Mercedes B-Class (2014-2018) review
The Mercedes B-Class is a medium sized MPV that has a luxurious cabin and a spacious interior. Its closest rivals are the Ford C-Max, the Volkswagen Golf SV and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
What's not so good
Mercedes B-Class (2014-2018): what would you like to read next?
The Mercedes B-Class has a smart interior that takes some design queues from the 2011 SLS supercar, although you’ll need some imagination to see them. It has a very premium interior where small niggles like the low position of the temperature controls are the only cause for complaint. There is ample passenger space for four adults and the boot is decent in size, albeit not the biggest in class.
On the road the Mercedes B-Class is not particularly bad, but doesn’t shine in any way either – you’d more from a Mercedes. Although the ride is fine on most surfaces, really bad ones can make the car bounce around. Wind noise is quite audible in the cabin at speeds, but that is to be expected from the boxy shape of the car.
The B180 diesel is the best engine for the Mercedes B-Class because it’s very cheap on fuel, but some might find it a bit slow. The B220 diesel is much faster and almost equally frugal so we’d go for it if performance is up on your list. The automatic gearbox makes for an easier driving experience and you can specify the Mercedes B-Class with four-wheel-drive for added winter grip.
Although, the B-Class is quite expensive you get a decent amount of equipment for your money. The base SE car gets automatic city braking, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, air-conditioning and a reversing camera as standard.
The B-Class is premium and practical but also quite dated now
With its upmarket exterior styling and posh interior you can see why someone looking for a premium car with a decent amount of space could be persuaded into buying theMercedes B-Class. That is if they prefer it to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer which is better in almost every way.
Truth is, though, if you can live with a less sought after badge, a model such as the Ford C-MAX does almost everything just as well as and, bar the premium feel, most things quite a lot better. That could prove to be a bitter pill that’s hard to swallow for the family car owners who’re likely to buy the Mercedes.
If want some more in-depth information on the Mercedes B-Class, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of offers are available, go to our Mercedes B-Class deals page.
The Mercedes B-Class won’t give you anything to complain about if you have four people and their luggage inside, but the narrow centre seat in the rear means it’s not a great five-seater
As long as you don't need to carry more than two people in the rear, you'll be giving this B-Class an A for practicality
There is plenty of space for two rear passengers, though the middle seat doesn’t have much leg space at all. On the other hand, the Mercedes B-Class‘ tall roofline gives it more headroom than a conventional hatchback.
Automatic models have their gear selector situated behind the steering wheel so they benefit from two lidded storage areas on the centre console that have a nice-feeling damped action. Other than that, you get the usual deep cubby under the armrest and the glovebox is decent in size if not huge. The door bins are big enough for a water bottle, but again nothing too impressive.
A 486-litre boot means the Mercedes B-Class has a bigger load bay than the 380-litre boot that you get in the Volkswagen Golf, but smaller than you get in the capacious Golf SV.
If you’re after a hatchback that’s fun to drive then don’t buy a Mercedes B-Class and that includes models in sporty AMG trim.
A BMW 2 Series Active Tourer runs rings around it in terms of handling
There are currently two petrol engines and two diesels to choose from in the Mercedes B-Class range, all of which give decent performance and are cheap to run.
There is also a choice between a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed automatic. The automatic is recommended for urban driving thanks to its smooth operation.
The petrol B180 is the entry-level engine. It doesn’t lack too much in power – getting from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds, while the B200 is more than a second quicker. Both models can return fuel economy of more than 50mpg.
The B220d is the most powerful diesel, though most experts say that the B180d is the engine to go for. In ECO trim it can return 78.5mpg, but some may find it a little slow with 0-62mph taking 11.6 seconds.
The B220d solves that problem; sprinting from 0-62mph in a far sprightlier 8.3 seconds and not running out of puff until it reaches its 139mph top speed. That’s a decent performance hike when you consider the 2.2-litre model can still achieve fuel economy of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 111g/km.
Put quite simply – there’s little driving enjoyment to be had.
Even if you don’t care about how a car handles you’ll be disappointed by the uncomfortable, jarring ride and noisy cabin at cruising speeds. Visibility from the driver’s seat also comes in for criticism as it’s quite restricted when reversing.
These issues may sound more than a little off-putting, but this isn’t a two-seater roadster so an edge-of-your-seat driving experience shouldn’t be expected.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the inside of the latest Mercedes B-Class is a nice place to be, but then it also costs quite a lot more than mainstream rivals.