So the Mercedes-Benz B-Class might be ugly, but over the last few months it has started to grow on me. Given my love of turbo charged cars, the B200 has become ever more noticeable on the road. Better yet, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class has just passed the European NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) rating system with flying colours, receiving the maximum five stars. What does this tell us? It shows Mercedes' sandwich safety concept has demonstrated its effectiveness once
“Safety resides at the heart of the entire range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and this is once again demonstrated with the five-start result achieved by the B-Class”, said Horst von Sanden, managing director for Mercedes Car Group in Australia.“The innovative design of the B-Class is not only intended to maximize comfort and driving performance, but enhance the overall safety of the B-Class. This five-star NCAP rating simply underlines the engineering performnce of what is an already remarkable car that has enjoyed stunning sales success both across the world and in Australia.”
Thanks to the sandwich concept, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class occupies an exceptional position among its segment. The arrangement of the engine and transmission in a tilted position partly in front of and partly under the passenger compartment means the Compact Sports Tourer offers a larger front crumple zone than other passenger cars in its class. In a serious head-on crash the drive system unit does not move in the direction of the interior, but slides down the pedal floor panel, which also slopes downwards. This means the occupants sit around 200 millimetres higher and thus above the impact zone – an advantage in the case of a side impact. At the same time, the intelligent sandwich principle makes it possible to offer generous interior dimensions with compact external measurements. The B-Class thus offers typical Mercedes occupant safety with exceptional spaciousness and comfort.
A further measure that contributes to the exemplary safety performance of the Compact Sport Tourer from Stuttgart includes a body structure made from extremely firm steel alloys with innovative adhesive joints. This provides the front-end structure of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class with consistently high deformation resistance during the entire crash phase, thereby reducing the loads on the occupants.
The engineering of the interior restraint systems also meets the high standards set by Mercedes-Benz. Adaptive two-stage front airbags, belt pensioners for the front and outer rear seats, adaptive belt force limiters at the front, active front head restraints and newly-developed head/thorax front side airbags round off the standard protective system for occupants.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class not only meets but also surpasses standard crash test requirements. Mercedes likes to keep pointing out that they define vehicle safety based on an analysis of actual accident occurrences as part of an integrated approach. In addition to occupant protection tailored to suit the severity of the accident, Mercedes says that this involves ensuring the quickest possible rescue of the occupants following a collision and the avoidance of accidents using electronic assistance systems such as ESP® and the brake assist system (BAS).
For example, in critical road-holding situations, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class electronic stability program (ESP®) works together with the electro-mechanical servo steering to adapt the servo support to assist the driver in stabilizing the car. This extra ESP® function also aids steering correction and provides the car driver with an even better road feel when braking on different road surfaces. An analysis of official German accident statistics bears witness to the significant contribution the braking assistant, which was first launched by Mercedes-Benz ten years ago, makes to avoiding road accidents – in rear-end collisions the use of standard braking systems in Mercedes passenger cars reduced the accident rate by eight percent, while the percentage of serious pedestrian accidents fell by as much as 13 percent.
The high safety standard of the B-Class combined with ample space, exemplary comfort, fascinating design and intelligent variability has quickly established the Mercedes-Benz trendsetter as a successful model. More than 150,000 B-Class models have been delivered world-wide since the car’s market launch in June 2005.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is priced from $44,900 RRP (excluding on-road costs) and is available from all authorised Mercedes-Benz passenger car dealerships.