The new Mercedes-Benz B-ClassEdward Green ▼ | Tuesday March 18, 2008 3:50AM ET
It is three years with us, and now it is redesigned in two ways: one is visual, the other is related to ecology. On the front side the radiator grille has three metallic grey chromed cross fins, with the big Mercedes star in the middle. The second thing you'll notice on the front is the large air intake and new, very elegant bonnet. That way the new B-Class Mercedes looks more aggressive, more secured and very refreshed. The combination of sporty and elegant look is melted in one very well.
The profile shows the line that goes from the front wing to the rear tail light. That "breaks" the car in two parts and emphasize the spirit of sport. It's my humble opinion that this concave-convex design will be fresh for many years. Frankly, one must admire how Mercedes connects sport and elegance, and the side of new B-Class is one of the design that I wish I came up with that idea. The exterior mirrors, door handles and skirt panels are painted the same as the body. On the back there are no extra details, everything is in place and in harmony. The rear lights are natural part of back and sides; there are chrome handle strip and black plastic insert on its upper face as standard which serves as a load sill guard.
The interior is very spacious which is typical for B-Class. The blend of colours, chrome and wood adds to high-class look and feel. From the high seating position there's a view on elegant instruments on the control panel and large display above the radio. The Mercedes design team made a new upholstery fabric, and a new fabric pattern for the seats.
The B-Class for 2009 will offer a choice of six engines. Two of them are direct-injection diesel engines with 80 kW/109 hp or 103 kW/140 hp. Four of them are petrol engines with a power output of up to 142 kW/193 hp. Considering the ecology, the four-cylinder power units have undergone a series of detailed improvements and that resulted in seven percent less fuel consumption. The two turbo diesel models will see the filling station very rarely: the B 180 CDI will go over 1000 kilometres on a single tank of fuel (54 litres). The initials "NGT" on the right-hand side of the tailgate stand for "Natural Gas Technology". That means that the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY is able to run on both natural gas and premium grade petrol. Along with the petrol tank, there are five natural gas reservoirs with total capacity of 16 kilograms, which is enough for 300 kilometres.
The new B-Class Mercedes is very nice car, sporty and elegant, and with nice ecology touch. What else can you ask from Benz? ■