- Premium pickup combines practicality and comfort
- Choice of efficient 2.3-litre diesel engines with powerful V6 to follow
- Designed to drive with the comfort and feel of a regular car
- Wide range of options and trim levels
- Prices announced closer to launch
IF there were any doubts that the pick-up market is evolving the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class should quickly dispel them.
The demand for mid-size pick-ups has been rising steadily over the past few years. Customers are increasingly seeking the comfort and driving experience of a typical passenger car with the practicality of a pick-up.
Step forward the X-Class. previously teased as a concept.
When it is launched the X-Class will be available with a choice of two diesel engines. The 2.3-litre diesel can be specified as either a single turbo unit with 163bhp in the X220d, or a biturbo with 190bhp in the X250d. Both variants of the diesel can also be specified with either rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The X250d can also be fitted with a seven-speed automatic transmission rather than the standard six-speed manual.
There will also be a petrol option offering 165bhp and in mid-2018 a range-topping 258bhp V6 diesel will be released.
A word of caution here. Unless we are reading it wrong the petrol engine will only be available in left-hand drive and rear wheel drive. This is apparently down to something Mercedes describes as “specific market requirements”. If this is indeed the case then it will simply reaffirm the choice of diesel for most drivers.
Most drivers are likely to be drawn to the fact that this is a Mercedes. The X-Class may be a pick-up but it’s the first premium brand to enter the pick-up market.
It shares a distinctive look with the rest of the Mercedes range and from the front looks very much like the current GL range of SUV. It’s a robust design that reflects the typical traits of a pickup – functionality, strength, and off-road capability – coupled with the comfort and driving dynamic of a Mercedes.
The X-Class will come in three trim levels, the rugged and functional PURE, stylish and comfortable PROGRESSIVE, and high-end POWER.
Depending on the trim level you can specify a number of finishes including aluminium, wood or matt black. There is also a wide range of leather or fabric upholstery, and sufficient options for you to custom build an X-Class to meet your needs.
Like all pick-ups there is a price to be paid in terms of fuel economy and emissions but the X-Class compares favourably with the rest of the market.
Depending on engine choice you can expect to see returns of around 21mpg and emissions sit between 190-200g/km with the ECO start/stop function.
Drivers opting for the automatic transmission should gain a little on fuel consumption but lose out slightly on emissions. Likewise the all-wheel drive 4MATIC variants will fall down slightly but the difference won’t be significant enough to prevent drivers opting for the extra traction.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is unlikely to be the last premium brand pick-up to hit the market but it will always remain the first to do so. As long as Mercedes has got the right balance between rugged practicality and comfortable ride – and it looks like they might have – then the X-Class is sure to prove immensely popular.