In a market dominated by high-riding vehicles, MPVs are finding it hard to survive. However, while some carmakers are phasing them out, Mercedes-Benz has brought the B-Class into the third generation.
Based on the same platform as the latest compact cars in their lineup, such as the A-Class and the CLA, it follows a similar suit in terms of styling, getting a significant makeover compared to its predecessor, which wasn’t exactly a looker. Think of it as an A-Class hatch with a raised roofline, more space in the boot and a slightly reworked interior that has become more family-friendly.
Strangely enough, for a people carrier that calls itself premium, it’s a bit noisy on the go and the suspension is kind of firm. Then comes the pricing, which could be another drawback for those in the market for such a ride: £25,460 ($30,868/€27,917) in the UK and about €33,000 ($36,500) in Ireland, where this one was put to the test.
BMW’s 2-Series Active Tourer costs about the same in both markets, but if you’re willing to drop the Merc’ badge for Renault’s, you could get the Grand Scenic for a tad less. And if that doesn’t sound like a good deal, you should know that the B180d reviewed below is powered by the 1.5-liter diesel engine, developed by the French company, rated at 116 horsepower. Furthermore, the AMG Line version is even more costly, at €35,000 ($38,700) for the auto version that also adds more equipment and a specific exterior makeover.
Then again, that’s a Merc, so it gets priced accordingly and putting it against a non-premium product is like comparing apples and oranges. Or is it?