MORE space inside, more dynamic looks on the outside and more efficient and cleaner engines are all claims for the new B-Class from Mercedes-Benz.
The new car is lower than its predecessor and cuts through the air more efficiently, to the benefit of fuel economy, while features carried over from the luxurious S-Class range add a high tech feel.
With an emphasis on style, the centre console with a touch-based control and input system comes with a black panel look similar to the E-Class. There's ambience lighting with 64 colours and ten 'colour worlds', a unique selling point in this segment, says Mercedes, which allows individual adjustments, even to suit the occupants' mood.
The rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split. Depending on version, from mid-2019 it will be possible for the rear seats to be moved by 14 centimetres and for the backrest to be folded into a steeper position to vary the capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats between 455 and 705 litres.
Although the capacity is roughly the same as in the previous model, the luggage compartment can be more efficiently used thanks to the improvements.
With the rear seat folded down and luggage loaded to the roof, the boot, which is flat thanks to the adjustable load compartment floor, can accommodate up to 1540 litres behind the front seats. A folding backrest of the front passenger seat - an optional extra, expected to be available from mid-2019 - makes for an even longer loading length.
The new B-Class comes with driving assistance systems with what Mercedes calls cooperative driver support, including functions from the SâClass. For the first time, the B-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations.
To do so, it employs improved camera and radar systems to anticipate the traffic up to 500 metres ahead while using map and navigation data for assistance functions.
Compared to its predecessor, the new B-Class is, in all cases, powered by new, efficient engines, all of which comply with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP limits.
Making its debut is a transverse-mounted version of a two-litre diesel with 147 and 188hp. Thanks to extended exhaust after-treatment with an additional underfloor catalyst, the B-Class with this engine is the first compact model from Mercedes-Benz to be certified in accordance with the Euro 6d standard, which will become mandatory for new models only from 2020.
The large diesel represents an addition to the four-cylinder diesel already known from the smaller A-Class with 1.5-litre displacement. Also available are two four-cylinder 1.33 litre petrol engines.