Mercedes-Benz has launched the B-class in India with a starting price tag of Rs 21.49 lakh for the base B 180 petrol variant.
The B-class is the first offering from Mercedes to sit on the new front-wheel-drive (MFA) platform. This platform is used in the new A-class, and will also do duty in the upcoming A-class-based saloon and in a compact SUV as well.
A four-cyl in-line, 1595cc, direct-injection, turbo-petrol motor powers the B-class mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch ’box. A 1.8-litre diesel motor will join the petrol unit later next year.
As expected, the Mercedes B 180 BlueEfficiency comes loaded with features like a start-stop system, airbags, attention assist, hill-start- and brake-assist, and a panoramic sunroof as standard. While the B 180 gets 16-inch alloys, the B 180 Sport (priced at Rs 24.87 lakh) comes with 17-inch alloy wheels. In addition, the Sport model gets twin chrome slats on the grille, twin-pipe exhausts, sporty pedals, a sporty leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel and bi-Xenon lamps. The Base and Sport models feature identical suspension setups.
At 4.3-metres long, the B-class is part- large hatch and part-mini-MPV. The interior packaging is good, so there will be ample space inside for five passengers. The dashboard borrows elements from the SLS AMG and the CLS, adding to the luxurious cabin's ambience.
The B-class is available with a two-year unlimited warranty, plus a one-year Star Care warranty. At Rs 21.49 lakh, the new B-class is the most affordable Mercedes-Benz in India.
Mercedes claims the 250 cars allocated for 2012 have been sold out with deliveries taking place by end-October. Deliveries for fresh bookings will take place by January 2013 only.
Debashis Mitra, director, sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz India said, "We are extremely excited with the initial response of the B-class in India. Our strategy of introducing the segment and then launching the car has been well received by our customers. The huge response only demonstrates that Mercedes is easily the most aspired brand in India and kicks off a beginning of our product offensive in next couple of years in India."
The company has confirmed CKD operations will not commence until 2013 and its compact SUV would hit the shores in 2014. This premium compact SUV will compete with the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.