The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Caroline drives the Mercedes-Benz B-Class!

Five seat MPVs used to be very popular but in recent years the SUV has taken over. But when an MPV does come along in my test schedule, it’s a reminder that these vehicles still make quite a lot of sense for buyers who prioritise space and practicality. Mercedes-Benz is obviously a brand that still believes in the genre because they’ve just introduced the all-new B-Class.

As I was driving the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class, I looked around and began to see numerous examples of the previous generation of the car. Clearly the B-Class has quite a following! So why would you disappoint your core market and render it to the scrap heap?

What’s new for the B-Class?

Priced from €32,745, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has a new look in line with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz range and is spawned from the very stylish new A-Class that arrived in Ireland in 2018. The wheelbase is now longer with short overhangs and a slightly lowered roof line. The new B-Class is styled to maximise interior space, but it’s classy and discrete in that Mercedes-Benz way!

The new B-Class goes on sale from €32,745 in Ireland
The new B-Class goes on sale from €32,745 in Ireland

However it’s inside the new B-Class where the real Mercedes star shines. The B-Class has an all-new dashboard design that’s really impressive. The material quality is excellent and this car gives the occupants a feeling of wellbeing with a light and spacious feel. There’s a digital instrument panel and touchscreen with touchpad control that complete the modern look of the new B-Class.

It’s a far more practical car than the A-Class hatchback it’s based on with more headroom and legroom. The new B-Class is a bit wider than the car it replaces so there is more elbow room for everyone also. There are two deep footwells in the back making it a comfortable place to stretch out the legs for a long journey. The boot is also very practical for carrying things being large (455 litre capacity) with a wide opening and low sill.

In Ireland, the new B-Class is sold in Style, Progressive (from €34,969) and AMG Line (from €37,337) trims. Standard equipment includes 16” alloys, MBUX infotainment system, reversing parking camera, leather/fabric upholstery, active lane keeping assist and heated front seats. The AMG Line car I had on test has 18” AMG alloys, sports steering wheel, AMG bodystyling, AMG sports pedals, diamond radiator grille with single louvre, LED headlamps and dual zone climate control.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Driving the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is powered by new, efficient engines, all compliant with new Euro 6d-TEMP regulations mandatory from next year. Petrols include the B180 and B200. Diesels are available from €35,300 and are badged B180d, B200d and B220d with a new 2.0-litre diesel making its debut in the B-Class range.

My test car was a B180 powered by a 1.3-litre turbo petrol with 136hp and mated to an automatic gearbox. The petrol engine is smooth and quiet, only getting noisy when you really accelerate hard. When taking off the automatic gearbox can be a bit slow, but out on the open road the power delivery is smooth and effortless. Manual gearboxes are also available. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.4l/100km with motor tax of €270 per year for the B180.

On the road the Mercedes-Benz B-Class offers excellent comfort and refinement. It handles and steers competently with some body roll owing to its height, but for MPV buyers comfort is far more important, and the B-Class delivers on that.

Five seat MPVs may no longer be fashionable, but there is no disputing their value to buyers who prioritise space, practicality and comfort. The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is now more stylish than before with a fantastic cabin ambience and the latest range of petrol and diesel engines. The B-Class has compact dimensions on the road, but the interior is surprisingly roomy. The best quality is the comfort the B-Class offers on the move.

Owners of the previous generation of this car will love the new B-Class!

The new B-Class is a stylish and practical five seat MPV

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz B180 Automatic AMG Line
€38,987 (range from €32,745)
Engine: 1.3-litre turbo petrol
136 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
9 seconds
Top speed: 212 km/h
Fuel economy:
5.4-5.6 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
125 g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year