A new generation for Merc’s people mover

The first generation of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class subcompact five-door MPV arrived back in 2006, lasting until 2011. The second generation hit the scene a year later and continues to occupy dealership lots the world over. The current generation received a facelift back in 2014, so it’s about time for an update. As such, Mercedes has a fleet of test mules out on public roads, once again offering entry-level luxury in a small, yet practical package.

With a debut expected for later this year or early in 2019, our carparazzi managed to capture the third-gen as it underwent final testing, including recent summer testing and cold-weather testing late last year. The new B-Class is expected to carry the internal codename W247, as well as evolved styling cues, the latest Mercedes-branded infotainment goods, and a slew of engine options pulled from the Mercedes parts bin. Read on for our full speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

Spy video

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Exterior Styling

  • Takes after the new A-Class
  • More aggressive styling
  • Optional LED headlights
  • Tall roof design
  • New taillight design
  • Optional AMG components
2019 Mercedes-Benz B Class
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The frontend is expected to get a reshape, with a pinched aesthetic and new intakes as well. Overall, the look will be a bit sportier than before.

The images you see here were taken late in 2017, when the B-Class was undergoing some cold-weather testing. All in all, the new B-Class is expected to be a bit more than just a revamped A-Class hatchback, instead evolving Mercedes’ current design scheme into something a little more aggressive than what we’ve seen from the nameplate before. Granted, the aesthetic will still take after the A-Class, with obvious DNA shared between them, but we’re still hoping for something unique in the production model.

We have yet to see the new B-Class completely unwrapped, but based on the swirly camo model seen here, there’s still a few conclusions we can draw. First up - the front end is expected to get a reshape, with a pinched look and new intakes as well. The look will be a bit sportier than before, ditching the flat, broad shape of the preceding model in favor of something more in line with Merc’s current design language.

The headlights are expected to get a reshape as well, with a new, drawn-back, sharper appearance than before. Forward illumination will come from halogen lighting elements as standard, but you’ll also get the option for LED lighting elements if desired.

Viewed from the side, we see the new B-Class once again utilizes a tall roof design, which helps set it apart from the A-Class. The shape falls back into the rear hatch at a sharper angle, maximizing interior room as a result. The small glass piece just behind the C-pillar is also likely to return, even though we can’t see it behind the swirly camo on this tester model.

2019 Mercedes-Benz B Class
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The 2019 model year should gain restyled taillights as well, which will also set it apart compared to other models in the lineup.

Viewed from the rear, the B-Class will come with a particularly wide tailgate opening, which will provide expanded access to the rear cargo area, once again enhancing the model’s practicality compared to the A-Class. The 2019 model year should gain restyled taillights as well, which will also set it apart compared to other models in the lineup. Look for a chunky, three-dimensional shape stretching from the hatch and into the rear fenders.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the 2019 B-Class should get a slight drop in ride height and an extra boost to overall width compared to the outgoing B-Series model. And for those who desire a little extra spiciness with their MPV, we wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes decided to offer the 2019 model year with a selection of AMG body components. Merc will likely dub this the “AMG Line,” and should include A-Class inspired components for the front bumper, rear bumper, grille, and wheels.

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Interior Design

  • Takes after the A-Class
  • Wide, horizontal layout
  • Larger windows add extra natural light
  • Loads of headroom front and back
  • New steering wheel
  • MBUX infotainment system
  • Optional dual-screen layout
  • Should include semi-autonomous drive features
  • Possible seven-seat layout?
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 764939

Note: current Mercedes-Benz A-Class pictured here.

We think the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will come with a cabin look and layout that takes heavily from the A-Class.

Stepping into the interior, we think the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will come with a cabin look and layout that takes heavily from the A-Class. It should include the same dash we’ve seen before, with a wide, horizontal appearance that stretches from door to door in a singular trim element. The button scheme will be minimalistic, with many of the controls moved to the infotainment screen instead of the central console.

The B-Class will also get a larger set of windows, which should help to let in loads of natural light. We’re also expecting the windows behind the C-pillars to return, even though they appear to be covered up in the spy shots we’ve posted above. Also expect a large panoramic roof up top, which can be added as an optional extra. The extra tall roof should also provide a lot of extra passenger headroom, regardless if you’re sitting in front or in back.

Updates will likely include restyled air vents with a rounded, rifled appearance. Driver’s will get to grips with a new steering wheel design, and an extra premium feel will come courtesy of new lighting features for the cabin. Complementing this will be leather trim and metal accents, plus a set of glossy surrounds for the various hard button controls.

On the infotainment front, we expect the 2019 B-Class to offer Merc’s latest MBUX dual-screen layout as an available option. This should throw in two 10.25-inch screens for input and feedback, making for the first-ever touchscreen in a B-Class model. The 2019 model year should also be the first B-Class to offer a voice command feature, as well as a voice-activated personal assistant, all of which will be added to the options list. Rounding it out will be optional satellite navigation. However, smartphone support should come as standard.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 765012
On the infotainment front, we expect the 2019 B-Class to offer Merc’s latest MBUX dual-screen layout as an available option.

It’s also strong possibility Mercedes will include some of its latest semi-autonomous driving features with the new B-Class, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and lane change assist. The push to make these features more and more commonplace isn’t slowing down, and the B-Class will undoubtedly be better for it.

Finally, rumor has it there is currently a three-row Mercedes compact in the works for the Chinese market, which seems a bit insane for a model like the B-Class, if you ask us. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In fact, Britta Seeger, Merc’s global sales boss, hinted at just such a model back in March in an interview with Automotive News Europe *** http://europe.autonews.com/article/20180313/ANE/180309527/mercedes-sales-boss-says-slumping-b-class-still-works *** . Personally, we think it makes much more sense for an SUV model like the GLB-Class, but again, we’ll have to wait and see what direction Merc ends up taking.

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Drivetrain

  • Front-engine, FWD
  • Optional AWD
  • MFA platform underneath
  • Three- and four-cylinder engines
  • Diesel and gasoline
  • Available hybrid option?
  • New eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Possible AMG variant? Probably not
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 764901

Note: current Mercedes-Benz A-Class pictured here.

In terms of motivation, we’re thinking the new B-Class will utilize a range of turbocharged three-cylinder and four-cylinder powerplants.

As in the past, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class will utilize a front-engine, FWD layout. Although FWD will come as standard, AWD will also be a possibility with this one, with Mercedes’ go-to 4Matic system providing the optional extra grip.

Under the skin, the B-Class is expected to once again utilize Mercedes’ Modular Front Architecture, or MFA. It’s an older platform, but it should work just fine for the model all the same.

In terms of motivation, we’re thinking the new B-Class will utilize a range of turbocharged three-cylinder and four-cylinder powerplants, including options for both gasoline and diesel burners.

Kicking it off will be a 1.3-liter turbo, which should make between 136 horsepower and 163 horsepower thanks to two different levels of tune. We’ll also likely see a 2.0-liter diesel making about 190 horsepower.

Most interesting is the prospect for a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, plus a full plug-in hybrid version to boot. It should be noted that Mercedes did offer a fully electric B-Class in the past, but it got the ax back in 2017 following lackluster interest and sales.

All told, we expect Mercedes to pull from the A-Class parts bin when it comes to the various powertrain and drivetrain components, but while the current A-Class comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission, we think a new eight-speed automatic transmission would be a better fit with the B-Class.

We’d also love to see Mercedes include some kind of AMG-tuned variant, but we think such a prospect is unlikely, at best. Of course, an AMG B-Class isn’t completely out of the question - it’s really only a matter of adding more boost, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, more carbon fiber, and more aggressive body panels on top of larger wheels. And why not? After all, let’s not forget the AMG A 45, which makes 381 horsepower from its turbocharged powerplant.

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Prices

2019 Mercedes-Benz B Class
- image 752507

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will likely get a reveal sometime next year, possibly at the Geneva International Motor Show. If Merc is feeling a bit more ambitious, we might see it even earlier at the Paris Motor Show this coming October.

Pricing is expected to get a small increase over the current model, possibly with about £ 500 added to the price tag. As a reminder, the current B-Class starts at £20,530 for the base model B180 BlueEfficiency SE, ranging as high as £30,670 for the B220 d 4Matic Sport.

2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Competition

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

2014 - 2020 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 756837

The Bavarians are big in this segment thanks to the 2 Series Active Tourer, which seeks to combine sportiness and style with endless urban-oriented practicality. Outside, the 2 Series gets the classic Bimmer aesthetic, with a tight, drawn-back fascia and a twin set of kidney grille intakes. Inside, there’s a sporty steering wheel, a dual-gauge instrument cluster, and audio courtesy of Harman Kardon. Like the Merc, the Bimmer makes to go thanks to a range of four-cylinders and three-cylinders, including both gas and diesel options. You can also get AWD if desired. Pricing starts at £24,910.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan

2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan High Resolution Exterior
- image 609312

If you’re in the market for a German MPV, but care more about getting the biggest bang for your buck than showing off a prestigious badge on the nose, then the Volkswagen Golf Sportvan might be the right choice for you. Taking after the always-popular Golf for the mechanical bits and underlying platform, the Sportsvan adds a taller body designed to better fit cargo and people. A total of four trim levels are on offer, including the SV, the S, the SE, and the GT. Power is sourced from both gas and diesel powerplants, including a 1.0-liter, 1.2-liter, 1.4-liter, 1.6-liter, and a 2.0-liter. Pricing starts at £19,090.

Read our full review of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan.

Final Thoughts

2019 Mercedes-Benz B Class
- image 752496
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class has to be a lot of things to a lot of different people, so can it hack it?

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class holds the difficult position of offering an entry into the Mercedes brand, while also being a relatively affordable family car with a lean towards luxury appointment.

That means it has to be a lot of things to a lot of different people, so can it hack it? To make matters worse, the B-Class has to step up to the seemingly endless crossover invasion we’re seeing across multiple markets, including pressure from within its own brand, namely the Mercedes GLB-Class.

So then - how will the third-gen shape up against all these detractors? We’ll have to wait to find out.

  • Leave it
    • * Aging platform
    • * Increasing competition from SUV segment

Further Reading

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
- image 764975

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

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 568404

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

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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