2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Review

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Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Swift and smooth acceleration
  • whisper-quiet interior
  • easy-to-use regenerative braking
  • attentiveness monitoring system that warns drivers when they exhibit signs of drowsiness behind the wheel
  • a nice palette of options.
  • Range isn't any better than other less expensive EVs offer
  • less efficient than other EVs
  • stiff ride quality
  • pricey options list
  • less interior space than you'd expect.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive beats most other EVs in luxury and refinement, and has even more standard equipment than before, but it doesn't match up well in real-world performance.

Vehicle overview

It took a while, but Mercedes-Benz has jumped into the world of electric drive with its upscale, five-seat B-Class battery-electric model. And after a limited launch of the inaugural 2014 model it is making the 2015 B-Class Electric Drive available all across the U.S. The front-wheel-drive hatchback couples a powertrain built by Tesla Motors with Mercedes' usual array of high-tech standard features and options.

The B-Class Electric is powered by a 132-kilowatt (177-horsepower) electric motor connected to a 28-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, both of which are supplied by electric car pioneer Tesla Motors. According to the EPA, that combo is good for up to 87 miles of range. Recharging with a 240-volt power source takes fewer than 3.5 hours, Mercedes says, but that requires a dedicated 40-amp, 240-volt service. Lower amperage home charging systems will increase the recharging time. There is no quick-charging option for the 2015 B-Class E-Drive.

Inside, the 2015 B-Class Electric looks like a real Mercedes for the most part, with some premium materials and a suite of safety and multimedia features and interior and infotainment upgrades available on the options list. Unlike the cramped rear seating of the CLA sedan, which shares the same platform, the B-Class provides more headroom and legroom for four adults. It has seating for five, but the fifth passenger had best be on the small side if the rear-seat riders hope for a comfortable trip. There is a lot of luggage and cargo space for an EV, as the battery pack is underneath the floor instead of taking up space inside the vehicle.

Despite its unique nature, the B-Class Electric has some clear shortcomings that should be taken into account by shoppers. The EPA-rated range of 87 miles is just midpack for modern EVs. Most of the extra power the B-Class Electric stores in its hefty 28-kWh battery pack is used to give the nearly two-ton hatchback its impressive acceleration. There is a standard range-extending charging option that adds up to 15 miles of travel, but Mercedes warns owners not to use it very often because it shortens battery life.

The B-Class also lacks the efficiency found in some other EVs. On our Edmunds EV testing loop, a 2014 B-Class with the optional range-extension package, the same powerplant and range-extending feature now standard with the 2015 model, traveled 105 miles before it ran out of power, but it used nearly 50 percent more power than a Volkswagen e-Golf along the same roads. The EPA says the 2015 B-Class Electric will gobble 40 kWh of electricity every 100 miles, versus just 29 kWh for the 2015 eGolf. BMW's i3 electric car does even better, using just 27 kWh per 100 miles.

Interior surfaces are an issue, too. They appear high-quality but the seats are stiff and many dashboard pieces are made from hard plastic. It takes the expensive optional Premium Package to get some soft-touch material on the upper dashboard and door panels. It's also worth noting that the B-Class is missing some features — such as heated seats, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring and even an integrated garage-door opener — that are standard on many luxury cars.

Given the growing number of all-electric car models on the market these days, we think potential buyers would do well to check out some of the B-Class Electric's competitors. Its closest rival, the 2015 BMW i3, surprisingly roomy for a small car, earns our recommendation for its superior performance and efficiency, cutting-edge carbon-fiber construction and futuristic interior. We also recommend the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf for its premium and roomy interior and pleasing driving characteristics.

There are a few solid choices from more mainstream brands, too. The 2015 Nissan Leaf and the 2015 Ford Focus Electric lack the B-Class' upscale vibe but perform similarly in most other respects. And if a little bit of all-electric drive with a lot of gas-electric hybrid range and Mercedes quality would suit you just fine, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid could be worth checking out. It will offer almost 19 miles of all-electric range per charge, plus several hundred miles of conventional hybrid operation before it needs its gas tank refilled.

We like the concept of an affordable luxury EV, but the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric still has too many drawbacks for our wholehearted recommendation.

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive models

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric is a four-door hatchback with seating for five passengers. It is offered in a single trim level.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic wipers, air-conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, MB-Tex (premium vinyl) upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with four-way power lumbar support, seat memory settings for up to three drivers, 60/40-split folding rear seats, cruise control, front collision mitigation, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-inch display screen, Mercedes' COMAND interface and mbrace emergency communications, a navigation system with voice controls, and an audio system with in-dash CD and DVD player, a USB port and HD radio. The now-standard Range package includes a heated windshield, additional insulation in the roof and doors and deep-charging mode that makes it possible to eke out a few extra miles between recharges.

Most options are grouped into packages. The Premium package gets you radar-based self-adjusting regenerative braking, bi-xenon headlights, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, a premium Harman Kardon audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration, an 8-inch color display screen and a Homelink garage door opener. The Interior package includes leather upholstery, heated front seats and upgraded interior materials. The Multimedia package includes a rearview camera and an SD card reader.

Stand-alone options include blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system and a radar-based system that can adjust the B-Class' regenerative braking amount based on traffic conditions. Heated front seats, wood interior trim, the premium audio system and satellite radio also come as stand-alone options for 2015.

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2015 Highlights

For the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class, the formerly optional navigation system, keyless entry and ignition and range-extending mode are now standard equipment. Mercedes has also expanded availability of the B-Class to all 50 states.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric is powered by a front-mounted 132-kilowatt electric motor connected to an underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. Both are supplied by Tesla Motors. The motor's output, which translates to 177 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, is delivered to the front wheels.

The EPA estimates the B-Class Electric can travel 87 miles on average before running out of juice. The standard Range package gives the B-Class EV an additional 15 miles, but Mercedes recommends that you use this feature only occasionally.

Recharging can take anywhere from 30 hours on standard 110-volt household current to 3.5 hours with the proper 240-volt charging station. The EPA rates the B-Class Electric's efficiency at 40 kWh of electric power used for 100 miles of driving (remember: the lower the number here, the better). For comparison, the BMW i3 has a rating of 27 kWh/100 miles and the e-Golf checks in with 29 kWh/100 miles.

During Edmunds testing, a 2014 B-Class sprinted from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 6.7 seconds. That's about 2 seconds quicker than the average electric vehicle. The only two electric vehicles we've tested that are quicker are the BMW i3 (6.6 seconds) and the Tesla Model S (4.4 seconds).


Standard safety features on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints, frontal collision warning and mitigation, including automated braking, and a driver attention monitor. The mbrace system includes automatic collision notification, roadside assistance, remote lock control and stolen vehicle location.

Front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system are all available as options.

During Edmunds testing, a B-Class came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet, a few feet longer than average for an EV.


The 2015 B-Class Electric delivers sprightly acceleration around town, and while head-snapping 0-30 times are one of the things EVs are noted for, the B-Class does it with more snap than most. This is no small feat considering the fact that its powertrain is tasked with moving a vehicle that weighs in at over 3,900 pounds. Different driving modes and adjustable levels of natural-feeling brake regeneration give the driver a choice of more energy-efficient or sportier performance.

That regeneration can be dialed-in by the driver using the three-position steering wheel-mounted paddle "shifters." It also can be left to the radar-based automated mode to decide for you what levels of regeneration will make the car work best and store the greatest amount of juice without running into the cars in front of it. The automated mode can let you navigate heavy traffic with only the rare touch of foot to brake pedal.

Once you get past the snappy acceleration, the driving experience in the B-Class Electric is pretty unremarkable. It's as quiet as you'd expect it to be, with no engine to generate noise and plenty of insulation, but seating comfort and ride quality aren't as good as we'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz in this price range. The seats are a bit firm and so is the ride, which largely interferes with an otherwise serene and quiet driving experience.


The 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric has the aesthetically pleasing interior you'd expect, especially when done up in two-tone color schemes and optional real wood trim. Design cues are typical Mercedes, from the circular air vents to the COMAND display screen perched atop the dash. That free-floating screen looks a lot like an afterthought, though, and some of the interior plastic is disappointing, too.

Front- and rear-seat headroom is acceptable, but taller occupants will have to slouch a bit. Rear-seat legroom is adequate for adults. There is plenty of cargo space, though, with a healthy 21.6 cubic feet behind the 60/40-split rear seats; fold down those seatbacks and, though they don't fold completely flat, you still have a generous 51.4 cubic feet of space to hold stuff.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
Excellent Quality Small SUV
William Rogers,02/12/2016
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I bought my 2015 Electric Drive in November, 2015. Delivery was delayed due to a recall concerning drive system software. This was updated, and I have had no problems with the drive train. I currently own two BMWs, and I am impressed with the quality of the Mercedes. I bought the 250 Electric Drive for commuting and local trips around the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. After 2500 miles, it has fully met my expectations, and it has been very enjoyable to drive in day to day traffic. It has a Tesla supplied drive system, which gives excellent acceleration driving around town, especially from stoplights. I wanted a high quality, utilitarian small SUV electric car for driving locally, and this car has been perfect. I did not want: An ugly car (Leaf), a weird, futuristic car (BMW), a medium sized hatchback (VW), (Kia Soul) or a very expensive car (Tesla). It is nice to have several choices, and I made mine. Compared to a Tesla Model S, the battery is smaller, and the range is less; I feel that I got half of a Tesla for half the price of a Tesla. The Mercedes does have a stiff ride. I did not buy it as a luxury car, so I don't care. The Mercedes is heavier than the other electric cars that it is compared to, but it also has much more utility and is better quality. My only complaint is that the car did not come with a DC quick charge port. This is not an issue in driving around town, but it would be very useful for road trips. If you want an electric car that can do it all, buy a Tesla Model S or Model X. If you can't afford one of these, you must decide how you want to use the car and set your priorities, then purchase the car that best fits your needs.
5 out of 5 stars
Addicting acceleration, nice Mercedes trim
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I was looking for an affordable electric car but wanted something family-friendly as I have 2 small children. I comparison shopped versus both the Nissan LEAF and the BMW i3, but the Mercedes won out because it has by far the best rear seat access and room (especially versus the ridiculously small i3). I wound up getting a 2014 model for a steep discount (purchased in January 2015). The car has been a pleasure to drive with instantly responsive acceleration that is utterly addicting and belies its Tesla drivetrain. Ride quality is a little stiff for what should be an entry-level luxury car. Interior fit and finish is comparable to other Mercedes; i.e., solid and rich-feeling. I did not opt for the premium navigation package, and the basic one is a little disappointing. Reliability hasn't been an issue - an earlier software glitch caused some cars (not mine) to suddenly shift into neutral at highway speeds; this has since been patched. Most importantly, it handles car seats and family cargo better than any other pure electric car that isn't a Tesla (if I could have afforded one of those, I'd be driving that instead). Update 2017: No problems so far! The car still drives well and the electric battery hasn't degraded appreciably - my range is still about the same. I have noticed that (like other electric vehicles) the range drops precipitously in freezing weather, especially if I use the heater (it has to burn electricity to generate heat, unlike an internal combustion engine car which uses waste heat to warm the cabin). I will say that the range indicator or "guess-o-meter" is extremely pessimistic, which can be a little scary sometimes. I've driven about 25 additional miles when it has said I was down to single-digit range. I guess it's better for it to be conservatively pessimistic than the other way around. I will point out though, that unlike my friends who drive Nissan LEAFs or Teslas, I have no high-voltage DC current quick-charge on the B-class. It's not even an available option. This means that it takes a full 4 hours to charge from completely empty (on a level 2 public charger or a dryer outlet at home), which makes the car utterly unable to do any kind of road trip. This car really is for local commuting only.
5 out of 5 stars
Mercedes B Electric - great car
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
With federal and state incentives as well as Mercedes trying to move he lady of the 2015 models, we were able to lease a new 2015 B Electric for less than what we could have for an economy car. The car feels like a Mercedes though the narrow wheels combine with vehicle weight, means that road holding and breaking performance is not great. The range extender model gives us just over 100 miles when needed. This is our first electric car and we will never go back to internal combustion engines. Looking forward to EVs with 200 mile ranges that are more affordable.
3 out of 5 stars
Great overall with, like any car, a few shortfalls
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
After one year of driving... Still love this car. The radar interval control will not override the cruise control, to me this is a safety fault. No Apple Play or Android, the Garman maps are a POS. Software and map updates are not free and are expensive. Voice control is minimal, can’t say, “directions to...” and have the maps plot a course, or input destination with Voice. Voice control of the phone is OK but could use some refinement. Below 58 degrees the mileage drops into the 60s, above 60 degrees mileage is in the 80s on a full charge. Using the extended range 100 miles is easy. ORIGINAL REVIEW #1 is this is a city or commuting car not a Holliday car. It has about a 100 mile range and no level 3 charging capability. Instant power, would be a formidable stop light racer. #2 it is all Mercedes and what you would expect from Mercedes. Love all the technology (you will see lots of electronic controls as you open various doors and hatches) and if I could add one improvement it would be a touch screen - I am so used to my iPad that I want to use my fingers. #3 To me at 5’ 10” and 250 lbs the seat could be an inch wider. Run flat Mitchelin tires so no spare and storage room under the rear deck where the spare would normally be. #4 Items not installed that I believe help define a Mercedes. No control to lower and stow the rear headrests. No tool kit. Miniscule first-aid kit. #5 Safety, all the usuall items like ABS, traction control,stability control, radar assisted interval control, etc. However this is so neat. The car essentially weighs you, calculates your height from you foot position, and in an accident scenario will independently tighten your seat belt with an explosive charge, and deploy the airbags in a sequence to best protect you. Driver and passenger each has four airbags.

More about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Overview

The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is offered in the following submodels: B-Class Electric Drive Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive. The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

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Can't find a used 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drives you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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