Mercedes B-Class MPV - Interior & comfort
Classy and well equipped, interior design is a definite B-Class strong suit
Not only does the B-Class MPV feel very like the A-Class hatchback from behind the wheel, it looks extremely similar from the same perspective. Although there are structural differences, the overall style of the two cars' interiors is virtually the same.
Mercedes B-Class dashboard
The B-Class shares its design theme with the A-Class, which means it features the same eye-catching details – notably its stylish air vents that are designed to resemble jet engine afterburners. The B-Class dashboard takes a slightly different form to that of the A-Class hatchback, with areas cut out to provide occupants with more space to complement the more upright seating position of the B-Class.
Both cars showcase Mercedes' latest thinking when it comes to instrumentation and infotainment, with a free-standing dash-top display unit that incorporates two separate digital displays; one for driving information and the other to handle media and navigation duties. Entry-level models have seven-inch displays, while others have a seven-inch dashboard screen and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Optionally, you can choose a 10.25-inch screen for each of the display panels. A head-up display is also available.
A welcome B-Class feature is the MBUX infotainment system that was first used in the A-Class – it’s better than the multimedia systems offered by rival brands. Although features will vary depending on how many boxes you tick when placing your B-Class order, MBUX can provide navigation guidance that uses real-time information gathered from other Mercedes cars via a 'car-to-X' communications network, as well as a vehicle location system to help find your car in a crowded car park.
Mercedes has also taken a leaf out of the book of Google and Amazon, with its own command-responsive 'intelligent voice control' system that you activate by saying "Hey Mercedes". There's also a feature to notify you if your car is bumped into when parked, or towed away.
Sport and AMG Line trim levels make up the main body of the range. The former comes with exterior LED lighting all round, keyless start, a powered tailgate, heated front seats and sat nav. AMG-Line models gain bigger wheels and other eye-catching exterior features like a bodykit and sports steering wheel and seats. They also include a reversing camera, auto parking assistance, privacy glass and wireless phone charging.
The latest B-Class offers more driver assistance features than the previous model, with active cruise control and lane keeping assist joining forces to help you stay in lane on the motorway. There's also active lane-changing to help you overtake safely. Mercedes claims that the system can anticipate traffic movement up to 500 metres ahead. It’s not cheap though, as much of this kit is bundled together in the £1,495 Driving Assistance Pack.
An Executive pack can be added for £1,500, upgrading the central screen size and adding Parktronic, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats and folding door mirrors. A Premium package boosts the size of the instrument display and brings 64-colour ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, keyless entry and upgraded speakers. In addition to these features, Premium Plus adds electric front seats with memory function, adaptive LED headlights and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Once one of the above packs is included, you can also add Advanced Navigation (£500) with MBUX augmented reality guidance along with Advanced Connectivity (£500), which can turn your smartphone into a digital car key and includes wireless phone charging.