Mercedes - B Class
A slightly over-inflated A Class, and not different enough to avoid being confused with its smaller counterpart.
Like the A Class, the B isn't much cop when the going gets twisty - numb steering and over-enthusiastic stability control are the main culprits.
The cabin of the B Class is a great place to spend time - spacious, well finished and a cut above mainstream rivals. Ride quality is sometimes poor, though.
The cabin feels very upmarket compared to more utilitarian rivals - although some of the pale-coloured optional trim wouldn't really be up to the abuse dished out by a young family.
The entry point B150 lacks urge and even the next in line B170 will have to be worked hard to make decent progress. Diesels are good, but punishingly expensive.
The spacious, airy cabin has masses of room - you'd need to opt for an R Class to get a Merc with a larger interior. Not as versatile as some MPV rivals, though - and it only has five seats.
Residual values are slightly better than those of the A Class, but they're still not brilliant, and servicing will be expensive too.
Very expensive compared to mainstream rivals - the B Class only makes financial sense if you put a high value on driving a car wearing the Mercedes badge.
The standard audio system is decent and the optional upgraded system is very good. Basic satnav isn't great, but the more advanced full-colour system is excellent.