The Mercedes B–Class was introduced in 2005, with the B200 as the first available model in the U.S. and Canada.
It was a small car, with a hatchback, 4 doors and a boxy look that reminded me of a shrunken mini-van.
Mercedes described it as a compact sport tourer. While it was certainly compact, it was by no means sporty.
Nor was it particularly nice to look at or drive.
Yet because of the badge it sold.
Mercedes has since repackaged the B-Class, and introduced it as the B250 in the North American market.
The 2015 B250 uses a turbocharged 2.0L 4 cylinder engine with start/stop technology, to enhance fuel economy.
This engine is a vast improvement to the originals. Where the B200 dared claim to be a sport tourer while producing only 134 hp from the standard engine, the new B250 makes 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
To further make my point clear consider, the 2005 B200’s 0-100km/h ( 62 mph ) time was 10.1 seconds, that pace is nearly glacial.
The 2015 B250 on the other hand puts some sport into the recipe, doing the run in 6.8 seconds. That’s almost 4 seconds less clenching as you merge in front of a transport truck.
The only transmission on offer is a 7-speed DCT automatic. A DCT is a dual clutch transmission.
The benefit of such technology is smoother and quicker gear changes.
The other noticeable upgrade to the new B250 is the body. It now looks like a welcome member of the Mercedes family and not some pariah with the same name.
The interior has been seriously poshed up as well.
Now available are 4 trim materials, Black Ash, Open-Pore Eucalyptus, Carbon look, or the Sail Pattern which is the standard but still nice.
There are 7 interior colour choices on offer now, 3 in fabric upholstery and 4 in leather, my favorite is the fabric Crystal Grey(seen below). It seems to lend an extra luxurious look, and I do prefer cloth to leather interiors usually.
The list of standard features is impressive. What caught my eye was the Electric/heated exterior mirrors, 17″ alloy wheels with double 5 star pattern, and the numerous safety technologies included.
Also for this year, the addition of the B250 4matic. This AWD model boosts the appeal to snow belt denizens.
For those looking to add a more sporting feel, the Sport Package adds improved braking via slotted rotors and calipers with the MB logo. Also you have the option of adding some very nice AMG 18″ rims. There are 3 variations available.
In short it would seem Mercedes has finally brought the B-Class up to the standard it should always have been.
It now feels and looks every part a Mercedes and not just a Caravan with a nice badge.