When new، the original Mercedes B-Class was a costly car that didn’t offer enough of an advantage over its cheaper rivals، UK-based Auto Express magazine reported.
But a decade on، B-Class values have found their natural level، so one doesn’t need deep pockets to get one’s hands on a good example. This isn’t an easy car to pigeonhole، as it’s got the silhouette of an MPV، yet it doesn’t really offer that level of versatility. While it’s not an alternative to established MPVs، think of it as a posh family hatch that’s keenly priced and offers an elevated seating position، so one sits higher than a conventional car but not quite as high as in an SUV.
Until the arrival of the original A-Class in 1997، Mercedes had built saloons، cabriolets، estates and off-roaders – but it had never offered a hatchback.
While mainstream car makers produced huge numbers of these practical and popular cars، Mercedes focused on bigger، more profitable models. But while the A-Class was revolutionary thanks to its innovative twin-floor construction، it didn’t prove quite as popular as Mercedes hoped.
Despite this، Mercedes introduced a bigger version of this model in 2005 – the B-Class. Once again this five-door hatch failed to set the sales charts alight، but as a used buy Auto Express reckons it’s worth a closer look، thanks to its spacious cabin، excellent practicality and safety، plus keen prices.
The Mercedes B-Class went on sale in late 2005 and was in production for seven years before being replaced by the latest model in 2012. It’s the first-generation car that we’re focusing on in this review.
Mercedes B-Class Mk1
The B-Class arrived in September 2005 in B150 (1.5-litre)، B170 (1.7-litre) and B200 Turbo (2.0-litre) petrol forms. There was also a 2.0-litre diesel in B180 CDI or B200 CDI guises. Buyers could choose between SE or Sport trims، while the B150 and B180 CDI also came in an unnamed entry-level trim.
For £1،390 any engine could be ordered with an Autotronic continuously variable transmission. A facelift in April 2008 brought more efficient engines and a tweaked nose، along with a few interior revisions. The final development for the original B-Class came in June 2009، when the B160 and B180 petrol engines were introduced with fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY technology. The second-generation B-Class went on sale in the UK in spring 2012.