Driving review: Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Will the B-Class be able to maintain it’s position as a best seller?

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class has always been the ‘trusty rusty’ in the MPV segment, but recently we saw the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer join the mix as well as the likes of the recently launched Volkswagen SV. So will the B-Class be able to maintain it’s position as a best seller? Since it launched in 2005, it has sold more than a million units

This second generation B-Class boasts exterior and interior enhancements along with some engine changes as well. Florian Seidler, Executive Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa says, “As the first member of a completely new generation of compact class, for us the B-Class paved the way for great success in this vehicle segment. The pioneer is now in better shape than ever.”

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Merc says that the best way to spot a facelifted B-Class with a petrol or diesel engine is to look at the front: it has a new bumper, wide radiator trim with two louvres and integral daytime running lights in the headlamps.  Step inside and you will notice the upgrade in quality. I had the B250 with an interior that was striking to say the least. Think dark red with black leather! It was hot! And I never thought I would be using words such as ‘hot’ when writing a review about the B-Class. There is also a choice of 12 colours for the ambient lighting, allowing for different moods to be created. Purple set my mood…

There are three design and equipment lines: Style, Urban and AMG Line. Each features a number of distinctive exterior and interior details. The Night, Exclusive and AMG Exclusive packages build on these and provide more options for individualisation.

When it comes to driving this car, one needs to keep in mind it would be a practical purchase. You are not jumping behind this wheel to put it round a track. It feels solid and if you have kids in  the car, you want to feel as if you are driving a solid car. The ride quality is good…something the previous generation struggled with, but the steering feels over-assisted.

When it comes to the engine choices, you can choose between two economical diesel models (B 200 CDI and B220 CDI) with consumption statistics ranging from 4.3 to 4. l/100 km and two petrol engines (B 200 and B 250) at between 5.6 and 6.6 l/100 km.

“The B-Class is the perfect (family) car for anyone who attaches importance to practicality, comfort and safety, but at the same time doesn’t want to miss out on sportiness or driving dynamics, “ adds Seidler.

If your heart is set on the Mercedes-Benz badge and you want a car that is practical and spacious, then the B-Class is the car you need to look at. I am yet to drive the Volkswagen SV, but having driven the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer I can say that if I had to pick out of the two, I would go with BMW’s MPV so be sure to test drive them all before making your decision!


B200 – R388 300

B 200 CDI – R404 200

B 220 CDI – R448 000

B250 – R464 800