The most recent facelift of the B-Class has changed many people’s perceptions about the model in general. When the first B-Class was released it was met with mediocre reviews and a string of unimpressed Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. Like with the A-Class though, Mercedes pulled up their socks and created a vehicle that was more in line with the rest of their premium brand. The new B-Class looks better and drives better than ever before.
We thoroughly test drove the B180 CDI model with a 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission and a 1.5 litre engine. This offers 0-100 km/h in 11.6 seconds and has a maximum speed of 190 km/h. There is a less powerful 1.5 litre engine available in the B160 CDI, this will give 0-100 km/h in a sluggish 14 seconds. In terms of petrol engine there is a 1.6 litre engine that offers two outputs. The B180 offers 122 bhp while the B160 offers 102 bhp.
The ride in the B-Class is firm. However, we tested this vehicle on every different road type in Ireland and we found it to corner and take bends at ease. The steering could offer a bit more feedback though. The biggest issue we had with this vehicle was the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. It’s a lazy gearbox that likes to hold onto gears for far too long. It’s fine if you’re intending to gain speed slowly, but for swiftly getting to motorway speeds it can be irksome.
The B-Class we tested generated a lot of road noise. This was on account of the large tyres we were travelling on. There was also some wind noise seeping through on account of the large wing mirrors. When cruising the diesel engine is quite enough, although us not hearing it could have something to do with the amount of road noise coming through.
The B-Class interior is very comfortable, which should not come as a surprise considering that this is a high-end luxury car maker. The dash is made of very solid materials and the steering wheel is nicely adjustable. Seating within the vehicle is extremely comfortable too. The infotainment system is presented very nicely, but unfortunately it can take a lot of time to get used to the complexities of it – I don’t expect this to be an ownership issue though as once you get used to it there is no problems.
Mercedes-Benz takes safety very seriously, this is echoed within the B-Class. In all you will find at least seven airbags. The car is also full of driver aids and safety systems like Attention Assist, which monitors if a person is suffering from fatigue. Other safety features include; optional Adaptive High beam Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Electronic Stability Control, and much more. Unsurprisingly, the B-Class received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests. They scored an excellent 97% for adult safety and 81% for child occupancy.
The boot offers 488 litres, but for an MPV it could do with offering just a little more. The front offers excellent head, leg and shoulder room and the rear is plentiful for two adults. The central armrest has two USB points which is practical for charging and connectivity.