New Mercedes B-Class is a stylish MPV

Hugh Maguire on a modern take on the compact MPV

New Mercedes B-Class is a stylish MPV

Mercedes have a new B-Class and I have been road testing the B180 AMG Line powered by a new 1332cc petrol engine.

The B-Class has been a very successful model for Mercedes selling over 1.5 million units to date.

The new car aims to further the appeal of the B-Class with a fresh new style, new interior and a range of new and more efficient engines.

There are two petrols and three diesels.

So has it any street cred?

Well they have certainly done well on the style of the new B- Class.

Mercedes are after a young target audience with this car and the style should certainly appeal to this type of young family buyer, its smart and trendy!

What is it like inside?

Slip inside the new B-Class and it is immediately obvious that this is a true Mercedes, indeed the driver of an E-Class will recognise a lot of it.

In true Teutonic fashion the dashboard is a model of ergonomic excellence with each switch and button placed well for both safety and ease of use.

I found the driving position to be just right and I like the fact that the little bit of extra height over a normal hatchback gives such a commanding view of the road ahead.

The now familiar fully digital dashboard looks and functions well and of course the Mercedes MBUX multimedia system with always live voice activation is just excellent in its functionality.

Highlights of the comprehensive standard equipment list include, 18” AMG alloys, heated front seats, Sports seats, Active lane keep assist (which can be a bit too aggressive when crossing hatched lines!), lowered comfort suspension, LED performance headlamps, a light and sight package and much more.

Accommodation is really very good with lots of legroom in the rear and a decent sized load area which is accessed via the electric tailgate.

What’s under the bonnet?

There is a new range of ever more frugal and efficient engines on offer.

My test car was powered by the 1332cc petrol mated to a 7-speed auto.

Performance is adequate rather than very good while the auto box shifts smoothly through the ratios its not the best I have experienced.

The new B-Class proved economical over some 600 km of mixed driving returning a test average of 5.9 litres per 100km. Road tax is €270.00

What is it like to drive?

Well this new B-Class certainly handles well.

It proves surefooted and stable under all road conditions and corners better than most other hatchback rivals I can think of.

Noise levels are commendably low, indeed this new B-Class proves surprisingly refined, with minimal noise from the car in all areas.

Verdict

So there it is.

The new B-Class is a fine car but it is not revolutionary in any way. It’s a stylish MPV, that is very well built, with sporting overtones, that carries a prestigious badge.

Overall though I like the new B- Class, it’s a car that offers great flexibility with all the benefits of a modern hatchback but with some of the added virtues of a mid-sized MPV.

In addition it is pleasant to drive, looks really well and carries a certain prestige that is after all associated with the three pointed star.

The B180 Auto AMG Line costs from €34,395.