Last month saw the introduction of the W247 Mercedes-Benz B-Class in Malaysia, offered in a single B 200 Progressive Line variant and priced at RM239,888 on-the-road without insurance. We have since been able to get a hold of a local unit, so here’s a gallery for you to check out the car in its finalised specification, as well as to compare it against the equivalent A-Class, the A 200.

While the new third-generation five-seater MPV is based on the latest W177 A-Class hatchback and shares the same 4,419 mm length, 1,796 mm width and 2,729 mm wheelbase, it adds more than 120 mm in height, standing at 1,562 mm tall. This allows for a taller, more upright driving position, freeing up extra space both for passengers and for luggage.

The increase in height has naturally resulted in a less sporty one-box profile, so the A-Class’ aggressive design has been toned down a bit. The LED headlights are larger and less tapered, and they feature twin daytime running lights on each side, rather than just one on its more low-slung sibling. The six-point grille is also more conventional in shape, but the overall look is still fairly attractive.

Moving over to the side of the car, Mercedes has cleaned up the surfacing along the flanks – in place of the outgoing model’s large upswept swage line are simple horizontal lines than make for a sleeker, less cluttered look. At the back is where you’ll find the closest resemblance to the A-Class, with slim two-piece tail lights that feature a three-dimensional ring graphic, plus twin integrated exhaust exits. The handsome 18-inch double-spoke two-tone alloy wheels complete the look.

Inside, the B-Class is similar but not identical to the A-Class. The shared elements are there, including the large freestanding display panel, turbine-style air vents, long centre console and dazzling 64-colour ambient lighting system. However, the dashboard doesn’t have the tiered design of the A-Class – instead, it wraps around the display panel, and the open-pore linden wood trim also doesn’t span its full width.

There also seems to be a greater use of metal-like trim, lining the gloss black centre console and the substantial grab handle. Just like the A 200, the B 200 comes as standard with keyless entry, push-button start and power adjustment and memory for both front seats, but the automatic climate control system is still a single-zone unit and, worse still for a family car, you still don’t get rear air vents.

On the plus side, the B 200 does come with the full Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system, consisting of twin 10.25-inch displays for instruments and infotainment. It also gets the “Hey Mercedes” Linguatronic voice control, although full functionality will only come with an Internet connection – this will be enabled once the Mercedes me connect function goes online in Malaysia later this year. Safety-wise, the B 200 gets Active Brake Assist (autonomous emergency braking), Blind Spot Assist and Active Parking Assist.

One item the B-Class has that the A-Class lacks is a hands-free powered tailgate, which opens up to a boot that is 85 litres larger at 455 litres; a dual-tier floor frees up even more space in its lowest position. Unlike in other markets, the Malaysian-spec model isn’t available with a sliding or reclining rear bench, but the 40:20:40-split seats do fold to increase luggage capacity to a maximum of 1,540 litres.

The engine is again shared with the A 200, and that is the M282 1.3 litre turbo four-cylinder engine, developed in partnership with Renault. It makes 163 PS at 5,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,620 to 4,000 rpm; paired to the Getrag seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, it gets to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 233 km/h. The car also gets passive Comfort suspension and a rear torsion beam.