Right-sized refined versatility
My neighborhood is a mix of pensioners and young new families. Within a five-minute walk from my house, there are no less than three Mercedes-Benz B-Class, two of which belong to retired couples (they look older), and the other, to a family with one young child. As I walk my son to daycare almost every day, I see the Bs and after a while was reminded that I’d not driven one in years, so I did.
The Mercedes B-Class is without a doubt the least sexy member of the Benz family. And yet, it is immediately recognizable as belonging alongside the C and E-Classes, to name but two. The “B” says many things to onlookers, some of it negative but to those that know, it can only be positive.
The B 250 4MATIC is a Mercedes through and through and behaves as such. In fact, the most surprising aspect is its powertrain. The turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder is quite the performer thanks to its 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque (from 1,200 to 4,000 rpm!). On top of that, the transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch unit mated to Merc’s 4MATIC AWD system. This makes the B right proper quick. Remember, this same unit powers the Metris van!
The ride quality leans more towards sporty than comfort but only the worst of the road’s surface will throw it off. Steering and brakes are well judged and Mercedes’ also includes drive modes for a little more fun.
The cabin’s where it’s at. It is spacious, well-appointed but I would recommend one opt for the optional $250 Dark Ash wood interior trim over the standard Sail Pattern trim. The front and rear seats are cozy and the trunk is deep enough to haul lots of gear. Width-wise, the boot suffers because of the fit and finish but should conquer the Costco test.
All in all, it’s more than enough for mom, dad, and baby. And maybe even another child. One of the families also drives a new Audi A4 so they bought the B because it made sense, not because it’s the least expensive Merc with a starting price of just under $36,000. As tested, my 4MATIC Kryptonite Green example retailed for just over $40k.