Mercedes B-Class mini MPV (2005-2011)

"The B-Class is spacious and well made, but you’ll pay handsomely for the car’s upmarket badge and premium feel, as it’s very expensive."

Carbuyer Rating

2.7 out of 5

Pros

  • Feeling of space inside
  • Quality of cabin materials and switches
  • Big, flexible boot space

Cons

  • Very dull to drive
  • Engines feel underpowered across the board
  • High price to pay for Mercedes-Benz badge

It’s bigger than the Mercedes A-Class, yet the upmarket B-Class still only seats five, unlike some rivals. The VW Touran, for example, includes a pair of extra folding seats in the boot. Instead, the B-Class focuses on passenger comfort and a premium image. The rear seats fold down easily to boost stowage space. Overall, it’s a practical and prestigious family car that’s very comfortable – but not very exciting to drive.

MPG, running costs & CO2

Standard diesels have good economy

Both petrol engines come with a BlueEFFICIENCY badge, which is basically Mercedes’ name for its work in lowering fuel consumption. Confusingly then, these two are the thirstiest B-Classes, with economy in the mid-forties compared to the 54.3mpg of the B 180 and B 200 CDI versions.

Engines, drive & performance

Driving position is excellent with good visibility

The Mercedes B-Class is an easy car to drive. The high driving position, which also offers lots of seat and wheel adjustment, means all-round visibility is good, so it’s easy to zip through traffic and park. Light steering, a vague gearchange and some body roll around corners means this car is unlikely to appeal to enthusiasts. The engines don’t help: the B 160 model, powered by a 1.7-litre 94bhp petrol engine, feels underpowered at low revs, as does the B 180 CDI diesel variant. Even the B 180 petrol model, with 114bhp, struggles with the weight of a family of five on board. That leaves the 138bhp B 200 CDI, which is significantly faster than the rest, but is expensive.

Interior & comfort

Comfortable and quiet, the seats are very supportive

The B-Class is a quiet and comfortable car to drive on long journeys. Wind noise is limited, and the car’s suspension is supple enough to smooth over potholes on broken city roads. The car rolls around a bit through corners, but the seats are supportive. Cabin quality is first rate, and helps justify the car’s high price tag.

Practicality & boot space

Practical removable seats are a worthwhile cost option

Pop the rear hatch, and you’ll instantly notice how big the boot looks. The rear seats fold down very easily, and - for a price - you can specify removable seats. Cabin cubbyholes are sparse when compared to most people carriers, and there are no map pockets, although the central storage and glove boxes are big enough for a few drinks cans and CDs.

Reliability & safety

Proven reliability record and excellent standard safety kit

The B-Class doesn’t have a Euro NCAP rating, but it has six airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and a clever system called ‘Steer Control’ that assists in steering the right way if you find yourself skidding. It also has a ‘sandwich floor’, which means the engine slides underneath the car during a head-on collision, which helps to reduce injuries. It has a proven track record of reliability and all models get an unlimited mileage warranty and up to 3-years of breakdown cover.

Price, value for money & options

Depreciation is poor for a Mercedes

There’s no doubting the kudos of the Mercedes badge, but it comes at a high price. Standard equipment on SE models includes alloy wheels, air-conditioning and electric windows, but the B-Class is priced higher than many bigger, better equipped people carriers - and it depreciates quicker than bigger Mercedes-Benz models.

Recommended

Mercedes B-Class MPV review
Mercedes B-Class MPV
Mercedes B-Class
2 Jul 2021

Mercedes B-Class MPV review

Top 10 best people carriers and MPVs 2021
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
MPVs
27 May 2021

Top 10 best people carriers and MPVs 2021

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Fiat 500 electric
Deals
24 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks