By on August 20, 2007

front.jpgI sat anxiously in a showroom Mercedes CLS while the salesman processed my paperwork for a test drive. Even in repose, the CLS is a magnificent machine. Soaking in that heady blend of luxury and gravitas, I wondered if my spin in the B200 (available in Canada and Europe) would capture any of that Mercedes quintessence. Sometimes, brand extension works (Bentley Continental GT) and sometimes, it doesn't (VW Phaeton). So does the B 200 fit in Herr Doktor Daimler's pantheon of pomp and circumstance?

The B 200's rakish styling is a farrago of Mercedes' styling cues. The diminutive people mover's front sports the familiar three-bar grill with a giant Merc badge (Yo! Yo!). The B's rear echoes the C-class and M-class, while the side profile offers up the same rakish swoops as a CLS– squashed between two Mack trucks. On a tall glass of water like the B 200, the coupe-style lines are distinctly Picasso-esque.

interior1.jpgThe B 200's interior has less Mercedes-ness than a Ford F-150. The Benz' seats are as firm as an old German frau, fabricated from a fabric that's coarser than her husband's three-day beard. The center armrest is made of an odd rubbery plastic carefully designed to remind Gen X of their childhood Ninja Turtle action figures. To make room for the e-brake, the armrest is truncated on its right side– exactly where my elbow sought relaxation. German engineering has apparently overlooked the fact that I'm not apt to use the e-brake whilst driving.

On the positive side, the B 200's controls operate with silky-smooth precision. And the radio delivers wikkid beats, with the added satisfaction of one button per function ergonomics. Beyond that, Mercitude is strictly (and expensively) a la carte. Heated seats, Bluetooth adapter, Bi-Xenon headlights with "active curve illumination," sunroof, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel; it's all gonna cost ya. Bottom line: even a fully-loaded B doesn't have enough luxury to earn the right to wear the Mercedes moniker.

side-2.jpgThanks to B 200's "sandwich concept," there's plenty of room for four real adults. Like Ye Olde VW van and Toyota Previa minivan, the B 200's engine sits under the floor, beneath the passenger cell, inclined downwards. The arrangement frees up space for passengers. More importantly, it provides more snout for crash deformation and helps in lateral collisions (occupants are seated above the impact zone). It also raises passengers up, in accord with the mini minivan gestalt.

Once underway, the B 200's family DNA finally asserts itself. Though the petite four-door isn't even on speaking terms with the word "fast," it goes about its business in the traditional stately Mercedes fashion. Bizarrely enough, most of the credit's due to the mini-Merc's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT or "rubber band job"). Hooked-up to a 143hp in-line four (a 193hp turbo is… more money), the tag team motivate the 2900-lbs. car with genuine grace.

458268_777127_4064_2704_865713c2004c7464_083.jpgThe CVT seamlessly serves-up the optimal gearing ratio as the situation demands. Accelerate slowly and the CVT keeps the mini mill at the ideal torque point. Floor it, and the CVT seamlessly gets taller while the engine revs get wilder. Depress the Sport button beside the shifter and seven virtual gears keep performance on the enthusiast's preferred side of the oomph / fuel economy trade-off.  

Like Mercedes' A-Class models, B 200 is a front wheel-drive machine. And a damn fine one it is too. The electromechanical power steering is sharp and direct, on the same level as an Audi A3. The B 200's handling is a delight. Throw the lightweight into the twisties and it's equal to the task, easily dispatching turns, on-ramps and curves without a squeal. All hail the B's low slung engine and suspension, blessed with a new parabolic rear axle in back and McPherson struts and wishbones up front (both with twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers, coil springs, and torsion bars).

The ride quality is excellent. The B 200 exhibits zen-like calm as it glides over most of the road's imperfections, transmitting very little of the commotion to its blissful passengers.

rear1.jpgSo what we have here is a de-contented Germanic budget luxury car with snobby aspirations. I'm not sure if it works. Everyone knows the B 200 is a Merc, but it's not a "real" Merc– which is the only fathomable reason someone might pay $32k for the non-turbo stripper. Seriously, in the same price point you have similar Eurosnob value and better handling in a BMW MINI or a Golf GTI– neither of which would dare insult you with such low-tech seating and unacceptably rubbery, plasticky interiors.

That said, the B 200 is a capable, pleasant, fine-riding small automobile. It brings no dishonor to the Mercedes brand. But in a field crowded with credible competitors, it's simply too expensive for a relatively clunky-looking machine with a pedestrian interior.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

44 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz B 200 Review...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    Mercedes should stick to what they do best: Big powerful luxery cars.

    Leave the tiny econobox formula to the Koreans.

  • avatar
    dmosbach

    As an American currently in Rotterdam, NL on business, I can tell you that these mini Merc’s are all over the place and for good reason:
    After 2 weeks here I have discovered that in addtion to petrol at 1.43 a liter (euro) (convert and multiply that out to find a very expensive price/per gallon), + streets that are considerably narrower than any in the US, you have a recipe for smaller cars that makes alot of sense. At least in the context of Holland that is…

    Add to that MB’s higher engineered parts and design packaging (or at least the perception that that’s still the case), and you have a higher quality car than the Japanese, French, Italian and other econoboxes that flood the streets and carparks over here.

    To put it another way, to this Pistonheads observation: the number of econoboxes of all makes and models make up more than 90% of the cars in use here. The MB B-class stands out as the best engineered of all of them that I’ve seen. The Merc B-class is the high end of the econo-boxes here.

    Now as to whether or not the B-Class will fly in the US where the market and it’s forces are decidedly different – is another question entirely.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    For that price, why wouldn’t I get a GTI (or A3, if I must be a badge snob)? That car is a definite oddity, since I can’t think of any reason why anyone would buy it.

  • avatar
    dmosbach

    Megan Benoit: For that price, why wouldn’t I get a GTI (or A3, if I must be a badge snob)? That car is a definite oddity, since I can’t think of any reason why anyone would buy it.

    See my above reasoning why the car is popular – at least over here

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I agree with GS650G – I see these all the time living on the Canadian border (who are the crazy Canucks that buy these things?)…Ugly probably isn’t the right word…maybe “unusual” or “ungainly”…In person it makes a standard Honda Fit look like it’s been lowered…I give MB credit for the effort but this is not their space (at least not in N America) and considering the option costs on ALL MBs and their questionable electrical systems, there are certainly a TON of better choices.

  • avatar
    dmosbach

    As an avid TTAC reader from the US who also travels frequently to other countries I see most reviews on this site tend to be written with an ethnocentric point of view.

    In most countries outside of the US… tax rates and petrol tax rates in particular are significantly higher than US tax rates.

    That combined with the fact that disposable incomes (indeed overall membership in the middle class), tend to be somewhat lower in other countries and you have a business case for cars like the A3 and B-class.
    Several foreign friends of mine report that most Europeans they know budget 20-25k euro’s for a car purchase which they make every 7-10 years. The cars tend to be budget Fiats and Renault econoboxes and the like. Cars like the A3 and B-Class are for the the equivalent of an American budgeting for and buying an E500 or A6.

    As an American I understand the difference, I have personally owned 6 higher end MB’s ranging from an SL500 which is my current daily driver, my wife’s S500 and others including an SLK55 and a CLK Cabriolet (and I don’t disagree with the comment above about electrical unreliability). All these cars have the higher HP engines and pricetags which by the numbers – European MFR’s tend to export.

    The US is the largest foreign market for just about every MFR I’m aware of.

    I think it’s important that the critics of the B-class (including the reviewers at TTAC) understand the market(s) that these cars are intended for and the buying power and expectations of it’s intended audience. Once calculated only then will the reviews be objective IMO.

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    So… is this supposed to be like a luxo version of the Mazda 5?

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    “Cars like the A3 and B-Class are for the the equivalent of an American budgeting for and buying an E500 or A6.” (dmosbach)

    Ouch! You are not literally saying that an A3 in Europe cost about the equivalent of a E500 in the USA (after exchange rates, average income, costs of gas and insurance, etc.)?

    I thought that in Europe most compact cars with engines that displace 2L or less are reasonably affordable, hence the proliferation of all the 2.0T engines, and the 2.0T being the standard engine size for FIA rallies.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    I think it’s important that the critics of the B-class (including the reviewers at TTAC) understand the market(s) that these cars are intended for and the buying power and expectations of it’s intended audience. Once calculated only then will the reviews be objective IMO.

    The point being made here in this article is that the B-Class is nothing special and is not worthy of the MB name and badge. The B-class is simply an Econobox that competes with all of the other econboxes on the market. I can’t help but think of a 15 grand Honda Fit! What is the point?

    IMO this is a wasted effort. MB has a very prestigous name but in this segment their efforts with at best be also rans. MB does not have the resources to do battle at this level and not hurt developement of its higher-end products.

    At what price point do these sub-compacts begin to no longer make sense? Americans might “miss the point” on some matters but here, trust us! A 30 grand sub-compact econo-box is just plain stupid! Guess what? You can actually buy a really car for that money. It might not have a tri-star in the grill but it will be a better car than this B-class.

  • avatar
    Emro

    nice review, I have to agree with everything Samir wrote, including the driving impressions… I drove both engines when the B was first launched here in Canada, and although it was very nice on the road, had lots of cool toys/options, I just couldn’t figure out how to justify the price compared to the GTI, MINI or even Mazda3 hatch (which I currently drive)! But, MB isn’t about value for money, so I will have to stick to something more financially sensible.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    As a Canadian I have seen these cars driving around for a few years now and I still can't understand why anybody would purchase one. It's even funnier when you realize that because cars in Canada are overpriced in general, you can get a B-Class well into the $40,000 range. Since the US and Canadian dollars are nearly equal, an American could get a nicely loaded C350, 335i, TL, A4, CTS etc. for the price a Canadian would pay for a lowly B-Class. Now that's sad.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Even in Europe, there are plenty of better options than these – more fun, more reliable, comparable or better mileage, better looks, and far more flexible interiors.

    Cases in point, most of the C-Segment MPVs: Opel/Vauxhall Zafira, Ford Focus C-Max, Fiat Multipla, Renault Scenic, VW Golf Plus and Touran (ew) etc etc.

  • avatar
    rocket88

    I live in Canada and have been renting a B200 turbo. And i love it. you should have tested the turbo model which is much more fun. It hauls all our stuff, but takes no excess room on the earth, and is reasonably good on gas. Ive priced them and of course they cost a bit. here in Canada, the rather loaded one im driving is $45,000 CDN. That thuogh is the only problem. The CVT was an absolute surprise- it works so well and feels so good i think i might even get one, instead of a stick which normally i would on a car like this. I rent a different car every month or two, and this CVT is better than anything else i have driven. As to getting looks from people, well it isnt very ostentatious,and that to me is the beauty of it.

  • avatar

    I rented an A-class several years ago and was wholly impressed with the packaging; room for four adults, great visibility, adequate performance and very good fuel mileage, all in a car which is highly maneuverable. Despite the small exterior, the usable space of the A class was equivalent to the average SUV, although trailering is not an option.

    Good for MB for pushing this theme to the B-class. These present real-world solutions to the problem of transportation faced by many people in the world and are, if they retain MB quality, a valuable addition to the world of cars-as-transportation.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Good review. I’m happy to hear that the B class is better that its smaller sibling the A class. My uncle has a late model A class and I fail to see the attraction – it seems to combine Korean dynamics with a made-in-China ambiance at a delusional asking price.

    The price comes as no surprise given the Mercedes labor costs which simply make it uncompetitive in this market segment. As a result you probably won’t see it in the US any time soon unless the next generation B class moves upmarket to become the junior R class.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I thought the A-class was better looking. If they bring it to the US the only reason to buy would be to get the turbo diesel (which they probably wouldn’t offer).

    If the next gen is better looking, and they make the bases model in the US be much more luxurious, it could sell here. We have to remember that Mercedes is not only all about snob appeal in Europe. There they compete for a wider market share.

  • avatar
    phil

    XLNT review, thank you.

  • avatar
    AGR

    Good review that covers both sides.

    One reason for the B in Canada is/was to give the smart car customer an alternative besides a C Class.

    In Canada B’s compete with C’s and depending which model is subsidised on a particular month so the sales go. B’s up C’s down or vice versa. The 2008 B’s are already offered with a subsidised lease rate.

    In North America M-B is known for luxury rear wheel drive sedans, does a front wheel drive econo box fit?

    Where will the B go, when the GLK is launched in 2009?

    Press release that the 5,000th B Class was delivered in Canada. http://www.mercedes-benz.ca/index.cfm?NewsID=269&id=611

  • avatar

    If Mercedes is in a market with corporate average fuel economy standards, it may make
    sense for them to sell the A, B klasse in addition
    to the big sedans they are famous for.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    A good review, although I do wonder why every review has to mention a farrago of something or other. I guess we’re lucky Robert isn’t an Imbroglio or Hodgepodge.

    Anyhow, I don’t love the looks of the B, and would never consider it if offered in the U.S.

    The A-class on the other hand is a beautiful car. I’d love to see M-B license it to a Chinese or Indian carmaker, if they could ensure the quality.

  • avatar
    lasikdoc

    I actually just rented a B200 Turbo in Vancouver 2 weekends ago. Having owned several Benzes in the past, and the current owner of a CLS550, I can say that I found the B200 a delightful little car. The ride is amazing for a small car, it has lots of room with an airy feeling that you just do not get in the C class, and a great panoramic lamellar sunroof. It is important to keep the price in perspective, as the dollar exchange rate is horrible right now, and the taxation structure is different in other countries. The B series would slot under the C-class here, and probably slot in at the $25K to $35K range. I found the interior not exactly up to a CLS or even a C, but of decent quality and nice for $27K car. Even my fiance and her 13 year old daughter enjoyed it, and her daughter said she would want one. The car definitely feels more substantial than any $25K car I have driven, and feels very much like a front drive C-class. Would it sell here? I think it would, as there is obviously a market for $20K small SUV/MPV vehicles. Parked next to a Mazda 5 shows how similar in size it is (it is not an econobox), and that is a $21K car. I have driven a Mazda 5, and I would spend a few thousand more anyday for a B200. I personally think it would sell very well in the US.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    If Mercedes could bring back their former levels of quality (cars that could survive a nuclear blast at ground zero), the B-class would make much more sense. Mercedes, more than anything, built their reputation on strong cars, cars that were safe and durable. They’ve always been upmarket, but it was never so much about the toys as it was about a quality product. Admittedly, Honda and Toyota may have rendered that an anachronism. Still, if the B were as durable as it is safe, it’d have a justifiable position in the market.

  • avatar
    JJ

    It’s true that Europeans (especially the ones that have a decent income on paper) have to pay more taxes in general and especially on anything car related than Americans. It depends a little on which country your in. Especially where I live in the Netherlands (but also in Denmark), the taxes are IMO completely out of control, but apparently the government needs the money…to pay for projects in other EU countries where taxes are lower for instance. In both neigbouring countries (Germany, Belgium) the same regular 30000 Euros car can easily be 10000 Euros less. A base E500 (US E550) goes for 87600 Eur in the Netherlands, the same car is 64914,50 Eur in Germany. And every option makes the difference even bigger…

    Anyway, this does not take away from the fact that their are a lot of cars on the market that are much better choices than the B or A class, for the same kind of money.

  • avatar
    MisterDriver

    To cheer up all stateside petrolheads something about pricing in Holland.

    I’m currently in the market for a set of new wheels in the Golf-class (What is called here the C-segment). Truly. My budget is 30 000 euro. (Actually this depends a bit on what I get back for my current car [Citroen C5 Break]) Now I like driving manual, but not in Dutch trafic. So I want to have some kind of auto transmission. I really don’t want to pay more than that 30 k, so that means that the list-price must be less than something like 28 5000, because additional stuff like metallic paint, license plates etc. typically add another 1500 euros. I also don’t want less than 140 HP. What will this money get me (selection):
    - A decently equipped Seat Leon (VW Golf based)
    - A decently equipped Skoda Octavia (VW Golf based)
    - A decently equipped Ford Focus
    - A well equipped Kia Cee’d
    - A well equipped Citroen C4
    - A decently equipped Opel Astra
    - A decently equipped Honda Civic
    - A decently equipped Toyota Auris
    - A well equipped Dodge Caliber

    30 k Euro currently converts to more than 40 k US dollar. However, that is by courtesy of the money markets. If you look at buying power -in general- 1 dollar to 1 euro seems to be about fair. The difference in pricing of cars is caused by taxes. But this explains why the best-selling privately owned car (!) in this country the Toyota Yaris is.

    For the record, I haven’t decided yet.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Hello Mister Driver

    I heard the European Ford Focus is Super Charge
    and the Honda Civic Mugen Edition is available in Europe too bad for us we might not see those cars in North America, but you will have the chance to buy and drive them in Europe.

  • avatar
    MisterDriver

    Hi Beat,

    Apparently I haven’t made my point fully clear:

    This 140/150 HP is the most I will get for my money. All the nice cars, like the Golf GTI, the Focus Turbo ST or the Honda Mugan are out of range. Even a 2 liter Golf automatic is too expensive. A decently equipped B200 would cost me like 40 k euro.

    If you like cars, you’re better of in the US.

    Cheers.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    Mr D,

    A Focus ST in the UK has an OTR (On the Road including VAT) cost of around £19K, which is under 29K Euro according to the latest exchange rate.

    http://www.ford.co.uk/ns7/foc_c307/foc_c307_prices/foc_c307_pricelist/-/-/-/-#

    Given UK cars are always priced more expensively that mainland Europe ones even though they are the same except for RHD (manufacturers say because of higher spec, I say something rhyming with “rollocks”) then I’m sure you could get one for less, if not in Holland then maybe hop over a border somewhere ? You can buy them in any country and only pay local VAT, no ?

    No auto though.

    I’ll take mine in Orange please.

    Cheers

    T&C

  • avatar

    32 large ?

    can’t you get a 3 series or C class for that money if you know how to negotiate ?

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    You can get a 3-series or C-class for that money but only an “all show no go few toys” version.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    No matter how well it drives, most folks are gonna think “Aveo” when they see it. And a big part of buying a Merc is what other folks think.
    That just doesn’t justify the price I’m afraid…

  • avatar
    NickR

    These cars are starting to show up with some frequency around Toronto. In fact, I was behind a freshly titled (you can tell by the plate) example yesterday, a nice shiny red. One of the brake lights was burnt out. On a brand new car. Welcome to Mercedes ownership sucker. Just wait, a year or two from now this car will be getting a big fat black circle for it’s electrical system.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    MisterDriver, it’s even worse than one Euro equals one Dollar in buying power. The cars you listed that sell in the US (Focus (different car, though), Civic, Auris (Corolla), Caliber, Astra) all start at about fifteen thousand dollars (before sales and other taxes, which could be about two thousand dollars or so). I doubt that even a completely loaded version of any of those would cost thirty grand, even including all taxes and fees. Maybe a fully loaded Civic hybrid with nav and aftermarket wheels might get close. And a Euro is worth $1.34 right now. So, for $45,000, you get a car that probably costs not much more than half that in the US. (Not to mention the difference in gas prices.)

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Shoot, my math is bad. It should $40,000, not $45,000. Point remains the same.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    Geotpf : Its even worse again as the spec in Europe tends to be worse as well. For example you will get the 1.8 engine as the base one for the Astra but in Europe the base is a 1.4.

    I think lots of people will pitch in and say its because you need the speed but I think its more that you need the power for A/C and auto boxes, most “Ashtrays” here are manual rowers.

  • avatar
    MisterDriver

    Some responses:

    TaxedAndConfused:
    Given UK cars are always priced more expensively that mainland Europe ones even though they are the same except for RHD (manufacturers say because of higher spec, I say something rhyming with “rollocks”) then I’m sure you could get one for less, if not in Holland then maybe hop over a border somewhere ? You can buy them in any country and only pay local VAT, no ?

    Is not going to work. I do not have to pay the VAT (again) but I do have to pay the special car tax, that makes cars so expensive. You also have to pay (a part of) those taxes on a second-hand car.

    Geotpf:
    MisterDriver, it’s even worse than one Euro equals one Dollar in buying power.

    What I meant (and wrote) was ‘buying power in general’. If you talk about bread or digital camera’s, a euro or a dollar will get you more or less the same. I think Holland and Denmark are the places in Euroland where cars are treated differently and are highly taxed.

    Don’t worry though, the roads are still (over)crowded overhere. People just accept this as a fact of life. One only notices the difference if one looks over the border.

  • avatar
    dean

    I see comments on here all the time that disparage fuel efficient (aka economy) cars as “penalty boxes” with el-cheapo interiors, noisy, gutless motors and sloppy fit and finish. Aveo, I’m looking at you.

    Mercedes obviously thinks there is a market out there for people that want to own a frugal (on gas) car that feels solid and well put-together, with an interior that you enjoy spending time in. It remains to be seen if such a market exists in sufficient numbers to move the metal.

    It makes sense that these have come to Canada first, as our automotive tastes have always tended to smaller vehicles than the US. As others have noted, however, you can buy a lot more car for $40k.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    I haven’t sat in a B-Class but the original A-Class interior was very sloppy – the instrument cluster flexed and tons of rattles.

    Cheap Mercs tend to be built down to a price, just like everyone else.

  • avatar
    noley

    dmosbach is 100% right.

    I get to Europe 2-3 times a year and the A-class and B-class MBs are a good fit in a lot of European driving environments. They really are home-market cars and there’s perfectly good money to be made by selling them. I somehow doubt Mercedes would pursue that market niche in the face of competition from other Euro brands and Asia if there wasn’t a market for them.

    Just because they don’t fit the average American’s needs doesn’t mean they aren’t good for what they are meant to be and do.

    Look at it the other way. Go to Europe (or Japan for that matter) and count the SUVs, especially the big bloated ones like the Suburban or Expedition. What works here doesn’t necessarily work there, and vice versa.

  • avatar
    Dubbs1

    It’s an ugly car! It’s not a mercedes car, and for that matter why mercedes. Although they go way back they suck. You buy a mercedes because you have money and don’t no how to spend it.
    Long story short they suck!

  • avatar
    Diesel Guy

    OK all you experts. I just completed a full all Auto assessment and chose the B Class. Why? Overall size, looks, economy, space and comfort plus.

    58% lease residual compare this to low to mid 40′s for all other cars
    2.5 % lease rate compare this to 5-12% for other cars including Chrysler that I have affiliate discounts with.
    B class will be 2009 with premium pkg check out the sun roof, deliverey early December can’t wait. I know I wont be blowing the doors of cars but who cares it is comfortable and economic and payments are $100 per month less than a Nissan Rogue or Toyota Matrix.

  • avatar
    Quickstrike

    For some strange reason people here are comparing the B-class to the GTI, MINI, Mazda3 hatch, and A3.

    If you have ever sat in these cars, you will realize how much more spacious the B-class is.
    The B-class has a smaller foot-print than the C-Class, but it offers more interior space than the E-class — very close to S-class proportions.

    I am 6’4″ and fit comfortably in the back-seat. You can’t say the same thing for the A3. Heck, someone mentioned the mini being comparable, but even the clubman model doesn’t come close to matching the legroom offered in the B-class.

  • avatar
    davesax1

    With the demise of GM & Chrysler the trend is clear – cars even in the US are downsizing. just got back from a visit to Canada where the B200 caught my eye. Then a friend shows up in one. Hope they bring it down here soon. And why not? Also glad to see that Mercedes has a front drive model. About time.

    Can’t believe so many still buy into the myth that rear drive is better – sure is – if you’re a professional wanna be trying to slide around someone on a race track. for the rest of us its silly – and ludicrous if the road is wet.

  • avatar
    kglazov

    I recently got 2011 b200 turbo. It is a great car and I could not be happier. Splendid confort, verticality and good fuel economy. If you compare with A3 pricing B200 will be same price but better car in terms of versatility. You can put two stand up biked in b200 trunk.

  • avatar
    HappyMom

    I have a few questions for Mr Syed. First of all “Did you just sit in the car , take a quick spin and look at a spec sheet? ” You wrote this article on Aug 20, 2007 and quote that the vehicle has ” Bi-Xenon headlights with “active curve illumination”. This feature was not introduced until 2013 and I have the email from Mercedes Canada to prove it. Prior to 2013, they take H7 bulbs. Oh, and by-the way, if you wanted to add Bi-Xenon headlights (a sealed unit) to your 2013 and prior B200, it is a $10K upgrade…the vehicle is not wired for it at the factory. It involves another wiring harness, relays, wires be laid under the carpet and fed through conduits to/from the headlights and another sub-fuse panel as well as changing they way the car was wired in the first place. Oops!

    This Vehicle Is Great Value When Down Sizing From A fully Loaded SUV!!! I downsized from a Loaded Ford Escape to the B200 when my son gave up being a Hockey Goalie for Soccer. Armed with a cheshire cat grin not to mention the happy though of easily cleaned minimal equipment I approached this with three things in mind.

    1) My husband is 6’6″ or 200cm and he had to fit in the driver’s seat and the back without readjusting the driver’s seat. This would allow growing room for our two kids who are genetically predisposed to and showing signs of being very tall.

    2) As a self acclaimed midget in comparison at barely 5’4″ or 162cm, I had to be able to sit high enough to see over the dash and reach the peddles without having the steering wheel 6″ away from my chest.

    3) Economy without sacrificing performance.

    Things were not going so well in the mid-size vehicle search and small car search with competitors was a joke-he simply doesn’t fit. Then, we literally stumbled across a Mercedes Benz B200, at a Ford Dealership. To humour the salesman whom really we did not believe; we tried it and were amazed!!! We ended up buying at a Mercedes Dealership to get the “Certified pre-owned” status and extended warranties and we gave the Ford dealership salesman a few hundred dollars on the side as a BIG, BIG Thank You.

    This vehicle met all the requirements. My gas bill is next to nothing in comparison and I love the smooth glide feel to the ride-something that Mercedes did not give up for this entry level vehicle. The only real issue or improvements I can remark on are the turn radius, the CVT throttle ( I don’t like the gutless wonder feel and sewing machine noise it makes before it really takes off on you at short BC highway entrances; but, to it’s credit, it goes like stink at highway speeds and you don’t experience this phenomenon at highway speeds. The lack of center console room for stuff within easy reach is a bone of contention for me as reaching for the glove compartment requires me to pull over. I absolutely Love the sunglasses holder on the driver’s side headliner instead of that useless handle thing! Better rear A/C vents would be nice and if moulded winter mats could be made available to climb up the carpeted sides I’d be in mom heaven…….think about it, a 10 year old boy and winter muck with black carpet.

    As for the firm seats, they are firm but they don’t sag after years of use as I looked at a 2009 B200. The fabric is not rough but very durable. With boys and jeans it has stood up well and shows no wear. I sit in it with shorts and it doesn’t bother me. But I’m not expecting calf or sheep skin or a silk purse for that matter either. Overall the few luxuries you give up for this vehicle is more than made up for in this entry level vehicle in terms of performance, ride, comfort and economy. For it’s price, it is what it is and it’s great.

    Sadly 6 days shy of having it one year my husband, “Mr Anal Retentive” (try closing the door too hard on his BMW X5), was involved in an accident (2nd time he has done this in as many vehicles but both not his fault). Since I won’t drive a car that has been in an accident he has been informed and it has been duly noted that we either get another one or he can buy himself a blow-up doll.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States