When it comes to small MPVs, up until now it’s been sort of difficult to pick a vehicle that looks somewhat desirable in particular if you wanted a family car with premium aspirations. Mercedes has been selling the B-Class since 2006 and after introducing the second-generation in 2012, the German carmaker has rolled out the third iteration of its posh MPV. This 2019 B-Class is more than just an A-Class with a taller roof because Mercedes has made a huge effort to separate the hatchback from its little sibling. While the A-Class has the sporty so-called ‘Predator’ face shared with the new CLA and CLS, the new MPV adopts a more stylish front end that better suits the car’s body especially when running the AMG Line pack which our test vehicle had.

Because of the different roof-line, the cabin is much more generous in the case of the B-Class thanks to taller windows that allow a lot of light to enter the roomy cockpit. At the rear end of the new B-Class it’s easy to see the rear lights have a different shape to those on the A-Class and at the same time represent a significant departure from the rear lights of the old B-Class model. Thanks to the increased footprint, legroom has improved inside but the boot capacity remains at 455 litres.

It goes without saying that basically all of the oily bits plus the swanky new MBUX infotainment system have been taken straight from the new A-Class. Our test car was powered by the 1.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 116hp and 260Nm or torque. This engine is more than adequate but there is a 2.0 diesel and 1.3 turbocharged petrol variant available. Buyers can choose between the Style and Progressive trim kicking off at €34,969 or the AMG Line from €37,337. Our B-Class was running 18-inch AMG alloys, sports steering wheel, AMG sports pedals, Nappa leather, LED headlamps and dual zone climate control which puts the price up to €45,346.

To drive the B-Class is typical Mercedes-Benz of late. They all feel incredibly surefooted, robust on the road and just nice cars to live with. Everything is within easy reach of the driver and the latest generation MBUX infotainment system is super intuitive to use. The diesel was super frugal sipping just 4.5 litres of fuel per 100km/h. On the safety side you are in good hands also. The B-Class is fitted with equipment such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and active brake assist, which is designed to reduce the severity of a rear-end impact with slower traffic in front.

Active cruise control and lane keeping assist were both on our test car, and can operate together to help you follow traffic, with active lane change assist on hand should you wish to overtake. These technologies supplement mandatory safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes, tyre pressure warning and electronic stability control. We did find the active lane assist a little intrusive at times but it can be switched off. Although practical, the B-Class of old was a cumbersome looking thing and didn’t exactly drive overly impressive. In fact most times when you mention the B-Class to people they can’t actually picture that particular model. We have a feeling Mercedes are about to change that with this new B-Class. Suddenly the MPV just might be cool again!

Mercedes-Benz B180d Specifications
Engine Size – 1.5 litre
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 116hp
Torque – 260Nm
Acceleration 0-100km/h – 10.7 seconds
Top Speed – 200km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 4.0L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 104g/km
Road Tax – €190 Band A3
Price – €69,495