Mercedes B-Class review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Luxury saloon-like levels of interior space and a big boot are two B-Class strong points
The new B-Class is both wider and longer than the previous model, with an extra 30mm between the front and rear axles. It means that it feels very much like an ‘A-Class plus’, very much in the style of the Volkswagen Golf SV in comparison to the standard Golf hatchback.
It’s not an MPV as such – Mercedes is keen to promote the improved dynamics of this new version – but the B-Class does deliver some of the benefits associated with a people-carrier. There’s a raised driving position, which makes it feel markedly different from the A-Class, while it’s also easier to enter and exit the vehicle.
The new B-Class is 30mm longer than the old model, taking the overall length up to 4,419mm. It’s also 10mm wider, making the width 1,796mm, while the height is 1,562mm. The A-Class measures 1,440mm in height, so you can see why the cabin feels more expansive. The A-Class is as long and as wide as the B-Class.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The shorter overhangs and the extra space between the front and rear axles have paid dividends on the inside. All five occupants will enjoy ample headroom and legroom, with passengers in the back free to stretch their legs in near-luxury saloon style.
At 455 litres, the boot is roughly the same size as the old B-Class, but a sliding rear seat will be added to the range in mid-2019, which will increase the luggage capacity to 705 litres when required.
The at-present fixed rear bench splits and folds in three sections to a useful 40:20:40 ratio, and with all three folded flat, the boot extends to 1,540 litres of space. That’s 30 litres more than you’d find in the 2 Series Active Tourer, but the BMW is also offered as a longer-wheelbase Gran Tourer variant.
From mid-2019, a folding backrest will be available for the front passenger seat, making the B-Class even more practical on those trips to Sweden’s most famous furniture store. An Easy-Pack electric tailgate is standard equipment,
The B 220 4Matic petrol is the best choice if you intend to do a little light towing, offering a braked towing capacity of 1,800kg. Other models offer between 1,400kg and 1,600kg depending on the engine size.
In this review
- 1Mercedes B-Class reviewIt’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 space - currently readingLuxury 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