Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2012 – 2018) Review
Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2012 – 2018) At A Glance
The second generation of Mercedes-Benz B-Class aimed to be the premium manufacturer’s take on a small MPV or a beefed-up hatchback when it was on sale from 2012 to 2018. It’s a sort of ‘best of both worlds’ attempt of blending posh with practicality but without the huge price tag of the brand’s bigger SUVs. Mercedes isn’t the only brand to have tried this – the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a similar concept, as is the Volkswagen Golf SV (or Golf Plus) but it is a bit of a rarity.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a development of the ideas originally thought up for the first generation of A-Class. This is why the B-Class has tall sides and single box styling, whereas the A-Class has developed into a more traditional premium hatch.
Those tall sides give the B-Class ample interior space for five, making it a plausible alternative to many MPVs and crossover rivals. Add in the appeal of the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star badge, a large boot and strong build quality and the B-Class begins to build a case for itself.
There’s a choice of two petrol versions, which both use the same 1.6-litre turbo petrol engines in two different outputs. You can also choose from a 1.5-litre diesel or two versions of the 2.1-litre diesel and the most powerful diesel is also available with 4Matic all-wheel drive.
While the variety of engines and premium appeal of the B-Class will attract some to its ranks, this Mercedes-Benz does not offer much in the way of driving thrills. The handling is at best average for the class and the firm ride is necessary to stop the tall-sided B-Class from lolling about too much in corners.
Where the B-Class does regain ground is the amount of safety equipment supplied as standard with the car. All B-Class models have seven airbags, a Collision Prevention Assist Plus system to avoid accidents happening in the first place, plus a driver drowsiness warning. Mercedes-Benz also includes automatic child seat recognition to deactivate the front passenger airbag when a child seat is fitted.
There are three main trim levels on offer in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, with SE, Sport and AMG Line. Given the market that Mercedes looks to appeal to, the standard level of kit is good even on the basic model. Even the SE cars got toys such as a reversing camera, leather substitute trim, a seven-inch display and active parking assist.
Sport adds more tech and some visual upgrades while AMG Line is the one that brings more in the way of a body kit and lowered suspension, for those of you that want your people carrier to have a degree of sportiness.
For many buyers though, the B-Class will be too expensive compared to rivals that make do without a Mercedes-Benz badge.