Official details of the new B-Class have been released by Mercedes-Benz, ahead of its UK launch next March.
Highlights include a lower height and more upright seating position, a new four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection and turbocharging, a new diesel engine, a new dual clutch transmission and new driver assistance systems.
Mercedes-Benz is describing the car as a "compact sports tourer".
"No model change in the history of Mercedes-Benz has ever seen so many new developments introduced in one fell swoop," said Dr. Thomas Weber, head of development, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"Future B-Class customers will benefit from this quantum leap in terms of higher fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions combined with driving pleasure, plenty of space and the highest standard of safety that has ever been available in this class."
Mercedes claims the interior of the new B-Class will define a new benchmark in the compact segment.
Many features have been the reserve of higher classes of vehicle to date. The dashboard is optionally available in man-made leather finish and features stitching, for example.
Four equipment packages (Chrome, Sports, Exclusive and Night package) enable individualisation according to personal tastes.
On the inside the large, three-dimensional trim covering the entire dashboard first strikes the eye. It is available in four variants, covering a broad spectrum from modern through sporty to classic. Common to all versions is a high-class appeal combining an attractive look and feel with easy care and durability.
The world premiere of the new B-Class will take place at the Frankfurt International Motor Show next month