The Mercedes B-Class is the ideal car for those who need the practicality of a five-seat MPV, but still want a premium badge stuck to its nose.
The B-Class was the first premium SUV of its type – Mercedes released the first model back in 2005 – spawning competition in the shape of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. The B-Class still has one ace up its sleeve, though – the Electric Drive is currently the only fully battery-powered MPV on sale in the UK.
So, from a purely practical sense, how does the B-Class compare to not only the BMW, but more mainstream rivals like the Volkswagen Golf SV? We’ve taken a look at the key measurements to find out.
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Mercedes B-Class exterior dimensions
The great advantage of compact MPVs is that, though they offer practical, roomy interiors, they don’t take up lots of space on the road. The B-Class proves this – measuring only 35mm longer than a Ford Focus. Its extra practicality is thanks to its height – it stands 88mm taller than the Ford.
Mercedes B-Class interior dimensions
Anyone who has sat in an A-Class will find the B-Class’s cabin a very familiar place to be, because the pair share the same dashboard layout. Rear passengers, though, are treated to much more head- and legroom giving the B-Class a more airy feel. However, centre seat passengers will find things more cramped than in a Citroen C4 Picasso, because they have to make do with a bench instead of an individual seat.
An emphasis has been placed on style over practicality, so some of the more mass-market MPV alternatives have more cubby holes and storage bins dotted around inside. Nevertheless, the Mercedes has plenty of space for modern families.
Mercedes B-Class boot space
An area where mini-MPVs traditionally score well, the B-Class’s boot – although fairly sizeable – isn’t quite a match for some traditional rivals – the Golf SV’s boot is over 100 litres larger, for example. It does, however, top the BMW Active Tourer’s load bay by 18 litres.
Fold the back seats down and that volume expands to 1,547 litres, but a lip at the point where the rear bench folds makes loading larger items a little awkward. The batteries for the Electric Drive rob the B-Class of some boot space – with the back row of seats folded down, total load capacity drops to 1,456 litres.
|Seats up||486 litres|
|Seats down||1,456-1,547 litres|
Mercedes B-Class turning circle and fuel tank
The 11-metre turning circle is marginally above average for the mini-MPV sector – not quite as tight as the Citroen C4 Picasso (10.8m) but better than the 2 Series (11.3m).
Mercedes has focussed on aerodynamic efficiency to improve fuel economy. As a result, the B180 CDI is one of the most frugal MPVs on sale. Should you match the claimed figure of 78.5mpg over a full 50-litre tank of diesel, a theoretical range of 860 miles is possible. There is also a six-litre fuel reserve, should your game of ‘petrol station roulette’ go a little too far. The all-electric B-Class, meanwhile, has a claimed range of 124 miles.
|Turning circle||11 metres|
|Fuel tank||56 litres|
Mercedes B-Class weight
There isn’t a massive variation in weight between different B-Class models, with the major increase in weight coming from of the seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. The heftiest model in the range is the Electric Drive which, thanks to a pack of lithium-ion cells, weighs 330kg more than the lightest petrol model.
|1,395kg (B 180)||1,725kg (Electric Drive)|
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