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B180 findings and accessories


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It’s been a week since I got my B180 and after driving for 450km, I’m quite enjoying the car so far. The ride is best described as being smooth, calm and dignified (in contrast to the bumpy ride and raw power surge of my Forester XT). My other findings are:

  1. The turbo gives more kick when overtaking on the expressway compared to my previous A170 (W169). At lower speeds though, need to hit the gas pedal harder to get the car to accelerate. Gears D1 and D2 have a surprising large amount of engine brake. On these gears, I find there’s no need to use the brake when going down some slopes or MSCP ramps.
  2. Road noise from the tyres is more noticeable than the old A170, but is still acceptable after I put the 3D MAXpider mats that C&C provided on top of the stock Mercedes mats (double layer). Yes, I'm aware there's a warning not to use multiple mats at a time (risk of mats getting stuck on the accelerator, but the design of these mats makes that risk improbable).
  3. Much less creaks from the body and rear hatch when going over humps, which shows build quality has improved over the previous A/B-Class generation. An occasional creak can still be heard from the plastics of the dashboard when driving over bumpy terrain. As for the design, features like the round air vents are simply “wow” and a big step-up from the previous generation.
  4. Having to turn off start stop and switch to recycled air every time I turn on the car is a bit annoying. Wish it would remember the last setting. I’ve already posted in another thread about the engine start stop only lasting for 15 seconds – doubt it saves that much petrol. In colder countries it may make more sense as the need to power the aircon seems to be the cause of why the engine restarts so soon.
  5. When Apple CarPlay is activated, the songs on the SD Card become inaccessible. CarPlay takes over the whole media system, which has a menu system that’s rather clunky to control via the rotary knob (unlike many Japanese competitors, the floating iPad display is not touchscreen).
  6. Some regret not going for the option to add a leather wrapped steering wheel. The basic steering wheel is a simple moulded hard rubber with even less padding than my old W169 A-Class. I’ve considering getting it wrapped, but worried that C&C may void the steering and airbag warranty.
  7. The sun glasses compartment near the rear view mirror is really small. It can't store any fit overs and is not useful at all. I really wonder what other people store in there.
  8. For the colour scheme I opted for a light grey interior. The contrast of the light interior looks great, and the light grey colour stays cool in the sun. However, I now live in constant fear of stains from indigo clothing and dirty trousers. When I give a lift to others, I can only hope they've not come from a car workshop and soaked up black motor oil on their trousers. Oh no, what happens when I send the car in for servicing?

Some accessories I have bought are:

  1. Set of 6 LaserShades for the side windows. I skipped getting the LaserShade for the rear window, as it can affect visibility at night (in my personal opinion). The LaserShades may be a bit expensive, but they are the exact matching size for the car windows and will even stay in place when the windows are wound down. I've got a set on my Forester, and they've proven their worth especially when driving in Malaysia where there is little shade on the highways.
  2. A sun strip for the front windscreen (did at IntraTint, only 1 choice of tint which is 5% VLT). It enables me to drive without having to use the sun visors, yet is transparent enough not to block traffic lights. Well worth it and definitely improves eye comfort and cutting down glare. Strangely, I find conti cars seldom have sun strips, whereas many Japanese cars come factory fitted with them as standard.
  3. ThinkWare F750 front/rear dash cam. Had it installed at C&C (and at quite a premium over other shops!), as C&C said installing outside may invalidate the car’s warranty. Strangely, they wired it such that the camera powers off immediately when the engine is turned off. So it can’t do surveillance while parked! On the upside, the F750 gives a verbal warning when approaching speed and red light cameras.
  4. Door edge bumpers, but they keep coming off because of the crease line on the front doors, and due to the curved edge for the rear doors. Still searching for a better solution for this.
  5. Set of 4 faux carbon fibre stickers to stick on the door sills, as the metal is still exposed to being scratched by shoes when people get in/out of the car. The previous generation A/B-Class has a flat floor and it wasn’t a problem. However, the current generation of Mercs have a floor profile like a bath tub that require passengers to lift their legs over the edge. In the process of getting out of the car, I find people tend to scrape their shoes on the edge (imagine resoled leather shoes with metal nails hammered in to the heel!).
  6. Door handle scratch protector stickers. Avoid the simple oval ones at Autobacs - they sell a set of 4 for $16-17. These are total waste of money rubbish and will not fit the curved shape of the door handle recess. I had to cut them into shape and ruined one in the learning process. In the end got a set of stickers from Lazada with a pre-cut shape for ~$3.

These are just my personal opinions, do share your thoughts too!

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I couldnt stand the rubber steering wheel as well. Not used to that. I bought the "leather" from carousell and sitch them DIY(by hand without removing the steering wheel). The quality of the sitch and the difficulties level will depend on your dexterity. But warranty over aesthetics for me.

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@kellenerd... thanks for sharing your experience about the steering wheel. I am still half/half about whether to send the steering wheel for a leather wrap. One shop has given me a quote and said they can reset the airbag for me. The worry of course is whether it will still work after that (you won't know unless there's a crash, and by then it's too late!).

My fingers dexterity is practically zero (I have two left hands?), so I won't even try to attempt that... is your wrap tight fitting or will it move around when you suddenly have to turn the steering quickly?

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