A snazzy exterior refresh conceals major upgrades within.
Welcome to the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class. The don’t-call-it-a-minivan compact crossover wears a familiar shape for 2019, but it’s all-new inside and out with fresh sheet metal, new powertrain options, and a vastly updated greenhouse with plenty of tech – not the least of which is semi-autonomous driving capability thanks to a bevy of updated sensors and systems borrowed from the S-Class.
Before diving into all that technology, let’s take a look at the first thing everyone will see. Spy photos already tipped us off to the styling makeover Mercedes engineers performed on the previous-generation B-Class, and we're happy to say those odd proportions are a thing of the past. The overhang up front is much shorter, with multi-bean headlamps from the A-Class illuminating the way. The odd sculpting on the sides is gone, as are the cartoonishly large taillights. In fact, there is a considerable similarity to the entry-level Mercedes model all around – as we knew there would be – and the result is a new B-Class that’s rather handsome indeed.
Inside is where the real wow factor comes into play, as the B-Class goes digital. There are three options to choose from, with entry-level models getting a pair of seven-inch displays. A seven-incher with the larger 10.25-inch display is available, with top-tier models getting a pair of the large displays. The MBUX infotainment system from the A-Class is now in full effect, giving B-Class buyers access to its array of functions through a standard touchscreen. Features such as intelligent voice control, Augmented Reality, and a head-up display are optional, as are other items normally found in higher-spec models such as energizing seat kinetics for front seat passengers.
When it comes to space, this is where we’re a bit surprised. Design changes make ingress/egress a bit easier, especially for folks stuck in the middle rear seat. The changes also allow more efficient use of space, but Mercedes admits cargo capacity is “roughly the same” as the current model. We were expecting the B-Class to gain some space, but with the rear seats folded, cargo capacity is actually down ever-so-slightly, from 1,545 liters (54.6 cubic feet) to 1,540 liters (54.4 cubic feet).
What the B-Class lacks in new space, it makes up for in spades when it comes to technology. Aside from the aforementioned MBUX upgrade, the compact people carrier also gets Intelligent Drive from the S-Class, with semi-autonomous capability in certain circumstances for the first time in the model’s history. It’s also graced with a suite of safety systems, not the least of which are active braking and lane-keep assist, among others.
Some familiar powertrain configurations make the transition to the new B-Class, but there are some new options as well. A 2.0-liter diesel available in either 110-kilowatt (148-horsepower) or 140 kW (188 hp) format is among them, as is the fresh eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other power options include the 1.5-liter diesel from the A-class, and a pair of 1.3-liter four-cylinder gas engines making either 100 kW (134 hp) or 120 kW (160 hp). The seven-speed transmission is also available, and Mercedes says additional engine options – as well as all-wheel drive – will be offered further down the road.
As good as the new B-Class seems to be, Mercedes-Benz has no plans to bring it to U.S. shores where SUVs rule the day.
Gallery: 2019 Mercedes B-Class at the Paris Motor Show
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
More Sports for the Tourer
Stuttgart/Paris. The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class puts the emphasis on
sport with the Sports Tourer. It looks more dynamic than its predecessor
and is more agile on the road while offering greater comfort. Its avant-garde
interior makes for a unique feeling of space with the distinctive design of
the instrument panel. One of the special features is a basic volume, which
drops away towards the occupants and has cutouts in the area of the driver
and front passenger. The intuitive user interface of the adaptive MBUX
multimedia system is ground-breaking. Its strengths include brilliant
graphics, "Hey Mercedes" voice control, a standard touch screen and
functions such as MBUX Augmented Reality. When it comes to active
safety, state-of-the-art driving assistance systems make the B-Class one of
the segment leaders with functions carried over from the S-Class. In
addition, the interior is now more spacious, while the engines are more
efficient and cleaner. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission makes its
debut. Start of sales for the new B-Class is 3 December 2018, with delivery
due to begin in February 2019.
"More practical than ever, more chic than ever," is how Britta Seeger, Member
of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz
Cars Sales, characterises the new B-Class. "In our portfolio of compacts, it's the
perfect vehicle for the whole family. And MBUX – the new Mercedes-Benz User
Experience – provides also the B-Class with an all-new customer experience
with functions that were previously the reserve of the luxury class."
"The latest derivative of the new generation of compact cars from Mercedes-
Benz, the B-Class writes a further punchy chapter in the success story of the
dynamic Mercedes-Benz Sports Tourer," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design
Officer of Daimler AG. "With its emotional yet purist design, the new B-Class
blends seamlessly into the design language of Sensual Purity."
The designers' brief was to make the new B-Class stand out visually from the Page 2
world of minivans. That brief was accepted and executed, with the long
wheelbase (2729 mm) with short overhangs, slightly lowered roof line and
larger, 16- to 19-inch wheels making for dynamic proportions. The relatively
squat, progressive front end with flowing transition from bonnet to A-pillar and
on to the windscreen, along with the muscular shoulder of the body, underlines
the sporty overall look.
The same is true of the low-profile headlamps, the inside of which is already
high-grade, detailed and precisely designed on the basic model with H7
headlamps and LED daytime running lights. When ordered with LED
headlamps or higher, the B-Class comes with its own daytime running light
signature in the form of a double torch. The optional MULTIBEAM LED
headlamps have an especially sporty look. They allow fast, electronically
controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic conditions.
This feature from the luxury class, which made its debut in the compact
segment in the new A-Class, now produces striking looks and added safety also
in the new B-Class.
At the back, the width of the vehicle is accentuated by two-part lamps,
reflectors integrated in the bumper and a distinctive black bumper bottom
section with diffuser look and chrome trim strip. The large roof spoiler, along
with high-gloss black spoilers at the sides of the rear window, makes for
improved aerodynamics while ensuring a sporty appearance.
The cd value of the new B-Class starts at 0.24 (predecessor: 0.25). The lower
roof line further contributes to a best-in-class airflow due to the smaller end
face of the car. In addition, the aerodynamics engineers have reduced the wind
noise thanks to extensive detail work. The benefits: a high level of alertness as
well as the ability to engage in a relaxed conversation.
The improved seat geometry and lower belt line make for an even more
generous feeling of space than in the previous model. The driver sits 90
millimetres higher than in an A-Class, thus enjoying an especially good allround
view – also thanks to optimised cross-sections of the roof pillars, which
obscure less of the surroundings.
Interior design: revolution, the second
The interior of the B-Class is as avant-garde as the much-praised revolutionary
interior architecture of the new A-Class, yet distinctive: while the instrument
panel of the sister model is split into two horizontal basic bodies, that of the BClass
has a single basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and
has cutouts in the area of the driver and front passenger. The cutout in front of
the driver houses the fully free-standing display unit, which comes in three
different versions: with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), with one 7- and one
10.25-inch display (26 cm) and, in the Widescreen version, with two 10.25-inch
displays. A head-up display is optionally available.
The five round air vents feature a high-grade turbine look with finely styled air
ducts, inspired by the world of aviation. In the Style equipment line, the vent
surround is colour-accentuated in the depth of the vent geometry to give the
impression of an afterburner. The centre console with touch-based control and
input system comes with a black panel look similar to the E-Class. The
ambience lighting with 64 colours and ten colour worlds, a unique selling point
in this segment, allows individual adjustments, even to suit the mood.
The seats offer a flatter and, therefore, more comfortable seating position as
well as a larger adjustment range, which also increases the maximum
headroom. There is also more space in the width: at 1456 millimetres (plus 33
mm), the front elbow width now has the dimensions of a mid-range vehicle.
ENERGIZING seat kinetics: supports changes of posture
With seat climate control and multicontour seats with massage function, the
new B-Class is available with optional extras that were previously reserved for
vehicles from much higher segments. This opens the way to even better
The new ENERGIZING seat kinetics is particularly good for the back. It can
support orthopaedically beneficial changes of posture by regularly making
minute adjustments to the angle of the seat cushion and backrest. The
innovation is available for the front seats in combination with all-electric seat
adjustment with memory function.
Variable rear seats and optimised luggage compartment layout Page 4
The interior has been fine-tuned in many places: the improved entry aperture
to the centre tunnel in the rear makes for a more accessible middle seat. The
rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split. Depending on
version, from mid-2019 it will be possible for the rear seats to be moved by 14
centimetres and for the backrest to be folded into a steeper position to vary the
capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats between 455 and
705 litres. Although the capacity is roughly the same as in the previous model,
the luggage compartment can be more efficiently used thanks to the
With the rear seat folded down and luggage loaded to the roof, the luggage
compartment, which is flat thanks to the adjustable load compartment floor,
can accommodate up to 1540 litres behind the front seats. A folding backrest of
the front passenger seat (optional extra, expected to be available from mid-
2019) makes for an even longer loading length.
An EASY-PACK tailgate is optionally available. It can be conveniently opened
or closed automatically at the press of a button, even by means of a foot
movement in combination with optional HANDS-FREE ACCESS.
MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: unique experience
What goes for A also goes for B: the new B-Class is the second car model after
the A-Class to feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia
system, which ushered in a new era with Mercedes me Connectivity. Its ability
to learn thanks to Artificial Intelligence makes the system unique. MBUX is
customisable and adapts to the user. It thus creates an emotional link between
vehicle, driver and passengers.
Its other strengths include touch screen control as standard as well as,
depending on equipment, a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit, navigation
display with Augmented Reality technology plus intelligent voice control with
natural speech recognition, which is activated by saying "Hey Mercedes". The
touch screen is part of the integrated MBUX touch control concept – a trio
consisting of touch screen, touchpad on the centre console (optional) and touch
controls on the steering wheel.
MBUX is a revolution of the user experience in the car. Emotively appealing Page 5
showcasing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure
and thrill through brilliant 3-D maximum-resolution graphics which are
rendered, i.e. calculated and displayed, in real time. A head-up display is also
New and improved Mercedes me connect services were launched with the new
MBUX infotainment generation. These include navigation functions based on
Car-to-X communication and Vehicle Tracking, which makes it easier to find
the parked vehicle, as well as a notification function in the event of the parked
vehicle being bumped or towed away.
The Mercedes me collection of apps can be placed as an icon on the screen in a
user-friendly way, and can be freely sorted on the homepage like all other main
applications. In addition, online content, such as current petrol station prices,
can optionally be displayed. Online updating is a simple way of allowing new
content to be made available in MBUX.
The new B-Class is already set up for private car sharing: Mercedes me allows
the new compact car to be shared with friends and family members. Operation
is simple and secure using the Mercedes me Car Sharing app.
The new Mercedes me connect services On-Street Prediction, Real-Time
Information and Off-Street Information can save Mercedes-Benz drivers
valuable time and reduce their stress levels while at the same time cutting
their fuel consumption and emissions when searching for a parking space. The
real-time information is based, among other things, on Mercedes-Benz vehicles
that have just left a parking space or driven past potential parking spaces.
Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class
The new B-Class comes with driving assistance systems with cooperative
driver support, thus providing one of the highest levels of active safety in this
segment with functions from the S-Class. For the first time, the B-Class is able
to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do so, it employs improved
camera and radar systems to anticipate the traffic up to 500 metres ahead
while using map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example,
Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package
is able to support the driver in many route-specific situations, predictively and
conveniently adjusting the speed, e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or
roundabouts. Also on board are Active Emergency Stop Assist and intuitively
understandable Active Lane Change Assist.
The new B-Class comes as standard with extended Active Brake Assist, which
can help mitigate the severity of rear-end collisions with slower-moving,
stopping or stationary vehicles ahead – and now even with crossing
pedestrians or cyclists – or prevent them altogether.
The new B-Class, too, was developed and tested at the new Vehicle Safety
Technology Centre (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures with regard to
geometry, material thickness, joining technique and material quality
incorporates findings from real-world accidents. Many bodyshell components
are made of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel to obtain high strength
with lowest possible weight, because the core of the safety design of the body is
the highly stable passenger cell.
Driver and front passenger are provided with three-point seat belts with
pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limitation. In combination with the
PRE-SAFE® system (optional extra), the front seats are additionally equipped
with electrically reversible belt reel tensioners. Both of the outer rear seats are
fitted with a seat belt with reel tensioner and belt force limiter. The new BClass
comes as standard with airbags for driver and front passenger, kneebag
for driver and windowbags and sidebags (combined thorax/pelvis bag). Rear
sidebags are optionally available.
Double powertrain debut: new powerful two-litre diesel is Euro 6d
compliant, new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission
Compared to its predecessor, the new B-Class is in all cases powered by new,
efficient engines, all of which comply with the Euro 6d-TEMP limits. Making its
debut is a transverse-mounted version of the OM 654 two-litre diesel with 110
kW and 140 kW, aluminium crankcase and stepped-bowl combustion process.
Thanks to extended exhaust aftertreatment with an additional underfloor SCR
catalyst, the B-Class with the OM 654q is the first compact model from
Mercedes-Benz to be certified in accordance with the Euro 6d standard, which
will become mandatory for new models only on 1.1.2020. The large diesel
represents an addition to the four-cylinder diesel (OM 608) already known
from the A-Class with 1.5-litre displacement, up to 85 kW and up to 260 Nm.
Also available are two four-cylinder petrol engines of the M 282 series with
1.33-litre displacement and 100 kW/120 kW. Innovations include cylinder
management (in combination with 7G-DCT transmission), delta shape of the
cylinder head and particle filter.
The new B-Class is initially available exclusively with dual-clutch
transmissions. New here is the eight-speed 8G-DCT, which is used in
combination with the larger diesel engine. Other new engines will follow, as
will models with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. A 43-litre tank is installed as
standard, while a 51-litre tank is optionally available, depending on the engine.
The following five engine variants will be available at the launch of the BClass1:
• B 180 (100 kW/136 hp, 200 Nm); with 7G-DCT dual-clutch
transmission (combined fuel consumption 5.6-5.4 l/100 km, combined
CO2 emissions 128-124 g/km)
• B 200 (120 kW/163 hp, 250 Nm); with 7G-DCT dual-clutch
transmission (combined fuel consumption 5.6-5.4 l/100 km, combined
CO2 emissions 129-124 g/km)
• B 180 d with 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (85 kW/116 hp),
260 Nm; combined fuel consumption 4.4-4.1 l/100 km, combined CO2
emissions 115-109 g/km)
• B 200 d with 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (110 kW/150 hp),
320 Nm; combined fuel consumption 5.4-4.2 l/100 km, combined CO2
emissions 119-112 g/km)
• B 220 d with 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission (140 kW/190 hp),
400 Nm; combined fuel consumption 4.5-4.4 l/100 km, combined CO2
emissions 119-116 g/km).
The new OM 654q diesel engine: lighter, more powerful, cleaner
The transverse-mounted version of the latest premium diesel engine family
makes its debut in the new B-Class. Despite its lower displacement – just
under two litres - the around 16 percent lighter new diesel engine with 140
kW (190 hp) puts out 10 kW more than the previous engine. On the inside, the
OM 654q offers efficiency-enhancing technological highlights such as steel
pistons with stepped bowls in an aluminium block. The cylinder liners are
coated using the further-improved NANOSLIDE® process.
With a cylinder spacing of just 90 mm instead of 94 mm, the new engine is
more compact than its predecessor while allowing the exhaust aftertreatment
components to be installed directly on the engine, where the exhaust
temperature is higher, making for more efficient aftertreatment. Thanks to
further improved exhaust aftertreatment, the powerful four-cylinder from the
modern OM 654 engine family already meets the Stage 2 RDE (Real Driving
Emissions) standard coming into force from 2020, and is certified to Euro 6d.
Even in demanding driving situations and under challenging environmental
conditions, the B-Class remains within all the emissions limits.
This is achieved by additional selective catalytic reduction (SCR) with an
ammonia slip catalyst (ASC) in the exhaust system of the B-Class. This allows a
more generous dose of the reduction agent AdBlue, as any surpluses can be
reduced and converted in the second SCR. These surpluses (amonia slip)
particularly occur during fast temperature changes in the exhaust tract, e.g.
when moving from city traffic to the motorway.
Suspension: agile and comfortable
At least as agile as its predecessor while even more comfortable – that was the
development brief handed to the suspension specialists for the new B-Class.
Depending on the version, several options are available for the basic
configuration, including a lowered comfort suspension and a suspension with
active adaptive damping, which lets the driver control the damper tuning while
driving using DYNAMIC SELECT. The system uses an electronic valve, the
control of which additionally analyses the driving state and optimises the
damping rate individually for each wheel.
In all versions of the new B-Class, the front wheels feature McPherson struts
and forged-aluminium wishbones, to which are attached cast-aluminium
steering knuckles. This makes the unsprung mass as low as possible in the
interests of road-holding and comfort.
At the rear, the models with the entry-level engine variants come with a twistbeam
rear axle in the basic configuration. In combination with the more
powerful engine variants or if the customer opts for one of the optional
suspension systems, use is made of a sophisticated four-link rear axle, which is
made extensively of aluminium to reduce the unsprung mass. The three
wishbones and one trailing arm on each of the rear wheels are mounted on a
subframe, which is isolated from the bodyshell by rubber bushings to reduce
the transfer of vibration and noise from suspension to body. Single-tube shock
absorbers and separate coil springs are used for both the four-link and the
twist-beam rear axle.
1 The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring
method. These are the "NEDC CO2 figures" according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing
Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on