The new-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been revealed at the 2018 Paris motor show, headlined by sharper looks, more space, and the company's latest in infotainment and driver-assistance technologies.
Scheduled to hit European showrooms next February (and Australia in mid-2019), the new B-Class gets a sleeker and sportier look than its predecessor, while also sporting a luggage area holding between 455 and 705 litres with the second row upright, depending on configuration.
With the rear seats folded, the boot expands to a massive 1540L. From mid-2019 European buyers will also be able to specify a folding backrest for the front passenger seat for even greater load capacity.
Like the related A-Class, the new B-Class gets the company's new MBUX infotainment system with online connectivity and smart voice assistant, available overseas in three variants with different display sizes and combinations – it's likely Australia will get the flagship dual-10.25-inch setup like the local A-Class range.
In terms of design, Mercedes-Benz has done its best to make the B-Class less tall and boxy than the outgoing model, giving it an aesthetic more akin to a tall wagon than a people mover.
To achieve this, the roofline has been lowered, and larger alloy wheel choices (16 to 19 inches) help to give it more "dynamic proportions".
Up front there's a more angular face in keeping with the wider Mercedes-Benz range, though it doesn't sport the 'predator' face of the related A-Class and larger CLS four-door coupe as it isn't one of the company's more progressive models in terms of design.
Flanking the gaping grille are sharper headlights with a new 'double torch' LED daytime-running light signature, along with the option of LED main beam and adaptive high-beam.
At the rear, the more curvaceous tailgate is home to two-piece LED tail-lights with a distinctive C-shaped signature, along with reflectors integrated into the bumper and a diffuser-style lower treatment. The large roof-mounted spoiler helps deliver "improved aerodynamics while ensuring a sporty appearance" according to Mercedes.
The new B-Class sports a drag coefficient of 0.24, 0.1 lower than the old model. The company adds that the improved airflow and detail work have reduced wind noise.
Available convenience features include ventilated seats, along with multicontour pews with massage function – items normally reserved for vehicles at the upper end of the luxury segment.
Meanwhile, the B-Class has been given a comprehensive driver technology upgrade, gaining a suite of active safety and assist systems debuted on the S-Class.
The B-Class is now offered with features like adaptive cruise control – which even can adjust speed when approaching junctions and roundabouts based on navigation information – autonomous emergency braking (standard) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and active lane-change assist.
Power comes from a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, including a new 2.0-litre Euro 6d-compliant turbo-diesel available in 110kW and 140kW tunes.
Five variants will be offered in Europe at launch, including the B180 (100kW/200Nm), B200 (120kW/250Nm), B180d (85kW/260Nm), B200d (110kW/320Nm) and the B220d (140kW/400Nm).
The B180 and B200 are powered by the new 1.33-litre turbo petrol first seen in the A-Class, while the B180d gets a 1.5-litre oiler.
All models are equipped with a dual-clutch automatic as standard, with 2.0-litre diesels debuting a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed further engine variants will follow after launch, including the availability of 4Matic all-wheel drive – all launch versions send drive to the front wheels.
A 43L fuel tank is fitted as standard, with a larger 51L unit optionally available on some variants. Overseas models will also get a torsion beam rear suspension as standard, with a four-link rear axle available on higher-output engine variants or in conjunction with one of the optional adaptive suspension systems.
Mercedes-Benz's local division has confirmed the B-Class should arrive Down Under mid-2019, with pricing and specifications to be confirmed closer to launch.
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