Mercedes B-Class (2011-2018) review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
With family use in mind, the B-Class has been tuned for frugality, no matter which engine you choose
We could just wipe this debate out right here and say buy the Electric Drive B-Class – you’ll pay somewhere in the region of £2 for every 100-miles you drive (an utterly unbeatable cost-per-mile ratio compared to petrol or diesel) and you’ll never have to pay any road tax. Of course, there’s a catch and it’s the Electric Drive’s limited 124-mile range, so it won’t be suitable for all.
While there are no current B-Class models that dip into the sub-100g/km free road tax bracket, all of the diesel models are in Band B, so will cost you just £20 a year to tax, with the exception of the B220 CDI 4MATIC four-wheel-drive model, which has 130g/km CO2 emissions so costs £110 to tax for a year.
While fuel economy claims should always be taken with a pinch of salt, both the B180 CDI and B200 CDI say they can beat 70mpg when fitted with Merc’s 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox, and experience tells us they’re not fibbing – at least 60mpg is possible with a diesel B-Class in daily driving.
More reviews for B-Class MPV
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 petrol models fare unsurprisingly less well, but they’re not entirely outclassed. Both B180 and B200 claim better than 50mpg on average (mid-forties is probably about right) and given that they save you a considerable amount of cash at purchase time compared to a diesel, they can readily absorb the extra costs of tax and fuel.
The lowest rated model is a B180 CDI SE which sits in Group 12 for insurance, while a a B220 CDI 4MATIC sits in Group 27. Electric Drive models sit in Groups 24 and 25.
While you might expect any car with a Mercedes badge to hold back the hordes of depreciation, it’s not quite the case – the B-Class doesn’t beat the benchmark 50 per cent retained value after three years (a £22k B180 will be worth roughly £9k after three years) so it’s no better off than its more mass-market rivals. It’s also a car with a long, sometimes bewildering options list so choose your spec carefully to avoid paying for toys that won’t add value come resale time.
In this review
- 1Mercedes B-Class (2011-2018) reviewThe Mercedes B-Class is a premium compact MPV that majors in quality and comfort as well as space
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt's an all-turbo line-up for the B-Class, with its range including a 1.6-litre turbo petrol all the way up to a 174bhp 2.1-litre diesel
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingWith family use in mind, the B-Class has been tuned for frugality, no matter which engine you choose
- 4Interior, design and technologyCabin is lifted more or less straight from the A-Class, which means it’s well made and classy
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAs much cabin space as an S-Class? Yes, if you’re measuring vertically
- 6Reliability and SafetyMercedes’ quality has really picked up since the firm’s early-2000s slump, but the model didn't do well in recent Driver Power scores