Fleet News

Road Test: Mercedes-Benz B-class B180 CDI SE

Mercedes-Benz
BIK List Price
£22,005
Mercedes-Benz B-Class BIK list price
BIK Percentage
17%
Mercedes-Benz B-Class BIK Percent
CO2
115g/km
Mercedes-Benz B-Class CO2
Combined MPG
64.2
Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPG

Review

Mercedes-Benz’s compact people carrier has had a pained evolution from the oddball Vaneo through the practical first-generation B-Class to the sophisticated second-generation model now available.

While it might look a little pricey alongside mainstream rivals, the premium-badge B-Class illustrates the benefit of looking beyond the initial purchase price to work out the most cost-effective model.

Based on P11D value, the B180 CDI is almost £1,400 more expensive than the Ford C-Max 1.6 TDCi Titanium. However, when it comes to residual values over four years/80,000 miles, the B-Class has an RV of £7,150 while the C-Max is valued at £4,925. In this instance, fleet operators could save money by opting for the dearer car over the volume brand.

The model we tested was a manual. It costs another £1,450 to have the dual-clutch seven-speed automatic.

The B-Class marks the start of a range of next-generation cars. Mercedes has developed new engines, transmissions and a new platform to be shared with future models.

The new A-Class due on sale later this year, rivalling the 1 Series and Audi A3, is built from the same components set.

The B-Class features a raft of safety innovations. Standard equipment includes ‘attention assist’ which detects driver fatigue by steering behaviour, ‘collision prevention assist’ which warns if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front and ESP with acceleration skid control.

A lane tracking package option costing £785 includes blind spot assist and lane-keeping assist (alerts via vibration through the steering wheel).

While I was impressed with this safety technology, particularly the collision prevention assist which reminded me that I am sometimes guilty of not leaving an adequate gap, I wasn’t too keen on the audible ‘please observe the speed limit’ blasting from the sat-nav.

Nothing wrong with reminding drivers not to speed, of course, but it became irritating when it chimed up based on old data on a new stretch of road at 50mph in a 70mph speed limit. Hopefully, a simple update would solve this.

From the outside, the B-Class is nothing special to look at, but inside it offers the kind of luxury you would expect from Mercedes. The model we tested was fitted with the Exclusive package (at £1,535), which includes leather upholstery, heated front seat with four-way lumbar support, black roof lining, a choice of trim and velour floor mats. The media system also impressed.

The B180 CDI has an official combined figure of 64.2mpg and I achieved close to 60mpg during the test.

The 109bhp diesel engine provides adequate performance, and while the B-Class doesn’t feel as responsive as Ford’s C-Max, it’s neat and safe handling will appeal to many.

FN Verdict
The B180 demonstrates clearly how a premium badge car can compete with mainstream rivals on cost and win. When a great product also adds up financially we should give it our recommendation.
Fuel costs
With an official combined mpg of 64.2 the B-Class has a small advantage over its rival the Ford C-Max and an even greater saving compared with other rivals.
Running costs
Strong residual values and excellent fuel economy offset the premium price tag.
Driver appeal
Although the B-Class isn't one of the better looking Mercedes its luxurious interior and safety innovations make it appealing to drivers.
Top Speed
N/A
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £9,175
4 Year 80k : £7,150
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 34.36
4 Year 80k : 31.99

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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