Make / Model Search

New models - Mercedes-Benz - B-Class

First drive: It's hip to B square!

New breed: B-class is "a close conceptual relative" of its larger sibling, the forthcoming R-class.

Not substandard, not a people-mover: Benz says B-class is a new kind of sportstourer

11 Nov 2005

A WAG has suggested the Mercedes-Benz B-class is the answer to a question that wasn’t even asked.

How so? Well, the company already has a small, compact hatch in the A-class and those who really need space can move into a C-class or E-class wagon.

So why the need to add another letter of the alphabet? According to the managing director of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Australia, Horst von Sanden, the newcomer "fits everywhere".

"We look at the B-class not as a compact MPV but as a sports tourer," he said. Both the normally aspirated B200 and turbocharged B200T were a "close conceptual relative" of the R-class, as they were both considered "sports tourers", he said.

Interestingly, Mercedes believes B-class rivals are therefore activity vehicles in the mould of the Renault Scenic and Subaru Forester, and if early ndications are right, the car will appeal to a broad range of buyers.

Interest in the car at the recent Australian International Motors Show in Sydney was strong enough to generate a claimed 100 orders. Mr von Sanden is also aware the B-class may steal some sales from A-class, and possibly even the C-class, and he admitted that there would be "some substitution".

While he said many Mercedes buyers would either opt for a sedan or a hatch, there would be little chance of moving from one to the other.

"There are traditional buyers who would never change from a sedan to a hatch," he said. "But there might be some C-class buyers who might change." Mercedes expects the B-class and B-class turbo to account for 800 sales next year with an even split between the two. Most buyers, about 90 per cent, are expected to opt for the CVT automatic despite the availability of a five-speed manual in the B200 and six-speed manual in the B200T.

A powerful turbo-diesel will join the line-up around June next year. Mr von Sanden said the company was in discussions with the German parent about the possible model, and that the choice was between the 80kW/250Nm B180 CDi and 103kW/300Nm B200 CDi.

"We will start with the petrol engines first and see how it goes," he said.

"We expect that a growing proportion of new Mercedes cars will be ordered with diesel engines as we are convinced that the trend towards clean, economical and sporty diesels is set to continue."

4 center imageLike the A-class, the B-class utilises the "sandwich" chassis concept that locates the engine and transmission partly at an angle under the passenger cabin. As exhibited in the A-class, this is claimed to offer greater front-end crash protection for passengers as well as a roomier interior and flat floor. Occupants also sit 200mm higher than a conventional hatch, above the impact zone.

The B-class is 4270mm long and has a 2778mm wheelbase. By comparison Holden’s Astra wagon is 4515mm long and has a wheelbase of 2703mm, which means the Merc offers comparable interior room with much larger cars.

The key to its versatility is a height-adjustable load floor as well as split-fold and removable rear seats with an optional removable front passenger seat.

Depending on the configuration, load capacity can vary from 544 litres up to 2245 litres with the rear seats and front passenger seat removed, offering a maximum load length of 2.95m.

Suspension is via MacPherson struts with wishbones up front with a parabolic rear axle and coil springs at the rear.

Power comes in the form of a normally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 100kW at 5750rpm and 185Nm between 3500rpm and 4000rpm, or a 2.0-litre turbo that develops 142kW at 5000rpm and 280Nm from 1800rpm.

The B200 will reach 100km/h in a claimed 10.1 seconds and has a top speed of 196km/h while the more powerful B200T takes just 7.6 seconds to reach 100km/h and has a top speed of 225km/h. The B200 has a combined fuel consumption of 7.4L/100km while the B220T returns 8.2L/100km.

Standard equipment runs to dual front, side and curtain airbags, a multi-function steering wheel, air-conditioning, front seat armrest, electric windows/mirrors, single in-dash CD stereo, trip computer, leather steering wheel/shift lever, 16-inch alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes (with brake assist), electronic stability control with steer control, brushed aluminium interior highlights, full-size spare wheel and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. Metallic paint is a $1100 option.

2006 B-class pricing:

B200 $44,900
B200 (a) $47,400
B200T $48,900
B200T (a) $51,400

GoAuto can help you buy a new B-Class

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Mercedes-Benz models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here