Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The B-Class is priced in line with its key rival, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. That means it’ll cost you more to buy than the Volkswagen Touran, both before and after discounts. On the other hand, it’s expected to hold onto its value better than its key rivals, although still nowhere near as well as an equivalent family SUV, such as the Volvo XC40.
Company car users will find particular appeal in the B250e plug-in hybrid; although it’s the most expensive model in the range, its low official CO2 output of 22g/km brings a lower BiK tax rating than conventionally powered rivals can offer.
Three trim levels are offered: Sport, Sport Executive and AMG Line Executive. The former gets you climate control, LED headlights, cruise control, man made-leather seats and 17in alloy wheels. but it's worth paying a bit extra for Sport Executive because you'll get a bigger infotainment screen and smartphone mirroring (see infotainment section), power-folding door mirrors and the various parking aids we described earlier.
AMG Line Executive adds mainly a sportier look, including larger alloy wheels, and also unlocks access to the optional Premium and Premium Plus packages. The former adds keyless entry, ambient interior lighting, larger 10.3in digital instrument dials and an upgraded sound system, while the latter goes further with upgraded LED headlights, a panoramic glass roof and electrically adjustable front seats, but these packs make the B-Class look rather expensive.
In the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, the B-Class finished third in the MPV class, above the 2 Series Active Tourer. However, in the brand rankings, Mercedes finished a relatively disappointing 26th out of 31 manufacturers in the same survey, behind key rivals Audi and BMW.
The safety experts at Euro NCAP awarded the B-Class a five-star rating. The 2 Series Active Tourer and Volkswagen Touran also achieved five-star results, although these were from 2014 and 2015 respectively, when the tests weren’t as stringent as they are today.
Examining the results more closely, the B-Class stands out by offering better protection for the legs of the driver and front passenger in the event of a crash. Even entry-level Sport trim comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and a system that monitors the driver alertness.
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