Mercedes-Benz B Class
Base MSRP: From $39,900
Destination Charge: $995
Tax Credit: up to $7,500
EPA Range: 85 miles, pure electric
Battery: 60 kWh 350 V lithium-ion
Charging Acceptance Rate: 9.6 kW
Cost to Charge (US average $0.1315/kWh*): $3.68
Estimated Gas Equivalent Cost**: $11.30
(Light Duty, 22 mpg at US average $2.857/g)
Dimensions: 172″ L x 71″ W x 63″ H
Reviews of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e
Performance: 132-kilowatt electric motor; 177 horsepower
Mileage estimate: Equivalent of 82-85 mpg
Price estimate: $39,900 to $51,200
Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Roadside assistance: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Corrosion warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Mercedes-Benz Plans to Coincide with Evolving EV Market
Although there’s only one electric vehicle currently in its entourage of cars, Mercedes-Benz has growth plans that coincide with the evolving EV market.
The German automotive giant announced more than a year ago that it had a goal of producing four more electric models by the end of 2020. It’s a bow to the popularity of EV cars and also an opportunity to benefit from the German government’s new policy to provide sales subsidies for all EV vehicles priced less than $67,150.
Mercedes entered the EV market in 2014, unveiling the B250e, a four-door hatchback with seating for five passengers. It remains the only B-Class vehicle that Mercedes offers to U.S. car buyers. The B-Class is one of the company’s entry-level vehicles in Europe.
While lacking the elegant, sophisticated styling that often characterizes the Mercedes brand, the B250e quickly established itself as an upscale member among its EV rivals. It might not be luxurious, but the versatile hatchback offers swift acceleration, a quiet cabin, responsive handling, a well-designed interior, and can be purchased for just under $40,000, which doesn’t include the federal tax credit of $7,500 and other incentives.
One thing it doesn’t offer is overall range – 88 miles is the maximum. Many of is competitors will go much farther before needing a charge. The EPA gave the B250e an efficiency rating at 40 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric power used for 100 miles of driving. One of its primary rivals, the BMW i3 rates much better at 27 kWh per 100 miles, meaning it takes a lot less juice in comparison to the Mercedes EV.
If utilizing a 240-volt charger, the B250e can be fully recharged in 3½ hours and reaches the 60-mile range in roughly two hours. Yet the recharging process is closer to 30 hours when done by a standard 110-volt current. Note that charging stations are fairly easy to locate with the Mercedes mobile app.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e didn’t arrive with a lot of changes. The biggest news is the price has been reduced by approximately $500. There are also revised option packages that include the addition of the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and 4G LTE data speed for the vehicle’s internet.
The B250e uses a Tesla-produced 132-kilowatt electric motor and 28-kWh lithium-ion battery. It generates 177 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Despite weighing nearly 4,000 pounds, the B250e is fairly quick, going 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, about two seconds faster than most EVs.
We’re talking EV and not a luxury brand, so don’t expect the B250e to deliver an exquisite ride. Yet the overall quality is very good, starting with its steering that feels light and responsive. The ride is quiet and the handling is good overall, giving the driver a nice feeling of confidence behind the wheel.
Nearly a foot shorter than the next largest Mercedes, the B250e is equipped with regenerative braking, the conversion of the kinetic energy into chemical energy stored in the battery, where it can be used later to drive the vehicle.
One unique safety system offered by Mercedes is the Attention Assist. Offered in the standard B250e package, the system studies the driving style and continually monitors the driving and conditions. If it determines that a driver has become drowsy, an alert sounds, encouraging the driver to stop.
We’re a big fan of the B250e interior. It features a dash with many soft-touch materials and utilizes an i-Pad-like infotainment screen that’s both upscale and practical. There are some hard plastics on the lower dash level and door panels. Optional leather upholstery and genuine wood trim are available.
Overall, the B250e provides solid comfort and a roomy feel for front and back seat occupants. One downside is the battery placement makes the rear seat floor a little high and reduces leg room. Another negative is three adults will be a real squeeze in the back seat. However, two adults and a small child should be fine. Cargo space is good at 21 cubic-feet and extends to 51.4 with the rear seat folded.
Priced higher than many competitors, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz 250e is worth the cost when one considers the performance, handling, quiet cabin, and general upscale quality.