Mercedes-Benz B180 Sport
THE Mercedes-Benz B Class is a spacious compact family MPV aimed at those seeking better accommodation for passengers and their luggage, and its stand-out sales point is the premium image it carries over from the company’s larger more prestigious models.
The latest version has sleek subtle styling cues which give the B Class an elegant exterior appearance and inside, the beautiful cabin design is classy and impressive and immediately makes you feel you are driving a car that might cost twice the price.
In fact, the entry versions start at €31,188 (£26,980) and are very well equipped to include climate control, LED headlights, cruise control, sat-nav, reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a central infotainment screen.There are also optional upgrade packages to add extra features. Standard safety kit includes forward collision warning and lane-keep assist.
Accommodation in this compact MPV is spacious for five adults, with excellent head and leg room, and the boot at 455 litres is one of the largest in the class and can be increased to 710 litres as the rear seat can slide forward. And with rear seats folded flat, you get a substantial 1,540 litres.
There are petrol and diesel engine options with differing power outputs and my featured model is the entry-level B180 Sport priced at €31,188 (£26,980) with a punchy four-cylinder 136 hp 1.3 litre petrol unit and standard 7-speed auto gearbox. The 0-100 kph time is 9.0 seconds and top speed is 212 kph (132 mph). Emissions are 125 g/km and average fuel consumption is 16.8 kpl (47.1 mpg).
While the model is labelled Sport, don’t expect the performance on this entry version to be very sporty. However it is perfectly adequate for normally needs and the suspension set-up reflects the targeted family use by putting the emphasis on all-round comfort. With light precise steering and a nice overall balance the B Class drives well with excellent cornering composure and its higher driving position provides good all-round visibility. Overall the B Class comes across as an ideal family car, offering space, comfort and practicality.
Rivals include the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the Volkswagen Golf SV and while both are strong contenders, in my view neither can quite match the level of kudos than comes with the famous Mercedes Benz three-pointed star.
Model: Mercedes-Benz B180 Sport
Engine: 1.3 litre petrol
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Performance: 0-100 kph 9.0 seconds, top speed 212 kph (132 mph)
Economy: 16.8 kpl (47.1 mpg)
Emissions: 125 g/km