Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - B-Class - B250
6 Dec 2012
MERCEDES-BENZ has launched the high-performance B-Class B250 flagship in Australia, capable of a hot-hatch-like 6.8 second sprint to 100km/h and priced from $49,500 plus on-road costs.
Benz has also added extra equipment – including making a reversing camera standard across the B-Class range – in return for a $950 price rise on B180 and B200 variants.
The B250’s turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine punches 155kW of peak power and 350Nm of torque to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
It matches the Golf GTI on power and delivers 20Nm more grunt than the all-wheel-drive Golf R it competes with on price.
For comparison, BMW’s $45,700 125i produces 160kW and 310Nm but the traction advantage of rear-wheel-drive and a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission enable it to hit 100km/h four tenths of a second faster than the Benz.
The Benz, BMW and VW all consume 95 RON premium unleaded, with the 125i most frugal at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres, followed by the B250 (6.5L/100km) and Golf GTI (7.7L/100km).
Mercedes has given the B250 a menacing look with a gloss black and chrome two-louvre grille, de-chromed bumpers, rear privacy glass, black exterior mirrors, LED strip daytime running lights and twin exhaust outlets.
Lowered suspension helps the black-and-silver five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels fill the arches, behind which are drilled brake discs clamped by Mercedes-Benz branded callipers.
Finishing off the look are bi-Xenon headlights with washer jets, along with LED tail lights, while the interior features a perforated leather sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and black roof lining.
Mercedes has also applied its Direct Steer system, featuring variable assistance and ratio, to reflect the B250’s sporty personality.
Lifting the entry-level B180 are seven-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels borrowed from the B200 and replacing the outgoing 16-inch 10-spoke items.
A reversing camera – previously a $590 option – is now standard, and Benz has upgraded the self-parking system to help the driver exit a tight space, while the front fog-lights have been replaced by circular LED daytime running lights.
For customers to achieve the B250’s look, they can apply the $1490 Sports option pack, $990 Night pack and $618 bi-Xenon headlights option.
Despite the all-new model being launched in April this year, B-Class sales are down 27.1 per cent to the end of October with 1428 leaving showrooms compared with 1958 units sold in the same period of 2011.
Mercedes-Benz Cars Australia/Pacific managing director Horst Von Sanden said this was due to supply issues, which have also affected the M-Class SUV.
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