Mercedes-Benz Australia has backflipped on its decision to launch the updated B-Class small multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in the third quarter of this year, and instead axed it entirely.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is no longer listed on the Mercedes-Benz Australia website.
A Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesperson has said there’s no new stock of the current B-Class available, though some dealers may have demonstrator stock. They declined to confirm why the B-Class is getting axed in Australia.
However, a look at its sales shows they have been declining, and it has no direct competition following the discontinuation of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in 2020.
The current-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class, which was first revealed in 2019, was only offered locally in a single B180 trim level at the time of its axing.
There have been three generations of the B-Class. The best year of Australian B-Class sales was in 2013 when there were 3248 examples sold. It narrowly outsold the A-Class (3218 sales) in that year.
In contrast, to the end of June this year Mercedes-Benz has sold just 81 examples.
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.
Insides, there’s a choice of 7.0-inch or 10.25-inch digital instrument clusters, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a fingerprint sensor for identification and authorisation of the driver.
The B-Class also gets an additional USB-C outlet, plus more USB charging power.
Elsewhere in the cabin, there’s a redesigned centre console, greater use of recycled materials for upholstery, a new steering wheel with standard Nappa leather and optional heating, and new interior trim appliques with the star pattern.
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”.