New Mercedes B-Class 2019: prices, specs and release date

New Mercedes B-Class MPV available to order now; prices start at £26,975

Mercedes has released official prices for the new Mercedes B-Class and it’s available to order now. The car is priced from £26,975 and first deliveries are expected to begin in spring 2019.

The new B-Class is Mercedes’ answer to small MPVs like the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, cars that offer an alternative to fashionable compact SUVs.

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With the new-for-2018 Mercedes A-Class hatchback about to be joined by a Mercedes A-Class saloon, the new B-Class falls into line with the brand's latest styling direction while offering the same steps forwards in technology as the latest cars to wear the three-pointed star badge.

Mercedes claims that the latest B-Class is sporty enough to attract buyers away from the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. It serves as an upmarket alternative to the Volkswagen Golf SV and Ford Focus C-Max MPVs, while offering more versatility than SUVs such as the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Skoda Karoq.

Mercedes B-Class prices, trim levels and engines

For now, there are four different models of the new Mercedes B-Class available, badged as follows: B 180, B 200, B 200 d and B 220 d. The B 180 and 200 both use the same 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 132bhp and 159bhp respectively. The B 200 d and B 220 d use the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, with 146bhp and 185bhp respectively. All come with an automatic gearbox as standard.

Just two trim levels will be offered, called Sport and AMG Line. All engines can be had in conjunction with each trim level apart from the range-topping B 220 d, which is only available in AMG Line trim and starts at £32,375.

The cheapest model is the B 180 Sport, priced from £26,975. All Sport models come as standard with Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system with voice activation, sat-nav, DAB radio and dual seven-inch screens; there’s also a standard reversing camera, 17-inch alloys, keyless go and automatic dual-zone climate control. All Sport models also get standard LED lights and high-quality fabric upholstery. The entry-level diesel model is the B 200 d Sport, starting from £29,625.

AMG Line adds a little more luxury, equipment and sporty detailing. On top of the standard Sport equipment, these models get 18-inch alloys, a three-spoke nappa leather sports steering wheel, sports seats, a redesigned radiator grille, an AMG bodystyling kit and unique fabric upholstery. Prices start at £28,175 for the B 180 AMG Line, while the B 200 d AMG Line just breaks the £30k barrier at £30,825.

As with all Mercedes models, there’s a comprehensive options list, sorted into packages. The ‘Executive’ pack adds a 10.25-inch central display, a parking assistance package, heated front seats and power-folding and heated mirrors, all for £1,395. The ‘Premium’ package adds a further 10.25-inch display for the driver, ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, keyless entry and a mid-range sound system for £2,259.

‘Premium Plus’ adds more on top of the ‘Premium’ pack, including electrically adjustable memory seats, adaptive LED lights and a panoramic sunroof; this costs £3,459 and includes everything else in the Executive and Premium packs too.

New Mercedes B-Class exterior design

The new B-Class has an obvious and deliberate resemblance to the latest A-Class hatchback, and presents a far sportier, more athletic profile than its predecessors. As before, the wheelbase (the distance between front and rear axles) is long at 2,792mm, with minimal front and rear overhangs. However, the roofline is lower than before, while larger wheelarches can house wheels of up to 19 inches for a hunkered-down appearance.

Like the A-Class, the B-Class has trapezoidal headlamps that incorporate LED daytime running lights, with full LED lighting available on certain models and 'multibeam' matrix technology available as an option. At the rear, horizontal rear lamps emphasise the car's width while a lower 'diffuser' bumper section frames the car's exhaust exits.

Aerodynamics are enhanced by a roof spoiler and gloss-black deflectors either side of the rear windscreen, to make the B-Class the most streamlined car in its class, according to Mercedes' claims, to the benefit of fuel economy and reduced interior noise. Passenger comfort is said to be greatly enhanced, too, by a lower belt line and broad expanse of glass for a good view out. Visibility is said to be further increased by thinner roof pillars.

Interior design

The latest B-Class employs a dashboard that has been contoured for a spacious feel. The instrument panel is free-floating, with a choice of three display combinations depending on trim level and options fitted. Entry level cars have two seven-inch displays side-by-side for instrumentation and infotainment duties, with a seven-inch and 10.25-inch combination or twin 10.25-inch displays. There's also a head-up display available.

The B-Class boasts the same turbine-style interior air vents as we've seen on the Mercedes E-Class, with some trim levels gaining a colour-coordinated surround intended to resemble an afterburner. Touch-sensitive controls grace the centre console, and a 64-colour ambient lighting system sets the mood after dark.

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The seats are said to adjust through a greater range than before, freeing up extra headroom. Seat heating and ventilation is optional, as is a massage function. There's also an 'energising' mode that's said to benefit comfort by making frequent small adjustments to the angle of back support.

Technology

The new B-Class adopts the MBUX multimedia system already seen in the latest Mercedes A-Class, complete with 'Hey Mercedes' voice control as an alternative to its touchscreen or optional touchpad input methods, and there are touch controls on the steering wheel. MBUX is claimed to employ artificial intelligence to adapt to the user, and Mercedes says that it "creates an emotional link between vehicle, driver and passengers".

MBUX boasts high-resolution 3D graphics to display features such as navigation that uses real-time traffic information and 'car-to-x' communications between vehicles, as well as the Mercedes Me collection of apps, which appear on the display screen in the form of icons as they might on a smartphone. Live information about parking spaces and local petrol prices can also be displayed, depending one equipment fitted.

Practicality

With more space claimed for front-seat occupants, those in the rear certainly haven't been forgotten. The new B-Class offers a more easily accessed centre rear seat than before thanks to a redesigned centre tunnel. It splits and folds into 40:20:40 sections and a sliding rear-seat option will be offered to allow owners to choose between maximising passenger or luggage space according to varying daily needs.

The sliding seat option will allow a maximum boot capacity of some 705 litres in the forward position, dropping to 455 litres at the rearmost extent of its 140mm range of adjustment. With no rear-seat passengers, the seatbacks can be folded flush with the luggage compartment floor, a section of which can be lowered to increase overall capacity to 1,540 litres. Hands-free tailgate opening will be optional, as will a folding front passenger seat, allowing longer loads to be carried.

Safety and driver assistance

Mercedes boasts that the latest B-Class offers driver assistance features that have trickled down from the Mercedes S-Class luxury saloon. These include a semi-autonomous driving mode that combines camera and radar information to anticipate traffic conditions up to 500 metres ahead, combining this with navigation data. It means the car can slow as appropriate for upcoming traffic lights, roundabouts and bends when the 'active distance assist' cruise control is engaged.

Active lane-changing assistance is available, and autonomous emergency braking is standard, as is active braking assistance, which works to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision with slower-moving traffic ahead, including pedestrians and cyclists. Mercedes says that the B-Class' structure is very strong.

Economy and performance

The new Mercedes B-Class can be chosen with 146bhp and 185bhp versions of the 2.0-litre diesel engine that debuted in the Mercedes E-Class. Those who prefer petrol can choose a 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine with 132bhp or 159bhp. No manual gearbox is offered, but a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard on the 2.0-litre diesel, with a seven-speed version standard on other models.

The table below outlines economy and performance for each engine.

B180 7-speedB200 7-speedB200d 8-speedB220d 8-speed
50.4-52.3mpg50.4-52.3mpg52.3-67.3mpg62.7-64.2mpg
124-128g/km CO2124-129g/km CO2112-118g/km CO2116-119g/km CO2

Mercedes wants the B-Class to blend comfort and agility, so there's a choice of standard or adaptive suspension systems, the latter of which can automatically set the suspension stiffness to suit prevailing road conditions and driving style. The driver can alternatively choose their own settings via the 'dynamic select' system.

Entry-level cars have a simplified 'twist-beam' rear suspension, while more powerful versions have a more sophisticated multilink system, which also forms the basis of the optional adaptive damping system.

Don't forget to check out our other articles if you're looking for the best seven-seater or eight-seater cars on the market currently.

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