2017 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
The B-Class Electric Drive is Mercedes-Benz's versatile, battery-powered hatchback compact. Based on the conventional B-Class, a well-established offering overseas with a gas engine, the B-Class Electric Drive is the only all-electric vehicle offered by the brand in the United States.
Mercedes-Benz hasn't announced any changes to the electric B-Class for the current model year.
The B-Class Electric Drive is a practical five-door. While these proportions don't allow for the more elegant and aggressive exterior sculpting of Mercedes-Benz's more premium offerings, the B-Class Electric Drive still proudly wears the family nose, complete with twin-bar grille and corporate star. Seven-spoke, 17” alloy wheels are standard, along with daytime LED running lights.
Powered solely by a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery driving a 134-horsepower electric motor, the B-Class is surprisingly powerful. With 228 lb-ft of torque available instantly, 0-60 goes by in less than ten seconds. Charging time for the battery is also brisk. On a 240-volt charging system, 60 miles of range can be replenished in just two hours. Total range is 115 miles.
While the B-Class Electric Drive eschews some of its larger siblings' luxury interior appointments in order to keep weight to a minimum, there is no shortage of Mercedes-Benz quality in the interior. The signature triple-vent design is present, along with the center-mounted telematics screen. Specific to the Electric Drive is a power meter on the right side of the display which shows the flow of energy to and from the battery and as it charges and discharges.
Elsewhere in Mercedes-Benz's signature MB-tex seat coverings are standard for all five seating positions, and rear passengers have access to flip-down trays on the rear of the front seats, complete with cupholders and workspace.
Standard and Optional Features
The B-Class Electric Drive has all the standard features you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. In addition to the standard AM/FM/CD system with hands-free Bluetooth Connectivity, B-Class Electric Drive features mbrace2 In-Vehicle Technology Suite and its accompanying 5.8" Display Screen (with USB connectivity and Becker MAP PILOT built-in navigation), cruise control, active parking assist and 14-way front powered seats with three-position memory.
There the B-Class Electric Drive also includes features unique to its EV system, including the My Mercedes Electric Vehicle Homepage, where owners can monitor charge status and other features from their tablet, PC or smartphone running Chrome or Safari browsers. Also included is adaptive braking, shared only with Mercedes-Benz hybrids, which is a regenerative braking system that charges the batteries as the vehicle is slowed.
If you want to spruce up the look and feel inside your B-Class Electric Drive, leather seating surfaces, infrared-remote window opening and closing, and MB-Tex upper dash and door trim panels are available with the Interior Package. The Premium Package will get you Bi-Xenon headlamps, heated front seats, an upgraded haman/kardon sound system, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a six-month trial, Media Interface, auto-dimming mirrors, a compass display and built-in garage door opener. The Multimedia Package adds a rear-view camera, expanded voice controls, an 80GB internal hard drive for media storage, Gracenote Media Database complete with album cover art, an in-dash SD card reader and a 10GB Music Register.
For those looking to get the most from their electric vehicle experience, the Range Package adds a temporary range extender and an electrically heated windshield. The temporary range allows the owner to temporarily increase the capacity of the next charge for approximately 15 additional miles of maximum range.
LED daytime running lights, ABS, ESP, ATTENTION ASSIST, driver Kneebag, driver/front passenger windowbags and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist are all standard on the B-Class Electric Drive. Buyers looking for the most comprehensive suite of safety features may add Blind Spot Assist, PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist and Radar-based Regenerative Braking as a-la-carte options.
As a battery-electric vehicle, the B-Class Electric Drive is aligned closest with the BMW i3. Buyers can also look at the Ford Focus Electric and the Nissan Leaf.