2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

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2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review A couple of months back, we went on the problems of wrangling up the current crop of EVs mandated through the feds and aimed on the proletariat. Of course, the well-heeled are throwing Krugerrands at Elon Musk to the stock marketplace and snapping up his Tesla Model S sedan like positron hotcakes, but besides the relative accomplishment on the Nissan Leaf, we’re not seeing a run on mainline-leaning EVs, even in northern California.

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

But Sacramento says EVs should be constructed, so automakers are constructing them. Latest into the breach is Mercedes-Benz, which initial examined the EV waters with the Clever Fortwo ED. The most effective issue that can be explained about the prior iteration of the diminutive two-seater was that it did not feature the gasoline car’s infernal transmission. The most recent example, launched final yr, is surely an improvement. It even now placed last in our comparo.

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

But if the weensy Fortwo is often a city auto, this new Mercedes B-class electrical drive is created to the suburbs. Constructed from the exact same bits bin as that on the CLA, GLA, and smaller sized A-class, the B was developed through the begin with two floorpans. The gasoline and diesel versions accessible elsewhere characteristic a flatter floor; the battery-electric and CNG examples sport an underfloor compartment to residence an array of cells or maybe a tank for that compressed organic gasoline.

We will not see the CNG automobiles right here. And thus far, we won’t see the gasoline or diesel versions, either. If you had your heart set on an outdated R-class but felt it was a mite hulky to your tastes, prepare by yourself for electrical motoring. For those who couldn’t quite scrape with each other the cheddar for any Tesla S but uncover Toyota’s RAV4 EV too déclassé, effectively, here’s one more Tesla-powered car not developed in Fremont, California.

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review Interior

The B’s 28-kWh battery pack, 177-hp electrical motor, and related electronics, nevertheless, are assembled in the former NUMMI plant. They then wind their technique to Rastatt in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to become set up during the B-class. In accordance with Mercedes, they assume the buzzless B to garner an EPA assortment estimate of 85 miles, that's a smidge under a third with the Tesla’s assortment with its 85-kWh pack. 

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

The base value, at $42,375, is actually a few thou much more than half in the Tesla’s $70,890 sticker. Not surprisingly, tax credits can shave $10,000 from your price. In California, which provides a $2500 credit on prime 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 practically plebeian charges!

Of course, you’re also stuck with a rather plebeian shade of Benziness. Stylistically, the B resembles a first-generation M-class with a styling refresh by the Shenzen whiz little ones 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 significantly less. Interior-wise, the B retains some high-quality touches-like satin-pewter air vents that demand the perfect quantity of strain to reposition-but the broad swath of plastic that makes up the dash contrasts poorly using the satin burl veneer located elsewhere inside the model we tested.

If you assume you might want a slap of extra juice when plugging in your B for your subsequent day’s errands, it is possible to choose the Variety Plus bundle. In the press of the button throughout charging, Selection Plus adds about 15 percent to the battery’s capability, for an estimated 14 supplemental miles of assortment. Mercedes-Benz advises towards accomplishing this every single night mainly because it might have an adverse effect on capacity. Irrespective, the unit’s warranty says it is going to sustain 70 % of its capacity for eight many years or 100,000 miles. Mercedes claims a three.5-hour charge time via a devoted 240-volt Degree 2 family setup. DC quick charging might be a potential choice. In case you try to goose your B by way of a 120-volt family outlet, we’d suggest setting aside thirty car-free hours.

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review Features

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

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive Review

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

In spite of 251 lb-ft on tap, the B by no means threatens to torque-steer off program. Handling is predictable (it understeers, but not horribly), and trip excellent is cheap-Benz wonderful, and that is to say it’s flawlessly fine, but it’s no E-class. The rear finish does exhibit a tendency to have busy on rough pavement at pace: Lead-footed Michiganders, beware. Midrange acceleration is swift and effortless. The brake pedal is company and easy to modulate. As opposed to the grabby process within the C-Max Energi, it takes no receiving employed to. In truth, that is the B’s mission-to be an EV that slots into everyday lifestyle as just as you can. Regrettably, just about every little thing about it feels just a little also daily for our tastes.

If you are more than assortment nervousness, desire to help Elon by means of Herr Gottlieb’s monolithic house and obtain the offerings from Toyota and Ford a shade chintzy, the B goes on sale in July within the states following California’s ZEV mandate. Availability from the rest of your U.S. is slated for upcoming year. Alternatively, if you are an entry-luxe intender who wants a Benz for receiving all around the suburbs with some modicum of efficiency, buy a GLK250 BlueTec. That diesel’s a peach and presents seriously long driving array.

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