If you're looking for a compact electric vehicle (EV) that can be used as a short-distance commuter or family car and can handle a trip to Costco, look no further than the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e.
Formerly known simply as the B-Class Electric, the 2017 B250e is powered by a Tesla-supplied 132-kilowatt electric motor, fed by a 28-kWh lithium-ion battery. The battery pack itself can be recharged in 30 hours from a standard 110-volt wall outlet or 3.5 hours with a dedicated 240-volt charging station. The powerplant will allow you a range of 87 miles. That's a useful range, though not an improvement over other EVs. The highlight of this powertrain is that acceleration is actually quite impressive given the car weighs close to 4,000 pounds.
Inside, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e's five-passenger cabin offers decent headroom, while legroom is satisfactory both in the front and rear seats. Be mindful, though, that the middle seat in the back can only accommodate a child younger than 10 years of age. Without passengers, cargo space is abundant, and the B-Class should be able to handle larger shopping excursions with no problem.
Though Mercedes-Benz is generally synonymous with luxury, the B250e focuses more on practicality. The standard seats are more firm than plush, and the dashboard trim is made of plastic. Leather upholstery and wood interior trim are available as upgrades for buyers looking for a more traditional Mercedes-Benz feel. Many items you'd expect as standard in a Mercedes are sold optionally instead, such as keyless entry. The B-Class has historically been a utilitarian vehicle (don't forget that Mercedes-Benz also sells cargo vans), and the B250e in its base spec shows that history.
The B250e does not come with a selection of trims but rather one base trim from which you can add options and packages. The Mercedes comes standard with everything you'd expect but nothing unexpected, while the options for 2017 have added an Electric Blue interior, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and 4G LTE data speed for in-car internet.
Despite some shortcomings, the B250e is still a practical, useful electric vehicle — and one with a Mercedes-Benz badge at that. When you add the quick acceleration and spread of options available, it's easy to see why this would be an easy decision for some. If the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e sounds right for you, Edmunds can help you choose the right options and find the best price.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.