Mercedes has given its B-Class small people carrier, or sports tourer as they would rather you call it, a mid-life refresh, with altered styling, cleaner engines and more tech.
You’ll have to look hard to spot the differences, which amount to new bumpers, wider front grille, and daytime running lights integrated into the headlights. LED headlights are optional; LED’s make up the rear lights, too.
The interior has been given a once-over, as well. The free-standing display screen is now 8-inches across, the dial layout has changed and there’s a choice of 12 ambient lighting colours.
Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of two petrol engines, four diesels and a new electric option. Both petrol engines are 1.6-litre four-cylinder units, the B180 producing 120bhp; the B200, which comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard, 154bhp.
Two versions of the B180 CDi, fitted with a Renault-sourced 1.5-litre diesel motor, are available. Both produce 108bhp, but the Eco model returns impressive economy numbers of 78.5mpg combined, with Co2 emissions of 94g/km.
The higher-powered, 2.1-litre B200 CDi and B220 CDi are both available with 4MATIC four-wheel-drive for the first time. Other engine options will be launched in due course.
The B-Class Electric Drive uses a Tesla-sourced lithium-ion battery pack and motor, producing 177bhp, 251lb/ft of torque and a claimed range of 124 miles.
The B-Class was already loaded with safety tech, some of which has been upgraded. The autonomous emergency braking system can now mitigate rear-end impacts; the system that monitors the driver’s attention level now works at speeds up to 124mph and has a new bar display to show the driver if they should buck their ideas up.
Since it was launched in 2011, the B-Class has sold over 350,000 units.
Visit the Mercedes website here