The A-Class isn’t the only small Mercedes-Benz getting a subtle facelift.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz B-Class features various aesthetic tweaks, as well as the latest generation of MBUX infotainment system.
It’s arriving in Australia in the third quarter of 2023.
Exterior changes are subtle. There are restyled LED headlights and tail lights, plus a new grille with the Mercedes-Benz star pattern.
There are four new wheel designs with a ‘flush’ look, measuring up to 19 inches.
Inside, there’s a choice of 7.0-inch or 10.25-inch digital instrument displays, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The local B-Class is likely to continue offering the dual 10.25-inch displays.
There’s wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a fingerprint sensor for the identification and authorisation of the driver.
The B-Class also gets an additional USB-C outlet, plus more USB charging power.
The new generation of MBUX has a more sophisticated voice assistant, which can also explain and assist with vehicle functions. Mercedes-Benz says, for example, the assistant can tell you how to connect your smartphone and where to find the first-aid kit.
As with the updated A-Class, there’s a new audio travel guide that’ll be available, at least at first, exclusively in Germany.
By saying “Hey Mercedes, start Tourguide”, it’ll react to the approximately 3400 brown tourist information signs along German motorways.
Elsewhere in the cabin, there’s a redesigned centre console, a new steering wheel with standard nappa leather and optional heating, and new interior trim appliques with the star pattern.
The comfort seats feature fabric inserts made from 100 per cent recycled material, while the AMG Line package’s Artico/Microcut seats feature 65 per cent recycled material on the seat surface and 85 per cent in the material underneath.
Mercedes-Benz says there’s a smoother programming for the lane-keep assist, while the optional Trailer Manoeuvring Assist automatically regulates the steering angle to make reversing easier.
For 2023, the entire petrol line-up has been electrified with a 48V mild-hybrid system and belt-driven starter-generator (RSG).
Mercedes-Benz says the RSG “reduces noises and vibrations during starting procedures compared to conventional starters”, while it also allows the B-Class to switch off its engine during “steady cruising” to save fuel.
The B-Class’s new 48V system can also support the engine with an additional 10kW “when starting off”.
In markets like Europe, the B-Class is also offered with a range of diesel options, plus a plug-in hybrid, but the B-Class is currently offered in Australia exclusively in B180 guise – something that’s unlikely to change.
The B180 uses a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine producing 100kW of power and 230Nm of torque – up 30Nm on the current car – and mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The B250e plug-in hybrid gets the same upgrades made to its A250e counterpart, with AC charging capability increased from 7.4kW to 11kW and an electric motor with an extra 5kW of power.
The B-Class has essentially no direct competition in Australia, with BMW no longer importing the 2 Series Active Tourer.
It has a more upright body and therefore more practical interior than the related A-Class but is much less popular, with Mercedes-Benz having sold 234 examples to the end of September against 2297 A-Class hatch and sedans.