Mercedes B-Class (2005-2012)

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.

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.

Mercedes B-Class (2005-2012) Checklist

  • 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.

We Like

  • Image
  • Practicality
  • Reliability
  • Build quality
  • Spacious cabin
  • Diesel engines

We Don't Like

  • Fidgety ride
  • Vague steering
  • Lack of versatility
  • Awkward styling
  • Five seats only