What is it?
This is the lowest emission version of the new Mercedes-Benz B-class, putting out 115g/km of CO2 in six-speed manual form. With this new four-cylinder 109bhp 1.8 litre turbodiesel it offers stoutly practical performance to go with it.
The Mercedes B-class now rides on a new platform intended to provide much-improved dynamics, while a generous complement of safety features – including radar-controlled collision avoidance – and a fresh interior of noticeably higher quality improve its appeal. An impressively low drag coefficient of 0.26 endows it with a higher-than-average top speed too, besides helping its economy
What’s it like?
The new 108bhp turbodiesel is an agreeable engine, revving uncomplainingly to well beyond 4000rpm while providing its best efforts much lower down scale from 1400rpm. It’s a brisk lugger, and works well with the new, slick-shifting manual transmission whose ultra-compact casing affords the B-class a tighter than average turning circle. The clutch can be a bit sudden if you aren’t deft with it, however.
Deft is a word that you can just about use to describe the B’s handling now, the new chassis much more understeer resistant and even allowing you to tighten your line should with some mid-bend throttle trimming. The brakes are strong too, and this coupled with a far more pliant ride (if the car is on standard 17in rubber) makes the B-class a more satisfactory long-distance machine than it was before, even if it’s hardly sporting.