Friday, June 13, 2014

Karl's 50,000km 2013 Mercedes Benz B250 Review

My odometer cycled past 50,000 km last week. Scary, considering the car is only 16 months old. I thought that now would be a good time to review our experiences with this car.

We still love it! The car is very practical having a hatch with fold down rear seats. I'm not sure I can ever go back to a sedan. Darlene still finds the seats very comfortable and very adjustable. She used to have to use a gel seat cushion to last more than an hour and those days are over. We haven't gone on a lengthy (3+ hours) trip yet, so time will tell if it's worthy of a trip to California or Oregon.

That peppy little turbocharged engine mated with the double-clutch 7 speed automatic (with paddle shifters) gives this car a wonderful split personality. It's frugal on gas when you drive with restraint and goes like snot when you need it to. There is a bit of an acceleration delay while it's in Eco mode, but press a button and Sport mode solves that problem. The price to fill the B250 up is more with the need for premium gas, but I think $60 from empty is still a far sight less than what a lot of my peers are paying these days.

I really love the steering column wand cruise control. So much easier than buttons on the wheel, as long as you feel for the wand, which is just under the one used to indicate turns and turn on the wipers. The computer display gives me a lot of feedback on my fuel consumption and I'm currently averaging 7l/100km. I could probably get a lot better mileage but I'm having too much fun accelerating on on-ramps to highways.

The panoramic sun roof is amazing. My grand-daughter loves it too from her back seat vantage point. I'm still enjoying how nicely it parks itself. I'm getting into spots I would never choose of my own volition. The proximity sensors do a great job too. No more having to guess how much far I can back into the garage. The rear camera helps in that regard as well. I'm also enjoying the blind spot assist, the lane keep assist and the collision detection. The collision detection operates on the cautious side, warning me every time I approach what the car thinks is an obstacle, but is really just a bridge pylon. Silly Brunhilde. Yes, we named our car. What of it?

The car we chose has almost every option, but I thought I'd address the ones our car didn't have and indicate whether we wish we had them. The sport package would have only got us 18 inch wheels. Pass. I don't like the price of 18 inch rubber. 17 inch rubber is much cheaper. We didn't get the upgraded stereo. I'm on the fence about this, but the standard system isn't too shabby. Navigation? Who needs a system that is obsolete in 12 months? My Garmin and my iPhone give me all I need thanks. The one missing feature I do wish I got is the Distronic Plus, which not only controls your speed, but also the distance to the car in front. Which means if they slow down, so do you. Right down to a stop if necessary. Think cruise control that manages itself in stop and go traffic. Brilliant. Want. On the newest E Class Benz, their Distronic Plus even steers the car around curves on the highway. So we're very close to a car that drives itself, to a point.

In 16 months, I've had the car in the dealership for scheduled maintenance 2 times, with a 3rd session coming up shortly. The only thing needing fixing was a computer software update which solved a very bizarre symptom I won't bore you with. I bought nice rims to mount my all-season tires onto and use the stock rims for my winter tires. I will not be buying run-flats when these ones wear out. They're brutally stiff and very expensive. I may go with a green tire like the Nokian enTyre or a good set of Michelins.

1 comment:

Retro Blog said...

Looks good for 35,000 miles, uh, if I did the math correctly.