A facelifted version of the second-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been revealed ahead of the five-seat MPV's debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year. Featuring a refreshed look and improved efficiency and performance across its range of engines.
Although its exterior styling changes are mild, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class' updates go skin deep. Mercedes-Benz has revised the interior and the Renault-derived 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine found in the B180 CDI Blue Efficiency. The engine itself has reduced CO2 emissions (4g/km less) and increased economy figures (4.2mpg) which means the new B180 CDI can achieve an impressive 78.5mpg in standard six-speed manual guise.
The headline of the new B-Class is the Electric Drive model which is a car closely developed and engineered by Mercedes-Benz and California-based Tesla Motors. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is powered by a synchronous electric motor which pushes out 177bhp and 251lb ft of torque. The electric mini-MPV will be able to hit 62mph in just 7.9 seconds and onto a top speed limited to 100mph.
Having an electric mini-MPV puts it directly in the firing line of the new BMW i3 and recently introduced Volkswagen eGolf (set to go on sale during the first quarter of 2015). The electric B-Class will use a 16.6kWh lithium iron battery which is a far cry from Tesla's 85kWh battery. However, it is set to provide a range of up to 124 miles, which is pretty impressive for such a low-powered battery pack.
With all its electrical components, you can imagine that the new B-Class Electric Drive will be significantly heavier – you'd be right. It weighs 200kg more than a regular B-Class which takes its total up to 1650kg, compared to the BMW i3's 1195kg weight and the Volkswagen eGolf's 1510kg weight.
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class features a revised front bumper (similar to the one found on the A-Class), with larger air ducts for better cooling. There's also a new front grille and daytime running lights which are integrated into the headlamps rather than on the air intake duct. The design team has also given the rear a more minimalistic look with a deeper bumper which holds trapezoidal shaped tail pipes which are seen on other more expensive models in the range.
Inside, the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class' interior has been given an overhaul. A new steering wheel, new materials, dash design which is enhanced by an eight-inch free standing monitor, optional keyless entry and safety systems such as an assist system which monitors driver fatigue.
Engine choices are plentiful ranging from a 89bhp 1.6-litre diesel (B160) to a 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol (B250). Other engines include a 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol and a 175bhp 2.2-litre diesel. We can also expect to see a few 4MATIC models to join the family. Gearbox choices have been kept the same as before, this means the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is available with a six-speed manual or a fantastic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.