The Mercedes name has always been synonymous with quality, but even the most ardent supporter of the badge would admit that quality slipped on some models in the late 90’s.
Mercedes, never a manufacturer to rest on its laurels, are enjoying great success again after successfully taking on the family saloon market with the C Class range and now the newly launched Mercedes B Class range.
The new Mercedes B Class slots neatly into the five-door family saloon market. An ideal tourer for the longer journeys but just as happy on the daily school run. In fact, Mercedes themselves describe it as a “Compact Sports Tourer”.
The build quality is excellent, as you would expect with Mercedes. It’s a small car, but it’s as solid as a tank. When we say small, the perception is just that, but the reality is something different. Sitting in the back of the Mercedes B Class, you can stretch your legs in the same leg room as an S Class.
The B Class was loosely based on the A Class, but don’t be fooled, Mercedes have ironed out all those problems the A Class had with driveability. With the top of the range 193bhp 2.0 litre turbo engine, the Mercedes B Class is a different animal.
Ideal for families, the rear seats fold flat into the floor and the floor of the boot can be raised to provide a flat loading surface. The front passenger seat folds flat to allow for those longer loads and even the seatbelts have their own slots next to the rear doors to store them out of the way when loading and unloading.
The interior styling is well thought out too. The dash is cleanly designed with the right mix of contrasting colours and metallic detailing.
Standard spec across the B Class range includes, air conditioning, four spoke steering wheel with multi-function buttons, armrest, electric windows, tinted glass and touches of brushed aluminium trim.
Handling is good with less roll than you might expect from a car as tall as this. The electro-mechanical power steering takes a bit of getting used to, but you can trust it. The feel could be better, but we’re being super critical now.
There is no doubt that there are other cars in this category that will do the job as well, but the Mercedes is the more aspirational model and will retain a good deal of its value for re-sale.
The looks are good. Safety features abound. The B Class is a safe bet.
If you want quality, and don’t mind paying a little more for it then the new Mercedes B Class shouldn’t disappoint.