Categories: Car News

Mercedes Benz B Class Sports Tourer Launched In India– Test Drive Review

Updated on 18th September 2012:

Mercedes Benz India has launched the Mercedes B Class in Mumbai, India on 18th September at a lucrative price. This is the first of its kind Sports Tourer is a new segment which is a spacious car which fits in the space between the SUV and Luxury cars with the space of an MPV or SUV and comfort of a luxury car. Mercedes B Class B180 is priced at Rs. 21.49 Lakhs while the B180 Sports is priced at Rs. 24.87 Lakhs, both prices ex-showroom Mumbai.

The first batch of the cars (250 cars) is already sold out even before the price announcement and the next round of bookings will start in India in January 2013. So if you are looking to buy one too, its better you pre-book your B-Class with your nearest Mercedes Benz dealerships.

The Indian version comes equipped with a 7-G Tronic automatic transmission with dual clutch technology from SLS-AMG, there is no manual transmission version for India.  There is anti-skid features in terms of safety with 7 airbags, has large boot space, high on safety features, has a spare wheel, cockpit has airplane inspired styling. There is a 5.8 inch touch screen display on the in-built infotainment system which supports wireless streaming. It has many passive safety features from the S class like attention assist. For fuel economy it has built-in start stop micro hybrid feature with 14.8 KMPL ARAI tested mileage. There is large panoramic sunroof on the B Class which makes it look even more spacious.

It comes in two variants, Mercedes Benz B180 and B180 Sports variant. No CKD operations planned for B Class till end of 2013. The diesel cars will join later, as of now it is only in petrol variant in India. The B Class diesel will launch towards end of 2013.

Talking of the specifications, the B Class is powered by a 4 cylinder 1.6 Litre Petrol engine which produces a peak power of about 121 BHP @ 5000 RPM and peak torque of 200 Nm between 1250 to 4000 RPM. Which can make the car reach a top speed of 190 KMPH with a 0 to 100 KMPH time of about 10.2 seconds. The tyres used on the B180 are 205/55 R16 on the B180 and 225/45 R17 on the B180 sports. The fuel tank capacity is about 50 litres and boot space is 486 litres which can be increased by folding rear seats to a whooping 1545 Litres. In terms of dimensions, the car measures 4359 mm in length, 1786 mm in width and 1557 mm in height with a wheelbase of 2699 mm. The B class has a turning radius of 5.5 meters.

Updated on 19th July  2012:

Mercedes Benz India has showcased the new Mercedes B Class sports tourer for India at the Buddh International Circuit on 19th July 2012 to media. We took this car for a spin at India’s only Formula 1 track at BIC and we have a lot to share with you from the same experience. First of all lets talk about the segment to which this car targets- this car is between the MPV and SUV segment which has good attributes from both these categories.

While the B Class boasts of dynamics and driving fun of an SUV it has space and comfort like an MPV. It seats 5 passengers in comfort with its two rows of seats and also spares a lot of luggage room at the rear. The Interior space and features are quite plush and the build quality and use of high quality materials on the insides makes it feel quite premium from the inside. With a price tag of close to Rs. 25 Lakhs, as announced by the official, this is targeted at the youth buyers who want space and versatility along with power and agility of a sporty car. With all these attributes of the new B Class, it is being called a Sports Tourer which is a new category for Indian market.

Along with the showcase of new B Class, Mercedes-Benz India also launched “Ultimate Touring Trail” – A property wherein adventure enthusiasts can drive down in B-Class with like minded celebrities and experience adventure sports like Skydiving, Canoeing & Deep Sea exploration etc.

Exteriors and Interiors Of Mercedes B Class For India

Talking of the exteriors of the B Class, I does look pretty large in side from the outside but it is not designed like an SUV for off-roading. It has lower ground clearance, more subtle and elegant styling and smooth looks. It looks like contemporary MPVs with much more classy and elegant visual appeal. The grille of the B class is quite sporty with the AMG style large logo in the middle, large air-dams and grille making it look powerful and agile.

The side profile is more like a hatchback with smooth merging of the roofline into the front windshield and bonnet. The headlamps sweep to the side in a very pronounced manner and the projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs give an attractive overall appeal to the front fascia of the car. The rear is more steep and almost vertical like a hatchback but the sheer size of the B Class makes it quite spacious on the inside.

On the inside, B Class is as premium as any Mercedes Benz with leather upholstery, high quality of materials used on the inside, attractive looking dashboard design with 3 AC vents above the central console and 2 on the ends of the dashboard with ample chrome treatment on them. The central console has lots of features and options in built. The steering has multi-function controls including audio and phone controls.

The space on the inside is very comfortable for 5 adults with a 488 litre of luggage space. If there are only two passengers in the car, the rear seats can be folded to make way for huge luggage for an adventure trip with as much as 1547 litre of luggage space. There are also advanced features like Telematics with a large LCD display mounted in the middle of the dashboard which adds unique feature appeal to this car. There is also large panoramic sunroof which gives the cabin a premium and airy feel.

Engine And Performance of Mercedes B Class India

As per the official information shared by Mercedes Benz India, the B Class will be launched with only petrol engine options initially and later on diesel and more petrol engine options will be added on board. The model which was showcased at the BIC on 19th July 2012 were B200 with 1.6 Litre Turbocharged MPFI Petrol engines with peak torque rating of about 250 Nm. These models were some western models with left hand drive LHD option. These cars were equipped with 6 speed manual transmission however Indian models to be launched by October 2012 will come only with 7 speed automatic dual clutch transmission system which is used in the AMG series of cars by Mercedes Benz India.

As per our test drive, the engines are quite apt for the size and weight of the car and pulled the cars pretty enthusiastically and we could easily touch the speeds of 150 KMPH on the straight stretches of the race track. Read the section below for complete test drive report.

Test Drive Video

You can check more videos from us at official Car Blog India YouTube channel.

Test Drive Review

We took the B Class, B200 Petrol to be precise, for a spin at the Buddh International Circuit to test how much this car is capable of. First of all, the cars we tested were not India specific models, so there are some changes expected in the production models in terms of engines, suspension tuning and the transmission we tested were 6 speed manual, but the production models in India will get 7 speed auto gearboxes.

Talking of the test drive experience, the car pulls quite effortlessly on the track but you need to be in higher rev bands, between 2000 to 5000 RPM for enthusiastic drive experience. If you try to pull the car at low rev bands under 1500 RPM, it does feel a bit sluggish, but we don’t consider this a negative as you need to be in correct gear if you want the punch out of a turbo-petrol motor. In second gear we could easily touch speeds of 80 KMPH at around 6000 RPM range. The engine red-lines on the tachometer between 6500 to 8000 RPM.

While the first 4 gears felt quite sporty, the 5th and 6th gear in the manual box were more meant for relaxed cruising and not for pulling it hard as at these gears, the car was running smooth at the speeds close to 110 KMPH, but the punch was missing on sudden throttle inputs in 5th and 6th gear. As per my observation, these gears are meant for delivering smooth power and high fuel economy.

Talking of handling, suspension and steering feedback, the B Class left us really impressed. Being a large size car weighing close to 1400 Kg, the car was very well behaved even on a race track. There was not any noticeable body roll even when cornering sharply at the speeds of higher than 80 KMPH. Since we tested the car on race track, we can’t tell you how the suspension behaves on rough or bad roads, but on smooth tarmac, the car rides brilliantly. The steering weight is apt with lot of feedback from the road and it runs very pliant on the road. Even at the speeds of 150 KMPH, the car felt extremely in control and handled sharply without any drama whatsoever.

Another important aspect which I must talk about is braking, ABS and ESP. The braking of thee B200 was very impressive with the ABS and Electronic stability program working excellently as we did take some very sharp corners at speeds close to 100 KMPH and made the tyres screech on the track, we did try to throw it to extreme handling, but the car never felt shaky or going out of control, it slows down safely even at high road speeds without looking direction or control.

In totality, I would say I am impressed with the B 200. We would try our hands on the Indian specific lineup as well when it arrives in India.

Below is a quick walk around video review of the Mercedes B Class India:

We will keep you posted on the latest updates and more information on the Mercedes B Class in India, stay tuned to Car Blog India.