Mercedes-Benz B-Class Review logo

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      MPV
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Practical, premium five-seat motoring”

Best bits

  • Passenger-focused interior
  • Brilliant infotainment screen options
  • Demonstrates all the familiar Mercedes-Benz integrity

Not so great

  • It’s hardly a head-turner
  • It’s not an SUV
  • Thrill-seekers, look elsewhere

Read by

Mercedes B-Class 2019 frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes B-Class 2019 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes B-Class 2019 backright exterior

Driving

Mercedes B-Class 2019 left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes B-Class 2019 bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The steadfastly sensible B-Class ignores on-trend fads and focuses on what matters in a five-seat MPV: practicality and comfort. For those who value space higher than style, it’s worth checking out, even if it won’t jump out as a must-buy straight away."

Mercedes B-Class 2019 frontright exterior

The MPV is the victim of the SUV surge. A decade or so ago, people carriers were the must-have vehicle for growing families looking to step up from a regular five-door hatchback. Now they barely get a look-in, such is the allure of the SUV – and many car manufacturers who once did well with MPVs have unceremoniously dumped them for good.


Mercedes-Benz is a rare exception. The world’s oldest carmaker is also one of the largest, with one of the broadest model ranges. So, although Mercedes offers several family-sized SUVs such as the GLA and GLB, it also offers an option for those seeking a five-seat MPV with all the strengths such vehicles provide: maximum space and maximum practicality.

 

This is actually the third generation of B-Class. Mercedes-Benz has stuck to the formula, and not changed it much in the intervening years. Like the original, the latest model is derived from the A-Class hatchback, with a taller body, longer wheelbase and a decided focus on space rather than style.

 

If that sounds a bit harsh, it’s not meant to be. The B-Class is actually a fine-looking thing, with the appearance of a tall hatch rather than a van-like MPV. It doesn’t have the tough, rugged stance of an SUV, but it’s still a neat and tidy shape, with the three-pointed star badge featuring boldly in the grille, and the chrome-finished side window frames giving a clean, tidy look.

 

The oily bits are all sourced from the A-Class. Here in the UK, Mercedes-Benz has chosen to offer the B180 petrol as an entry-level version, with the B180d a basic diesel alternative. The B200 and B200d have more power, while the B220, B250 and B220d all serve up impressive acceleration. All of them come with an automatic gearbox. 

 

Its A-Class roots mean the B-Class delivers a high-quality drive. As you’d expect, it’s not the most thrilling car, but it’s very stable and secure, with a taut ride and direct steering. Mercedes-Benz has softened it up just a bit compared to the A-Class, so you might sense it rolls a touch more through corners, but it’s anything but objectionable.

 

So long as you’re driving smoothly and steadily, your passengers won’t mind. Those in the rear have ample space to relax, with loads of headroom and good space for feet. The raised-up seats give a better view out than the lower-slung A-Class hatchback, and they’re easier to step in and out of.


The boot is a really good size. There’s an option to slide the rear seat, taking minimum dimensions from impressive to exceptional. Folding them flat really puts the ‘van’ into ‘minivan’. And if that’s not very exciting, check out the MBUX infotainment system. It’s fit for the luxury S-Class limousine (and the B-Class actually beat its flagship sibling to getting it as standard). 

 

Fine, MPVs are out of favour. Tempted eyes will still flutter at the rugged Mercedes-Benz GLB in the showroom. But don’t dismiss the B-Class. The more you check it out, the more sense it makes. For growing families who are keen to stay within the M-B brand but have outgrown the A-Class, it demonstrates common-sense appeal by the bucketload.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Mercedes B-Class (2012-2019) review.

Is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class right for you?

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a car with a clear purpose in mind, one arguably more focused than any number of crossover SUVs. It’s about giving maximum space and practicality to five people while taking up the least possible road space outside. It’s the family Tardis of the Mercedes-Benz range.

 

That it draws so heavily from the A-Class in terms of underpinnings, suspension and infotainment systems is reassuring. Cross-pollination is no bad thing when the seeds are this good. It helps Mercedes-Benz dealers have the perfect response up their sleeve to those who grumble the A-Class is too cosy. “A ha! Have you tried the B-Class?”

 

The only thing you won’t get is the standout SUV stance so many seek these days. It’s too sensible and focused on efficiency for that. But sometimes, life’s priorities must take over. Don’t cram the family into something that’s not suitable: enjoy the fact you still own a Mercedes-Benz with a B-Class.

What’s the best Mercedes-Benz B-Class model/engine to choose?

Mercedes-Benz model badges make no mention of engine size any more. The B180 isn’t a 1.8-litre motor: it’s actually a 1.3-litre turbo, also found (via a circuitous corporate arrangement) in the Nissan Qashqai. The B200 is a higher-powered 1.3-litre, while the B180d is a 1.5-litre diesel. The B250, B200d and B220d are 2.0-litre engines.

 

Don’t worry. The turbocharged motors have surprising power, and the B180 offers perfectly reasonably pace. We’d happily drive one, and even find the regular Sport trim more than acceptable. AMG Line spec looks sportier trim, but that’s arguably irrelevant on an MPV. Meanwhile, if you want more kit you can get the Executive upgrade pack on Sport, and Executive, Premium or Premium Plus packs on AMG Line (it’s less confusing than it sounds).

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class?

Mercedes’ direct rival is the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, and it goes one better than the B-Class with the seven-seat 2 Series Gran Tourer. Audi is too teutonically cool to offer a five-seat people carrier, so the A3 Sportback (a five-door hatchback) will have to do instead. Or perhaps the Volkswagen Golf SV, if you want a similarly premium-feeling five-seater for less money.

 

Speaking of value for money, the original five-seat MPV, the Renault Scenic, is still on sale (for now), and has distinctively SUV-infused styling of its own. 


The Peugeot 3008 is another five-seat MPV that’s become more SUV-like in style, which risks diverting us off into other rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan and so on. Choices in this price bracket are vast – but options for pure MPVs are far fewer, which is actually where the B-Class stands out.

Learn more

Mercedes B-Class 2019 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes B-Class 2019 backright exterior

Driving

Mercedes B-Class 2019 left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes B-Class 2019 bootspace

Prices, versions and specification