Mercedes hasn’t announced when the B Class will be available in Australia. It is due for release in the United States in the summer of 2014 and then released in Europe. Incorporating Tesla technology for battery and drive train, the B Class is a version of the ICE version sold in Europe. The finish and appointment of this vehicle is very typically Mercedes – it comes with the now standard navigation, the mbrace2 infotainment system, Active Parking Assist but also includes front facing radar (collision prevention assist), a forward facing noise generator for pedestrians (that can’t be heard in the cabin) and all the typical safety features that would be expected of Mercedes.
The competition for this vehicle would of course be the more radically designed and noticeable BMW i3. It will be interesting to see how they go head to head. From a feature standpoint there is not a lot in it with both models reflecting the attention to detail and engineering that have made the respective brands so successful. However the lighter i3 with its carbon fibre body travels further on a charge to the heavier B Class and is also quicker off the mark.
Mercedes will do a limited roll out to a number of states in the US during 2014 with a universal roll out in 2015.