2017 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Review
|List Price Estimate:||$14,352 - $17,917|
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Good acceleration
- Quiet, stylish interior
- Nice slate of options
- Cruising range is no better than that of less expensive EVs
- Stiff, short-legged ride quality
- Pricey options list
From behind the steering wheel, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e exhibits the traits we've come to expect from electric cars, like snappy acceleration right off the line, which is all the more impressive considering the car's 3,900-pound curb weight. Switching between the available driving modes and brake regeneration settings gives you the chance to fine-tune the car's performance along a continuum that ranges from energy efficient to sporty. There's enough power to haul a full load of people or cargo.
Speaking of adjustable regenerative braking, it can be manually controlled via the three-position steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, or it can be left in the radar-based fully autonomous mode that works by sensing the traffic in front of you and dialing in the proper amount of regeneration for conditions. Best of all, the regenerative braking has a natural feel to it without the quirky surging feeling so common to such systems.
The car's short-travel suspension delivers a firm ride quality that can get a little wearisome. Though it's not a problem on short hops, we have to say we'd expect better from a vehicle car in this price range. This utility vehicle drives with excellent refinement, plus it can carry a lot of stuff for a useful number of miles, yet it also always reminds you that utility remains the underlying message.
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e offers decent headroom for anyone who isn't taller than average. There's also adult-sized legroom in the backseat, which is not something a lot of compact EVs can claim. The seats are a little too firm for us, and this might ultimately make you glad this car has only 80-some miles of cruising range per charge.
The noticeably hushed passenger cabin features the stylish good looks you'd expect from a Mercedes. Nevertheless, the abundance of hard plastics is disappointing, though this can be remedied by opting for the available leather upholstery and genuine wood trim. The screen for COMAND system that is perched atop the dash looks like a last-minute "where can we put this?" addition rather than something carefully integrated into the existing design.
One strong suit is the size of the cargo hold, with a generous 21.6 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats. Fold down the rear seatbacks, and the available space more than doubles to a very healthy 51.4 cubic feet.