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Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018) Buying Guide

Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)
Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Mercedes B-Class (2012-2018)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

When it comes to low-profile cars, few are below the radar as much as the Mercedes B-Class. The original model came and went with nobody noticing and the second edition was just as invisible. But that doesn't make the B-Class a bad car - just one that was overshadowed by more mainstream rivals such as the Ford C-Max and Renault Scenic. Packed with technology, featuring a spacious cabin and extremely safe, the B-Class was costly when new, which made it hard to recommend. But as a used buy things are different because values are more realistic, even if this unusual Mercedes still isn't at the top of its class.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Very safe
Spacious cabin
Build quality
Strong image
Efficient engines
Smart design
Firm ride
Mediocre steering
Relatively costly to buy
Relatively costly to run
Tight for five adults
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Key Dates 
11/11The second-generation B-Class arrives in B180 BlueEfficiency and B200 BlueEfficiency (petrol) along with B180 CDi and B200 CDi diesel forms. The petrol engine is a 1.6-litre unit, the diesel is a 1.8. All models get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto optional.
1/14A B220 CDi 4Matic joins the range with four-wheel drive, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. also launched is a B180 CDi Eco SE, rated at 92g/km of CO2 and 74.3mpg.
11/14A facelifted B-Class arrives with a redesigned nose featuring integral daytime running lights, optional LED headlights, a bigger dash-mounted display screen and more safety kit.
2/15The B-Class Electric Drive reaches showrooms with a claimed 142-mile range. Few are sold.
  • Two-thirds of these cars have a dual-clutch automatic transmission, which can suffer problems including surging and a lack of drive.
  • This second-generation B-Class carries the Mercedes codename W246. The original B-Class, sold between 2005 and 2012, is the W245.
  • All B-Classes are fitted with stop/start which can take its toll on the life of the starter motor.
  • Even the standard car has quite a firm ride, but the Sport suspension is even stiffer, so make sure you can live with it before buying.
  • Sport models come with run-flat tyres whereas the SE has conventional rubber. It's possible to switch from run-flat to conventional to save money on replacement tyres and to improve the ride quality.
  • Most B-Classes have a diesel engine, which is a good thing as these feel significantly more muscular than the petrol alternative.
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