|The B-Class design still looks great, its front end detailing especially attractive. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Mostly unchanged? True, Mercedes has added plenty of new standard features to the base B 250 mix, this raising the entry price by $4,050 to a still very affordable $35,900, or $38,200 for the all-wheel drive 4Matic. And you get a lot for that money. Now standard is the previously optional Avantgarde Edition package, which adds high-performance auto on/off LED headlamps, blindspot assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8.0-inch tablet-style infotainment display filled with a dynamic guideline-enhanced backup camera plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, this package continuing with power-adjustable front seats with four-way powered lumbar support and a panoramic sunroof,
|Its tall wagon/MPV shape is more utilitarian than sporty, but that’s no bad thing. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
You can still add options, starting with three no-cost base colours and seven $890 metallics, my tester coated in a classy yet conservative Mountain Grey metallic although some really bright and fun colours are available, while the interior gets the no-charge choice of Black Artico/Dinamica leatherette, Sahara Beige Artico, or as-tested Crystal Grey Artico with contrasting black stitching. The standard Sail Pattern metal inlays can be swapped out for $250 worth of Dark Ash Wood trim too, which I can attest looks fabulous and feels as solid as genuine hardwood should.
|Standard LED headlights, LED fogs, sporty detailing and attractive 17-inch alloys provide an upscale look. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I know it’s German, but there’s something honestly Canadian about the B-Class too.
|The two-tone black and grey colour scheme is especially rich looking when matched up to the rest of the impressive interior. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Truth be told, every time I get behind the wheel of a B-Class I’m once again smitten by its all around goodness. From the quality of finishings to overall roominess and seat comfort front to back, the former two even including supportive thigh extensions, the little Benz has a great deal going for it.
|The B-Class’ cabin design is truly special, while materials quality is above par. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
The aforementioned standard features make it all the more appealing, especially the panoramic sunroof that visually opens up the cabin with a fresher, airier feel, while all the beautifully finished satin metal detailing, particularly the fabulous circular dash vents and row of aluminized rocker switches on the centre stack, add sparkle to the design. The sport steering wheel is wonderful too, with satin-finished lower spokes, both perforated and solid leather wrapping around its rim, and contrast beige crisscross stitching down the inside.
|A large colour multi-info display keeps the otherwise analogue gauge cluster up to date. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Last but hardly least, the B incorporates high-quality soft-touch synthetics in all the right places, proving the premium materials trickledown theory is alive and well at Mercedes-Benz. Truly, both front and rear door panels get a rich, pliable, padded surface treatment all the way down to their very bottoms. That’s where you’re bound to notice that even the two-tone Mercedes-signed floor mats are worthy of mention. The B 250 might be smaller than most other Mercedes cars, but it wears its much-lauded badge with honour.
|A large 8.0-inch infotainment display with a backup camera plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
|These seats are ultra comfortable and visibility is superb. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Along with its well-proven 2.0-litre turbo-four making a healthy 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of highly tractable torque, plus its quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox with manual mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, its grippy standard 4Matic all-wheel drive, and its Dynamic Select with Sport, Comfort and Eco modes, the B 250 gets standard auto start/stop that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, this and other efficiency measures helping it achieve an impressive 9.8 L/100km in the city, 6.8 on the highway and 8.4 combined with FWD or 10.3 city, 7.8 highway and 9.1 combined with AWD.
|Rear seat roominess is very good, while the seats provide excellent lower back support. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I’m guessing it’s easy to tell I like this car, this second-generation B-Class having thoroughly won me over. It’s a great little ride with big intentions inside, delivering just enough premium dazzle with its expected Mercedes quality, plus plenty of comfort, loads of luxury features, and fun-loving performance, resulting in one of the best small cars in the luxury class, and even with its price hike, one of the best small car values.
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