The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the German marque’s first venture into pick-up territory and what a super vehicle it is. It boasts athletic, muscular styling along with all the latest infotainment systems. It also delivers impressive 4WD off-road performance along and excellent towing and payload capabilities.
The goodStyling, handling and practicality
The badA few little niggles - no paddle shifts and shallow cup holders are a couple
Mercedes X250 d 4MATIC Power
IF prizes were awarded for the best looking pick-up on the planet, then Mercedes-Benz would be investing in a rather large display cabinet thanks to its mighty new X-Class.
That’s because the company’s first venture into ute territory sees the introduction of a model that, from the front end, looks ready to take on the world. If you’ll pardon the pun – it certainly has the X factor!
From any angle, the X-Class looks imposing and boasts a large wide grill housing the biggest three-pointed Mercedes star imaginable, so anyone glancing in the direction of the vehicle would be left with little doubt what it is.
Then when you factor in the muscular wheel arches, LED high performance headlights, rippled bonnet, fog lights and massive 18-inch alloys, the Mercedes pick-up is most definitely visual eye candy.
But there are a few hidden secrets behind the success story of this vehicle because Mercedes struck a deal with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and as a result, the X-Class shares many of the same platforms with the highly successful Nissan Navara, including powertrains.
However, the German marque, renowned for its luxurious model range, is quick to point out that they have stamped their own identity on the X-Class in the styling and technology departments and that becomes very apparent when you explore the interior of the vehicle.
It oozes premium styling at every turn with a generous array of high quality on-board techno treats to explore. Creature comforts include the likes of an outstanding infotainment system that will meet all connectivity needs with a neat tablet-styled touchscreen. There is fine black leather upholstery, powered seats that can be heated, air vents that have been inspired by jet engines, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and easy access to the car’s systems via a dial positioned on the console between the seats. It’s fabulous that the climate controls are old school so a turn of a dial increases or decreases the temperature, and just below this section is the control to switch between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD Lock for off-road demands.
But all this wizardry and premium styling does come at a price. Our range-topping Power model carried a £34,100 price-tag but a list of optional extras saw the cost reach £40,670 and that’s without any VAT.
The X250 d 4MOTION Power was driven by a 2.3-litre 190PS diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The 0-62mph sprint takes a respectable 11.8 seconds and the maximum speed is 109mph. On the efficiency front, the X-Class can deliver combined fuel economy of 35.8mpg with carbon emissions of 207g/km.
But pick-ups have to be the complete package these days. They need to have a great road presence but also put in a good working shift along the way. With that in mind, the open-back X-Class has 3.5-tonne towing capabilities along with a practical 2.14 square metre load-bed that can carry 1.1 tonnes of goods.
When it comes to performance, the X-Class is brilliant fun to buzz around in and actually proved quite nimble in congested city traffic. Then out on the open road, the acceleration through the gears is nicely timed and there is ample power on tap for short bursts of acceleration. It cruises effortlessly at motorway speeds and even twisting bends can be attacked with confidence thanks to the precise steering and the vehicle’s agility on the road.
Comfort levels within the vehicle are excellent and the high-sided four-door cab means there is ample room for a couple of six-footers in the back without any moans or groans about head room. The X-Class has a refined feel to it both in its design and in its ride and handling qualities.
There were a few little points that began to niggle towards the end of my week-long loan. Firstly, the lack of steering wheel paddle shifts to change gears (rivals such as the Mitsubishi L200 has them). Secondly, the shallow cup holders that would not safely secure a hot coffee. There is no height adjustment on the steering wheel and finally there are two USB connection points that are awkwardly positioned in the central storage box but facing away from the driver.
But, in fairness to Mercedes, I am being particularly picky because this is a premium pick-up with a premium price-tag.
As one would expect, Mercedes has packed the X-Class with a raft of safety features and driver assist aids which helped it secure a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating.
All in all, the latest pick-up on the block is a tremendous piece of kit. It looks awesome, drives beautifully, is packed with techno treats and will bring huge financial benefits to the business driver.