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Mercedes B-Class (2005-2011) review

Mercedes-Benz B-Class
Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

Price
£35,100 to £43,760
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Mercedes' quest to fill every niche possible continues. Do you like the A-Class but wish it were a bit bigger? Then here's the car for you! Using A-Class underpinnings but a larger, more upstanding body, Mercedes has yielded S-Class rear legroom in a car shorter than a Ford Focus. It remains a five-seater but what build standards those five enjoy, as Mercedes returns to its former standards. Equipment levels are decent too - only base and SE trims here, unlike the A-Class' array - but how you pay for it. Focus dimensions but Mondeo money, which above all will perhaps limit the B-Class' penetration.

For to drive, it's a very able car. It takes all that's good about the A-Class - high seats and sporty driving position, good ergonomics, nimble handling and much-improved stability - and adds a longer wheelbase to improve the ride. The engines are the same, so avoid the petrols and go for the far-better diesels; B-Class sees the introduction of the 200 Turbo, a unit that's pleasingly torquey but far too gruff, noisy and unrefined. Revving it is not a pleasant experience. The smaller B 150 and B 170 petrols are also not strong enough to row the B-Class along; a B 180 CDI should be your bare minimum. Unfortunately, that takes the list price to £19k that, for a family car, is serious money. How many will simply choose a better-spec'd Golf, or even an Audi A4, instead? The B-Class is a nice idea, and a good-looking vehicle that doesn't disappoint once inside, but expensive enough to take it beyond the reach of the families it's seeking to attract.

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

0

Interior, design and technology

0

Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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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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