In-depth reviews

Mercedes B-Class MPV - MPG, running costs & CO2

B 250 e plug-in hybrid offers the lowest running costs, but B-Class petrol and diesel engines are economical too

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​Like the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the B-Class is now available in plug-in hybrid form as well as with conventional petrol and diesel engines. Claimed fuel economy for the diesels is reasonable and even the B 200 petrol isn’t too thirsty for a sensible family car. You can spec a B-Class with either a seven or eight-speed automatic gearbox, depending on the engine. No manual gearboxes are available.

Mercedes B-Class MPG & CO2

The B 180 d is the most affordable diesel B-Class, and Mercedes claim it can achieve up to 54.3 mpg depending on the size of wheels fitted. This used to be a 1.5-litre engine, but it's now fitted with the same 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the Mercedes E-Class. It features here with an eight-speed twin-clutch DCT automatic gearbox and can be chosen as a 148bhp B 200 d that manages up to 55.4mpg, or as a 188bhp B 220 d that returns an identical figure. As this engine complies with Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standards, it's not subject to the 4% BiK diesel surcharge that affects some rival diesel models with less high-tech engines.

The 1.3-litre petrol engine will suit those who cover fewer than 12,000 miles a year, or who make primarily shorter journeys. It produces 134bhp in the B 180 or 161bhp as a B 200, which both return up to 46.3mpg. A 2.0-litre petrol was also available with 221bhp in the B 250 but has now been discontinued.

Business drivers are likely to flock to the B 250 e plug-in hybrid because its electric motor and battery pack give it a zero emissions range of up to 42 miles before the petrol engine kicks in. This elevates its fuel economy to 235mpg, while slashing CO2 emissions to 27g/km, for a very low BiK band. Charging at its maximum of 7.4kW can replenish the battery in just over an hour, while topping up with a domestic plug takes around 5.5 hours.

Private buyers may be drawn to the B 250 e as well. While it’s more expensive to buy in the first place, regularly charging the car’s battery will cost a mere fraction of what you’d pay for a full tank of fuel. Mercedes also predicts that the PHEV model will have a far better residual value (the amount it’s worth after three years) than petrol and diesel versions, which should mean PCP finance deals are fairly competitive for the plug-in hybrid.

The B-Class will cost the standard rate per year in VED (road tax), unless you get carried away with the options list and take the price of your car through the £40,000 barrier. If this happens, your car will face an annual road tax surcharge, making the total rather expensive the first five times your road tax is due. It will, however, revert to standard rate from the sixth time it's taxed. The plug-in hybrid incurs the discounted rate from year two onwards. 

Insurance

The Mercedes B-Class starts in insurance group 19 for the B180 d, while the B 220 d sits in a rather high group - 30 out of 50. The petrol B180 Sport starts in group 22, while the B 200 is in 25.

Servicing

Every Mercedes car requires a service annually or every 15,500 miles – whichever occurs first. You can take out a service plan to cover two, three of four services, paid either in a single lump sum or on a monthly basis. This makes it easier to budget for routine maintenance, as a workshop visit can vary in cost depending on whether an interim 'A' or major 'B' service is due, and whether mileage-dependent items like fuel and air filter replacement are necessary.

Warranty

Mercedes supplies every UK car with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, which can be extended at extra cost when it expires. It's worth noting that Mercedes extended warranties are subject to certain exclusions, particularly when it comes to body and engine seals and electrical wiring.

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