Mercedes B Class Courtesy Car Quick Review
Again I seem to be doing a little thought review while driving another courtesy car, this time a B Class Mercedes 200CDi Sport.
So when I dropped my car in for some warranty work they asked me to meet them outside for the courtesy car, at which point I don't know what I'm getting.
Anyway the guy pulls round in a new Smart for 4, thinking oh, ok, how am I going to transfer all my stuff out of the Mercedes ML and make it fit in this, even though I thought this could be pretty cool to have for a few days , he then said "don't worry this one isn't yours" and he then drove up in a B Class with one of the noisiest diesel engines I have heard, at which point I thought with a deflated ohhh., at least I could get my stuff in it.
Off we set back on our way home, all felt reasonably ok like most cars do when you jump in and drive off initially. If, you jump in and it feels bad straight away then its really bad.
Well, after having the car for nearly 2 weeks my opinions have slightly changed on the B Class.
Let's look at the positive stuff first. Quite comfortable with good space in the rear and the boot. Equipment level is good in the sport model although I did find the steering wheel controls annoying as you can easily rest your hand on the volume and other steering wheel function controls.
Steering is positive and the car changes direction well and felt solid on the road when cornering which is what you would hope for with a wheel in each corner, although the turning circle is drastic i tried my best to make the manoeuvre which didn't work. The auto box is smooth but I did keep going for the clutch as when you are coming to a stop it felt like it was going to stall and whilst we talk about stopping. you did have to press quite hard on the pedal to stop it without much feel through the pedal. Boot space is good and has a slightly lower level when the rear seats are down.
Now for the bad bits: Mercedes like to pride themselves on there quality and engines, but this has to be one of the most uneventful noisiest clattering diesel engines I have driven, it really doesn't do any justice to the 3 silver arrows and the rest of the car. It sounds like an old taxi you get in when you are abroad and when you switch off the car it shudders to an immediate stop.
The driving position could be a problem to taller drivers, I am 5 feet 6 and on the lowest seat setting I am still high up and if I adjust the seat I can make my head almost touch the head lining.
Once driving around town you notice the auto box is quite lazy through the gear changes unless you use it in manual mode and what seemed to be good MPG on the motorway is now quite poor around town and only matching most 1.8 petrol cars.
The ride Is quite hard being the sport model and you really know about potholes when you hit one.
Anyway, for conclusion the B Class, its quite spacious for its size , comfortable, quite good handling, I would be quite frustrated with the diesel being so noisy and the lazy auto box but I can see why people by them. I think you can buy better on the used market for the price tag these are demanding and I would by a petrol rather than a diesel for a much smoother ride, although it shares the same petrol engine as the Renault Kaptur which worries me as well. Just like most cars there is a market for most, at least its better than its predecessor the A class that has built in understeer as standard and an engine where rev counter and speedo needles move at the the same slow rate and a 0-60 on a watch with a dead battery.
This car is a 2010 and you can expect to pay around 3k - 6k for a low mileage one depending on service history and condition.
There was no intention to upset any B Class owners in the duration of this review but I would recommend looking for an early upgrade!