Mercedes-Benz has said its new B-Class will offer a more agile drive, greater comfort and more dynamic looks than its predecessor when it hits UK roads in the spring.

The new small MPV family hatch also adopts the higher-quality interior and Hey Mercedes voice control system seen in the new A-Class. The German brand claimed the car has a more spacious cabin and more efficient engines, as well as driving assistance systems that put it up with the class leaders for safety.

Inside, three combinations of control screens will be offered – two 7.0-inch, and either one or both enlarged to 10.3 inches. Mercedes said the new seating position is flatter and more comfortable, also offering a larger adjustment range, and the car’s extra width means 33mm more elbow room.

New B-Class

From the middle of next year, the B-Class will also be offered with rear seats that can be slid back and forward by 140mm, plus a movable backrest, which will mean the boot space can be varied from 455 to 705 litres. Also an option from mid-2019 is a fold-flat front passenger seat.

New optional technology includes the augmented-reality satnav, which overlays directions on to a camera view of the road ahead, as well as a hands-free opening tailgate and semi-autonomous driving that will adjust the car’s speed when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.

The engine line-up includes a new 2.0-litre diesel in 148hp and 188hp outputs, as well as the existing 114hp 1.5. Petrols are the 134hp and 161hp 1.3 units, and all B-Class models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Emissions figures are yet to be revealed. More will follow, along with 4Matic four-wheel-drive options. Trim levels will be Sport and AMG-Line, with no sign of the entry SE that the A-Class has.

Mercedes-Benz cars marketing boss Britta Seeger described the new B-Class as “more practical than ever, more chic than ever,” while Daimler chief design officer Gorden Wagener said: “With its emotional yet purist design, the new B-Class blends seamlessly into the design language of Sensual Purity.”