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Road Test: Mercedes-Benz B Class Electric drive Electric Art 5dr Auto (2015-2015)

£32,515 when new
Road test score

Car specifications

Brake horsepower
0–62 mph
Max speed
Insurance Group


Mercedes doesn’t think enough people are buying electric cars at the moment, hence why it’s not had a BMW ‘i3’ moment. It’s why this new electric B-Class was built to look and act… like the regular B-Class. They’re even built on the same production line.

It’s not regular, though. Underneath, the drivetrain is lifted straight out of the Tesla Model S (Daimler’s got a small equity stake in Tesla), here detuned from 400-odd horsepower to 174bhp. The 28kWh lithium-ion battery (recharged in one and a half hours with a 400V charger) has been slotted in the middle of the Merc’s ‘semi-sandwich’ floor, while the motor and other electric things
have been put where the engine normally sits.

The net result is that it’s quiet, smooth, punchy and… just like a B-Class. The acceleration is great and overtaking is easy, it feels well-damped, comfortable and confident, though some of the regenerative braking can get a touch aggressive. The steering could do with more natural feel too,but otherwise it’s reasonable.

Mercedes reckons it’ll do 115 miles between charges - depending on the weather and your driving - but it’s likely to be a pricey alternative to the standard car. One to keep an eye on.

What do you think?

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