Mercedes gives its B-Class a minor facelift – but, more importantly, more power. We drive the latest version to see if the updates enhance the B 200’s appeal.
One of the factors of Mercedes’s resurgence in the Indian market over the past couple of years was the surprising success of its range of hatchbacks – the A and B-Class. Surprising not because of the cars, they were pretty good, but the fact that the time had come when the Indian consumer was willing to pay a premium for a stylish looking hatchback – despite the fact that it meant paying many times what a normal compact car cost. So, if the product was good enough and had style, as well as road presence, money was no longer that much of a concern. Of course, the appeal of the three-pointed star on the bonnet also helped matters.
But both the A and B-Class had flaws – especially when it came to driving appeal and power output. So, when launching the face-lifted version of both the cars, the manufacturer decided to work on removing those anomalies. As a result, the B 200 CDI now comes with the same 2.1-litre turbocharged diesel engine, but it’s been tweaked to produce 134bhp – an increase of 26bhp, while the torque figure has also gone up to 300Nm. This increase tackles the biggest bugbear of the earlier version of the car. With the increase in output, the B 200 is now far easier to drive – both in the city and on the highway, and there’s a marked improvement in its drivability too. The gearbox remains the same seven-speed gearbox, but now the B-Class comes with steering mounted paddle shifters as standard.
As far as looks go, the B 200 has received a minor facelift with most changes being limited to the lights and the front and rear bumpers. However, the interior has also received some changes – with the Comand system now featuring an upgraded center screen, as well an increase in standard equipment levels. The interiors of the car are fairly roomy, and four tall adults can fit quite easily – but the upright rear seats mean that rear passengers won’t be very comfortable over long journeys.
Out on the road, not much has changed from the earlier version and so the B remains a fairly nice everyday car. It retains its impressive ride comfort and its compact size, which makes it quite usable in our tight urban areas. So, with these upgrades, the B has renewed appeal for the entry-level luxury buyer. It now certainly offers more ‘bang for the buck’ in its facelifted avatar.
- Mercedes-Benz B 200 CDI
Engine: 2,143cc / 4 Cylinders / Common Rail / Turbocharged
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 134bhp @ 3,600-4,400rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 1,600-3,000rpm
Price: Rs. 30.45 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi)