What is it?
This model is the point of entry into the new Mercedes-Benz B-class line-up. Although it is only a few hundred pounds more than its equivalent in the outgoing line-up, the absence of a B 160 version, which currently comes in just under £20,000, makes the new range slightly less affordable.
You do, however, get a car that’s all new from bumper-to-bumper and these days, that’s unusual. Mercedes is claiming sharper handling, a more supple ride, cleaner and quicker engines, excellent aerodynamics and a class first with standard-fit radar-based collision warning systems. Also improved is the interior finish, something that’s immediately obvious from the moment you open a door.
The base engine is an all-new direct injection turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol putting out 120bhp and a competitive combined consumption of 47.9mpg, which translates to 138g/km. It comes hooked to the six-speed manual transmission tested here, but is also available with a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual.
What’s it like?
Smoother sums this new B Class – smoother revving, smoother riding and more smoothly finished. The engine sounds sweet, even managing a little rort as you rev it, although there’s little need to stretch it to the danger paint because its torque peak occurs at an early 1250rpm.