Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes B-Class hatchback?
All models have air conditioning, which is just as well, because the B-Class's large glass area means it can become quite hot inside on a sunny day.
There were two recalls for this generation of Mercedes B-Class, which were for potential fuel tank leaks and seatbelts that could possibly fail in an impact, so make sure any remedial work has been carried out.
As with any car that’s likely to have been used for family transport, check the interior for signs of wear and tear.
What are the most common problems with a used Mercedes B-Class hatchback?
Generally speaking, Mercedes had gotten over the worst of the quality problems it experienced in the early 2000s by the time the B-Class entered production, but you still need to keep a wary eye on the electronic systems, just in case. The more highly-specified the car, the more chance you have of encountering issues, so check every switch.
There is a common fault of the seatbelt webbing wearing out and fraying at the edges, which sounds like a minor issue, but which can actually cost as much as £250 per belt to repair, so check all the belts carefully for signs of wear.
The diesel models used a particulate filter, which, if it clogs, will trip the engine into 'limp home' mode. Thankfully, a filter clean is usually less than £200, and regular motorway runs of decent duration will keep it clear.
Is a used Mercedes B-Class hatchback reliable?
As mentioned, at the time the B-Class entered production, Mercedes was getting over a period of reliability issues and there’s little doubt that extra effort was put into the B-Class to make sure that it would be solidly made. Mercedes even went so far as to offer tacit extended warranties on some components to make sure that customers would feel reassured.
That said, there are still some recurring problems. A loud whirring noise from the engines is usually a faulty pulley for the air-conditioning system, while a huffing noise from a diesel engine, or a smell of fuel inside the car, usually means leaky injector seals.
The central locking system and the lights by the sun visor mirrors can also give trouble, and they are surprisingly expensive to repair or replace.
Knocking front suspension is usually a sign of worn anti-roll bar bushes. And the electronic control units for the CVT automatic gearbox are also suspect.