Mercedes B220 4MATIC review

13 Dec, 2013 9:45am Chris Ebbs

The Mercedes B-Class is now available with 4MATIC four-wheel drive – but at a price

Verdict

3
This Mercedes B-Class is a practical and luxurious alternative to a mainstream compact MPV, but the 4WD doesn’t add a great deal – beyond driving the price through the roof. The engine is smooth and quick, yet far thirstier than diesels. Pick the new GLA if you want 4WD, or a front-drive B-Class and splash out on options.

The premium image of the Mercedes B-Class is being boosted by adding the option of four-wheel drive. And with the rise in popularity of crossovers and SUVs, it’s a logical progression.

• Mercedes B-Class review

Unfortunately, the new B220 4MATIC doesn’t deliver on its promise. The 184bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine is smooth, but it’s hampered by the auto box. This is slow to kick down when you need a quick burst of acceleration – particularly when in Eco mode.

Plus, while the four-wheel-drive system is a reassurance for those concerned about the winter weather, it’ll only ever be a niche choice on a car of this type.

All this combines to a startling price of £28,135 – that’s nearly £4,000 more than the two-wheel-drive B180 equivalent, as well as VW’s highest-spec Golf Plus. What’s more, with options, our test car came to a whopping £38,000.

Sport trim includes lowered and stiffened suspension, which means body roll is well stifled, while the steering is precise and direct. However, you feel every pothole. Still, there’s no questioning the B-Class’s practicality – the rear seats provide plenty of legroom, and although the car is lower than before, even tall passengers should have headroom to spare.

Add 488 litres of boot space (17 litres more than in the Ford C-MAX), and the Mercedes is one of the roomiest small MPVs around. It’s possibly one of the best-looking, too, with plenty of luxurious touches.

While 4MATIC adds another string to the B-Class’s bow, it feels unnecessary. For the kind of pragmatic customer Mercedes targets with this car, minimising costs is likely to be more important than boosting wet-weather grip.

Disqus - noscript

Mercedes you are having a laugh I presume over £28.000 for this Ha Ha Ha A fast bread van that,s all it is What has happen to class Mercedes, it seems to have passed you bye

I find it very peculiar that the British press were saying at last the 4Matic will be available on the C class in the UK market, and now that it is available on the B class, you are all over it. It is a luxurious mini van with 4 wheel frive for inclement weather.If I remember correctly this would have been useful last year when the white stuff came down. You may have a point with the GLA but if it is based on the A-class then room will be at a premium, leaving an opening for this model. This review seems to be very one sided without taking into account its mission and target market.

Key specs

  • Price: £28,135
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl petrol
  • Power: 184bhp
  • Transmission: Seven-speed twin-clutch auto, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/top speed: 7.5 secs/140mph
  • Economy/CO2: 42mpg/156g/km
  • Equipment: Reversing camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers
  • On sale: Now
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