Queue Gonzalez: The 2015 B 250 4MATIC received a facelift to fit with Mercedes-Benz’s present design language, not to mention the addition of the convenient all-wheel drive feature. The quiet whisper of the turbo under the hood is a nice surprise when pushing this roomy hatchback through its paces.
Michael Bettencourt: The least expensive B-Class Benz certainly has a refined powertrain, but base models are fairly spartan. Still, the tall body style is certainly practical, with tons of legroom and headroom for rear passengers. The AWD B-Class starts at almost $4,000 less than the GLA mini-SUV, which pushes closer to $6,000 if you’d rather spend the funds on winter tires than AWD.
QG: Speaking of pushing, it does require a little more leg muscle on the pedal to get it going from stop, but this is a family-oriented car and expecting neck-breaking launches would be unfair. Turning off economy mode helps relieve some of that effort. Zero-to-100 dreams aside, the gradual acceleration is a good reminder of Mercedes’ refined driving language, where smooth drives, from start to stop, are always top notch.
MB: No doubt, this is a sophisticated little luxury car, but the turbo lag seems much more noticeable with the 4MATIC system. Weight doesn’t seem to be much different from the FWD model, but perhaps with a 208-horsepower four-cylinder turbo geared for fuel efficiency (10 in the city and 7.5 L/100 km on the highway), the 4MATIC’s mapping software could be making the turbo lag more noticeable.
QG: Tech is all here, with everything you would expect from a luxury brand. Our tester has the beautiful Cranberry Red leather upholstery trim, which adds a little sportiness. Because the B 250 is nicely equipped, you won’t feel like you’re missing many bells and whistles. If Mercedes-Benz followed the school letter grading system to classify its vehicles, then B is rightfully scored for the entry-level B 250.
MB: I’d agree with that, though I believe a well-optioned FWD B-Class is the value sweet spot. If I really wanted AWD in my small-ish Benz, I’d also look closely at the GLA, which handles flatter, weighs the same and offers a more dialed-in engine response.