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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the facelifted version of its B-Class, which is set for a public debut next month at the Paris Motor Show. Styling updates are relatively simple with a redesigned front bumper featuring bigger air ducts, a wider grille with two louvres and new headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights to bring it in line with the latest A- and CLA-Class.

The inclusion of LED High Performance headlamps, a refreshed rear bumper (with an additional chrome strip) and new LED taillights complete the exterior enhancements. The optional LED High Performance headlamps use wider beam patterns and a colour similar to daylight, which in turn increases safety at night.

If you’re wondering about the blue-tinged LED DRLs, they are actually a form of “welcome light”, which illuminates for roughly three seconds after the car is unlocked. Past that and on the move, they revert back to their normal white hue.

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Not all models in the new range get the same front design treatment, though. The B-Class Electric Drive and Natural Gas Drive variants continue to soldier on with the same front design – only receiving the new look when it comes to the rear of the car.

As part of the facelift, Mercedes-Benz has streamlined the B-class into three design and equipment styles – Style, Urban and AMG Line – to match those offered on the A-Class hatchback and CLA-Class four-door coupe. The Style line features the grille with its two louvres painted in iridium silver and extra chrome inserts around the car. The interior comes with Vianen fabric on the seats, with the steering wheel, gear lever and dash switches being decked out with silver chrome accents.

The Urban line features five-spoke alloy wheels and twin exhaust pipes integrated into the rear bumper. Interior wise, the seats are now covered in a combination of Artico man-made leather and Montfoort fabric. A leather steering wheel with perforated grips, contrasting top stitching, silver chrome accents and sail pattern trim finish off the look.

As for the AMG Line – available on the B-Class for the first time – wheel sizes are now up to 18 inches. The front brakes are also upgraded with perforated discs, matched with brake calipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering. Step inside and you’ll find sports seats covered in a combination of Artico man-made leather and Dinamica micro-fibre. The steering wheel features a flat-bottom design as well as a gear lever with perforated leather. Red contrasting top stitching along the armrests, centre console and seats are coupled to stainless steel sports pedals for a more performance-oriented atmosphere.

Changes on the interior include a new (and optional) eight-inch head unit display – similar to the recently updated 2015 CLA – new steering wheel designs (following the new W205 C-Class), reworked face buttons and an enhanced ambient lighting with a choice of 12 colours. In addition to the new head unit display, the B-class features the latest “Mercedes connect me” telematics system. Among the services included are accident recovery capability, service maintenance notifications and incident management.

In the event of an accident, the system is able to automatically connect occupants to the Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call Centre and send the coordinates of the accident scene, to which a rescue vehicle will be dispatched to. Customers can also connect to the car remotely by using a Remote Online system.

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Other features include Keyless-Go, which is Mercedes-speak for keyless entry. Collision Prevention Assist Plus provides autonomous partial braking to avoid collisions, and the Attention Assist feature has now been upgraded to an operating speed range of 60 km/h to 200 km/h.

Engine options range from five petrol, four diesel and two alternative drive systems. The base petrol engine in the B 180, is an inline-four unit that produces 122 hp and 200 Nm of torque, giving it a 0-100 km/h time of 9.2 seconds with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission.

The current engine variant available locally, the B 200, is unchanged. It produces the same 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque, with a 0-100 km/h time of 8.4 seconds. The most powerful petrol variant, the B 250, is now available with 4MATIC – Merc’s all-wheel drive system. Figures include a 211 hp rating and a torque figure of 350 Nm.

As for the diesel range, the base engine, found in the B 160 CDI, produces 90 hp and 240 Nm of torque with a 0-100 km/h time of 14.3 seconds. The most powerful diesel variant, the B 220 CDI, comes with the 7G-DCT gearbox as standard as 4MATIC as an option. Producing 177 hp and 350 Nm of torque, it gets from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds.

As for the two models powered by alternative sources, the range now includes the B 200 Natural Gas Drive and the B-Class Electric Drive. In the former, a 14-litre petrol tank is paired to one large and two smaller gas tanks packaged into the underbody. A lithium-ion battery can be found there in place of the tanks in the electric version.

So while we wait for the car to make its official debut next month, what do you guys think of this facelift in regards to its predecessor and its main rivals, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan?