It embodies practicality and versatility and delivers good dynamic performance as well as remarkable economy.
This is largely to do with the very refined powertrain underfoot and although the four cylinder diesel engine can be noticeably noisy when loaded, it actually remains remarkably smooth and responsive. This seven speed automatic transmission is a perfect match to the engine and means it permits quick getaway from rest or through the gears while helping return impressive economy as well.
The sophistication of the powertrain is carried over to the secondary controls which are straightforward, well placed and also worked well. Instrumentation is simple and clear with good readouts and backed up by comprehensive warning lights.
I liked the big easy to read heating and ventilation system and it also worked well, filling the big cabin with well controlled, abundant and accurately directed airflow, backed up by heated glass including big door mirrors.
Oddments space is generous for a family car as well with trays, compartments and pockets throughout and the boot takes from to litres which a low loadbed.
Driver and passengers have an easy time getting into the B Class and the slightly raised seating position actually makes it very simple to sit and swing into them. Once in place the room is very good for five.
Visibility is good to front and sides, slightly less clear to the back, but you have sensors and they worked well.
Wipers front and back are big and keep the glass very clear, with powerful washer jets and at night the big headlights illuminate the road ahead for a long way and scatter the beams to the sides.
The ride quality is truly amazing. The seats securely locate occupants and provide a lot of support and a wide range of adjustment and road shocks are well absorbed by the suspension. There is very little body roll around bends and the road holding is safe and surefooted and it does not behave as you might expect for a car of this size.
It is no sports car but its sporting in nature because it responds well to throttle, steering and brakes and it has no real flaws in handling or ride quality and it’s a good deal smoother than many German saloons with less room and versatility.
Through the gears it’s respectable if not rapid, it covers ground well and on the motorway its very composed. What you do notice is how little diesel it uses so you actually get a lot for not a lot.
The B Class runs to 15 models from with a choice of five petrol or diesel engines from 109 to 184bhp and you have either six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission in three trim levels.
It is a not a cheap crossover model but it ticks so many boxes the choice is very good despite the comparatively compact range.
MB B 220 CDI BlueEfficiency Sport 7spDCT
Mechanical: 168bhp 2143cc 4cyl turbo-diesel, 7sp auto
Max speed: 137mph
Combined mpg: 61.4mpg (58mpg on test)
CO2 emissions: 120gkm
Insurance group: 25
BIK rating: VED band C/ 16%
Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited mileage