Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
2013 Mercedes-Benz B 250 Sports Tourer. Click image to enlarge

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Mercedes-Benz Canada

Review and photos by Mike Schlee

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2013 Mercedes-Benz B 250 Sports Tourer

What is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class? This is a question that was asked a lot when Mercedes-Benz first released it as a 2006 model in Canada. The strangely shaped B-Class defied conventional classification. Is it a mini-minivan? Hatchback? Crossover utility vehicle? Wagon? I’m not really sure. Mercedes-Benz marketed it as ‘Compact Sports Tourer’ which is marketing speak for ‘we made a new niche vehicle’. I personally always thought of it as a tall hatchback, like the Suzuki SX4 or Toyota Matrix, just far more premium.

Afraid that American customers and their distaste for small hatchback vehicles would mean poor sales, Mercedes-Benz decided to skip the market down south when they brought the first-generation B-Class to Canada. When a restyle was announced for 2012, I thought surely it would be available in the United States or disappear from Canada. But I was wrong; the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will once again only be available north of the 49th parallel in North America (well, okay, Canadians living below the 49th can buy one too if they are so inclined).

For 2013 Mercedes has completely reworked the B-Class. Just like the first generation, the new B is based on the European A-Class chassis, itself all-new last year. The B-Class is still a large five-door box, but much more conventional looking now.  Thanks to a longer length and lower height, the overall appearance looks boxier than its predecessor and now resembles a proper hatchback, albeit a rather tall one. It is incredible that Mercedes-Benz could take the awkwardly designed 2005–2011 B-Class and transform it into such an attractive looking vehicle.

Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
2013 Mercedes-Benz B 250 Sports Tourer. Click image to enlarge

Up front the new B-Class features the front turn signal ‘eyebrow’ adorning many other new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but one-ups them with a secondary LED daytime running light eyebrow strip. The rear end also features LED strip lighting within the taillights.

Thanks to still having a generously high roof line, the B 250 feels very airy inside and provides tons of storage space. It will comfortably seat four, five in a pinch, on seats that are just as pleasing in the back as in the front. With the rear seats up, the B can swallow 488 L cargo, and then grow to 1,547 L when the rear seats are folded. Like most new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the B-Class has a stylish, expensive looking interior. The steering wheel is nicely notched and adds to the sporty intentions of this vehicle.

To help make a case as a ‘Sports Tourer’, all B-Classes now come equipped with a single powertrain: a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four paired to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This new 2.0L turbocharged engine is not to be confused with the 2.0L turbo found in the previous B-Class. Power from the new engine is now rated at 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the old B-Class, all of this power is still sent to the front wheels.

Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Quick Spin: 2013 Mercedes Benz B 250 Sports Tourer car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
2013 Mercedes-Benz B 250 Sports Tourer. Click image to enlarge

It is more than enough grunt to get the 1,475-kg five-door from a standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 6.8 seconds. Although an impressive number, there is a lot of initial on-throttle hesitation from a dead stop. It feels like the DCT has more to do with this sluggishness than turbo-lag. However, once the power comes on, it builds quickly and the car takes off like a rocket. This on/off power delivery makes it hard to modulate the throttle smoothly, but is a blast when driven aggressively.

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