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Mercedes-Benz B-Class 2009 Review

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The smallest of the Benz-badged cars is the A-Class and the B is not a massive step up in size, but it's enough to offer that little bit of extra interior space.

We're in the B200, which has just been facelifted, offering a re-sculpted bonnet, radiator and altered headlights, new-look mirrors and alloy wheels, but it's a blink-and-miss job.

Whereas most of the other Mercedes driven recently require a descent to enter, you step into the B-Class, which Benz rather optimistically markets as a `Sports Tourer’.

It's an upright driving position, but despite being a small car it's easy enough to get settled behind the reach'n'rake adjustable wheel.

Thankfully, the B-Class hasn't adopted the ridiculous stalk-control for transmission that has infiltrated the S and M-Class cars — a conventional transmission selector for the CVT and a normal handbrake are welcome.

Some might miss the extra width of a larger car, but it wasn't a serious issue for us.

At 190-odd cm I found a workable driving position, and slipping into the back seat I could sit behind someone of similar stature, which is something not feasible in some larger vehicles.

Four adults would be the B200's maximum number of occupants, but they could travel with a surprising amount of room given the car's relatively small coverage of the road.

The test car was also fitted with Benz's Metro package option, which adds the continuously variable automatic transmission, the Active Parking Assist parking guidance system (standard in Turbo model) and a 12-volt socket in boot for $4160.

Why anyone would need an electronic parking system for such a little car is beyond me — some of the other large vehicles already endowed with the system require it but the little Benz is a doddle to park.

This is a town car and it has the skills for it — the engine has decent outputs and could be considered almost peppy, but the edge is taken from it by the CVT, which sometimes feels as though it takes a long time to hook up under full throttle.

Forward progress is actually deceptive, particularly on part throttle take-offs — it's no autobahn-stormer — but it's more than adequate for metropolitan work.

It will corner as well, but don't expect anything other than a bit of understeer, some stability control warning light flashes and a fair bit of leaning — brisk but civilised pace is best.

The test car also had the $5070 Luxury package, which upgrades the airconditioning to dual-zone climate control, adds full-leather trim, myrtle wood/aluminium highlights interior trim, chrome exhaust tailpipe tips, body-coloured door handles, mirrors and side skirts.

The infotainment system has an integrated 6CD changer, Bluetooth connectivity and an MP3 facility buried right at the back of the glovebox (which wasn't illuminated due to a faulty light).

Both packs quickly shift the B200 upwards by almost $10,000 to just over $55,000.

Of course, even the little Mercedes-Benz models have a safety list that compensates to some extent for the price — the B-Class has (now non-switchable) stability control, with front, side and curtain airbags. There's even flashing brake lights (in an emergency stop) as standard, a crash-responsive emergency interior lighting among the standard safety fare.

Those who stick with the manual gearbox will enjoy the automatic hill-start assist.

The German car maker is also boasting improved fuel use up to seven percent, with an official claim of 7.4 litres per 100km for the two-litre four-cylinder when working with the CVT.

After a week in the Carsguide garage the trip computer was showing 9.5 litres per 100km of predominantly metropolitan running, which would suggest a range of just under 600km from the 54-litre tank.

As commuter cars go the B-Class was a pleasant surprise in many respects — a decent ride without wallowing through corners, adequate interior room and good safety features.



Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Price: from $46,200.

Engine: two-litre SOHC 8-valve four-cylinder.

Transmission: five-speed manual, optional CVT fitted, front-wheel drive.

Power: 100kW @ 5750rpm.

Torque: 185Nm between 3500 & 4000rpm.

Performance: 0-100km/h 10.2 seconds. Top speed 190km/h (governed).

Economy: 7.4litres/100km, on test 9.5litres/100km, tank 54litres.

Emissions: 176g/km.


Pricing guides

Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

B200 Turbo 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,900 – 13,420 2009 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 2009 B200 Turbo Pricing and Specs
B180 CDI 2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO $8,200 – 12,650 2009 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 2009 B180 CDI Pricing and Specs
B200 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $8,200 – 12,650 2009 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 2009 B200 Pricing and Specs
Stuart Martin
Contributing Journalist


Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.