Mercedes B-Class review
It’s not a proper MPV, but the much-improved Mercedes B-Class boasts a spacious and classy cabin
The Mercedes B-Class has evolved. Gone is the frumpy MPV of old, replaced by something that looks sharper, boasts a quality-rich and tech-laden interior and is surprisingly good to drive. It shares its underpinnings with the A-Class, but offers more room in the cabin, with the rear seats offering luxury saloon levels of space. But the lack of clear space between the B-Class and the A-Class means that it fails to offer a real unique selling point – it’s not flexible enough to be a true MPV, while the A-Class edges it in terms of style, image and dynamics. In isolation, it’s a very good car, it’s just that it isn’t entirely clear what it wants to be.
The MPV segment is being crushed under the weight of the SUV, but that hasn’t stopped Mercedes from investing heavily in an all-new version of the B-Class.
Like its predecessor, the B-Class is based on the platform of the A-Class, and in many ways, the gap between the two cars is rather narrow. This has advantages and disadvantages, with the B-Class benefiting from the excellent interior found in the A-Class, along with many of the hatchback’s dynamic properties.
But it also means that, on the face of it, it lacks a unique selling point. It’s not large enough or flexible enough to be a true MPV, and a long-wheelbase seven-seat version will not be offered. However, this doesn’t mean the B-Class is without merit.
Car group tests
- New Mercedes B 200 d 2019 review
- New Mercedes B-Class 2018 review
- Mercedes B200 CDI review
- Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive review
- Mercedes B220 CDI 4MATIC review
Used car tests
The new B-Class is longer and wider than before, which creates a cabin large enough to seat five adults in comfort. The boot is roughly the same size as before, but versatility will be improved when the option of a sliding rear seat is added later in 2019.
A range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines are offered, all fitted with automatic transmissions – a manual gearbox will be added to the range at a later date. It’s far nicer to drive than before – the ride quality is excellent and the body control is remarkably good.
Two trim levels are offered – Sport and AMG Line – although the B-Class can be enhanced courtesy of three equipment packs and a huge range of options. The superb MBUX infotainment system is standard across the range, with impressive 10.25-inch displays available as an option.
The most obvious rival is the 2 Series Active Tourer, although the BMW has the advantage of seven-seat and hybrid options. Further competitors include the Volkswagen Golf SV and Citroen C4 SpaceTourer.
Prices start from £27,000 for the B 180 Sport, rising to £36,000 for the B 220d AMG Line with the Premium Plus equipment park.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIt’s not a proper MPV, but the much-improved Mercedes B-Class boasts a spacious and classy cabin
- 2Engines, performance and driveAlmost as good to drive as the A-Class, especially in AMG Line trim
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsImpressive economy, especially from the diesel versions, but there's no plug-in hybrid
- 4Interior, design and technologyFull marks for the B-Class, thanks to a quality-rich interior and an impressive infotainment system
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLuxury saloon-like levels of interior space and a big boot are two B-Class strong points
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe B-Class is likely to score well in crash tests, but customer satisfaction levels could be higher