“It’s like an airplane!” My daughter has been learning about airplanes in school, and she recognized the dining tray situation immediately. She also asked if she could draw on it. “Sorry, sweetie but no, if you get crayon on the nice press car Mercedes-Benz will be mad at Daddy.” Insert meltdown here.
Of course, people who actually cough up money for these things needn’t worry, their children can draw away to their hearts content, and that’s a very cool bit of kit for Mercedes-Benz to include.
Regular readers of this site will know by now how much I appreciate small, clever and unique nods to human interaction that car makers sometimes manage to add on – like this one. People who’ve been following Mercedes-Benz and the B-Class for a while might be rolling their eyes at me, wondering when I’ll get around to mentioning the big “4Matic” logo on the tailgate.
The B 250 now gets a $2,000 AWD upgrade for those pesky Canadian winters. The system, a slip-and-grip type FWD-based system will send up to 50 percent of power to the rear wheels when you get hung up on a snow bank or when you’re overtaxing the fronts. It’s a welcome addition to the tall-wagon thing from Mercedes.
On that front, the Germans have taken a firm hand to the top of the B 250, stretching it into a wider and longer shape that is less “pocket protector” and more “high-maintenance soccer mum” despite being even taller than the previous edition. The slightly more balanced dimensions give this otherwise subtle visual refresh more of an impact. Like so many ‘90s sitcom stars the B 250 is beginning to blossom. But not like Blossom, she didn’t.
This redesign is more than just skin deep too. I had found the B 250 kind of squidgy and mushy in the past. I wasn’t a fan of its roly-poly body movements or limp steering. The newer model is far more pleasant to drive, with better steering feel, better handling and a much less active body mass. This one corners flatter and rides more smoothly than B-Classes I’ve driven in the past.
The suspension is still crashy over large bumps and speed humps, especially at low speed. Those encountered at speed are handled far better, and have no impact on the direction of the car with no bump-steer and a rapid recovery from the many jars and jolts of an early-spring commute – your bum will feel it, though. Medium-sized swells in the road surface are dealt with far more subtly, suggesting the B 250 is tuned for a smoother highway than those we experience.