I never noticed the blue accents on the mirror and grill before, looks nice.
But if the weensy Fortwo is a city car, this new Mercedes B-class electric drive is built for the suburbs. Constructed from the same bits bin as that of the CLA, GLA, and smaller A-class, the B was designed from the start with two floorpans. The gasoline and diesel versions available elsewhere feature a flatter floor; the battery-electric and CNG examples sport an underfloor compartment to house an array of cells or a tank for the compressed natural gas.
Interior-wise, the B retains some quality touches—like satin-pewter air vents that require the perfect amount of pressure to reposition—but the broad swath of plastic that makes up the dash contrasts poorly with the satin burl veneer found elsewhere in the model we tested.
Despite 251 lb-ft on tap, the B never threatens to torque-steer off course. Handling is predictable (it understeers, but not horribly), and ride quality is cheap-Benz nice, which is to say it’s perfectly fine, but it’s no E-class. The rear end does exhibit a tendency to get busy on rough pavement at speed: Lead-footed Michiganders, beware. Midrange acceleration is swift and effortless. The brake pedal is firm and easy to modulate. Unlike the grabby system in the C-Max Energi, it takes no getting used to. In fact, that’s the B’s mission—to be an EV that slots into everyday life as simply as possible. Unfortunately, almost everything about it feels a little too everyday for our tastes.