You might have seen the Ford B-MAX on this website before, since it was shown at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, but the B-segment MPV is making its motor show debut at Geneva.

Based on Ford’s global B-car platform, which of course also underpins the popular Fiesta, the B-MAX is billed as a premium compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV). The MAV is just over four metres in length, only 11 cm longer than the five-door Fiesta and a full 32 cm shorter than the C-MAX MPV.

Ford reckons that it’s perfectly placed to meet the fast-growing demand for downsized cars, suited to congested urban conditions without making any compromise on space or passenger comfort.

One of the main highlights here is the Ford Easy Access Door System. Entry and exit is made easy with hinged front doors and sliding rear doors integrating the central body pillars. Note the lack of traditional B pillars. When both front and rear doors are open, there’s a clear aperture of more than 1.5 metres wide. This is around twice the width offered by competitors with alternative door concepts, Ford says.

Also highlighted is the B-MAX’s class-leading fuel economy and the lowest CO2 emissions for both petrol and diesel engines with ECOnetic Technologies. It groups Electric Power Assisted Steering, Gear Shift Indicator and Ford Eco Mode driver information system. Smart Regenerative Charging, which charges the battery at the most economical point in a journey, also features on selected engines.

The petrol engine line-up is led by the three-cylinder 1.0L EcoBoost, available in 100 PS and 120 PS versions. Equipped with Auto-Start-Stop, the 120 PS unit achieves class-leading CO2 emissions of 114 g/km and fuel consumption of 4.9L per 100 km. Two Duratorq TDCi diesels are available – a 95 PS 1.6L (104 g/km, 4.0L/100 km) and a 75 PS 1.5L delivering 109 g/km and 4.1L/100 km.

The B-MAX is the first European car to offer SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated, in-car connectivity system featuring Emergency Assistance, which is designed to assist occupants in the event of a crash.

Besides that, users can connect to mobile phones and music players by Bluetooth or USB, make hands-free calls and control music and other functions using voice commands. It can also read text messages aloud from phones.

Finally, the B-MAX also the first vehicle in its segment to offer Active City Stop. This pretty much works like Volvo’s City Safety system that helps prevent low speed bum kissing collisions.