Mercedes-Benz B250 review test
What matters most
What we liked: Sporty makeover, practicality combines with prestige.
What we'd like to see: Updated interior to match Merc's own C-Class style.
Warranty and servicing: Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is every 25,000km or annually and capped service plans are available.
NOT long ago, the B-Class was Mercedes-Benz's bread and butter.
Essentially the marque's entry-level which pulled at the heartstrings with practicality and its three-pointed star - rather than pure opulence.
But then the A-Class arrived, along with an array of model offshoots boasting chic design at razor-sharp prices, and suddenly the B-Class was lacking in love.
Earlier this year, designers gave the compact offering a makeover to help bring it into line with the stunners on the Mercedes catwalk.
Starting from $41,400 plus-on roads, each member of the four-model B-Class range wears new front and rear bumpers, wider radiator trim with integrated daytime running lights and more potent LED headlights.
With its large 20.3cm colour screen on the dash, flat-bottom sports steering wheel and man-made leather trim on the black seats with red stitching, our B250 certainly lived up to the sports hype.
And while the interior remains premium, well-labelled and relatively easy to navigate, we confess we've become smitten with the standard set by its new C-Class sibling.
It makes the older models look less cohesive, but the B250 remains straight-forward operationally with clear and concise instruments for the driver.
Internal space is impressive for a small hatch and four adults can find enough real estate without issue.
On the road
Sometimes sluggish in efficiency mode off the line, the B250 is most adept when up and running.
You can select between three driving modes and it's "Sport" which delivers the most excitement.
The 18-inch rubber, combined with all-wheel drive and a lowered suspension set-up, makes for a sticky feel in the corners.
Throw into the mix a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot petrol engine mated to a seven-speed automatic box with paddles on the steering wheel and it makes for an engaging performer.
The B250 still feels somewhat top-heavy and even though it's sprightly in a straight line, you do have to wash off enthusiasm in the bends to avoid some rock-and-roll.
What do you get?
Getting some nice extras to deliver a sporting edge are AMG styling touches like 18-inch five twin-spoke alloys, velour floor mats, red contrasting stitching on seats, steering wheel, centre armrest and door armrests, stainless steel-look panles, tinted glass, flat bottom-steering wheel and man-made leather trim.
Like all other B-Classes, the B250 also gets sat nav, push-button start, parking assist with reversing camera, nine airbags, blind spot assist and the suite of Mercedes technologies which includes semi-autonomous braking to help avoid or lessen the impact of an accident.
For those seeking practicality with a tinge of prestige, there is also the Audi A3 Sportback Quattro Ambition ($46,100) or BMW 220i Active Tourer ($50,900) to consider.
Our week saw the B250 consume just over seven litres for every 100km, which is pretty good for a turbo four-potter. It does run on the more expensive 95 octane unleaded, however.
Always the trump card of the B-Class, the high roofline makes it a useful transporter in urban surrounds.Dropping the back seats unveils a voluminous space which certainly makes it the working-class of the Mercedes small car brigade.
Those common-sense external lines come at an almost gawky style cost, although sporty additions like the 18-inch alloys and body kit give this range-topping offering some more street cred.
Accomplished, functional and with a strong list of features, there is no doubting the B250's appeal.
But the problem comes from within. Mercedes has done such an outstanding job during recent years that it's impossible to overlook the more youthful models also available.
For similar money, you can get into the stunning entry-level CLA Shooting Brake (wagon), or for those wanting something compact yet athletic, there's the A250 Sport.
It's a nice problem for Mercedes to have but the B-Class has some serious inter-brand competition in its fight for attention.
Model: Mercedes-Benz B250.
Details: Five-seat, five-door all-wheel drive luxury hatchback.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 155kW @ 5500rpm and peak torque of 350Nm @ 1250rpm.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
Consumption: 6.8 litres/100km (combined average).
Performance: 0-100kmh in 6.7 seconds.
Bottom line plus on-roads: $54,200.
Driving experience 14/20
Features and equipment 15/20
Functionality and comfort 17/20
Value for money 16/20
Style and design 14/20