As the first ever pickup from a premium manufacturer, the X-Class is uniquely versatile. It can be used as a rugged, all-terrain pickup, but also as a vehicle for urban lifestyles and families, as Van Ireland’s Phil Eaglestone discovered recently in a cold and snowy North Wales where temperatures dipped to minus 13 degrees!
Based on the Nissan Navara, Mercedes new X-Class sees a ‘first’ for the manufacturer as
it enters the competitive one-tonne pick-up market; we got the chance to put it through
its paces on and off road in the shadow of Snowdonia and in the Bala area of Gwynedd.
We have to agree with the boys at Mercedes that the X-Class pushes the boundaries of the classic pickup, offering comfort, design, safety and connectivity in addition to an impressive load capacity of over 1,000kg and a towing capability of up to 3,500kg – and it handles and performs every bit as well as it looks.
Some people may want an X-Class as a ‘working’ pick-up, but we suspect most will want one, if not as a ‘status’ symbol, then as a business asset or more likely a luxurious family workhorse to be especially utilised in full at week-ends! Mountain bikes, bales of hay, chainsaws, whatever you want, its loading bed can easily handle dirty, wet or dusty objects up to a length of 1,587mm and weight of 1,092 kg. Between the wheel arches, the loading bed is wide enough for a transversely loaded Euro pallet.
It may look like a pick-up, but it is so much smoother, even off road, thanks to a super
and sophisticated suspension system that provides great stability and a more comfortable ride, even at speed over rough terrain.
With prices starting at just over £27,000, there are three model lines: PURE, PROGRESSIVE and POWER. Engine choices are an X 220d 4-cylinder 2.3l diesel with turbocharger offering 163hp (120kW) and an X 250d 4-cylinder 2.3l diesel with twin-stage turbocharger offering 190hp (140kW).
In brief, the X-Class PURE is available with the six-speed manual transmission 220 d 4MATIC engine; rear bumper with integrated step, halogen headlights and a matt black radiator grille; manually adjustable driver and passenger seat in Tunja black fabric upholstery; large storage compartment in the centre console, incorporating an armrest and cupholder; semi-automatic air-conditioning with high gloss black details in the air vents
and 17-inch steel wheels as standard
The slightly more expensive mid-level X-Class PROGRESSIVE is available with a choice of either the 220 d 4MATIC engine, or the uprated 250 d 4MATIC engine; painted bumpers with a simulated under guard in matt black; aluminium door sills with ‘Mercedes-Benz’, chrome door handles and heated exterior mirrors; load securing rail system; black fabric upholstery and an aluminium trim inside with chrome air vents; automatic dimming interior mirror with integrated compass function; illuminated sun visors, lighting for the front footwell and exit lamps, and 17-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in vanadium silver as standard.
For around another £5,000 you can upgrade to the high-level X-Class PROGRESSIVE model. Over and above the other features found in the other two versions, this model is offered in conjunction with the 250 d 4MATIC engine only, but it also has painted bumpers with simulated under guard in chrome; a rear bumper in chrome with integrated step; fog lights with chrome surround and shoulder line trim strips in chrome; LED high-performance headlights with cleaning system and LED tail lights; electrically folding exterior mirrors; KEYLESS GO; eight-way electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seats; leather and microfiber upholstery; leather dashboard with topstitching; black, high-gloss interior trim; and 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in himalaya grey.
All models for the UK market are doublecab with 4MATIC selectable all-wheel drive as standard and there is an optional Parking package designed to comprehensively assists you when parking and manoeuvring thanks to its camera image with 360° view.
The 360° camera makes the area immediately surrounding the vehicle visible – both from a bird’s-eye view and below the window line, while a PARKTRONIC system visually and audibly warns of obstacles in front of the vehicle and behind, and thus helps prevents damage when parking and manoeuvring.
During our driving experience never did we feel our safety was being compromised, not least because the X-Class comes with a host of safety feastures as standard, including driver and passenger airbags and thorax bags, window bags on the A-D pillar and even a driver knee bag!
But perhaps even more comforting are features such as Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist,Traffic Sign Assist, and Hill Start Assist.
Whether out on the road, or at home, ‘Mercedes me’ connects you with your X-Class. Your vehicle can share information about its location, status of components like coolant or brake linings as well as summoning emergency services in the event of an accident.
Stowage facilities within the X-Class have been designed to put everything you need within easy reach. Passengers can benefit from a lockable glove compartment, a cup holder and an ashtray in the centre console, and even a spectacles compartment in the overhead control panel.
There are also storage areas under the cover of the armrest with 12-V socket and USB interface. compartments in the door trims, including space for 1.5-litre drinks bottle, a stowage net in the front passenger footwell, ruffled pockets on the backrest of the driver and front passenger seats and a storage space under the rear bench seat.
Mercedes tell us that the Pure model is aimed squarely at business users, while it expects
the lion’s share of sales in the UK will be of Progressive and Power variants. Either
way, we’d be happy with any of them!