The quintessential Indian auto dream, Mercedes holds that respect, command and definitely lots of luxury to its name alone that moves every petrolhead’s heart in unison. When the Germans launched the B-Class in 2012, the three-pointed star turned easily attainable with its extremely effective price tag offering oodles of space and German performance. Three years post its launch though, the B-Class is neither of those things with the new age CLA, A-Class, and GLA turning out to be more stylish offerings. However, Mercedes has been silently listening to you and has launched an updated B-Class in India for the practical luxury car buyer. What has changed? Let’s take a look.
To begin with, the changes aren’t as extensive as we had hoped for, so no, the B-Class does not transform from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan in this version. What you do get though are classy, subtle improvements that induce some much-needed novelty into the otherwise mundane looking front. Updated to the front fascia include LED equipped headlights with integrated DRLs, revised bumper with larger air intakes and a chrome induced twin-slat grille. The side profile gets no change as such save for the now standard 16-inch multispoke alloy wheels; while the rear fascia gets bi-coloured LED tail lights and a new bumper lending a clean look.
But then if you are the owner, you will be spending a lot of time on the inside and this is where Mercedes has made all the difference that matters. While the entire dashboard remains similar to the outgoing version, there are some very cool upgrades on offer including the 7-inch high-resolution display screen along with an updated COMAND infotainment system. The multifunction steering wheel and instrument cluster are completely new and have been carried over from the new C-Class finished in soft leather that definitely wins brownie points to Mercedes. In addition, you get a panoramic sunroof, satellite navigation, Eco start-stop system, hill start and hill hold functions and seven airbags offered as standard.
Another major update that Mercedes-Benz has brought about with the 2015 B-Class facelift is the new diesel engine. The older 2.1-litre unit seemed underpowered on the tourer, but not anymore. The B-Class now gets a new 2.2-litre diesel engine 136 PS of power (a good 27 HP bump in power) and 300 Nm of torque, while the 1.6-litre petrol motor has been retained with 122 PS and 200 Nm of torque. Both the engines come paired to the 7G-DCT automatic transmission that offers seamless gear changes. The Germans have also revised to softened suspension set-up to suit Indian tarmac while the NVH levels on the diesel are comparatively better.
In conclusion, Mercedes’ first MFA platform based vehicle has been updated with major changes and these are the changes that we actually wanted to see. While the B-Class may not be the most handsome three-pointed star out there, especially against the siblings CLA, A-Class and GLA; it is indeed the most practical of the lot. Trust us, it is the car that will ferry your luggage to the airport, take your kids to school, offer ample of rear seat comfort and also satiate your occasional hunger for performance. Priced at Rs. 27.95 lakhs for the 180 Sport and Rs. 28.95 lakhs for the 200 CDI Sport, the B-Class is the practical German for your garage.