Despite customers’ lack of love for monovolume bodywork (- 50% in 10 years), the two German firms make the figures lie. the 2 Series Active Tourer from BMW has sold around 400,000 units since its launch in 2014, while the Mercedes Classe B has won more than 1.3 million customers since 2005. We understand why the two brands persist.
The first match organized on Caradisiac, during the launch of the third generation of Mercedes Class B, in 2019, had resulted in a victory of the model of the star. Today, BMW renews the Series 2 Active Tourer. The opportunity for the Bavarian minivan to take revenge in a return match.
Here are two premium compact MPVs that have the same desire. Does NOT look like a minivan. The B-Class borrows much of its styling from the Class A with its wide grille flanked by tapered optics, its large rims and its hollow sides. This “AMG Line” finish further marks this desire to dust off the old-fashioned image of the minivan by the presence of 18” alloy wheels, an AMG body kit and a lowered chassis.
Chez BMW it’s pretty much the same fight, the designers wanted to give the model a slightly more “crossover” look, notably with the arrival of a large grille like on the rest of the range, integrated door handles and slim front and rear lights. The result is very pleasing, especially on this “M Sport” version enhanced by the splendid optional “Portimao Blue” color (€890).
Practical aspects: very very close
In either case, the presentation does not impersonate premium status. The manufacturing quality is high on board both models with leather, foamed plastics and very good quality upholstery. The interior of Mercedes Classe B ages well. Very well even, knowing that 3 years separate our two competitors. This interior has also served as a source of inspiration for the new generation of Series 2 Active Tourer which uses the double digital panel. The more recent Bavarian takes a step ahead in this area.
But a minivan is above all a spacious and practical vehicle. In this area, the two rivals play elbows because they have almost the same architecture in terms of modularity. Namely a 30/20/40 split rear seat, sliding about 15 cm, with reclining and folding backrests.
The Series 2 Active Tourer stands out slightly because it exploits the volumes a little better. This translates into a little more space for the legs in the rear seats as well as a greater number of storage spaces and above all more clever. Let’s mention on the fly, the new floating central console, the storage compartment with vertical smartphone holder equipped with an induction charger or the modular boot floor. In this regard, the capacities are close in both cases. The volume of the Mercedes B-Class fluctuates between 455 and 1,540 litres, while that of the BMW Series 2 Active Tourer ranges from 470 to 1,455 litres. Values in the average of the category which will be sufficient, in the majority of cases, for family use.
Budget: a high starting bet
The two minivans have prices worthy of their premium status, beyond 40,000 €. It will take 41,000 € for the BMW Serie 2 Active Tourer 218 d M sport and 40,499 € for the Mercedes Class B 220 d AMG Line. When counting budget level points, it’s status quo. Both models suffer a slight penalty (maximum €170), they officially consume the same thing, or around 5 l/100 km according to the WLTP cycle for an equivalent power level of 150 hp. Their engines are fitted with a timing chain without the need for replacement, their discount on the second-hand market is identical and their high maintenance/repair costs are similar. Finally, they are both guaranteed in a basic way, that is to say 2 years unlimited mileage. It is therefore a draw on budget.
Price/equipment ratio: a more generous Series 2 Active Tourer
500 € separate the two versions evaluated today. However, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer takes the upper hand thanks to its particularly complete standard endowment which forces the B-Class to go through the option box to return to level.
We think of the piloted suspensions billed at €1,200, the large-format digital instrumentation (€550), the head-up display (€1,200) and the electric and heated front seats sold for €1,200. The propeller MPV is an easy winner in the area of the price/equipment ratio.