| 15.5°C Dublin

'B' Special

I FIND end-of-year polls about as much fun as the prospect of being water-boarded in rat's urine.

The very thought of these things coming along in December leaves me cold, and it's only June.

But for some, the end-of-year posture means power, piety and an aloof authority which is worth fighting for ... in fact it's worth making a holy show for.

That's why this week Herald Motoring has the extraordinary news of a battle of David v Goliath, which would make Spain v Ireland look evenly matched.


In conjunction with Hissy Fit Promotions, we would like to bring you the Fumble On The Forecourt, as a heavyweight and a lightweight get ready to scrap over the future of the Irish Car Of The Year award.

And this one could go all the way as the Irish Motor Writers Association (IMWA) attempts to swat away pesky little Motorcheck.ie.

The IMWA already runs a very successful Car Of The Year, but one of its members has hopped into bed with the younger newer model, sparking jealousy and rage.

Like a woman scorned by a fragrant new rival, the IMWA has fired off an extraordinary missive to its members warning of the perils of being seduced by the comely maiden Motorcheck.ie.

"If we allow any member to be involved with the promotion of another purported 'Irish Car of the Year', we are leaving the door open to a plethora of similar schemes from magazines, newspapers and websites," lashes the IMWA's outraged scribe.

The memo goes on to decry any other motoring polls as being inferior and once again lives up to the stereotype that the body represents an aloof and superior group of beings.

It all makes for a hot and heavy summer as the IMWA fights hard to retain its decreasing power-hold, with a number of high profile distributors already having declared that it is falling out of love with the old boys.

The memo harrumphs that the establishment of any other Car Of The Year "would mean the fragmentation in the selection of an Irish Car of the Year to lower-case values" - well you can't have that, now.

So the great new is that there should be some fun in the weeks and months ahead as the IMWA and Motorcheck.ie fight on the beaches for the future of the end of year gong.

One car that would be on my end of year poll would be the staggering Mercedes B Class.

The B Class is all things to all cars -- MPV, luxury wagon, sporty family and it carries one of the top badges in the world.

The B Class is also something of a peach thanks to a much improved makeover and there are four different packages to chose from, chrome, sports, exclusive and night.

There are some gorgeous exterior lines and a distinctive roof feature line.

It performs beautifully thanks to a CDI Blue Efficiency banger, and enjoys a more than capable top speed of a decent 190kph.

Onboard comfort is also a premium -- as you would expect from Mercedes but the cost is not.

Prices for the new B Class start at €29,330.