Mercedes B Class W245, the best Mercedes Benz that we didn’t buy. I wonder why?

Mercedes B Class W245, Mercedes’ first attempt in the van with windows secto….I mean MPVs. A market invented by the Renault Scenic and made popular in Europe by the famous VW Touran and, in some extreme cases, even the Sharan. So Mercedes had to come up with the luxury version of the MPV, many years before the arrival of BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer.


And what did the Mercedes B Class come to market with?

With all the safety technology Mercedes had available at that time. The B Class was at the time of its launch the safest car after the S Class, the teutonic flagship chariot of choice for dictators, executives, and albanians.


Besides all the weird acronyms like ASR, ESP, cornering lights, headlamp assist, traction control, and other craziness, the Mercedes B Class W245 came with a sandwich construction. Basically, in the event of a crash the engine slides into a compartment under the car seats so that the passengers no longer have to hug the engine, not even a bolt, a piston, or a flywheel. Unfortunately, here comes the major drawback of the B Class: the ground clearance is so low that it’s comparable to the self-esteem of a fresh college graduate who submits his first resume and sees that no one is hiring him anywhere.


Mercedes B Class W245 Engines


  • 1.5 N/A of 95 horsepower – Coming under the B160 badge, this M266 is one of the most reliable petrol engines in the industry. And it’s not because it’s made by Mercedes as much as it is simple. It has no direct injection, has a single camshaft, and has a simple and sturdy timing chain. I don’t recommend it for the Mercedes B Class W245 body instead, because the M266 didn’t just come in the this, beer-can version.
  • 1.7 N/A of 116 horsepower  – B180 comes with the same M266 and is the most balanced engine on this generation of B Class. Simple, reliable, economical, and decent power. Won’t drag race anyone or anything, but it’s enough for the typical B Class driver.
  • 2.0 N/A of 136 horsepower  – the B200 has 20 extra horsepower, but do you really need it? If you’re going to run around in a Mercedes B Class W245, at least get a proper, turbocharged version.
  • 2.0 Turbo of 193-horsepower  – Why would you want a B Class Turbo anyway? But then again, there’s the Sharan with a 2.8 V6 and the Scenic with a 3.5 V6. Who am I to judge?


2.0 cdi of 109 and 140 horsepower – There’s nothing wrong with the B190 CDI and B200 CDI, but do you really want a diesel over petrol? Yes, you get lower fuel consumption, but you also get a dual flywheel, a turbo, some sensible injectors, and a particle filter. All these are just waiting to break down and take your money. A lot of money. Because that’s a general issue with modern diesel engines, not just Mercedes. At least here you don’t have serious injector issues, like in the bigger, fancier brothers.


Mercedes B Class General Issues

  • Ground clearance is the main complaint among Mercedes B Class W245 owners. It’s a very low car that’s defeated by everything from kerbs to potholes to leaves on the street. At least it’s good that most of UK is as smooth as the palm of your hand, so you’ll have few issues on the country’s few bad roads.
  • The CVT automatic gearbox proves once again that European cars and CVTs don’t mix at all. The Audi A4 has taught us what a CVT is all about, but the B Class hasn’t escaped this punishment either. Just get a manual version.
  • In the Mercedes-Benz tradition, the radiator and compressor sit very low and are vulnerable to road stones. Again, an important point for Germany and Western Europe, not UK where the roads are absolutely impeccable.
  • The immobilizer can be more proactive than a corporate driver eager to make them pistons sing because it’s not his anyway.
  • The window sills used are brought directly from the Bullring Rag Market. So water will seep in, mainly through the boot area and sometimes the spare wheel. Best to check the spare wheel compartment for water, mold, and possibly new micro-civilisations.
  • Much like it’s smaller cousin the A Class, the sandwhich construction means that the engine is mounted so that you have access only to the regular maintainance places, such as oil pan and spark plugs. For more serious stuff, the engine will have to come out. 


Mercedes B Class W245 Verdict

A luxury Touran. And with this, I could drive off to the pub and enjoy 5 beers. However, the Mercedes B Class W245 appeals to a different category of people, namely mums who take their kids to the kindergarden in the morning. It’s spacious, tall, easy to drive, and has status in society. The Mercedes B Class W245 is strictly a family car, being much more fragile than the VW Touran when it comes to work. However, it remains one of the cheapest, most comfortable, and most reliable cars in the Mercedes-Benz range. Maybe the badge means something to you, but I’m just looking at the car. And the Mercedes B Class W245 remains an excellent car for the fashionable family man who doesn’t want an SUV.

Which engine do you recommend? Absolutely, no doubt, and no filter, the petrol M266 in the 116-horsepower B180 1.7 version. You don’t need more and you don’t want more for a car as tall and as sporty and agile as Beth Ditto. No, in a Mercedes B Class W245 you just ride in comfort.