Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - B-Class - 5-dr hatch range
B-class: spacious, high-quality hatch or, as Benz calls it, compact sports tourer?
11 Nov 2005
CAR-MAKERS just love creating segments, niches and all manner of new genre to describe their latest and greatest. Mercedes-Benz is a master of the art but no island in a sea of marketing mumbo-jumbo. In recent years, just having the C, E and S-classes has not been enough. They’ve delved into the alphabet of letters, the result being that we’ve seen the emergence of the A, M, CLS, CLK and SLK classes and soon we’re going to be swamped with the arrival of the R-class and G-class. For now though, the new kid on the block is the B-class. Bigger than an A-class, built on the same sandwich-platform that puts the engine out of harm’s way and frees up a huge amount of cabin room, the newcomer is described as a compact sports tourer. But is the high-quality spacious cabin, respectable 2.0-litre engines and Merc’s safety record enough to overcome its bread-van looks? Customers think so. More than 40 have already been sold, based purely on the reaction of buyers at the Sydney motor show. Dealers are holding orders for 100, making Mercedes-Benz’s sales target of 800 in the first year a realistic goal.
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