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Mercedes B-class ED

Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:42 am

Hi guys,

what's your (or could I, as fellow i3 enthusiast, say: our) take on the MB B ED ?

I'll kick off the disussion, please, no bashing, by stating that the MB looks like the bigger car. The difference seems to be sort of subjective though. A kind of trick of the mind because of i3s large wheels one would guess. I overlayed the drawings of both cars in Photoshop and it looks like much of the extra length (~60% of 360mm) is 'wasted' on the front of the car. Well, not wasted altogether I guess, for the front mounted electric motor doesn't cause the boot floor to be raised like in the i3.

And I've got a question about E consumption. It seems that MB uses a 36kWh batterypack with 28kWh of it usable (as standard, without range booster). This seems to cater for a (EPA?) range of 87 miles. Could the difference of 81 miles out of 18.8 kWh and 87 out of 28 be explained bij the curb weight alone ? Or is MB suffering from the same confusion-generating system as BMW ;) ?

Regards, Steven
Last edited by Stevei3 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:21 am

The B-Class ED was on my short list. The exact car is not available yet, so I went to MB dealership to try out the regular ICE B-Class, right after I tried the i3 across the street. For me, the i3 interior is mile ahead, especially the centre display layout. My daughter also crossed out the B-Class option right away, with the comment "boring". :roll: I guess if you like the traditional interior layout, B-Class is a good option.

I do like B-class for the range (that they promise), which would work better for me.

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:30 pm

At similar size and range the 124 MPGe i3 is 48% more efficient than the B-Class (84 MPGe), so my comparison stopped there. The B-Class is a massively heavy steel vehicle that does not stand up to the carbon fiber/aluminum construction of the i3, nor the ground-up EV design. Like the Leaf and Volt before it, the B-Class is a compromise ridden adaptation of an existing ICE vehicle.

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:53 pm

THere's something (often good!) to be said about a design from the ground up to meet a certain purpose. Now, if you don't like different, the MB is probably not a bad choice. It wasn't really on my radar since it's not planned to be available in my state for at least another year.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:04 am

Hello, my wife drives a B-Class while I am waiting for my Tesla Model 3. I took an i3 base for a 3 day test drive. Here's my take posted on the MB forum.

Just a quick Cliffs Notes on the benefits of an EV car. There is a term in the auto industry called NVH. That stands for Noise, Vibration, and Harshness. I don't know why Harshness is in there because the Noise and Vibration pretty much covers it, but these are from car engineers working in the cold of Detroit. It's a big change from studying Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State, but anyway... An Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has it, an EV doesn't. We should actually start calling ICE cars NVH cars. Ha! So, an EV car has little to no NVH, costs 4 times less to fuel, requires much less maintenance, has instant torque, and has less of a carbon footprint. But you probably already knew that, or you wouldn't be here. Let's start with the i3 doors.

The i3 Doors
Even in tight spots, a regular door lets you escape into the open. But with the suicide doors, a rear passenger is trapped in the folds of the front and rear doors. When dropping off at the curb, its an involved process. I have to reach all the way over to the passenger side door and open it. The rear passenger can then open his door and get out. The passenger then has to close the rear door, then the main passenger door, in that order. Its about the same on the drivers side, except that I have to also unbuckle my seat belt.


The Styling
Don't like it. I like that the B is conventional, and that I don't have to explain it.

The Tires
I get it. Less rolling resistance makes it more efficient, while the 20's gives it a little bit of the contact patch back. But they're just weird looking.

Having owned a MB BED for exactly one year, I can tell you that there is a definite difference between the luxury expectations of the MB, and the sustainability of the i3. Luxury comes at a cost: The MB is 1300lbs heavier than the i3! But I get leather seats, trays and arm rests in the back, seat memory, more space, etc.


Right-Footed Driving
The i3 has aggressive regenerative braking when you lift off the accelerator pedal. This is great during stop and go traffic. But what about when you just want to coast? Isn't it more efficient to accelerate again after coasting, than it is to accelerate after aggressive regen braking? I mean, you're going slower after braking, so it makes sense that you have to accelerate longer to regain your speed. Think about it: Going from 45 to 40 to 45 is better than going from 45 to 30 to 45. I guess you can coast with the i3 too, but it would take a lot of foot control to hold the pedal in just the right spot...

I think the ICE version of the B-Class is about 1000 lbs less. So the MB is overweight and top heavy. It doesn't handle or ride like it was a purpose built car. The i3 on the other hand, seems to be able to handle it when you have the itch. I have a tuned Mazdaspeed, so I've had my fun in a car. But the sweet spot of my car is above 60 MPH. An EV with its instant and quiet torque can scratch that itch even at legal speeds.


The Verdict
The i3 truly is revolutionary. If the specs fit your needs, I would recommend it. But we have a 9 and a 12 year old, and frequently drop them off and pick them up around the neighborhood. Having to get out and unbuckle each time is a deal breaker. I guess I'll stick with my NVH car until the 16 Leaf comes out.
2014 Mercedes B-Class ED

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:47 am

Re your ‘Right Foot Driving’ comment - its extremely easy to coast in the i3 just keep the pedal in the mid position. As for the regen I like it as it is and in fact would prefer it was more aggressive.
BMW 3 Series 2005 - Aug 2014
BMW Z4 35i 2009 - Mar 2014
BMW X1 Mar 14
BMW i3 Sep 14

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:25 pm

MikeS wrote:Re your ‘Right Foot Driving’ comment - its extremely easy to coast in the i3 just keep the pedal in the mid position. As for the regen I like it as it is and in fact would prefer it was more aggressive.
Yeah, I got a little better at it on days 2 and 3. I actually miss it since I got back into my manual transmission car. I went from one foot, one hand driving in the Bimmer, to two foot/three pedal, and both hands on the steering wheel and shifter.
2014 Mercedes B-Class ED

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:55 am

Nice summary and pics Ferdball! *thumbsup*
2015 i3 REx - born electric 4/25/15

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:19 am

MBED seats 3 in the rear, i3 only 2. There's a fairly significant number of MBED afflicted with mysterious sudden motor shutoff at highway speed, the verdict is not clear what the fix is. I believe MB recently announced a recall.

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Re: Mercedes B-class ED

Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:49 am

I test drove the B-class before getting the i3. My take was that it was created simply to satisfy a regulatory requirement. There is no company commitment behind the car, the dealers treat it as a complete afterthought and the car itself is just a retrofitted ICE.

It has MB build quality and luxury and it's clearly a larger car which is more convenient if you routinely transport more than two people. It's simply a different car than the i3.

MB is still very committed to diesel, they don't believe in hybrid or electric, you can tell their heart, and their engineering expertise, is not in it. But they are starting make noise about electric so maybe we'll see a 2017 or 2018.
2014 i3 BEV | 2016 Tesla S90D | No ICE!

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