In the new minivan, the driver sits 90 millimeters (3.54 inches) higher than in an A-Class.
New arrivals such as the first-ever A35 4Matic hot hatch and the EQC electric crossover together with the next-generation GLE might be taking center stage at Mercedes’ booth in Paris, but let’s not forget about this little fella. Developed from the ground up, the third-generation of the B-Class is also visiting France’s capital to show off its sportier design and tech-laden cabin.
Essentially a more versatile and taller version of the A-Class, the new posh MPV aims to steer you away from buying a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer by offering a tremendous amount of features for a compact car. It inherits basically everything that’s great about the regular five-door hatchback, but with extras suitable for a minivan.
For example, the rear seats slide forward by 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) and the backrests can be moved into a more upright position depending on whether you need more legroom or extra cargo volume. Speaking of which, the trunk’s capacity varies from 455 to 705 liters (16 to 25 cubic feet). Still not enough? Fold down the rear seats and you get a massive loading volume of 1,540 liters (54.4 cubic feet) behind the front seats. Should you want to carry longer items, the backrest of the front passenger seat can be folded as well.
Compared to a regular A-Class, the new B gives the driver a better view of what’s up ahead thanks to a raised seating position (+90 millimeters / 3.54 inches). The MPV’s taller roofline brings a more generous greenhouse also boosting visibility not just for the driver, but also for all of the passengers.
Interestingly, the minivan will be available at first only with seven- and eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Five engine versions will be offered upon launch, all with four cylinders and a front-wheel-drive layout:
- B180: 1.33-liter with 136 hp (100 kW), 200 Nm (147 lb-ft), 7G-DCT;
- B200: 1.33-liter with 163 hp (120 kW), 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), 7G-DCT;
- B180d: 1.5-liter diesel with 116 hp (85 kW), 260 Nm (192 lb-ft), 7G-DCT;
- B200d: 2.0-liter diesel with 150 hp (110 kW), 320 Nm (236 lb-ft), 8G-DCT;
- B220d: 2.0-liter diesel with 190 hp (140 kW), 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), 8G-DCT.
Mercedes mentions other engines will follow, as well as 4Matic all-wheel drive availability. If you plan on doing extended trips, the standard 43-liter fuel tank can be replaced by a bigger 51-liter tank.
European sales of the new B-Class are programmed to kick off December 3, with customer deliveries slated to begin in February 2019.