User value: Plenty of space in the interior

Nov 28, 2018
Stuttgart

Traditionally, the B-Class is the perfect (family) car for everyone who attaches importance to space, comfort and safety but still likes a compact vehicle. And even though the new generation has a sporty look, the interior dimensions were increased in comparison to the previous model. The sense of space and all-round visibility were also optimised.

For design and aerodynamic reasons, the new B-Class is not any higher than its predecessor. Yet it offers passengers more head room in the front and the rear. The inclination of the torso was improved for this: You now sit in a more level position and therefore more comfortably in the vehicle. In addition, the developers have enhanced the characteristics map of the seat adjustment.

With regard to elbow width at the front, the engineers from the dimensional design department produced yet another masterpiece: With 1,456 mm elbow width, they achieved the dimensions typical of the mid-range series, and improved elbow width by 33 mm in comparison to the previous model even though the B-Class is only 10 mm wider on the exterior. This was also achieved thanks to a new arrangement of the door interior (Package) and the design of the door trims.

The most important dimensions with regard to comfort:

Key interior dimensions in mm

B-Class (new)

B-Class (old)

Difference

Elbow room, front

1,456

1,423

+33

Elbow room, 2nd seat row

1,446

1,446

0

Shoulder room, 1st seat row

1,419

1,411

+8

Shoulder room, 2nd seat row

1,392

1,382

+10

Maximum headroom, front

1,052

1,047

+5

Maximum headroom, rear

993

985

+8

The interior has been fine-tuned in many places: The so-called entry aperture to the centre tunnel in the rear was improved, making the middle seat easier to access.

The rear seats can optionally be moved by 14 cm and the rear backrest can be put in a steeper position to facilitate loading bulky boxes, for example. There is still plenty of room for one or two people in the rear since these backrest variants come with a 40:60 split. In this way, the capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats can be varied between 455 and 705 litres. Expected availability of this optional extra from mid-2019. When the position of the backrest is changed and loading takes places to roof-level, up to 1,540 litres fit in the load compartment.

The rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split and can be individually folded. This means for example that four people could go on a skiing holiday and through-load their skis in the middle. The height-adjustable load floor which comes as standard offers maximum variability. When the rear seat backrests are folded down and the load floor is in the upper position, an almost flat loading area extending to the front seats can be created. The folding backrest of the front passenger seat (optional extra, expected to be available from mid-2019) makes for an even longer loading length. For bulky objects, the load floor can be put in the lower position, the cross-member behind the rear seats can be removed and the rear seats with optional fore/aft adjustment can be moved forward.

A lot of detailed work was also put into the luggage compartment: The 12-Volt socket is now located to the left in the load compartment, where it is easier to access. In addition, its position has been lowered so that it no longer impedes loading. Instead of a roller blind like in the previous model, the new B-Class now has a tray. This benefits noise, vibration and harshness characteristics as well as weight.

An EASY-PACK tailgate is optionally available. It can be conveniently opened or closed automatically at the press of a button, even by means of a foot movement in combination with optional HANDS-FREE ACCESS.

Better feeling of space, improved all-round visibility

The beltline is 5 mm lower than in the predecessor model, something that benefits the feeling of spacious. The upper edge of the rear backrest was lowered for the same reason. All-round visibility was also improved. All in all, the area obscured by the pillars has been reduced by 4 percent compared to the preceding model. The risk of overlooking vehicles or pedestrians when turning off, changing lane or parking has been reduced. The B-pillar is now 40 mm further back and therefore no longer in the driver's field of vision.

A good view to the rear is also ensured by the new rear window wiper. To significantly enlarge the wiped area, the inside of the roof spoiler housing has a recess to allow a longer wiper blade.

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