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In-depth reviews

Mercedes B-Class review - Engines, performance and drive

Almost as good to drive as the A-Class, but engine options are limited

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£35,100 to £43,760
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On the road, the Mercedes B-Class feels like a slightly top-heavy A-Class rather than a traditional MPV. In fact, it’s easy to forget you’re not driving an A-Class. You do sit a little higher, which gives a commanding view of the road ahead, but it also creates a slight feeling of detachment that you don’t get in the A-Class. However, this is a small price to pay for the additional practicality and space over its premium-hatchback cousin.

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There’s very little roll when cornering – body control is remarkably good for a car in this segment. A sophisticated multi-link rear suspension is fitted to the AMG Line models, which tightens things up even further and allows for hard cornering. In this configuration, the suspension is lowered by 15mm at the rear and 20mm at the front.

However, we did find that the stiffer suspension set-up gave the B-Class an unsettled ride, which doesn’t quite go with the practical nature of the family-friendly car. We feel that softer settings would be rather more welcome in a car that focuses on comfort for the most part.

The diesel B 220 d is fitted with an eight-speed DCT automatic transmission, but the B 200 uses a seven-speed unit and mild-hybrid technology. The set-up offers smooth shifts – helped by some electrical assistance from the mild-hybrid system – and there’s plenty of power on tap from the petrol engine. It can get a little raucous at higher revs, but it should be only an issue when you’re accelerating up to motorway speeds with all five seats occupied.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

There aren’t as many engine choices in the B-Class as there are in the A-Class, with just two options to choose from. The B 220 d uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine, produces 148bp and 320Nm of torque, and will sprint from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, going on to a top speed of 136mph.

But the model we drove was the B 200 that features a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine and mild-hybrid technology. Total power output is 161bhp and 270Nm of torque, 13bhp of which comes from the electrical assistance that fills in the power band when accelerating, so there’s a pretty consistent response even from low revs. But despite the extra oomph, 0-62mph is dispatched in 8.4 seconds and the top speed is 139mph.

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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
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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