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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For A stylish-looking car with plenty of room for five people and all of their luggage

Against The ride is poor around town, and the car lacks flexibility so it doesn't cut the mustard as a genuine MPV

Verdict A roomy, capable hatchback with a poor ride

Go for… B200

Avoid… B200 Turbo

Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV
  • 1. Visibility is mostly very good, although it’s hard to tell where the nose of the car ends when parking
  • 2. Avoid a car with the optional firmer Sports suspension. Some people find the ride even on the standard car hard enough
  • 3. The interior feels like it should stand the test of time, but you should still check for any broken or loose trim
  • 4. There are several engines to choose from, but we reckon the 134bhp B200 has the best balance of performance and economy
  • 5. The entry-level trim has most of the kit you're likely to want, so there's no need to spend more for the SE
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Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV full review with expert trade views

The B-Class may look like an MPV, but it doesn’t have the clever touches you'll find on cars like Honda’s FR-V or the seven-seat flexibility of the Vauxhall Zafira. However, it does offer enough space for five adults to travel in style and comfort without having to rub shoulders in the back. The boot is big enough to carry all their luggage, and bigger still once the rear seats are folded.

The B-Class feels smart and well constructed, and unlike on many rivals, its all-round visibility is good. The only problem is it’s hard to tell where the front ends, so parking can be tricky.

Around town, the ride is firm and even on the motorway the car never feels truly settled or comfortable. The handling, although safe enough, is certainly not sporting, thanks to remote-feeling steering and less-than-sharp turn-in to corners. However, refinement, especially with the larger engines, is impressive.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

No demand for quirky design. Rivals in this market are too strong. Expensive

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

If you were buying a new B-Class the best one to go for was the entry B150, largely because of its low price. However, that's not necessarily the case when buying second-hand. Neither the 95bhp B150 nor the 116bhp B170 offer sparkling performance or soothing refinement.

Instead, go for the much better B200 or the more powerful (but thirsty) turbo version, which has 190bhp and still feels swift even when fully laden. The best diesel is the B200 CDI with 140bhp and 221lb ft of pulling power, but most people should be happy with the 108bhp/184lb ft B180.

A well looked-after privately sold car could be worth tracking down, and you should also be on the look-out for options like a full-length sunroof, swivelling headlamps and sat-nav. SE cars feature alloy wheels and all-round electric windows on top of the entry-level trim, which comes with six airbags, electric front windows, air-con and a CD-player.

Trade view

John Owen

Just a bigger A-Class. Stick with the smaller engines

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The B-Class wasn’t cheap when it was new and, like everything with that Mercedes three-pointed star on, it was predicted to hold its value well. And it has. Despite never proving as popular as models like the C-Class, there are few second-hand bargains around.

At least service costs are reasonable and you should have to pay no more to have the B-Class looked after than you would a Honda Accord or a Volkswagen Passat. However, the service intervals are variable, so keep an eye on the computer to find out when the next one is due. There may be a bill just round the corner.

The B200 Turbo is the most expensive to insure with a group 14 rating and the dearest to fuel, with average fuel economy of 34.9mpg. So, to keep your costs down, track down an entry-level B150, which is in group 7 for insurance and returns a reasonable 42.8mpg. The B180 and B200 CDI diesels are in group 8 and 10, but both return an impressive 50.4mpg.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

No demand for quirky design. Rivals in this market are too strong. Expensive

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

If you want a comfortable life, it’s worth avoiding a B-Class with optional Sports suspension. Mind you, some people even find the ride on the standard car hard enough to live with, so make sure your test includes a drive at low speed around town with a few potholes and speed bumps.

Although Mercedes has taken a hammering in recent years for allowing its interior build quality to slip, the B-Class is from a new generation of models. Inside, it feels like it should stand the test of time - and the school run. Still, check for any evidence of broken or loose trim, however. Like any car, electrical components can be prone to failure, so ensure that everything is in good working order.

Aged diesels that take too long to start, produce too much smoke or sound too noisy, are best left with whoever is trying to sell them.

Trade view

John Owen

Just a bigger A-Class. Stick with the smaller engines

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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