By Maggie Barry on 2019-05-12 - Experienced car journalist.
Mercedes-Benz B 200
THE clouds scudded by on the display screen in front of me. They looked pretty and certainly didn't reflect the lowering skies hanging over the motorway as I drove along.
In fact everything about the interior of the Mercedes B-Class is pretty, but the screen on the centre console is a revelation. Not only do you get the artistically correct clouds but put on the sat nav and it is really difficult to go wrong.
Cameras around the car give you an exact picture of the junction/roundabout/slip road you are coming to so that what you see through the window is also what you see on the screen. In addition Google-type arrows show you exactly where to go.
Mercedes calls it Augmented Reality navigation technology and I loved it.
Some sat nav systems are a bit slow and others can lack slightly in accuracy but this one is truly impressive. It also has the Hey Mercedes voice control which you can activate simply by asking the car to do something.
I have used this in the past when I mistakenly knocked the sat nav off and I instructed Hey Mercedes to hook us up again and - it did. Magic.
All this is contained in the B class a very smart evolution of what we would have previously called an MPV although I am loathe to dub this car with that title because it is so smart looking. It has the lovely AMG grille front and bodystyling which is about as far removed from a people carrier as you can get.
The headlights do a kind of dance of their own when you switch on and at the rear are beautiful chrome trimmed tailpipes. This car sits quite high off the ground and inside there is plenty of room for five people.
There is lovely carbonfibre trim across the dash of the car and the sports seats are in black man-made leather with a red stitch trim. It is all offset with some wonderful ambient lighting that lit up the car as soon as I got in in the underground car park.
There are AMG sills, sports pedals and to top it all off a lovely big boot that will take loads of gear wherever you are going.
This car is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 190ps which means that as well as not looking anything like the traditional idea of an MPV, it doesn't behave like one either.
It comes with Dynamic Select allowing you to choose Eco, Comfort, Sport or Individual modes and that means you have plenty of room for rushing along the motorway or taking it easy in town. I found it very easy to drive, smooth and with plenty of performance in the outside lane. To be honest, it's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing actually.
Parking is incredibly easy aided by all the cameras onboard and standard safety systems include Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist and cruise control with a variable speed limiter. But you can also add the Driving Assistance Package for just £1,695 which will make you almost as invincible as superman with its myriad of systems.
Mercedes-Benz B 200 AMG Line
Mechanical: 190ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 145mph
0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 56.5
Insurance Group: 23
C02 emissions: 116g/km
Bik rating: 31%
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