drag coefficient of the new B-Class is 0.24 Cd compared to 0.25 of the predecessor.

H7 headlamps with LED DRLs come as standard while the buyers can opt for LED headlamps or Multibeam LED headlamps.

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The first thing you’ll instantly notice in the interiors is the MBUX or Mercedes-Benz User Experience that we’ve already seen in the latest Mercs. The model featured here has two 10.25-inch displays. Also noticeable are turbine-like air vents and very tastefully applied ambient lighting which comes with 64 colours. A head-up display is optionally available.

The driver sits 90 mm higher than in an A-Class, thus enjoying an especially good all-round view. The width of the new B-Class has grown by 33 mm which should translate into more space on the inside.

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The rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split. Depending on the version, from mid-2019, it will be possible to slide the rear seats forward by 14 cm and move the backrest into a more upright position to vary the capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats between 455 and 705 litres. With the rear seat folded down, the capacity can be increased to 1,540 litres.

An Easy-Pack tailgate is optionally available. It can be opened or closed automatically at the press of a button, or a foot movement in combination with the optional Hands-Free Access.

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Assistance and Safety
The new B-Class borrows the technology from the other models including the S-Class. For the first time, the B-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations, taking help from the 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 (part of the Driving Assistance package) can support the driver in many route-specific situations, anticipatory and conveniently adjusting the speed, when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts for example. Also on board are Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist and Active Brake Assist.

The new B‑Class comes as standard with airbags for driver and front passenger, kneebag for driver and windowbags and sidebags (combined thorax/pelvis bag). Rear sidebags are optionally available.

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Powertrains
Which brings us to the business end. Three engines will be available at launch, the OM 654 2.0-litre diesel, OM 608 1.5-litre diesel and 1.33-litre 4-cylinder petrol for the entry level variants.

B 180 (100 kW/136 hp, 200 Nm), B 200 (120 kW/163 hp, 250 Nm), B 180 d (85 kW/116 hp, 260 Nm), B 200 d (110 kW/150 hp, 320 Nm), and B 220 d (140 kW/190 hp, 400 Nm). The first three variants are paired to a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission while the latter two are paired to an 8G-DCT.

As for the suspension, depending on the variant, several options are available, including a lowered comfort suspension and a suspension with active adaptive damping, which lets the driver control the damper tuning while driving using the Dynamic Select.

Sales will begin from 3 December 2018, with deliveries in February 2019.

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