The driver for the corporate that shuttles press cars to grassland journalists for a spread of makers American statentioned the wonderful fuel economy of the Mercedes B 250 as he was handing me the key.
“It’s got electric battery, therefore it should be some reasonably hybrid,” he said.
I didn’t offer the comment a reconsideration.
Over successive few days, nothing regarding the automotive conferred any challenge thereto comment. It will have wonderful fuel economy, averaging, still, within the mid-eights in litres per one hundred kilometres, currently with mostly town driving.
Of course, had I been on the ball, I’d have remembered: Mercedes isn’t marketing a hybrid B-Class on this aspect of the lake.
But there’s a bit “recharge” graphic within the electrical device and there’s a panel within the merchandise bay, at the bottom of the rear seat backs, that appears suspiciously just like the vent for a hybrid battery.
Which makes the B-Class even a lot of compelling: The last time I had a premium compact with this sort of fuel economy, it had been the Lexus CT 200h, with the ‘h’ standing for hybrid. and also the CT 200h willn’t have the house or power the B-Class does.
So, is fuel economy the new luxury?
I say that as a result of for a few drivers, the fuel economy could be the leading attribute for the B. I don’t mean to criticize entirely the automotive once I say that, however there square measure many little things regarding it that square measure somewhat un-Mercedes-esque.
The first is that the power. There’s masses there (208 H.P., 258 lb-ft of torque) after you place your foot into it, however even with the transmission shift pattern set to ‘sport,’ it’s not easy.
As well, the 7G-DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission generally feels a small indefinite quantity confused in traffic. It’s programmed for fuel economy, that is sweet, however meaning it’ll get into seventh gear as presently because it will, that is typically unhealthy.
If you’re cruising on and want to brake as a result of the automotive ahead is popping, the resultant downshift to, say, third or second looks to require a moment and isn’t specifically sleek.
In fairness to Mercedes, this isn’t the sole dual-clutch box that suffers from this. In fairness to Mercedes furthermore, this one might need the smoothest transition from stop to travel.
Now for the nice news: the 7G-DCT makes for a really economical auto-shifting transmission. as a result of it operates sort of a manual transmission that shifts mechanically — that means it uses 2 real clutches rather than the lossy force device of typical automatic transmissions — there’s as very little loss here as there’s in associate degree actual manual transmission. It conjointly shifts those gears a lot of quickly than you ever may, that is nice for onerous acceleration.
For many drives, you wouldn’t comprehend it wasn’t really associate degree automatic. It’s solely in a number of the a lot of awkward transitions — seventh to 3rd, for instance — wherever its smoothness can be improved.
As for that easy power, there’s a fix for that, as well. Keep it in manual mode and upshift only if really required.
This will build your fuel economy go down, however if you’re driving on a crooked road, keeping the revs up can keep the turbo spinning and also the power promptly at hand.
For traditional cruising, of course, place it in Eco mode and save the maximum amount fuel as you’ll be able to.
Handling is incredibly sensible, with a stiff chassis and indie suspension giving the automotive a lot of grip in corners. There’s some lean, however it’s well-controlled.
As well, the steering is nicely precise, and despite being electrical, offers dedicated feedback from the front wheels. the eu preference for prime caster angles very helps here.
The interior is incredibly well done, and it follows what seems to be a replacement trend towards mounting the multi-information screen on the dash virtually like however you would possibly mount a flat-screen TV on your living-room sideboard.
I’m unsure the genesis of this concept — conjointly utilized by Mazda and BMW — and I’m unsure I’m crazy regarding it. It’s not simply in Mercedes cars, however it’s a bit bit tacked on, as if you may pull it off and take it with you.
The resolution is great and also the data is displayed in a sublime, minimalistic off-white-on-black presentation.
The multifunction controller, known as COMAND in Mercedes’ world, is great and straightforward to use. With navi, it comes with associate degree eight-inch screen; while not, a seven-inch screen.
While the recreation system includes Bluetooth for telephones, it doesn’t supply Bluetooth audio streaming, that is associate degree odd omission. to induce music from your phone, you have got to use the USB port.
Some wonderful additions to straightforward instrumentality for 2015, as well. Heated front seats square measure standard: that they were associate degree choice continually appeared odd on a rich brand’s models.
As well, collision hindrance assist and is currently normal, associate degreed uses microwave radar to warn of an at hand collision and pre-load the brakes for max braking if needed. It conjointly tells you if you’re tailing too closely.
All-wheel drive, a $2,200 option, is additionally accessible for the primary time because the B 250 4Matic.
Cargo and other people house is sort of sensible for alittle automotive. however whereas the seats fold, you won’t get a flat load floor because of that panel that appears just like the battery vent in an exceedingly hybrid. for extended things like skis, there’s a pass-through within the rear seatback that accommodates those while not moving the traveler count.
The B category represents the entry purpose into the Mercedes lineup.
At $31,300 to start out ($33,500 for the 4Matic), it’s priced to draw in customers over from the highest finish of thought compacts, therefore it can be the primary Benz for lots of individuals.
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