What's the news?
Mercedes-Benz's all-new B-Class has just gone on sale in Ireland, and the good news is that it's cheaper than it used to be.
While noting that Mercedes-Benz is continuing to offer increased levels of standard specification while maintaining or reducing its new model pricing, Mercedes Ireland sales manager, Ciaran Allen, said: "Consistent with our on-going product offensive, we are fully focused on delivering best value with the first model to benefit from this being a B 180 petrol, which comes on the market at €32,745 - a four-digit reduction on the previous model."
There will, eventually, be an even more affordable B 160 petrol model too. For some versions, a price reduction won't be possible, relative to the outgoing car, but Allen has promised that prices will be "as close to the bone" as possible in those cases.
Part of a 15-model strong revised or all-new line-up for Mercedes this year, the new B-Class (which, once again, is based heavily on the architecture of the A-Class) has been designed expressly to bring younger buyers into the Mercedes brand. Around 1.5 million examples of previous generations of B-Class have been sold around the world since the first was introduced, so clearly there is a strong market for the car. In Ireland, sales have generally been consistent at a few hundred units per year.
The engine line-up will, initially, consist of two petrol options (B 180 and B 200, both using the new 1.33-litre four-cylinder turbo engine) and three diesel variants - B 180 d, B 200 d and B 220 d - all using variations of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.
Equipment will include the all-digital dashboard of the A-Class (known as the MBUX system) and Merc's new digital voice assistant, 'Hey Mercedes.'
Allen also reckons that the car's styling will be of huge appeal: "The designers have squared-the-circle by creating a more sporty, more spacious, more youthful design without having to sacrifice anything in terms of its practicality, comfort or capacity."