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2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive takes to the road (pictures)

Mercedes-Benz gave CNET an early drive in its upcoming B-Class Electric Drive, a new electric vehicle from the German automaker due to hit showrooms this summer.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
1 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Mercedes-Benz fits an electric drivetrain, sourced from Tesla, into its B-Class, a model not previously sold in the US.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
2 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The B-Class is designed for five occupants and luggage.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
3 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The B-Class' design looks frumpy, but it is practical.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
4 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The 28 kilowatt-hour battery pack is fitted in the base of the chassis, between the front and rear axles.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
5 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

A J1772 charging port sits on the right rear fender.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
6 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Luggage space is not compromised by the battery pack.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
7 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

These comfortable, power-adjustable seats come standard.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
8 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The rear bench offers room for three, and includes a pass-through.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
9 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

These plastic trays are a nice convenience.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
10 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Fake wood trim actually looks good, but feels plasticky.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
11 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The electric power steering is well-weighted and responsive.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
12 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The standard Mercedes-Benz drive selector sits on the column, and the driver can use paddles to change the regeneration level.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
13 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The instrument panel includes multiple driver information screens, such as this efficient driving score.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
14 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
15 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Mercedes-Benz's latest cabin tech includes connected features, such as integrated apps.

Read more about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

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