2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

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2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review A few months back, we went for the trouble of wrangling up the present crop of EVs mandated from the feds and aimed on the proletariat. Certainly, the well-heeled are throwing Krugerrands at Elon Musk over the stock marketplace and snapping up his Tesla Model S sedan like positron hotcakes, but besides the relative achievement in the Nissan Leaf, we’re not seeing a run on mainline-leaning EVs, even in northern California.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

But Sacramento says EVs must be constructed, so automakers are constructing them. Newest into the breach is Mercedes-Benz, which initial examined the EV waters using the Clever Fortwo ED. The most beneficial thing that can be explained concerning the prior iteration with the diminutive two-seater was that it did not feature the fuel car’s infernal transmission. The most recent example, launched last 12 months, is surely an improvement. It nevertheless positioned final in our comparo.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

But when the weensy Fortwo is usually a city motor vehicle, this new Mercedes B-class electric drive is constructed for your suburbs. Constructed from your exact same bits bin as that of the CLA, GLA, and smaller A-class, the B was built through the begin with two floorpans. The gasoline and diesel versions out there elsewhere characteristic a flatter floor; the battery-electric and CNG examples sport an underfloor compartment to home an array of cells or even a tank for that compressed all-natural gas.

We will not see the CNG autos here. And thus far, we won’t see the gas or diesel versions, either. If you had your heart set on an previous R-class but felt it had been a mite hulky for the tastes, put together by yourself for electric motoring. In the event you couldn’t rather scrape with each other the cheddar to get a Tesla S but locate Toyota’s RAV4 EV also déclassé, nicely, here’s a different Tesla-powered vehicle not constructed in Fremont, California.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review Interior

The B’s 28-kWh battery pack, 177-hp electrical motor, and related electronics, even so, are assembled in the former NUMMI plant. They then wind their strategy to Rastatt in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to get installed during the B-class. Based on Mercedes, they count on the buzzless B to garner an EPA variety estimate of 85 miles, which is a smidge under a third of the Tesla’s range with its 85-kWh pack. The base value, at $42,375, is usually a handful of thou far more than half on the Tesla’s $70,890 sticker. Not surprisingly, tax credits can shave $10,000 in the price. In California, which features a $2500 credit score on major of your federal $7500, a B-class ED is suddenly an indirect competitor towards the Toyota Prius V and Ford C-Max Energi. Tesla Benziness at virtually plebeian charges!

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

Certainly, you are also caught with a rather plebeian shade of Benziness. Stylistically, the B resembles a first-generation M-class with a styling refresh from the Shenzen whiz young children at BYD in China. There’s none with the visual tech-swoop drama that characterizes the new S-, CLA-, or C-class, nor is there the people-pod futurism with the BMW i3, which retails for $100 less. Interior-wise, the B retains some high quality touches-like satin-pewter air vents that require the perfect volume of stress to reposition-but the broad swath of plastic that makes up the dash contrasts poorly with the satin burl veneer found elsewhere while in the model we tested.

When you assume you may want a slap of more juice when plugging as part of your B for that next day’s errands, you can choose the Array Plus bundle. In the press of a button during charging, Range Plus adds about 15 % to the battery’s capability, for an estimated 14 extra miles of array. Mercedes-Benz advises against accomplishing this every evening mainly because it may possibly have an adverse effect on capacity

Irrespective, the unit’s warranty says it's going to preserve 70 % of its capability for eight many years or one hundred,000 miles. Mercedes claims a three.5-hour charge time through a devoted 240-volt Degree two household setup. DC quick charging will likely be a long term selection. When you try to goose your B by way of a 120-volt household outlet, we’d propose setting aside 30 car-free hours.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review Features

Dynamically? Do not anticipate Tesla Model S magic. Driving the B is surely an absolute nonevent. Want much more regen braking once you lift? Grab a paddle when you would for a downshift. Want significantly less? Tap another paddle. We liked this method when we encountered it on VW’s e-Golf prototypes, and we like it right here, as well, despite the fact that we nonetheless discover ourselves wishing to get a much more aggressive regenerative setting.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

While in the electron-conserving “E” mode, the B exhibits the traditional languorous Benz accelerator tip-in. Switch it to “S,” and it’ll spin the front tires within a series of chirps as the low-rolling-resistance rubber struggles for purchase. Mercedes claims the tires are additional productive than the pizza cutters around the BMW i3, even though it concedes that the BMW’s 155-section tires have an aero benefit above the 225s within the B.

Despite 251 lb-ft on tap, the B hardly ever threatens to torque-steer off program. Dealing with is predictable (it understeers, but not horribly), and ride top quality is cheap-Benz good, which can be to say it’s flawlessly fine, but it’s no E-class. The rear end does exhibit a tendency to get occupied on rough pavement at speed: Lead-footed Michiganders, beware. Midrange acceleration is swift and effortless. The brake pedal is firm and easy to modulate. As opposed to the grabby procedure in the C-Max Energi, it will take no receiving applied to. Actually, that’s the B’s mission-to be an EV that slots into everyday existence as simply as is possible. Regrettably, virtually almost everything about this feels slightly as well each day for our tastes.

If you’re in excess of range anxiety, choose to help Elon by way of Herr Gottlieb’s monolithic property and find the offerings from Toyota and Ford a shade chintzy, the B goes on sale in July during the states following California’s ZEV mandate. Availability from the rest with the U.S. is slated for next year. However, if you are an entry-luxe intender who wants a Benz for acquiring all-around the suburbs with some modicum of efficiency, get a GLK250 BlueTec. That diesel’s a peach and offers seriously prolonged driving range.

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