My big list of B Class Suggestions

B-Class Electric Drive Forum

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New member
Dec 22, 2015
So I picked up my 2014 B-Class in June of 2015 (so when MB and dealers were desperate to unload the old 2014 models and I could lease a $48,360 B-Class for $242/mo with no money down and only first payment). This is just a cheap car to keep around the house as an extra vehicle that we drive on occasion and the kids sometimes drive. During the past 6 months, these are some of the shortcomings or improvements that I would have for this model in a random order (of course not taking into account any budgets):
• Realistic priced options (this is true for most European manufacturers – Especially Porsche)
• Like everyone else, improve the range. When my lease is up on my 2014 model which has a residual of about $22.5K, I’m going to laugh my a$$ off when MB Financial has to roll it through the auction and only get $8-11k for it since by then the newer EV models from GM and others will be eclipsing the B’s 80- 100 mile range with 250+ mile range per charge or force the value of these down even further.
• The exterior design is perfectly mediocre. I don’t want the look at me weirdness of a Mitsubishi or Nissan Electric car, but it could stand to have a bit more pizazz than what it does now which is kind of the bastard love child of the GLA (from which it shares a platform with) and the former GLK.
• Exterior – more wheel designs and better tires – (just something as simple as removing the valve stem cap to inflate the tires is a pain with the current wheel design). The OEM tires are designed for low rolling efficiency and run flat, not for comfort, handling, noise, or traction. With the immediate torque of the motor, it is way too easy to break traction on the front when there is just rain in the forecast.
• LED Tail lights and headlights or adaptive headlights
• Eco ++ mode that can cap the max power output of the motor to an efficient level (unless you depress the accelerator pedal past X% of travel) and focus the HVAC only on ‘occupied’ areas of the car where the airbag occupancy sensor or seatbelt detects someone is sitting or a children’s car seat is present.
• Backup camera with better resolution (I believe NHTSA is requiring the camera soon anyway) and rear parking sensors standard, front sensors could still be part of a package. A 360 degree camera system like what’s on some Infiniti’s, BMW’s, and Range Rovers would not be bad too.
• Pop-up sunroof with solar panels for HVAC while the vehicle is parked. Alternately, just some well integrated solar panels that don’t look like a cheap afterthought on the roof wouldn’t be bad either (possibly make it look like a huge faux panoramic roof with polycarbonate panels since actual full glass sunroofs or panoramic roofs hinder efficiency due to the extra weight and HVAC load). This could be used to control HVAC and warming or cooling of the batteries to extend their life while the car is parked. I am not an expert on charging or battery chemistry, but from what I’ve read relying upon the varying output voltage of solar charging systems for extreme capacity batteries like the primary ones used by the car is not always recommended since they react better to constant and higher voltage inputs. If I’m incorrect, just blog that I’m an idiot. So offloading some of these ancillary functions that either improve driver comfort, reduce primary battery load, or extend the primary battery’s life would be the best fit.
• Full long range radar cruise control with start-stop. The auto regenerative braking is cool, but it seems like it wouldn’t have taken that much more to have it bring the car to a full stop in close range situations. A fully city or congestion mode when you are stuck in stop and go traffic would be nice too.
• Reconfigurable electronic dashboard (like some of the newest Audi’s)
• Adjustable steering response or effort– if electric, why not?
• Power rear hatch opening and closing as a feature included with Premium Pkg
• Heated rear seats and steering wheel– less electrical load than running the heater in winter
• Ventilated front seats - less electrical load when running A/C
• No cross bar across back of hatch floor. I’m surprised that no lawyer has created a bogus lawsuit that all of the promotional pictures of the B Class Electric Drive hatchback depict a flat floor when indeed it has an annoying plastic cross bar containing wiring going across the trunk’s floor.
• More USB charging ports
• Built in rear child’s booster seat (like some Volvo’s)
• Low speed AWD – optimized small motor for rear wheels to provide low speed AWD and regen charging.
• A simple charge status indicator at the charge ports or integrated into the outside mirrors or something that says whether the car is charging and possibly a progress bar of some kind to visually know how much longer it has to go instead of having to whip out a smart phone and hope that both you and the car has a good connection. At home, I can hear the pop of the EVSE to know that it is working. But at some public chargers, it is not always possible to easily tell whether you made a good connection or not.
• Dual charging ports – One on each side and design the system where it could zone the batteries and accept 2 chargers simultaneously.
• Integrate the 110v EVSE into the car and have a male plug available so that all you need is a properly sized extension cord to plug it into. If the dual charging port idea mentioned above was integrated into the car, build some logic into the EVSE so that it could detect if an idiot is plugging both plugs into outlets on the same circuit. It could then publicly berate the person (in some angry German tone) and prevent them from overloading a circuit or creating a fire hazard.
• Integrate the mBrace and MyBClass into a single site/application and allow activation of heated seats, Range Extender, or other functions remotely as well as allow each registered driver to create a customizable driver profile (throttle response, steering effort, max radio volume, radio station presets, etc.) all into the app instead of having to drill through cryptic menus using the steering wheel controls. This is of course as long as Mercedes Benz (and Verizon who I believe is providing the underlying telematics) can keep everything secure!
• Over the air firmware and software updates
• A better engineered retractable rear parcel cover. I can creep over a speed bump at 2 MPH and SMACK the cover will pop out and recoil scaring you half to death!
• Active noise cancelation to cancel the annoying OEM tire noise. The car is so remarkably quiet that once you notice how noisy the tires are, that is all that you focus on.
• Better rear visibility – Could the 2nd row headrests be designed with slats or something so that you can see through them a little better?
• Two stage blind spot warning. The mirrors seem a tad small to me (I’m assuming for efficiency) and the blind spot warning is nice but could use another level of alert functionality. Instead of just only alerting when someone is right in your blind spot, how about a caution that someone is near your blind spot as well? When you are on an 8 lane highway in a highly congested area, this extra measure of safety would be nice with the limited rear visibility and small mirrors.
• Thinner seats – (Here’s Captain Obvious….) if the front seats could be made thinner, there would be more rear seat legroom. Some of our other vehicles have equally comfortable seats, but manage to do so and be thinner by an inch or two and afford more knee and rear seat comfort.
• Keep the rear tray tables – we don’t use them often, but passengers do like them.
• Update the Becker / Command navigation unit. The early 2000’s are calling and want their outdated Navigation and GUI back!
• Redesign the center console and arm rests. I know the 3rd cup holder is where the shifter would go on manual transmission gasoline B-Class models in Europe, but they could have made this a better storage area. How about something designed to safely hold a smart phone and charger there instead? The armrest may be better if it was attached directly to the seat for both passengers instead of some sliding thing that either blocks a cup holder or is just not at the right position to be comfortable.
• Install a Bluetooth universal ‘Home’ button on the steering wheel. I’m glad Mercedes has attempted to design voice recognition that doesn’t really work all that well. I would much rather have an integrated button to call up the ‘Home’ button on today’s phones (as well as the ability to be updated in the future as more phones or technologies come out) and use Siri or whatever technological assistant that I may be using by just holding down a button on the steering wheel to replicate the same functionality as holding down the home button on a phone.
• Add HD Radio and more than 10 presets to the radio. On some cars in the past, you could program 2 or more stations per preset number and it would call up the other stations as you subsequently pressed the button.
• I’m personally not a big fan of any of the wood dash accent options. Mercedes has done a much better job in the past with integrating the richness of fine wood species into their vehicles. These look almost fake and an afterthought and although the selections are trendy now, they are not exactly timeless.

So OK, here is my initial gripe or suggestion list. Now the trolls can tell me how illogical my thinking or rationale is on these suggestions!

Very impressive list considering it is your standby car! Perhaps I am not typical but as it is the newest car in my inventory, I like the improvements since 2006! Certainly, the B-Class does not have all the features of my 2006 E-Class. It is my understanding they took the gas powered B-Class and put it on top of a Tesla power base so that may explain why we got what we got.

I would lease a new 2017 even if all they did was up the range to 150 miles.

As an aside, my kids asked for heated rear seats so I plugged a thermal blanket into a portable battery to spare the main battery the extra drain.
Great list!

Note that the rear floor can be made flat if you adjust the cargo hatch to the upper position. This was a must-have for me, as the entire back section is used to haul our large dog.
As mentioned you can make the rear cargo floor flat.
Don't know about the command system, but the standard system has at least 20 presets.

A lot of those suggestions would be nice, but probably wont happen at the same price point.
Wish away, but I wouldn't hold your breath. With the price of gasoline right now? Mercedes designed the B-Class ED on a budget for CARB compliance (California) and it will be interesting to see if they do a second generation version with their own battery system and motor like they say there are going to do. That's a lot of R&D. 2019? Maybe. Plus their dealers really try to sell those maintenance packages on a fairly maintenance-free car. I don't think they are very serious about all-electric mobility, they got rid of the executive position "Program Manager, E-Mobility" in the USAlast year and they will do a re-hire when they get closer to the second-generation B250e launch. I think it is going to be a while........ I'd like to see a B-Class 2nd get car in 18 months when my lease is ending but I think I will just turn this one in and get an improved BMW i3 REX or a Tesla Model III. (Model Ξ) Or something that hasn't been announced yet.
Do you think there will be a 2nd G electric B Class? Media reports about upcoming Mercedes electric vehicles all seem to talk about expecting 4 "all-new" vehicles but don't even mention the B. Makes me think they will phase it out...?
Nothing is guaranteed but MB has to deal with Tesla coming out with a $30K electric T3. If they can't justify a premium price or lower their costs, then the MBe goes the way of the dinosaur. Pretty sure they can retool their factory to make something else. I would get another MBe in December 2017 if it had the 200 mile range on lease rather than a T3 but I might be in the minority. I do like close out sales so maybe ending the MBe will allow me to lower my lease costs!
Since the car is now discontuned I doubt that there will be any changes. My 2017 was cheaper built than my 2014. They removed the nets, the sunglass holder and the fold down trays from the seat backs.That said, I love the car and it fits my needs.