Sometimes you come across a car that you really couldn’t be bothered with. When I found out I’d been allocated the Mercedes-Benz B180 for a week, I just shook my head. I thought here we go, a week in a car that people over 65 buy the day their super is on tap. But guess what? The B180 has basically no flaws.
This wagon style of car is so damn practical, with a high roofline and stacks of space in the boot. Plus, for the older folk out there, there’s no need to wade through 4000 different variants or engines. Access is easy and doing the lawn bowls run should be fine, but keep in mind five would be a crowd.
The ride, considering there’s no trickery going on is excellent. You won’t be getting to 100km/h for about 9 seconds, but I don’t think this demographic gives a rats. The B180 has solid body control, ultimately if you push too hard you’ll been understeering before you know it. But again, no rats given.
We get just the one model. The 1.33-litre unit makes 100kW and 200Nm. It’s paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. These types of transmissions always have their own quirks and personalities, the B180’s is the same. It will hesitate, lurch forward or roll backwards. But you get used to it, learning on the run how to not mess too much with it.
That little engine is always going to run out of breath quickly, but there was just enough to keep me amused. The cabin is well-built, Mercedes-Benz certainly didn’t roll out its finest plastics and other trim, but overall, it’s a nice and serene experience.
The highlight is the MBUX system, one I saw back at CES 2018. It’s a pearler, the plank screen styling is excellent, the graphics beautiful. There are two 10.25-inch screens with so much rich content behind menu after menu. It almost feels rude to override much of it with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The trend of having a voice assistant in cars continues, say “Hey Mercedes” followed by a question sounds great, but it really only has limited scope.
The B180 pricing starts at $46,490. For that you get a stack of standard items such as, autonomous emergency braking, parking sensors all round along with the most violent lane-keep assist I’ve experienced. The latter is a good thing especially when you have a “moment”. Due to daydreaming I almost put the Merc into the wall of the Lane Cove Tunnel. That’s when the tech saved me, with a crunching of brakes and an aggressive tug of the steering wheel.
Prices did head north on the car I drove with options such as a $1290 Seat Comfort Package, a Vision Package at $2490, with front and side cameras, plus a sunroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels that add another $1190. The silver paint job adds an unnecessary $1190.
It all comes with a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The interval is long at 25,000km or 12 months. You can fork out the price of servicing at the dealer for three to five years you. Five years tops out at $3500 in total. Capped pricing is available as well.
Honestly, I had no issues with this car, I wish Mercedes would rid the world of its column shifter and perhaps a little more power would have been handy. But it absolutely nails its KPI’s. It’s a 7.9 out of 10 from me.