Experimenting new things in India, sometimes gets a one better result than anywhere else. Hope so keeping in mind the said testimonial, Mercedes Benz launched most affordable Merc last year in India. However, we now had the A Class in the start of line, but last year when this car was launched, the media was most hyped by the Germans’ new affordable horse in our country, which was seems sounding like a bliss to us. At present, there are tonnes of metals available for the most efficient price tags, but we decided to take a shot at a compact MPV type vehicle of Mercedes Benz this season.
Though, the car itself needs no introduction for being a Merc. The dual slat front grille, embarking big logo on the front, SLS AMG styled bonnet, (which is only a cue from said and not the whole), new generation LED headlamps, crispy lines flowing from front to end on sides, wraparound tail lamps, metal guard on the boot sill, and much more. Cosmetically, the B Class has better ergonomics as per the competitors in the respective price tag, and that partly hatchback partly MPV type stance makes it to stand apart from others. One could say here, we got a mixed feelings looking at the vehicle, either it’s a hatchback or a MPV, we decided not to dig that excuses very deeply and concentrate on the numbers of values that Germans had driven to lure the masses here with this vehicle. Hopefully, it will not be wrong to say that the B Class is for those who love to drive their own car to office, and also to some gateways on the weekends. Hence, the chauffeur driven audience may make a nag here at this car. Apparently, the thing that does matter for B Class here is the drivetrain then, which had mention further in this post, but confirming more details about the platform skinned underneath its body is the W245 front wheel drive architecture. We guess, the B Class is the first car in India to possess this platform, later on the further coming siblings will also dwell the same sort. A Class is the one to name right now, and the upcoming GLA is also meant to don the said.
The B Class has a very tall height, of 1557mm if said precisely, and 16-inch alloys as standard, making it to gasp something between two of the segments. Hence, no need for the disappointment, buyers can upgrade their wheel size to 17 and 18 inch as choosing the different packages available with Mercedes.
Moving inside, the interiors feel quite up to date, and sophisticated at its best. There aren’t nags found in it claiming the B-Class not to be part of the Mercedes stable. We in fact were pampered in the SLS AM Style by the looks of air-con vents and central console. Interiors feel well propositioned dating as per the ongoing requirement of Indian market, which are most probably termed as spacious, airy, comfortable, sophisticated, futuristic, and build to last. Unfailingly, even the minute details were also given the brief precision. None of the trials and erros typos be felt inside ‘B’. There is one more thing we would like to add, no offensive, sometimes the C Class may also lessons from this vehicle to learn pampering the passengers at a sight. The legroom is quite sufficient, on front as well as rear. The rear seats also feel spacious like expected. However, one of the things has kept us hovering throughout the test, and that is the lack of thigh support on rear. Given the upright sitting position along, that discomfort gets eased to a lot extent.
The engineers at the backend has plugged off the gear from the central console and shifted it behind the steering wheel, so the whole cluster in between becomes free of sort, and there those genius planted cubbyholes for storage and else. It feels of great use and advantage. Very importantly, the COMMAND system of the vehicle is fixed just above the AC vents on the dash, and peels up the feeling of ‘like it or hate it.’ Though, the size of it looks quite large, and user interface is also not interesting, but talking the fact we loved that oozed out component of the interiors. It in fact, gives that tech-fi feel to the car, and is also clearly visible from outside, in overall impacting a nice impression on some aspiring onlookers.
Tactfully as we said, the B-Class is partly a MPV, there arises the question of boot space as well. Need not to be disappointed, the Germans had bestowed this newbie a massive 486 litres of boot space, which is quite generous for any of the sorts road trip in India. for those who always carry some extra luggage with them, even they too will be satisfies when fold down the second row seats. Flipping down the second row, 1545 litres of boot space can be achieved, which is magnificently immense for the long-road travelers. Adjustable front seats, climate control, USB and aux-in ports, leather upholstery are some of the features to name for now. we bet, the safety is also not even compromised while keeping the costs low. Seven airbags, hill-start assist, ABS, ESP, brake assist, traction control and a tyre pressure warning system are mentioned in the feature list of B-Class.
Lastly, on the interior note, we would like to make a point; there is also a panoramic sunroof inside the car, which is enough to make a one feel of the convertible types. Thoughtfully, there weren’t expected this type of assortment on the petrol based ‘B’, but as per the time of writing this blog, diesel variant of B Class is not bestowed with the sunroof, which sounds as a major turn down for the buyers.
The Mercedes Benz B Class is dwelled out in the petrol version till this year, where some months back the carmaker then finally launched the diesel one to comply the rising demand of oil burners. Formerly, the B180 which we were driving was lugged with the 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine, that was made of complete aluminum. Finally, a lot of weight is saved and the car feels light in driving. Enthusiastic prompt, the steering has some gut feeling somewhere in the centre portion. With that blasphemy of engineering, it made the drive behind its wheel just peppier than expectations. The nose is not as sharp as the A Class, we comparatively had a bit negative experience on this clause to the B180. Adding to its woes, the jarred design ergonomics of it was mending to do some body rolls in crossing the lanes. The B starts in the Eco mode first, and then one can switch it off ‘Sports’ to ravel the creamy layer of German mechanism. Now the Sports mode is where the drivers can drive the pulse out of their heart, but though it still has some of its own limitations, where we can name it as ‘fuel-economy’. That is but obvious the car the fuel has to be burnt in the wide opened funnel for gaining performance figures. Eco mode is recommended for the thrusts driving in the city, mostly in traffics. 0-100kmph is touched somewhere more or less to the 11 seconds; we guess there was as usual enough power in the mid range as well. Top whack that we touched was nearly to 150kmph, but reports on other portals have claimed more number than ours. The seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox works seamlessly without any hassle. No complaints from them, which we guess also an addition to the Germans’ magnificent engineering, which sometimes this type of assimilation doesn’t mean getting good responses. However, verifying all the ticks to be right in the boxes, the Merc has planted a ‘Manual’ mode too in the drivetrain. Though, manies may not like it at all , but trust us makes us feels its significance when being driven on highways for controlling the speed at a jiff.
Ride and Handling:
Talking Ride of B Class is a bit different thing here. Let us make clear that those who are highly addicted to the driving style of Merc sedans are but obviously going to get disappointed in this vehicle. We knew that we are not writing a ‘comparison’ here, but its driving experience clearly divides two sects when one takes the charge of steering and pedal, one of them is the existing Mercedes owners, while the second one is the new group of audience who are just introduced to the three pointed star just for being its owner because of the pocket-friendly price tag.
The car which we were driving was of standard version and was having the 16-inch wheels, it was found doing its job perfectly. As we sais before, the architecture of B Class is monocoque, hence a large amount of bumps gets filtered inside the cabin, which the Merc-sedans doesn’t provides it so even at the entry level model plate. As the wheelbase is of generous in nature, and added with the front wheel mechanism, the timings on turns gets sharper, speedy and accurate. It enters and exits the corners rightly; we didn’t felt any forcing complement from our side to navigate the car in right direction when on curves. For the butting note, B 180 starts in Eco mode, so the drivers needs to switch it off to Manual or Sports when he wanted to melt out the pastry layer from it on roads. But there is problem in usage of pedal shifter while downshifting. The speed control on the shifting process is not so definite on the pedal. We guess, the engineers need to addres this issue for India, because we don’t have those past swooping European roads here, where an obstacle can be observed from fat itself and hence braking procedure would start from there itself. More crap for it, the brakes aren’t so effective in handling the downshifting situation of pedal. Commenting steering, it is the most fabulous part we observed about the vehicles’ drivetrain in our test, ample of power and the right trigger to shoot it from, is what we can describe the steering of 2012 B 180 Petrol.
Added lastly, the gear shift on the right side of steering column will mostly make the most users to shift the car in neutral shift, obsessed with the habit of switching the lights from the right corner of steering.
Finally, the temp of Mercedes has dropped down and the B Class is the suitable option to drive out from the expensive German repertoire. At the time of writing we have the A Class as well the B Class diesel launched in India, but looking at the price tag of B180 it feels suitable to buy the petrol version with its triumph over the diesel one justified with ‘sunroof’ and some ‘additional features’. Cleverly, the fuel efficiency of approximately “10.2kmpl” with mix of highways it feels well composed and propositioned for the driving comfort provided in the petrol variants of Mercedes Benz. And cosmetically, it looks better than the hatchback, giving the whips of MPV and not anything lesser than that. Hope so that answers all the questions regarding 2012 B180 Petrol.
Our Rating: 7/10
One can follow the technical specifications in the table below:
Installation Front, transverse
Type 4 cyls in-line, 1595cc
Compression ratio 10.3:1
Valve gear 4 valves per cyl, DOHC
Power 121bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 20.39kgm @ 1250-4000
Power to weight 84.91bhp per tonne
Torque to weight 14.3kgm per tonne
Wheel base 2699mm
Boot volume 486 - 1545 litres
Chassis & Body
Construction Five-door, monocoque, hatchback
Tyres 205/55 R16, 225/45 R17
Spare Space saver
Front Independent, MacPherson struts. wishbone
Rear Independent, multi-link, wishbone
Type Rack and Pinion
Type of power assist Electric
Turning circle 11.0m
Front Ventilated Discs
Rear Solid Discs
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