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Mercedes B-Class (2005-2012) Buying Guide

Mercedes B-Class (2005-2012)
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by Richard Dredge

The B-Class is a spacious family hatch with that famed Mercedes build quality, a healthy dose of practicality and a strong image, yet many buyers were unaware of this overgrown A-Class. Of those who knew about it, many couldn't afford it. Easier to recommend used than new, the B-Class has the silhouette of an MPV, but doesn't offer that level of versatility. So while it's not an alternative to established MPVs, think of it as a posh family hatch at keen prices, and you won't go far wrong.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Build quality
Spacious cabin
Diesel engines
Fidgety ride
Vague steering
Lack of versatility
Awkward styling
Five seats only
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Key Dates 
9/05 The B-Class arrives in B150 (1.5-litre), B170 (1.7-litre) and B200 Turbo (2-litre) petrol forms. There's a 2-litre diesel in B180 CDi or B200 CDi guises too, plus SE or Sport trims. The B150 and B180 CDi also come in an un-named entry-level trim.
4/08 A facelift brings more efficient engines and a tweaked nose along with a few minor interior revisions.
6/09 The B160 and B180 petrol engines are introduced, with fuel-saving BlueEfficiency technology.
  • Sunroofs can leak in heavy rain; look for damp patches in the cloth surrounding the aperture.
  • That extra height means the suspension is firm to counter body roll; make sure it's not uncomfortably firm.
  • High-mileage diesels can get very smoky and clattery, and big bills almost certainly loom.
  • Rear brake discs rust, especially on cars used sparingly. It's down to the front brakes doing most of the work.
  • The rear screen washer pipe detaches, allowing water to short the electrics that control the tailgate release.
  • Central locking problems can occur in cold weather, while the electric windows can play up; synchronising them usually fixes things.
  • Many owners find the heating and air-con system inadequate.
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