The A-Class’ practical cousin tested

The fact that Mercedes made an all-new B-Class is proof that people don’t only want crossovers - Mercedes could have very easily replaced the B-Class with a taller and more rugged looking vehicle, yet it chose to evolve the outgoing B-Class’ identity and add as many new features as possible, instead of completely reimagining it.

2019 Mercedes B-Class Review


According to the first reviewers who’ve gotten their hands on the new B-Class, it drives a lot like the A-Class with which its shares its front-wheel-drive architecture.

It is set up more towards comfort, but it is still very precise around a twisty road and actually feels sportier than you would expect a vehicle in this segment to be.

With the more powerful engines, it even challenges hot hatches in terms of acceleration, although its overarching character is still relaxed and comfort-oriented, especially if you compare it to the stiffer and a bit more focused A-Class.

The new car is also larger than the one it replaces, with its wheelbase having grown by 30 millimeters from 2,699 millimeters (8.85 feet) to 2,729 millimeters (8.95 feet). It’s also more aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of 0.24 cd compared to the old model’s marginally poorer 0.25 cd.

Its driver also sits some 90 millimeters higher than in the A-Class, and while this may not necessarily please keen drivers who want to sit as low as possible, it will be great for more leisurely drivers for whom visibility takes priority over feeling really connected to the car.

Overall, its exterior is rated as being considerably better to look at than its predecessor, but it’s inside where the main point of interest stems from.

It gets the same basic dashboard as the A-Class, complete with the two-screen setup and the same basic design and it’s just as successful an interior in this application, according to those who have tried it. Models manufactured as of next year will have a rear bench that can be slid 14 centimeters back and forth to alternate between more rear knee room or more space in the trunk.

It’s not going to be a huge seller for Mercedes, but at least it’s an honest model that doesn’t masquerade as being something else. It’s clearly not a crossover, which may hurt sales, but then again, it will be exactly what people looking for a small premium people mover that isn’t a high rider are looking for.

Further Reading

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

2018 Mercedes B-Class vs. 2019 Mercedes B-Class
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2018 Mercedes B-Class vs. 2019 Mercedes B-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

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