Consistently a top seller, although perhaps not in the UK, Mercedes have sold nearly two million B-Class versions worldwide since 2005, so these customers can’t be wrong, can they? Anyway, like the A-Class, the B-Class has perhaps been feeling the heat from more recent rivals and like the A-Class it has received a subtle makeover. As such, there are small tweaks to the exterior styling, and upgrades to the interior infotainment. 

Most equipment grades now feature the sporty ‘AMG’ badge, like our AMG Line Premium test car, and as such on the outside, there’s more dynamic looking, reprofiled front and rear aprons and main grille, plus there are new LED headlights. Whilst at the side, there are new alloy wheel designs. 

Inside, the top of the dashboard has the same two 10.25in screens as before, but these are now higher definition and operate much slicker. Elsewhere, the central infotainment touchpad has gone, to be replaced by haptic controls on the top left and right spokes of the multi-function steering wheel, that was first seen on the current C-Class. Like that Mercedes, the B-Class now can learn your preferences and improved functionality of the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice-control feature. 

The MBUX system works well enough and looks great, but as we’ve said before with the A-Class, we’re less convinced by the small haptic controls on the steering wheel, which are fiddly and don’t always work that well. We also feel Mercedes could have done more with the centre console where the touchpad used to be. The blanking plate is a better size than the one in the A-Class and there was plenty of space for storing the key during the drive, but it looks and feels a bit of an afterthought and we can’t help but wonder if the space could not be used for better-designed stowage. 

The rest of the B-Class’s interior remains as stylish, comfortable and feels as well made as it’s always been. The taller, boxier styling equals a more upright driving position and more rear space – although on AMG Line models the rear seat doesn’t slide like the rest of the range, limiting its practicality. You need to choose the AMG Line Executive to take advantage of the most practical 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, too. 

Following the facelift there are two engine options available – a mild hybrid petrol and a diesel. We only had the chance to drive the former, badged B200, which has a 33% BIK figure with 140g/km CO2 emissions.  

It is powered by a 1,332cc turbocharged engine which produces 163hp, and is combined with a 48V motor/generator (adding a 14hp boost) and familiar seven-speed DCT transmission. 

The increase in power isn’t noticeable, so this B200 doesn’t feel any more sprightly than the pre-facelift version. This B-Class doesn’t feel that quick off the mark. It is also quite noisy if you work it and is at its happiest when cruising.  

The powertrain feels most at home in ‘Comfort’ mode, where the engine is under the least stress. ‘Sport’ sharpens the throttle response and is where this B-Class is at its noisiest. 

Our test car in AMG Line Premium spec has attractive 18in wheels as standard, and like the A-Class this seems to unsettle the low-speed – although the B-Class with bigger wheels is a better compromise than the same wheels on the A-Class. The B-Class isn’t the most dynamic drive but has precise steering and the handling is safe.  

The B-Class is perfect for those who have outgrown the A-Class – being taller and having more rear room. Like with the A-Class, this facelift is small, but it will certainly help it keep up with rivals – although many offer more interior flexibility.

Mercedes B200 AMG Line Premium 

P11D: £38,725

Residual value: 42.94%

Depreciation: £22,095

Fuel: £8,630

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,581

Cost per mile: 55.51p

Fuel consumption: 43.5 – 46.3mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 140g/km (33%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £212/£425

Luggage capacity: 420 litres

Engine size/power: 1,332cc/163hp