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Mercedes B-Class (2011-2018) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

As much cabin space as an S-Class? Yes, if you’re measuring vertically

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£35,100 to £43,760
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Mercedes often claims that the B-Class has as much interior space as an S-Class, which might be true on a technical level, but isn’t representative of the comfort on offer.

Size

At just 4.3-metres long, the B-Class is barely any longer than a Ford Fiesta, but it packs a whopping amount of cabin space into a very small footprint. While this second-generation B-Class isn’t quite as clever, technically, as it’s predecessor, it still manages to pull of some pretty TARDIS-like tricks when it comes to bigger-on-the-inside tests.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

With 2,699mm wheelbase, the B-Class was never going to be short on cabin space, and thanks to its extra height (it’s a lofty 1,557mm tall), passengers can sit more upright to liberate even more room. So legroom, headroom and knee room are especially impressive, especially in the back. The ‘same space as an S-Class’ claim is probably accurate measured volumetrically but sadly it’s never going to be as comfy as the Big S. 

That’s because the upright seating means you can’t slouch as comfortably as you otherwise might be able to, and there are issues with the driving position too. Actually, if you’re going to do long motorway journeys with a B-Class then you really, really need to spec it with the automatic gearbox, as that’s the only way to get cruise control. Without cruise, the relationship between the steering wheel, seat and lightly-sprung accelerator pedal is a recipe for leg-and-back-ache.

Boot

488-litres is right on the money for the class average, and the B’s boxy, upright shape means you can make the most of every litre. Fold the seats flat and you get 1,547-litres, which is a pretty remarkable figure for a car as short as this. You can also spec the car with some useful load-space items such as a rubber-lined tub for carrying loose, or dirty items such as sports kit, while there’s also a fold-out concertina sill and bumper protector for protecting the paint from being gouged by anything you’re loading into the back – a common problem with complicated baby buggies and prams. The EASY-VARIO PLUS system means that the rear seats can be slid back and forth to maximise luggage space, there’s a ski-hatch for long, slim items and an adjustable boot floor.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    B180 Sport 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,495

Most Economical

  • Name
    B180d Sport 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £27,995

Fastest

  • Name
    B250 AMG Line Executive 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,085
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