How a little star can shine!
Outstanding versatility and cargo capacity don't mean that occupants are short-changed with regard to comfort. The quality of this European design makes all the difference. The front buckets are as firm and supportive as one could wish, while their high-mounted cushions allow excellent outward visibility. In the back, two adults (three, if need be) will enjoy enough comfort to last through long-distance trips.
The layout of the dashboard requires some getting used to, especially if you've never driven a Mercedes vehicle before. Some of the controls are unique to the brand and their manipulation is indeed unusual. On the other hand, fit and finish as well as material selection meet expectations. In fact, I would say that the little B200 has nothing to be ashamed of when put next to the larger E-Class.
Too bad the audio system delivers unimpressive sound quality, taking a bit of luster away from that same three-pointed star.
A poor man's luxury car?
Up to this point, I haven't mentioned anything about the price, but it's a well-known fact that the Mercedes-Benz B200 Turbo is not cheap. Actually, it's up to $5,000 more expensive than both the GTI and Mazdaspeed3.
Now, one has to wonder: would the price of this modern-looking one-box vehicle be so high if it were not for the big, shiny star in the middle of the front grille?
Photos: Luc Gagné
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2008 Mercedes B-Class Specifications
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