Mercedes has given its A-Class hatchback a major overhaul, updating the exterior and interior with a glut of fresh new features. It's rather boldly calling it the 'benchmark' of the compact hatchback class.
The fourth-generation model has been given an aggressive facelift, with a lowered front end, a new grille and larger wheelarches. It's also longer and wider, making for a more purposeful stance.
See also: Mercedes X-Class first drive
Under the bonnet lies a selection of petrol and diesel engines. 1.4 or 2.0-litre petrol units produce 161bhp and 221bhp respectively, while the sole diesel option is a Renault-sourced 1.5-litre unit, pushing out 114bhp.
The big changes come on the interior, where the dashboard has been bought into line with the rest of Mercedes' current range. Gone is the mess of tiny buttons and switches, replaced instead by two floating dashboard screens – either seven-inch or 10.25 inches on higher-spec models.
Other luxury touches include turbine-style illuminated air vents, 64-colour ambient lighting, heated seats and an optional massage function.
Safety kit has been upgraded, and radar-guided cruise control, active steering assist, autonomous emergency braking, active lane changing and even a semi-autonomous driving mode are all available.
Gorden Wagener, chief design officer, said: "The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of 'sensual purity' and has the potential to usher in a new design era.
"With clear contours and sensual surfaces, we present high-tech that awakens emotions.
"Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme."