The Mercedes B-Class was hoped to change the manufacturer's successes in the 'premium compact' car sector.

Mercedes' previous efforts have been innovative and interesting, but they've never been as well received as the likes of the Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series.

Saddled with a mechanical platform that delivered excellent packaging but at a considerable price, the A-Class and B-Class siblings have failed to win major success. But change is coming to Mercedes’ small-car range, and this new Mercedes B-Class is the first taste of it.

Stuttgart’s pseudo-MPV was given a new platform and format that, stylistically and dynamically, make it a more conventional fit for the so-called ‘premium C-segment’. However, in 2014 BMW saw that Mercedes had tied up the market and decided to fight back with its front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer. To ensure it didn't lose too much ground on its younger and likeable rival, Mercedes gave the B-Class a much needed facelift, which included a number of improvements.

It is at the vanguard of a fresh effort by Mercedes to make real headway into a chunk of the luxury car market where it can ill-afford to be outperformed. As such, the impact crater of serious investment is readily apparent.

The B-Class, like the A-Class, is an all-new car offered with a choice of four-cylinder engines, manual or automatic gearboxes and extensive class-first safety features.

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