B class, indeed

2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 Review

By Miranda Lightstone
2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 Review

Summary Rating: 79%

Styling

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Accessories

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Space and Access

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Comfort

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Performance

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Driving Dynamics

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Safety

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General Appreciation

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Missing the mark to own one
Before taking the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 home for a week, I had the opportunity to drive it at a track amongst the likes of the SLS AMG, C63 AMG and other such powerhouses. In all honesty, I was quite impressed with the B250’s abilities, and impressed that it held its own.

Unfortunately, that appreciation quickly dwindled when I brought the B250 home. It’s not that it’s a bad car, just that it’s not at all what I expected from a luxury German brand, even from their entry-level model.


What is a Mercedes-Benz B250?

Essentially, the B-Class is your introduction to the Mercedes family. Introduced for the 2006 model year, the B-Class is what Mercedes-Benz refers to as a “compact sports tourer” in place of the more common terms: wagon, hatch or multi-purpose vehicle. Ideal for the modern family, the B-Class offers space, comfort and Mercedes-Benz luxury.

Well-equipped in base trim, the B-Class has only received what seems to be a few aesthetic changes since it first launched, but has been completely revised. While offered with a myriad of engines in Europe, here in North America we currently get one engine choice and trim level: the Mercedes-Benz B250.

2013 Mercedes B-Class B250 Sports Tourer front 3/4 view
If nothing else, the exterior look of the B-Class is hot. While it retained its bulbous, dare I say, wagon-like look, it still manages to look slightly sporty. (Photo: Colin Styker)

Technicalities
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 features a new direct-injection 2.0L turbocharged mill that pushes out a decent 208 horsepower. The four-cylinder is new this year for the B-Class and proves to be more responsive than the previous generation. If you feel the need, you can hit 100 clicks from zero in 6.8 seconds; not too bad for a family-hauler.

Equipped with a 7G-DCT (7-speed double clutch automatic transmission), the B250 delivers its power smoothly and without too much turbo lag.

As there is only one model available in Canada (not offered in the USA), pricing is easy. Starting at $29,900 the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 is potentially a great way to enter the Mercedes family.

Driving the Mercedes-Benz B250

I’d like to say I enjoyed driving the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250, but I kinda didn’t. The vehicle’s saving grace is it’s transmission that is quite pleasant to play with. The double cutch set-up ensures gear changes are nearly seamless.

With three drive modes available -- E (Eco), S (Sport) and M (Manual) -- I quickly learned that leaving it in E meant an automotive coma for me. So, Sport mode is was, and the B250 actually drove like a normal car instead of a stunted, unsure econobox.

Despite Mercedes-Benz claiming an updated suspension for a smoother ride, I found the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 to be quite harsh. Road imperfections were instantly noticeable and over rougher terrain (read: potholes) the entire car was jarred more than I hoped a model sporting the Merc logo would. Overall, handling was quite good.

Of note: The Mercedes-Benz B250 is very loud. Engine noise and road noise in general is, again, more than I expected. The cabin is not an oasis or escape when you’re driving. And for the few times I had the window down while driving, I had to stop for a moment and remember that I was not driving a diesel version of the B-Class.

2013 Mercedes B-Class B250 Sports Tourer control buttons
With three drive modes available -- E (Eco), S (Sport) and M (Manual) -- I quickly learned that leaving it in E meant an automotive coma for me. (Photo: Colin Styker)

Inside and Out of the Mercedes-Benz B250
If nothing else, the exterior look of the B-Class is hot. While it retained its bulbous, dare I say, wagon-like look, it still manages to look slightly sporty. With LED strips in each headlight sitting alongside the oversized MB logo in the chromed out grille, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 is handsome.

Inside, at first glance, the B250 is luxurious. Take a closer look, however, and you may be disappointed. Materials aren’t as sumptuous as you might hope, and for the price I guess that makes sense. But I wonder if Louis Vuitton would support a pleather purse (that was affordable) with their logo on it?

The iPad-esque dash-mounted HMI screen features Mercedes’ usual onboard system that’s easy to use once you get used to it. I did not, however, appreciate the location of the control knob as it was too far back behind the shifter. It was uncomfortable to use. Also, the location of the HVAC controls was much too low down and proved highly distracting to use, requiring I take my eyes off the road for too long.

2013 Mercedes B-Class B250 Sports Tourer interior
Inside, at first glance, the B250 is luxurious. Take a closer look, however, and you may be disappointed. (Photo: Colin Styker)

Comparing the Mercedes-Benz B250
When I think about what could be had in the same realm as the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B250 I can’t help but think the Merc would lose out, if only on bang-for-your-buck reasons.

Sure, you could drive around in a Mercedes, but it’d be a bottom of the barrel Merc. Why not spend quite a bit less and get a decked-out Mazda5 (which offers more space) or even a Toyota Matrix XRS for marginally less (with the same amenities and room inside)?

You can own the designer name, but do you really want to?


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