Saddled with a mechanical platform that delivered excellent packaging but at a considerable price, the A-Class and B-Class siblings have failed to win major success. But change is coming to Mercedes’ small-car range, and this new Mercedes B-Class is the first taste of it.
Stuttgart’s pseudo-MPV was given a new platform and format that, stylistically and dynamically, make it a more conventional fit for the so-called ‘premium C-segment’. However, in 2014 BMW saw that Mercedes had tied up the market and decided to fight back with its front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer. To ensure it didn't lose too much ground on its younger and likeable rival, Mercedes gave the B-Class a much needed facelift, which included a number of improvements.
It is at the vanguard of a fresh effort by Mercedes to make real headway into a chunk of the luxury car market where it can ill-afford to be outperformed. As such, the impact crater of serious investment is readily apparent.
The B-Class, like the A-Class, is an all-new car offered with a choice of four-cylinder engines, manual or automatic gearboxes and extensive class-first safety features.