“The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is probably the safest compact car sold in Canada.”

B-Klasse 2014B-Class 2014

Mercedes-Benz Canada went (adventurously) solo and brought the B-Class (not sold in US) to Canada in 2006, just as did with the original Smart Car.

The tall, compact, front-drive hatchback, is a different kind of Mercedes. Yet many Canadian buyers like it and typically buy about 3,000 of them annually.

We join the B-Class story when it got a modest redesign for the 2009 model year. Styling revisions included a new radiator grille with an extra-large Mercedes-Benz star in the centre. The front bumper has a larger air intake and the hood was also modified. Rear revisions included two-piece tail light assemblies, a new hatch release and a new-look rear bumper.

B-Class vehicles have a unique safety feature built-in to its elevated floor-pan design. Mercedes calls it the “sandwich principle” and during a severe frontal impact the powertrain assembly is cleverly engineered to slide downward, under the cabin compartment, to avoid intrusion into the passenger space.

The ’09 B-Class came in B200 and the B200 Turbo models. A B200 comes with a 134-hp, 2.0-litre inline-4 engine mated to either 5 speed manual transmission or a CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic. The reliability of this CVT is questionable and in 2011 model year vehicles it was the spotlight of a major recall. It can be an expensive repair, if not covered by Mercedes.

This torque-rich gas engine is a frugal fuel user that’s rated at 10.5 litres/100 kilometres in the city and 8.6 litres/100 kilometres on the highway with the CVT and using the new 5-cycle rating method. The manual transmission allows slightly better highway fuel economy.

The turbocharged variant of the 2.0 litre engine boasts an impressive 193-hp, and is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or the optional CVT automatic. This engine is rated at 10.9 litres/100 kilometres in the city and 8.8 litres/100 kilometres on the highway with the CVT and using the new five-cycle rating method. So you should get a lot better performance with almost the same fuel economy.

B-Class went essentially unchanged for the 2010 and 2011 model years and was temporarily discontinued for the 2012 model year. It returned as the completely redesigned B250 for the 2013 model year and there were no major changes for 2014.

Standard features in 2013 included a fuel saving auto stop-start system, LED daytime running lights, leather seating, 11 airbags, run-flat tires, plus Attention Assist, and Collision Prevention Assist systems. Yet, it still had an under-$30,000 start price.

A new direct-injection four-cylinder turbo engine (208 hp) linked to new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission was the only powertrain combo offered (no CVT). This engine can also produce an impressive 258 lb-ft of torque and it can move a B250 to 100 k/hour in less than eight seconds.

While this engine does like pricey premium fuel, it’s rated at 9.2 litres/100 kilometres in the city and 6.6 litres/100 kilometres on the highway using the 5-cycle rating method. The new automatic obviously has an important role in attaining those impressive highway economy numbers.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is probably the safest compact car sold in Canada. Its brand-new (2015) start price is still under $30,000, however, popular add-on option packages can quickly push its end price into the high thirties and this also influences typical resale values.


 

Price Check: 2009 – 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class (March 2015)

Year                    Edition                                                 Expect to Pay Today

2009                   B200T                                                      $12,000 to $15,000

2010                   B200T                                                      $14,000 to $17,000

2011                   B200T                                                      $17,000 to $21,000

2013                     B250                                                        $25,000 to $30,000

2014                     B250                                                        $29,000 to $34,000


 

Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.

Safety Recalls: 2009 to 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class:

2011: An internal transmission drive belt may fail on vehicles equipped with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the CVT gearbox assembly.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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