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by Jez Spinks

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class will have sharper value when it goes on sale in April as the German car maker begins an aggressive marketing strategy for its new wave of small cars.

Mercedes has revealed the second-generation B-Class will start from $38,950, for the B180 model that currently accounts for more than half of B-Class sales in Australia.

The most affordable Mercedes-Benz increases slightly in price from the outgoing B180’s $37,875, though that model is equipped with a manual transmission while a seven-speed dual-clutch auto is standard across the new B-Class range.

The current B180 auto costs $40,775.

Mercedes has yet to confirm pricing for the other two models in the new B-Class range, the B200 petrol and B200 CDI diesel, though insiders have suggested to CarAdvice that the models will improve their value by about $5000 compared to the current B200 and B180 CDI that start from $47,090 and $49, 090 respectively.

Mercedes-Benz Australia is believed to be negotiating hard with company headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, to offer identical pricing for the petrol and diesel B200s.

The diesel variants cost more to build but Mercedes Australia wants to sell more diesel-powered B-Classes locally, which accounted last year for just 13 per cent of total sales.

Mercedes says improved fuel efficiency and enhanced safety features are two key points for the new B-Class.

The 1.6-litre direct fuel injection four-cylinder turbo powering the petrol models – 90kW for the B180 and 115kW for the B200 – use an average 6.1 litres of fuel per 100km according to official figures.

That represents efficiency improvements of 20 per cent for the B180 and 24 per cent for the B200.

The B200 CDI’s 100kW 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine sips 4.7L/100km for a 16 per cent improvement over the previous model.

All three engines feature engine stop-start technology.

Standard features for the new B-Class range include electric parking brake, active parking assist, attention assist, Bluetooth audio streaming, 6-CD audio system, 14.7-inch iPad-style colour dash display and safety technology including ‘Pre-safe’ and collision prevention assist that is designed to help prevent common rear-end accidents.

Options will include bi-xenon headlights with daytime running lights, blind spot warning, and lane keeping assist.

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class sits on the car maker’s crucial new ‘MFA’ modular platform that cost a fortune to develop but will underpin a whole range of compact front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models aimed at younger buyers.

They include the next-generation A-Class that will be unveiled in production form in 2012 but won’t reach local showrooms until early 2013 – when it is expected to start even lower than the new B180.

A pint-sized SUV likely to be called either MLK, BLK or GLK will also launch within the next two years, with Mercedes’ army of new compact models also expected to feature a sedan and sports car.

  • Aus_poppa

    As the owner of a current model I am envious.

  • Golfschwein

    I’m not a fan of the mad diagonal slash along the sides. Quite apart from what it does to the appearance, imagine it after 3 year’s of shopping centre carpark contact.

    • JJ

      Any non-rubber car dents my friend….

    • Tomas

      it’s a very basic and ordinary design. In my opinion those creases were added to create shadow and highlights to an otherwise boring side profile…most car designs have this element these days. A side benefit is it adds rigidity to those large panels.

  • O123

    nice interior

  • Pauly

    Im not a fan of the B Class. But with the pricing that Mercedes Australia have managed for this, it makes me excited about what price the new A Class Hatch will come in at.

    If the A Class Hatch looks as awesome as the concept, it will be on my list of next cars to get.

    A Class vs MK VII Golf…. mmm…

    • Phil

      The A class was removed from the Aus market years ago. What makes you think it’s coming back?

      • Dee

        The new A-Class is definitely coming to Australia.

  • Jinnzhang

    The B Class always looks like a van rather than a hatch back.

    • Imo

      Awesome interior, especially for the price range.

  • Ivovhp

    But that interior is from tje top spec model.. We all know the Germans price their products extravegently

  • Xero

    This car screams grandma

    Lexus RX screams soccer mummy

    Toyotas Avalon screams grandpa

    • Imo

      Yes, all cars should be designed especially for you & your tastes/needs, etc.

  • JOAT

    Wow awesome entry price. Agreed about A-Class too.

    Personally I quite like the styling! I think it will look much better i the metal.

  • Ibozhu

    GLK has already been available for a few years …

    • Dee

      In left hand drive only though

  • Martin

    “14.7-inch iPad-style colour dash display”

    Two things. 

    First, that obviously isn’t a 14.7 inch screen. Could it be 14.7cm? (5.78 inches)

    Secondly, what exactly makes it “iPad-style”? It looks just like any other screen car makers have been using for years, even before the rubbish iPad came along. Or are you yet another Apple fanboy and have to slip in some reference to your favourite overpriced computer brand where ever you can?

  • Phil

    So the new turbo 1.6 engines produces 90KW. Lovely figures for a $40K car considering other cars that cost half that price produce similar or more power from a 1.6 WITHOUT a turbo like the Hyundai Accent, Fiesta, Kia Rio – all of which are lighter and don’t require premium fuel…..

    At least it’s not as bad as the current B180 with it’s engine putting out a pathetic 85KW which is actually LESS than the 89KW engine in the Mercedes 190E from almost THIRTY years ago!

  • Ben1980

    EEEwww, seriously, who is designing these metal mutants?
    Mercedes design is pretty poor across the board, but this monstrosity takes the cake. 

    • jac

      Merc design is pitiful at present. Dull boxes overloaded with meaningless bling and creases, mostly aimed at eastern tastes. New SL a case in point. Compare with the glory days of Bruno Sacco’s timeless simplicity.

  • Aus_poppa

    If you want to empty your tank laying rubber on the road then, yes, a B Type is not for you.

    But if you want a high driving position – the reason so many women drive guzzling SUVs – and real room for 5 adults and large luggage capacity in a car which is only a few centimetres longer than a Golf, and which will get you 700 -900 Km from a 54 litre tankful, all with Mercedes quality, then the car is for you.

    Different strokes for different folks.