Mercedes-Benz B Class Hatchback
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Review Of The Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback
JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGVE5zUmlkTEQ1X1UlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNFJTNDJTJGY2VudGVyJTNFThe new Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback represents a watershed moment in the five-seater family car market. Put simply, an MPV has never been this luxurious. But that’s not all; the five star Mercedes brings with it five-star safety ratings, affordable running costs, strong build quality and priceless badge appeal.
In other words, it could be exactly what families who need interior space but still want to travel in style are looking for.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback review.
On The Road
There are a lot of engines to choose from, including four diesels and a pair of petrols. There is also an all-electric variant available, which Mercedes claim has a 124-mile range. Whatever you choose, you’ll get a car that’s sharp to drive and has good ride quality.
Each model gets a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, but the optional 7-speed automatic is a better bet. It’s just so much smoother, and makes for a hassle-free driving experience. However, it is a bit unresponsive at times.[vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”58298″ img_size=”article-image”]
All models are two-wheel-drive, with the exception of the diesel B220d diesel model, which is four-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive is useful for if you need more grip. Other than that, it’s our pick of the range. It’s not the cheapest to run, but it runs the frugal 180d diesel model close on that score. And although it’s not the most powerful in the range, it will have enough oomph for most buyers.
If you do want more power, the range-topping B220d diesel model offers an extra 20bhp. That’s enough to give the car much more shove, but its costs will probably price out a good chunk of potential buyers. Moreover, while it’s perfectly capable at high speeds, it’s less than impressive at low speeds, where it feels reluctant. As mentioned, this is the only four-wheel-drive model in the range, which might sweeten the deal for some of you.
Petrol engines are more often than not overlooked in cars like this, but Mercedes are offering two this time around. The smaller B180 model produces up to 120bhp, but doesn’t accelerate with any urgency. That said, it’s an easy enough model to drive which returns good economy. It gets our thumbs up.
The other B200 petrol model delivers 154bhp, and has significantly more power.
The sole all-electric model develops 176bhp, does 0-62 in 7.9 seconds, and can run for 124 miles on a single charge. Although it’s running costs are low, it’s hard to recommend on account of it not being much fun to drive.
Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”58299″ img_size=”article-image”]The Mercedes has grown a bit in size since last time around, and can now boast more interior space. Comfort is fantastic, especially for the driver who benefits from a good amount of seat adjustability. Visibility is also good for the driver, both front and rear. This makes the B-Class – which is a fairly big car – easy to park.
The soft suspension ensures good ride quality, but if you opt for the AMG model the bigger wheels will reduce this somewhat. And while insulation is mostly good, the diesels are noisier than we’d prefer.
The dashboard is typically Mercedes – well put together, easy to use and fine to look at. We like the metal air vents, while the modified instrument dials and steering wheel look fab.
A new colour display reminiscent of an iPad controls many of the car’s multimedia systems. In entry level models its screen is 7”, while more expensive models get a bigger 8” screen. So its screen is big, but it’s not as intuitive as the BMW’s that we review below.
Some of the buttons in the cabin are a bit niggling and small, and it’s frustrating that the heating controls are hidden down low.
As mentioned, interior space is good, and even really tall adults will be able to get comfortable. Access is easy, headroom is better than before, and the entry level model comes with a flexible seating arrangement. It’s a sliding rear bench seat that can increase boot space or back seat leg room.
The boot measures 486-litres, which is impressive in this class. You can extend that to 1,545-litres by folding down the rear seats.
Equipment & Safety Of The Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback
Standard kit is very good, with all models getting a reversing camera, air conditioning and a leather steering wheel. Entry level models also get the brands Command Online system.
The Sport model adds rain-sensing windscreen wipers and ambient interior lighting. The AMG Line tops the range off with a sportier steering wheel, Alcantara suede fabric and man-made leather. It’s super plush.
There isn’t much to worry about where safety is concerned, with the car scoring 5/5 when crash tested by Euro NCAP.
The car’s standard safety kit includes collision prevention assist, a raft of airbag’s, Anti-lock brakes and traction control. Electronic stability control and ISOFIX child seat mounts are also included.
Costs Of The Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback
Prices for the new car start out from £22,600 and rise to £33,700. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the diesel engines can’t be beaten for what they’ll save you. The entry-level B200d model returns as much as 67.3mpg economy, and emits as little as 109g/km of CO2. Specify it with the automatic transmission, and economy increases to 70mpg.
Even the B220d model, which tops the range, is good for 67.3mpg. However, if you add four-wheel-drive, that figure drops to 56.6mpg.
The petrol engines aren’t as cheap to run, but both the B180 and B200 average returns of 50mpg. Meanwhile, all models cost £140 to tax each year.
Pros and Cons of the Of The Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback
Top Notch Interior
You don’t get many compact hatchbacks that look this posh inside. Then again, this is a Mercedes. It’s different class.
The sliding reach bench can be slid easily forwards or back for more legroom or boot space.
Affordable To Run
It might be a Mercedes, but it’s one for the family. Which means its diesel engines can return over 70mpg.
Only Five Seats
Technically, this is an MPV. And rival MPV’s are offering the option of seven seats.
Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback vs Infiniti Q30 vs BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback review.
Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback vs Infiniti Q30
Infiniti entered into a technical partnership with Infiniti, with the Q30 being based loosely on the A-Class. So although the Infiniti Q30 Hatchback doesn’t quite have the Mercedes’ priceless badge appeal, it does satisfy on a number of other counts.
Like the Mercedes, the Q30 has plenty of engines up for grabs. However, none offer exciting handling. More comfortable and refined than fun, the Infiniti isn’t a driver’s car. However, it’s simple and hassle-free for families who are looking for exactly that.[vc_single_image image=”58300″ img_size=”article-image”]
Both entry level diesel and petrol engines are a bit timid, with neither developing more than 120bhp. We’d suggest overlooking them, because they require you to work them hard – not exactly becoming of a relaxed, Premium Hatchback.
The 2.2-litre 168bhp adds more power and is great to drive around the town. However, while it’s economical, it’s also noisy and a tad sluggish. For this reason, the equivalent 2.0-litre 208bhp petrol engine might be a better bet. It’s quieter, faster and does 0-62 in 7.2 seconds. Moreover, thanks to the addition of turbochargers, it’s reasonably affordable to run, returning over 40mpg.
As a further benefit, it’s one of the few models to benefit from four-wheel-drive.
The diesels will, of course, be cheaper to run, with the 1.5-litre 108bhp engine returning 68.8mpg while costing £20 a year to tax. The bigger 2.2-litre 168bhp diesel, meanwhile, is good for returns of around 60mpg.
Infiniti needed to up their game with the Q30’s cabin if this was to be a true rival to the Mercedes – and they have. It sports a genuinely luxurious and plush interior, with Infiniti putting comfort first. The smooth ride quality is appealing, while insulation is good, too.
The design is easy on the eye, and you can see lots of similarities with the Mercedes A-Class in and around the cabin. Hardly a bad thing, of course. The switchgear is top notch, we love the suede roof lining, and the touchscreen infotainment screen is easy to use.
Look hard enough, though, and you will find cheaper plastics. As such, the Mercedes B-Class wins for out-and-out luxury.
Still, despite not being as big as some mainstream rivals, the Infiniti has a decent amount of room. Head and legroom aren’t as good as the Mercedes, and rear seated passengers will feel cramped thanks to the big window pillars. But the 430-litre boot is a good size, even though the B-Class is bigger.
Mercedes – £22,600 – £33,700
Infiniti – £20,850 – £33,850
Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback vs BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is a proper driver’s car. It’s big, bold, comfortable – and surprisingly economical.
From the outside, the BMW just looks so much more assured than the Mercedes. It’s the same story on the road, where precise steering and minimal body lean add up to an involving driver experience.
It’s a heavy-set car, though, so it doesn’t glide with as much fluency as a smaller car. However, you can add the £750 Adaptive M Sport suspension for an even better experience.[vc_single_image image=”58301″ img_size=”article-image”]
In terms of the engines, we’re going to focus on the entry-level and mid-range models, as these are the Mercedes’ proper rivals. The 318d GT diesel opens the range with a 0-62 time of 9.3 seconds, which will probably be too slow for some people. The 320d GT diesel adds more power, and does the same sprint in a more respectable 7.8 seconds.
The two equivalent petrol engines are the 320i and 330i models. They’re hard to make a case for, as they’re not especially quick or sporty – and they’re not all that cheap to run.
That said, their economy has improved thanks to the introduction of a turbocharger. These two 2.0-litre engines now return 45.6mpg (320i) and 47.mpg (330i) respectfully. These numbers compare unfavourably to the diesels, which return 60.1mpg (320d) and 61.4mpg (318d).
Inside, it’s pleasing to report that the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Hatchback is even comfier than the saloon from which it’s derived. The suspension cushions you brilliantly, and there are touches of luxury everywhere.
Unsurprisingly, the dashboard has come from the 3 Series Saloon, which means top quality plastics and upmarket trim finishes. It’s very driver-oriented, while a dash-mounted colour screen gives the GT some individuality. As does extra lashings of glossy and chrome materials that spill onto the air vents.
Passenger space has been increased, as has the boot. There is 8cm more legroom in the back than in the saloon variant, while raised seats have improved access. Anyone sat in the middle, though, will have to get to grips with the transmission tunnel. And if you add the optional panoramic sunroof, rear seat headroom diminishes.
There are plenty of storage spaces, such as a massive glove box, and the boot measures 520-litres. That makes it bigger than both the Mercedes and the Infiniti – and even the 3 Series Saloon. It benefits from a large boot lid for ease of use, and can be extended to 1,600-litres by folding down the rear seats.
BMW – £31,500 – £44,600
Verdict Of Our 2017 Mercedes Benz B-Class Hatchback Review
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