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View all Mercedes-Benz B-Class reviews
Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

Practical version of the popular A-Class hatchback

Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV (19 on) - rated 3.8 out of 5
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PROS

  • Eye-catching and tech-heavy interior
  • Comfortable drive on most models
  • Wide range of petrol and diesel engines
  • Reasonable practicality

CONS

  • Infotainment controls are fiddly
  • Some interior plastics disappointing
  • Boot isn’t as big as you’d expect
  • No hybrid or pure-electric version

PROS

  • Eye-catching and tech-heavy interior
  • Comfortable drive on most models
  • Wide range of petrol and diesel engines
  • Reasonable practicality

CONS

  • Infotainment controls are fiddly
  • Some interior plastics disappointing
  • Boot isn’t as big as you’d expect
  • No hybrid or pure-electric version

Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV rivals

For those who want the raised-up driving position of an SUV but don’t fancy owning something with the imposing looks of a 4x4, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class provides a convenient middle ground.

Based on the same platform as the A-Class hatchback, it offers customers a five-door, five-seat compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) that directly rivals cars such as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Volkswagen Golf SV, and, to a lesser extent, the Renault Scenic and Ford C-Max.

The questions for many buyers, then, will surely be whether the B-Class is worth the extra cost over ‘less premium’ rivals that fulfil largely the same brief, and indeed, if it offers anything over the regular Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class interior

It’s clear from the moment you step into the B-Class that its cabin is a vast improvement over the previous generation car. Gone is the dated, button-heavy design, replaced by a crisp, high-tech environment shared with the A-Class hatchback. For outright wow-factor, it’s hard to argue against it being best-in-class.

Two primary screens dominate the dashboard and offer up crucial driving information as well as sat-nav, media and telephone services. The display positioned in front of the driver is controlled by a small (and slightly fiddly) touchpad on the steering wheel, while the infotainment screen on the left can either be operated by touch, or by a mousepad-style controller mounted forward of the armrest.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class interior

The latter looks and feels premium, but doesn’t work quite as well as a physical rotary dial. It’s not enough to spoil the experience, though, the MBUX infotainment system having the most comprehensive functionality in-class along with the 2 Series Active Tourer.

Overall material quality is strong, and although there are some harder plastics on show they’re well-hidden and out of sight of the driver – aside from the tacky indicator and gear selector stalks.

Sitting behind the wheel of the B-Class you’re treated to a wide, comfy seat with plenty of adjustment (electric seats are optional). You get a raised driving position that gives you a better view out than the average hatchback driver, but it’s not so high as to make you feel you’re sitting atop a tank.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class engines

The B-Class is available with a choice of five different engine variants, all of which come as standard with front-wheel drive and a DCT automatic gearbox – either with seven or eight speeds. If you want a petrol engine, there are two variants on offer – either the 136hp B 180 or the punchier 163hp B 200, both using a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor.

For those who plan to do big mileages with their B-Class, one of the three diesels versions will likely be a better fit. Options include the 116hp B 180 d (1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel), 150hp B 200 d and 190hp B 220 d (the latter two powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel).

Greater practicality than the A-Class

Buy a B-Class and you can rightfully expect to have extra bootspace over the A-Class hatchback. While the latter offers a respectable 370 litres with the seats up and 1,210 litres with the seats down, the B-Class can take 455 and 1,540 litres.

The biggest difference is the higher body meaning there’s far more headroom inside, which makes it a more appealing prospect than a regular hatchback.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV rivals

Other Mercedes-Benz B-Class models: