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Merc B-Class

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by mfspen, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    Does anyone have any experience of the Merc B, compared to the A3 ?

    It's one of the cars on my list to try out, as a possible alternative to the A3 when I change car later this year. I'd be interested in how they compare for ride, handling, engines, build quality and dealer experience. I really need 4 doors next time, so if I stick with the A3, it would have to be a Sportback.

    Note this doesn't imply any dissatisfaction with the A3 (except for the S-Line suspension, which I wouldn't go for again), as the rest of the car has been excellent (as has my dealer). The 2.0T engine in particular, is an absolute cracker.
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  2. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    I've got a B-Class... Well the wifes got a B-Class as the family wagon.

    Delaer experience has been very good, both for purchasing and for servicing. We've had a couploe of minor faults with it, the stereo wouldn;t hold onto power FM (for me this was a bonus) and they replaced the head unit with out question. The second was a clunk when turning the steering wheel. Turned out to be an Acorn stuck in the UV joint. The removed this and found that it had bent some bit of it. The replaced that without an problems through warrenty.

    We went for the sport pack on ours and when we first picked it up the ride was pretty choppy but after a few miles it has loosened up quite nicely. It's still firm but no worse than my old S-line.

    Handling is pretty good, suprisingly so when you consider how high sided it is.

    Build quality is proving quite good, Claires is 20 months old and doesn't squeak or rattle and is wearing pretty well even considering the amount of food and **** that Sam (our 16month old) throws over it. I did buy a clear protector thingy for the bumper to save it from scratches when throwing the kiddy stuff in and out.

    Anything else I have missed?

    Oh servicing costs are proving reasonable, the first service cost £160. The front tyres have just been replaced at 16500 miles. They were low but not quite illegal.

    J.
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  3. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    I don't have any personal experience with many Mercedes models but in my opinion Audi and Merc make 2 very different products, they really are like apples and oranges. So it's going to come down to going for a test drive in the Merc and see how it feels.
    The big difference in the 2 brands is that if you're going for a relatively high spec Audi it's very very likely to be sports orientated whereas Mercedes are all executive cruisers (even the AMG's can be a little soft).
    If you want a B-Class with similar performance to the 2.0T FSI im guessing it will set you back a fair whack more than the A3 and Merc are notoriously tight with the extras so the B-Class could be a very expensive option if you want a well spec'd, quite quick model.

    Infact for the same money as you'll have to stump up for the B-Class, if you need 4 doors maybe even wait a little and give the new A4 a look?

    I gues it all depends if you like apples or oranges!
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  4. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Audi didn't have anything in the same category, Claire had a fairly large accident in 2005 and has suffered with a bad back ever since, she wanted something high enough to put a child in without having to bend over. The alternative at the time was something like a picaso or Rav4.

    The sports pack does add lower/stiffer suspension. Does it make it more sporty? It steers ok, but does it steer ok or does it steer ok for a tall family wagon...
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  5. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    MB - How much space would you say there is in the back? I'm expecting our first kid in June and we're looking at changing the missus car,

    I know all the pram bits etc fit in the A3 ok, but she too fancies something with the seat a little higher up
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  6. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    Yes , I like the look of the new A4, but it is too big for me. I like to keep my car in the garage overnight, and the new A4 is just too long at 4.7m.
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  7. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Congrats (apologies if I missed the 'announcement' before)
    There's no doubting a higher car helps when carrying a baby carry seat in and out of a car.
    During our daughter's baby phase, we went from a 206 to a Honda HRV.
    However, there are things you can do to help, even in a normal car.
    Graco do these wonderful seat bases, that stay belted into the car permanently.
    The child seat then clips onto the base, making the in/out process dead easy.
    No more straining over the seat as you try and route the belt round, every....single....time.:sadlike:
    Out of sheer bloody nosiness, have you considered the Honda FRV?
    IMO, they're the best looking MPV around (with the right wheels)
    Wonderful Honda diesel engine too.
    If you have more money to spend, the latest CRV is lovely too.
    I had a quick look at one of the new VW 4x4 the other day (is it the Tiguan, or something?)
    Dull, dull, dull, inside and out.
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  8. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    cheers Bowfer :)

    We've got a RAV4 at the moment but its coming up to 3 years old so thinking of changing it before we see all of our money disappear!

    Our friends have a 2.2 diesel FRV, The engine is so quiet it sounds like a petrol, the seating layout is also very cool, they drive with their daughter in her child seat in the middle chair of the front row, very handy for keeping an eye on her!

    Cheers for the tip on the seat bases, I assume these can also be ISOFix? I presume this is much better too (The RAV and the A3 both have ISOfix)
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  9. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Congratulations :)

    In the boot or by the back seats?

    Space in the rear is pretty generous, I'm 6'2" and 17stone so not a wirey fiugre and I fit in the back without any bother.

    The boots a fair size, plenty big enough for all ours and Sam's stuff for long weekends away (even now after 16months we still seem to think we need to take every item of clothing, every toy, enough nappies etc to last a month even though we know we wont need them, but hey you never know!)

    J.
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  10. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Claire actually wanted a Rav-4 but the boot wasn't quite big enough we thought hence the change to the B-Class (Plus I was quite keen on her having something German)

    I went to look at the new Honda, looks like a really decent package. Thing is Claire thinks of honda's as grown up and drvien by old fogies.

    We bought one of those trqavel systems where the base stays in the car and you just lug the kiddy seat in and out. We never really used it, well we used it but just lifted Sam in and out of the seat instead.

    They recommend that you only leave a child in those seats for the shortest amount of time possible anyway.

    But ISOFIX is definately the way forward with Child seats!
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  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Ooh, not sure about that (I would think so though, these days)
    ISOFIX wasn't quite as 'hot' when our daughter was a baby (4 years ago), so neither the 206 nor the HRV had it.
    Even using the belt method, the bases were rock solid.
    You just pulled like a motherfooker the first time you put them in, and they stayed that tight indefinitely.
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  12. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    You can get them now but we just used the pull like a mother fooker method and it was rock solid. We have one of those rubberised seat protector things as well which helps keep the seat in place. Although now we have a normal ISOFIX seat and the mat is just to protect the seat.

    On a seperate note Claire went to one of her mothers morning things the other day with our neighbours daughter. When she went to put Sam in the child seat in the back it was barely held in place bt the seat belt! She tightened it up but the other seat (with the neghbours kid in it) was flopping around all over the place.

    What goes through these peoples minds - do they not realise the seats are there for a reason - to save you child in the event of an accident. Make sure the are properly fitted!!!!!!!
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  13. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    my god that's scary

    I fitted, or helped my brother in law fit the one to thier car, I think we managed to stretch the seatbelt making sure the bloody thing was rock solid!

    S ofro mwhat you're saying, there's pretty much no difference between ISO or "normal"

    MB its quite odd, the space in the boot of the Rav is almost identical to that of the A3, albeit slightly taller, the thing that worries me about using it is that the boot is lined with the hard plastic that scratches easily, whereas the Audi has the nice carpet, I may let the missus use the A3 if we've not changed hers in time
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  14. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    For the first seat I wouldn't bother spending out to get an Isofix seat base as you little one will only be in it for a short while. Fitted properly (from the sounds of it you already have the, to quote bowfer, pulled like a motherfooker, fitting technique down to a fine art) the normal belt restrained base will be more than sturdy enough.

    When you go for the next child seat I'd recommend going for the ISOFIX, I bought the Maxi Cosi version in both ISOFIX and normal fitting. You can get the seat belt restrained one firmly fitted (they also have a level to increase the tension) but t's so much easier with the ISOFIX seat and puts your mind at rest.

    I know what you mean about the plastic trim, the B-Class boot is carpeted as well but the edge trim of the boot is plastic and you ca see were that is starting to get a few battle scars... You'd think the people designing these cars would realise that the owner are probably going to have kids and that means lots of clap trap being hurled in and out of the boot

    J.
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  15. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    I had a quick look at them down at my local dealer, not a bad looking car I thought, wont set the world alight! Typical VW inside. I quite like the look off the interiors on the Tourag and thought the style would be carried over to the tigaun
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  16. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    Cheers for the tips on seats chaps, much appreciated

    Looking at the A3's boot, there's only one piece of plastic that can get scratched which would be (relatively) cheap to replace if you felt the need

    The RAV would need a few square miles of plastic replacing which worries me :)
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  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    One little thing I like about the A3, from a child point of view, is the hard plastic backing to the front seats.
    Back seat toddlers inevitably kick the seats, but muddy marks are easily wiped off.
    The wife's Clio, by comparison, has cloth backing to the front seats.
    So muddy marks often need upholstery shampoo.
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  18. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    Totally agree with you on that one - my MKV Golf had cloth backing too and they were always filthy thanks to the 2 monsters in the back - at least on the A3 the mud just wipes off.

    Interesting to hear about the Tiguan - I quite like the exterior look (in the Sport spec) and was considering one if they had come out earlier when I was changing the Golf. I had also considered the new CR-V (one of our neighbours works for Honda Racing so I was able to have a good look round one) but the higher CO2 bracket and increased running costs (I do 30k+ a year) put me off.
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