Nothing new with B-Class

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

They say that if you have no high expectations, you cannot be disappointed. Unfortunately, in the case of the B-Class, I came out disappointed.

But the strangest thing is that there is nothing in particular that I was disappointed with. There was no rattle or tell-tale sign of anything amiss.

It is the entire package, and maybe I expected that it would be different from the A-Class. Different it is, but only because it is somewhat bigger. The rest of everything is pretty much from its younger sibling, and maybe that was what I found disappointing.

There is nothing "wow" about the B-Class. Sure, it drives as well as can be expected. The diesel version, which was our test car, sounded a tad too loud, which is something that afflicts smaller cars with a diesel power train.

Aesthetically, it is appealing and looks better than the A-Class or the Opel Meriva.

Because of the size, the seating configuration and the positioning of the steering wheel are difficult to adjust for optimum driving comfort. Maybe with a smaller stomach things would be different.

For its price, R284 000, you get very little from the B-Class. In fact, it is a rip-off.

Yes, it carries the Mercedes badge, which accounts for something because it is a good and trusted brand. But for that amount of money you can buy a Honda C-RV, which has infinitely more space and better road-holding and feel, an Opel Zafira or even a Toyota RAV4 - though in some cases one would need to spend more money. But it certainly would be infinitely better.

For that amount of money, you have to manually adjust the seats for the driver. And you also end up sitting on top of each other.

Okay, I am exaggerating. Four people of normal height or build would fit nicely in the car. We did fit in comfortably, but it still felt like we were sitting on top of each other.

A certain scribe once said the A-Class was Mercedes-Benz's cruel joke. I do not see the point even in the B-Class. The M-Class makes a difference.