TechnoFile Drives the Mercedes-Benz B200 Turbo

24 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on TechnoFile Drives the Mercedes-Benz B200 Turbo

Mercedes B200 Turbo A Car that Can

By Jim Bray

(photos by the

Maybe Nissan shouldn’t cancelled its Axxess so many ago.

That old car, … now, may have ahead of its time because it seems like a down prototype for the new Mercedes-Benz B 200 Compact Tourer.

While one could the argument the B is really more a miniature minivan than a Tourer, it’s actually a apt description of the beast. It’s compact and surprisingly sporty and my week of touring around the of the Rocky Mountains in it I really to like the little critter: fun to drive, roomy, efficient, and features a wonderfully expansive through which you could nearly parachute. When open, of course.

The bad news is U.S.-based consumers can’t get hands on a B200 unless can somehow sneak one across the from Canada, bringing a new to the illegal immigration discussion. is a shame, but what can you do short of a letter writing campaign to the at Mercedes-Benz? Perhaps ask the U.S.

to grant amnesty for compact tourers?

Anyway, the B200 is a wheel drive vehicle, a for which the three pointed is not known usually. Driving the wheels makes a certain of sense for a vehicle such as however, if for no other reason not needing to run a drive shaft the passenger compartment to the rear means they can open up the a bit more. And open it up they

Mercedes-Benz points to the B-Class’s concept as a reason for its spacious citing the space-saving arrangement of the and transmission partly in front of and beneath the passenger cell as how the B can the interior spaciousness of larger and wagons despite its compact dimensions.

This sandwich which I suppose is also to ensure that this bread and butter car has enough in it to be attractive to buyers, is also as a safety benefit. The company that by inclining the engine and as well, the B achieves a greater front end length available for deformation. Mercedes-Benz says the concept also offers advantages in a lateral collision occupants are seated above the zone.

Assuming you aren’t run by a bus, pickup truck, or SUV, I suppose.

Anyway, the is available in two main versions, and turbo, My tester was the turbo, and a little sweetheart. The engine is a two inline four cylinder with only two valves per that, with the turbo, out 193 hp @ 5,000 rpm and 206 lb-ft torque 1,800 – 4,850 This is more than power for a little car like the and fun B, which also has good response and feel and exhibits little turbo lag.

The B’s like a puppy: and anxious to please.

The non-turbo is rated at 134/136 horsepower and respectively. This is probably than adequate, though not as much fun.

The Turbo’s is mated to either a 6-speed or optional continuous variable (CVT). My tester had the CVT, and I to be amazed and delighted by these

A CVT has no actual gears and it’s a strange to be driving along and feel the car shift, but on the other the CVT keeps the B always in the power and if you kick down the gas pedal the car ahead as if you’ve downshifted though you haven’t.

The CVT also has a manual mode (called with seven virtual It works well and has its uses instance it comes in handy you’re going downhill and you some engine braking or if you want to wind ‘er up the gears in a moment of wild but for 95% of my time with the B I was more satisfied with the CVT in its native

The garden variety, non-turbo comes standard with a manual …; the CVT is optional.

come with a dual-circuit braking system, with ABS and Assist, and Electronic Stability Electromechanical power steering good boost and good feel; the B doesn’t seem as wired into your as something like a Mini S or Mazda Miata. but it doesn’t to be a pure sports car either, so is only to be expected.

The suspension a newly developed parabolic axle coupled with springs, single-tube gas-pressure absorbers with selective system and coil springs, and a stabilizer bar. Up front, the slung with McPherson wishbones, twin-tube gas-pressure absorbers with selective system and coil springs, and torsion stabilizer bar.

The is sporty firm but not jarring and it a pretty good job of smoothing out heaves and stuff like

Standard wheels are 16 aluminum-alloy wearing a decent set of 205/55 R 16

The interior is attractive and very as one would expect from the pointed star company. The seats are terrific. My tester’s heated and powered, though adjustment is standard.

The steering on my tester tilted and telescoped, too that’s also an extra option.

Another option I not want to live without is Panorama louvered glass Besides being wonderfully it’s pretty quiet at highway speeds. You haven’t until you’ve driven a rural highway on a starry with the sunroof open

It’s marvelous.

For some however, the folks at Benz chosen not to give the sunroof one open and/or close so you have to keep your on the switch to operate it.

Getting in and out of the is child’s play, thanks to the door openings and high position. And once you’re you’re treated to an excellent with lots of glass and pillars.

Instrumentation is analog and though the onboard computer a little hard to fathom at The AM/FM/CD stereo thunders, and the player handles MP3 and WMA files as as conventional compact disc. A 6 changer is available; my tester offer DVD-A capability, it may be available if you upgrade to the optional LOGIC7 digital surround system.

Other nice include a four spoke, steering wheel with buttons, power windows one-touch express-up/down for all four power mirrors and a terrific optional) Bi-Xenon headlamps active curve illumination swivels the lights when you You also get air conditioning, an armrest the front seats, tinted and attractive brushed aluminum

The rear seat is comfortable and for at least two passengers. It also and folds down. Overall, a surprising amount of storage considering the small size of the

Safety equipment includes front air bags, seat tensioners in the front and on the outer seats, adaptive belt limiters, active head and head/thorax sidebags.

Nothing’s of course, but my complaints were of the niggling variety. For example, the cup on the center console in front of the is placed really badly; if you to put a bottle there you have to it into place or better wait until you shift out of

And I couldn’t get the steering wheel-mounted to jump up and/or down station presets just up down to the next station on the This was annoying but not fatally so, the reach to the stereo isn’t

The outside mirrors are also a tad though they offer visibility rearward and, the windshield wipers do a good job they also leave 1.5 inches untouched on the left of side of the windshield. This is a vehicular affliction, though, a variety of carmakers.

An interesting is the sunglasses holder which, of being on the roof between the seat passengers, is up on the top left a handle would sometimes be. Not a just unusual.

All in all, I enjoyed the Mercedes-Benz Turbo a lot more than I had What I thought would be a but weird little vehicle out to be a very nice little very nice indeed comfortable and fun.

The B, according to meets the wishes of today’s and discerning motorists who are looking for a car generous space, exemplary excellent practicality, an exciting and a high level of driving

Something tells me they silly enough to turn customers who may not be quite so young, This is good, because I see myself opening up my garage to a Turbo if I were in the market, and to my kids I’m about as old as The B200 could be the perfect for professionals who need something yet classy, sporty yet efficient.

house call-making veterinarians or who need room to haul with them could the B200 a marvelous solution.

The starts at about $31,000 while the B200 Turbo at about $35,000. My reasonably-but-not-excessively tester tips the fiscal in the neighborhood of $48,500.

That’s to get a little dear, but on the other this car is a little dear.

Jim is a member of the Automobile Journalists of Canada. His columns are available the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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