Upfront, the B-Class has the sort of head- and legroom that shames most executive saloons, and it's the same story in the back. There's so much legroom that your knees won't even come close to touching the seat in front, plus you get plenty of space underneath for your feet.
There's also generous headroom, and four adults will travel in absolute comfort.
However, adding a fifth person makes things a little tight – shoulder room is only average, and the middle-seat passenger has to straddle the transmission tunnel.
Versatility also impresses if you specify the £600 Easy Vario Package. This brings a 60/40 split rear bench; the two sections of which slide backwards and forwards, and recline individually.
Sliding the seats all the way forwards severely restricts rear legroom, but boot capacity is increased to an impressive 666 litres.
There's loads of adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel, and because the new car has a lower floor than the original, the driving position is more upright (and as a result, less awkward) than before.
That said, visibility isn't particularly great; the windscreen pillars can block your view at roundabouts, and the shallow rear screen restricts your view out of the back.
The ergonomics could also be better. The on-screen menus controlled by a dial on the centre console are too confusing. What's more, the switch for the electric parking brake is counter-intuitive, because you push it to apply the brake, and pull to release it.
At least the interior looks good. Its dash-mounted screen resembles an iPad, and the circular air vents (the same as those found in the SLS supercar and SLK roadster) add extra style.
The top of the dash and the door trims have a soft feel, but like most Mercs, the plastics lower down in the cabin don't have the same dense, expensive feel.
Still, that's much more forgivable in a hatchback than it is in an executive saloon, and the B-Class has the edge on most rivals when it comes to perceived quality.