Ever since the A-Class attained previously unimagined levels of trendiness, the poor B-Class has been left fighting the MPV mommy van battle by itself. We recently tested a B200.
You need to know: The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is currently available as a diesel or petrol. This B200 uses a 1.3L turbo-petrol engine for 120kW while the B200d (turbo-diesel) has two litres and 110kW. I also have no clue what the number 200 symbolises, and nowhere on or in our test vehicle could I find two hundred instances of anything.
More info: In basic form, these vehicles are dubbed “Style” editions but as soon as you go near something interesting or funky like colourful leather, nice wheels or stylish trim, the configuration forces you into hideously expensive trinkets including the unavoidable faux AMG stuff. Red seats and sensible 17-inch wheels? Impossible.
That’s why this car was Saffa white with black pleather and gargantuan alloys.
What else? That obviously ruined an already choppy ride because cars like the B-Class start off as rather firm hatchbacks with sports-tuned suspensions. Once you add 28-inch black rims to the mix – no doubt a forced choice because you wanted ambient lighting – the wannabe-AMG B200 comes dangerously close to betraying its purpose.
Why? ‘Cause it’s supposed to be a practical and comfy family van, not some rock-solid, angry-faced monster with pins in its nose and a rear end that looks like, um, it’s been rear-ended. Granted, some people may like the hard ride, random rattles and voice-activated Apple Auto screens; but I don’t.
On the upside, the gearbox has good ratios and programming to make the most of its available power or 250Nm of torque. This aids fuel consumption and got us close to 6L/100km at some point. Traction is good, the brakes are superb, and so are the LED headlights. It’s just a pity you have to pay for some nice-to-haves.
Why you want one: That’s a tough one. Some may like the style and gadgets but most observers thought that the B200 was uncomfortable, slightly overdressed but under-spec’d with a Renault 1.3L engine, jerky DCT gearbox and miniscule fuel tank. And then there’s the heart-stopping price of R536,392.
Unless you want light door cards, in which case they’ll immediately add R52,000 for the AMG kit.
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||1.3 i-4 turbo-petrol|
|Transmission:||7-speed DCT, FWD|
|Avg. cons.:||Approx. 7L/100km (claimed 5.6)|
|0-100km/h:||8.21 seconds (claimed 8.2)|
|Top Speed:||Claimed 223km/h|