Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Road Test Review

FEB 3 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 38

We Caught A Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Out For A Test Spin Over The Summer In The US

We Caught A Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Out For A Test Spin Over The Summer In The US

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is now nearing its US launch date.

B-Class Electric Drive

B-Class Electric Drive

Scheduled to go on sale in select US states in mid-2014 (nationwide availability has been pushed back to early 2015), M-B’s first entry into the US’ BEV segment (excluding Smart ED) is much anticipated.

The B-Class ED combines a few firsts for the US’ BEV segment.

  • Compact crossover
  • Seating for 5
  • 485 liters of cargo capacity

There exists no BEV in the US that can match or beat those claims in a compact crossover body.

Additionally, the B-Class ED is:

  • Powered by Tesla
  • Fitted with a 28 kWh Tesla battery pack
  • Equipped with a 174 hp electric motor
  • Able to churn out 251 pound-feet of torque
  • Capable of doing the 0 to 60 mph dash in 7.9 second
  • Capable of hitting 100 mph
  • Not one of those vehicles with battery intrusion in the interior or cargo holds
  • Heavy at 3,858 pounds

But the real question is how does the B-Class ED drive?

For an answer to that, we need look no further than Autocar who recently posted an extensive first-drive review.

2015 Mercedes B-Class ED Interior

2015 Mercedes B-Class ED Interior

Before delving into the drive review details, let’s first say that the B-Class ED is the quickest (0 to 60 mph) B-Class ever made!!!

Let’s now move onto those driving details, as provided by Autocar:

“The power delivery is wonderfully linear and every bit as energetic as the official acceleration figure suggests, providing the B-class Electric Drive with more than adequate performance in typical urban driving conditions.”

“Paddles on the steering wheel allow you to alter the state of brake energy recuperation in three different modes, from aggressive to mild and coast – the latter of which disconnects the drivetrain to provide a free-wheeling effect.”

In regards to weight and efficiency, Autocar claims the following:

“The energy consumption of the new Mercedes-Benz is significantly higher than the BMW [i3] at 18.0 kWh against 12.0 kWh.”

On the performance/handling front, Autocar says:

B-Class Guages

B-Class Guages

“The B-class Electric Drive handles in a tidy and predictable manner, thanks in part to its electric motor and battery being mounted low, with the result that its centre of gravity is 40mm lower than regular B-class models. It’s no sportscar, though.”

And for those who we’re wondering, the B-Class ED comes fitted with run flat tires as standard.  Those tires, when coupled with stiffer springs and shocks, lead to a ” firmer ride than conventional combustion engine siblings,” reports Autocar.

In the ever so important “Should I buy one?” category, Autocar states:

“Mercedes-Benz is yet to announce pricing for its first ever series production electric car, although it is expected to reach the UK at close to £25,000 with a £5000 government rebate. This will pitch the B-class Electric Drive directly at the BMW i3. While it has ease of operation, quality and practicality on its side, it lacks the verve, handling prowess and outright efficiency of the more advanced i3.”

It seems Autocar is saying that it depends on your preferences.  If you value practicality and ease of operation, the the B-Class is the winner.  If, on the other hand, handling and efficiency top your list, then the BMW i3 is the EV for you.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Mercedes, Test Drives

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38 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Road Test Review"

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If those 18.0 kW/h are EPA we might have 100 miler i guess 🙂

Not a chance IMO. @4,000 lbs (with driver) and only a 28kWh pack it will likely have an EPA rating between 84 and 90 miles per charge. The article even say’s “However, officials suggest the real world figure is closer to 90 miles” “closer to 90 miles” said by a company rep translates to 85.

Sadly … the automotive press do not understand electrical terms, e.g. “kW/h”.

It will be an education, but my suggestion to insideevs.com is to correct these errors when you quote from other sources.

Exactly right – km/kWh @ ??km/h on flat ground would actually mean something.

Thanks Neil, but there is still no correction ??!!??

This blog should that kW is a rate, kWh is a quantity, and hopefully the regular automotive press can read here and learn that.

Also, kW/h does not make any sense in the automotive arena …

Eric, will you please fix it?

I can fix the quote…although we tend to shy away from ‘fixing’ quotes as a rule

If they price this right, this car can be a winner for Mercedes and Tesla.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Not bad, but it really needs 50% more battery. Also, I forget, does it take some form of DC charging?

Nope. Most likely L2 10kW charging like the Toyota RAV4EV. Faster than 6.6kW, but it ain’t quick/super charging.

They REALLY need to stop naming their electric cars “ED”.

For a native French speaker like me, Audi’s “e-tron” is cringy and well, crappy too. (Literally: étron = stool).

Wow. I’ve heard of the “Nova” misfire back in the day (no va is Spanish for “doesn’t go”), but this translation takes the cake.

Really? Honda named their car Fitta (which translates into Pussy in swedish) and they had slogans for it like “Small on the outside, big on the inside” and “Honda Fitta is a daily pleasure”.

Needless to say the car did not keep than name for long. They changed it into Honda Fit and in europe they changed it totally to Honda Jazz.

[Original post with links lost in mod purgatory since yesterday, arg! Just GIY/WIF (google/wikipedia it yourself) if desired]

If you liked the Nova, you might enjoy:
– the Rolls-Royce Silver Mist (“manure” in German)
– the Mitsubishi Pajero (“wanker” in Spanish)

and my personal favorite:
– the Toyota MR2 (est / hé merdeux = “is crappy / hey sh!thead” in French)
🙂

I found it & dug it out of “puragotory” – listed above.

Just as reference we really don’t mod anything, but the site really gets antsy when it sees 3 links in a comment for some reason. Generally we spot them and restore them but I guess we missed yours this time, )=

Work around is just link 2 per comment…or cross your fingers that someone on the staff catches it before it falls through the cracks.

nokiddin. Otherwise you won’t see a lot of 50 year old guys driving it!

+1 good point, and thank you for starting this funny name discussion.

you have a leaf so you really cant speak…

I’m a bit curious about the range. If it has a 28Kwh battery pack, that’s only 4kwh more than the Leaf. By Leaf standards that would have a range of 87 EPA miles (vs 75 currently). but this car is heavy and appears less aerodynamic. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it has similar range to the Leaf after EPA testing. We’ll see. I hope it is more. I find it hard to believe a luxury car buyer would settle for similar range to a low-end EV.

If you charge a Leaf to 100% You’ll get 84 EPA rated miles.

No different than the BMW i3…likely to have similar numbers to the Leaf as well.

There is this niche vehicle called the RAV4 EV that has done everything that the B class ED intends to do and then some, maybe except the “luxury” and “brand” thing.

Depends on whether this car is sold outside of California. Toyota is doing everything in its power to strangle the life out of their EV.

And it has a battery that’s nearly twice as big with 41.8Kw of usable battery for a EPA range of 113 and more storage space.

Would have loved a 36 or even 40 kwh battery in that. At least as an option.

Yes, a bigger battery would be nice, but it is great that they understand the value of making “Not one of those vehicles with battery intrusion in the interior or cargo holds”

Yes. More battery equals better. It’s clear to me that range makes a difference between an EV that does OK and one that does really well in the market. I assume that they are looking at a bit more than 300 wh/mile (if you believe 90 miles, it’s 311wh/m). While that might be credible for a warm summer day, even in a mild winter with a brand new battery expect to see something like 340-350 wh/m for 85 miles of range. A 60Kwh battery would get them close to 200 miles which I believe is the point where range begins to diminish as an issue.

With that much battery, the car’s weight would nearing Model S range! Unlike the Model S, the B-Class is steel with no apparent weight-saving design. These heavy vehicles require larger brakes, suspension parts, wheels, tires, etc., which increases their weight even further. Dragging around all of this excess weight just so one can make the occasional long road trip makes about as much sense as people driving pickup trucks in case they might have to haul something some day.

Cargo space is shown with seats up (not folded down), I guess. 485 liters of cargo space isn’t all that much since my i-MiEV has 377 liters with the seats up and 1430 liters with the seats folded down.

This is one of the EVs I’m looking forward to driving.

Mercedes is unlikely to sell this vehicle outside a couple states, california first and a smattering of sales for compliance. there is little interest in this model from typical Mercedes customers.

This vehicle will be sold nationwide starting in 2015. Will first launch later this year in CARB states.

Battery too small. Car too small. Why do manufacturers think we only want EV versions of their sub-compacts? Give me an EV BMW 3/4 Series with a 15k price premium (so use that plus the ICE savings to give me a great electric drive train and battery).

dude, go directly to Tesla, do not pass go, do not collect $200….

Problem is Tesla has not produced anything less than half the average price of a new car in the U.S.

Neither has Mercedes.

I have owned a Mercedes for my last 6 cars and I would like to get this B-Class ED. I have driven various hybrids – Prius, Lexus RX hybrid, M-B ML450H, and M-B ML Bluetec Diesel – all in search of better mileage and lower emissions. I have a girlfriend who drives a brand new Tesla Model S – she loves it. Maybe someday we’ll take a road trip in it to Vegas, and beyond.

I have two kids – one who needs to transport a fencing bag (slightly larger than a golf club bag). Plus I live in So. Cal – so I want that sticker for the car pool lane. I’m getting this B-Class ED as soon as its available. My dealer has promised me I’d get one of the first available since I’ve bought so many vehicles from them over the years.

John,

Have you looked into ordering a B Class electric yet? I was able to place an order at the Mercedes dealer in Arcadia (Rusnak). I also saw a post that someone placed an order for one in Glendale. Pricing is not yet available, but production has begun and they plan on delivering the first cars in July.