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Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Overall verdict


Modern design means the B-Class is pretty desirable overall


It's not cheap and it's still not quite perfect
The B-Class is now a genuine contender – if an expensive one – in the family hatch sector.

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Our choice


B180 CDI Sport 5dr


What we say: 

The latest B-Class is a chalk and cheese improvement on the old one. B is for better

What is it?

The latest B-Class is a practical Mercedes five-door hatch you might actually want to buy. Which is a big improvement on the undesirable original one. It’s been designed to feel more like a big Merc, rather than an underdeveloped afterthought: its platform and interior is also used by the excellent new A-Class plus future models including a small coupe and mini SUV.

Unlike the A-Class, it’s not really a looker, but is fine in silver and on the right wheels. The body side crease hints at the CLS, which is good, and it generally looks a lot less apologetic. It’s also impressively aerodynamic: in full beardy Eco trim, its drag coefficient is just 0.24. Almost implausible for such a practical-looking car.


Praise be – this is a B-Class that proves perfectly nice to drive. OK, it’s still not that keen on being pushed beyond its comfort zone, despite a centre of gravity that’s lower than before. But the comfort zone itself is now much more habitable, courtesy of a ride that proves sweet even on some of the larger wheels that come with Sport suspension. Road and wind noise are well isolated too.

The all-new engine range includes direct injection turbo petrols and diesels, of which the diesels are preferable due to their fatter torque profiles. A six-speed manual is standard, but the optional double-clutch DSG is preferable.

On the inside

The seats of the old B-Class were set high, which made it easy to step into but didn’t do much for feeling a part of the car. They’re lower in this one, meaning it no longer feels like a small Routemaster bus behind the CLS-style steering wheel. The interior has a feeling of real Mercedes-like substance, with much of the same topography as in bigger models. At last, it lives up to the promise of being a genuine junior Mercedes Benz.

It’s bright, airy and roomy in the back, enhanced by sliding seats, although the boot isn’t up to much when fi ve-up. Overall though, the packaging is very well balanced – and still future-proofed too: it’s ready to take electric and fuel-cell derivatives when they’re ready.


The B-Class is a premium product with premium prices, and that’s before you hit the options list. Amazingly, it’s possible to specify a £50k B-Class by hitting the options list with vigour. Decent fuel economy at least helps save a few pennies on the road, while the build quality is such that it really does feel like a car for life. A safe one as well: Mercedes even fits a standard Collision Prevention Assist system that bleeps, flashes lights and primes the brakes when its radar detects potential impacts.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
B220 4Matic Sport 5dr Auto
7.5s 156g/km 42.2 184 £27,905
The cheapest
B180 SE 5dr
9.3s 129g/km 50.4 122 £21,445
The greenest
Electric drive Electric Art 5dr Auto
7.9s 0g/km 180 £32,190