Mercedes-Benz B 180 Sports Tourer
Price Guide (manufacturer's list price, excluding on-road costs and dealer delivery): $37,500
Options fitted to test car (not included in above price): Metallic Paint $1547 (Lotus Blue); Sports Pack $2327; Metro Pack $4160
Crash rating: Five-star
Fuel: 95 RON PULP
Claimed fuel economy (L/100km): 7.6
CO2 emissions (g/km): 182
Also consider: Citroen C4 Picasso; Peugeot 3008; Renault Scenic; Toyota Avensis Verso
Overall rating: 3.0/5.0
Price, Packaging and Practicality: 3.5/5.0
Behind the wheel: 3.5/5.0
About our ratings
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class now sits at the bottom rung of the three-pointed star's price spectrum. With the slow-selling A-Class ditched from the local lineup, a recent reshuffle sees the entry level B 180 Sports Tourer present an even better value for money proposition when pitted against less affluently badged, same-priced competitors.
Delivering a liberal level of amenity, the five-seat family hauler provides generous cabin and cargo space, a welcome combination in a category where offering one and not the other has, unfortunately, become the norm.
A strong standard equipment list includes cruise control, trip computer, six-CD tuner with iPod integration, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, auto headlamps plus power windows and mirrors. Our optioned-up test vehicle includes the Metro and Sports Packages to add 17-inch AMG alloy wheels (steel spare), comfort suspension, fog lamps, sports seats and stainless steel pedals.
Powered by a 1.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, the B 180 Sports Tourer produces 85kW/155Nm, driving the front wheels via a continuously variable (automatic) transmission, or CVT, which is optional as part of the $4160 Metro Package (a five-speed manual transmission being offered as standard).
Performance is leisurely, but acceptable given the family-mover's application, with 0-100km/h managed in a little over 12 seconds. Lugging the family around town saw the B 180 Sports Tourer return 8.8L/100km, our weekly mix of urban and freeway driving consuming just 1.2L more than the ADR combined average of 7.6L/100km.
If you're chasing a little more pep, larger capacity 100kW petrol (B 200), 142kW turbocharged petrol (B 200 Turbo) and 80kW turbodiesel (B 180 CDI) models are certain to provide the added boost you're looking for, especially when overtaking.
Cruising the suburbs B 180 Sports Tourer is a breeze to manoeuvre, suitably light steering allowing easy parking, a task further assisted by front and rear parking sensors (part of the optional Metro Package). Excellent all-round visibility proved beneficial in spotting vacant spaces in tight shopping centre car parks.
On the freeway however, the steering is a touch light, the front end feel somewhat lacking at higher speeds. Despite this the B 180 Sports Tourer remains tenacious in grip, the optional Comfort Suspension package providing a first-rate blend of ride and handling.
Braking is sufficiently up to task, the four-wheel discs assisted by an anti-lock braking system, brake assistance, hill start assist and electronic brake-force distribution. B 180 Sports Tourer also incorporates electronic stability control, traction control and tyre pressure monitoring as standard kit, as well as front, side and full-length curtain airbags for a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Both ISOFIX and top tether child seat restraints are fitted in all three rear seat positions, while every occupant position is fitted with a three-point inertia reel seatbelt and anti-whiplash head restraints.
With a new model not too far away (see our spy photos here), and current pricing certain to impress, the B 180 Sports Tourer is fit for the picking, representing sensible family motoring without the drawbacks, bulk and added costs associated with SUV ownership.
Plus it's got that badge! Which for many speaks volumes...
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