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Mercedes-Benz X-Class Now With V6 Power
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Just before Christmas I was invited to be a judge at the Professional Pickup and 4x4 Awards. The organisers gathered the full selection of pickups currently on sale in the UK and gave us time to play with them on and off road.

Last year the then newly introduced Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup triumphed and this year with a new V6 diesel engine under the bonnet, it seems likely that it will triumph again. We will know the results later this year.

For the Christmas holiday period, Mercedes were kind enough to loan me a V6 X-Class – a chance to really get to grips with this new premium pickup.

First a little background on the pickup truck market and the X-Class itself.

The demand for pickup trucks shows no sign of abating. It has just been announced that Kia will be entering the market, so I expect the number of offerings available to swell as the next few years go by.

With more and more private buyers choosing to use a pickup as family transport, there has been a seismic shift up-market. No longer will agricultural driving characteristics and a spartan interior do.

Mercedes-Benz has clearly entered the market at the right time and is the first premium manufacturer to do so.

The new X-Class is the fourth model in the Mercedes-Benz van range and will benefit from the existing commercial vehicle expertise, currently available across 64 sales and 113 after sales sites.

All X-Class models offer a spacious double cab and boast selectable 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. Double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension are fitted, a comfortable ride being the goal.

The V6 X-Class is only available in top ‘Power’ trim priced from £47,405 including VAT. Add a few options and it is easy to top £50,000!
A 2.3-litre diesel in either 163 or 190hp form powers lesser variants, with prices starting from £34,157.

The new engine has completed transformed the X-Class. It has a smooth, refined note and with 500Nm of torque and 258PS, it pulls like a train.

The 0-62mph sprint time of 7.5 seconds is some indication of the power available. This is some four seconds quicker than the four cylinder X-Class models...

Aiding smooth progress is the 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox. Paddles are fitted to the steering wheel, but most of the time a twitch of the right foot is all that is required to drop a cog or two.

Merc’s Dynamic Select Drive switch allows the driver to select ‘Comfort’ mode, with ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’, ‘Manual’ and ‘Off-Road’ modes being there for the taking. Sport proved the inspired choice for B-road fun, hanging onto to each gear to exploit the engine’s considerable power.

The X-Class V6’s 4-Matic system splits the power 40/60 front to back, the best set up according to Mercedes.

4H and 4L modes are selectable for increased traction in tricky conditions, allowing the power to be distributed as required. An optional rear axle locking differential is also available for the hardcore off-road user.

With plenty of time available, I was able to test the X-Class off-road in some tricky conditions and came away extremely impressed. Steep gradients were tackled with ease and even the stickiest gloopy mud failed to halt forward progress.

Back on terra firma, the X-Class is an able and refined high speed cruiser. Wind and road noise are barely noticeable and only under hard acceleration will the cultured tones of the V6 diesel make their presence felt.

Also by Andy Harris...
Revitalised Vitara Under The Spotlight
Touareg – Volkswagen’s Supersize SUV On Test
Mustang V8 On Test - Fast And Furious!
Pickup Of The Year - Let There Be Mud!
Jaguar I-PACE – Time To Take Another Look
I suspect most X-Class buyers will be concerned about comfort and handling and in these areas the Merc is pick of the crop. The ride is generally comfortable, with a distinct lack of the rear end bounce which afflicts most rivals. Handling is safe and secure, almost fun on the right roads.

Mercedes-Benz quotes 31.4mpg for the combined cycle, my average being a respectable 27mpg over a wide variety of driving conditions. CO2 emissions are a rather heady 236g/km.

Safety sells and the X-Class is not found wanting. Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist (radar-based autonomous emergency braking) are the highlights. A 5* Euro NCAP safety rating should provide additional reassurance.

I had planned to tow my large twin axle trailer, but the festivities got in the way. The figures say a trailer up to 3,500kg may be towed and with ample low down torque, I am sure the X-Class is up to the task.

As one would expect, the X-Class offers a premium interior which is positively brimming with equipment. Heated, leather clad seats up front remained supremely comfortable even after a long day behind the wheel. Climate controlled air conditioning ensured a pleasant cabin temperature. Material quality is first rate. Downsides being a lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel and a lack of oddment space.

So is the X-Class pick-up of the crop?

In a word yes! A comfortable car-like interior, impeccable road manners and imposing good looks impress, the only downside perhaps being the rather bullish pricing.

The V6 model has further cemented the X-Class’s lofty position, adding power and refinement to an already accomplished package.

I therefore expect the Mercedes to retain its crown in the Pickup awards – it got my vote.

Fast Facts

Mercedes-Benz X350 d 4MATIC POWER
Price £47,405 OTR (inc VAT)
3.0-litre V6 diesel engine – 258PS
550Nm torque
0 to 62mph in 7.5 seconds
Top speed 127mph
Combined economy 31.4mpg
Emissions – 236g/km CO2
5* Euro NCAP Safety Rating
3,500kg braked towing capacity
24 month unlimited mileage warranty
For sale via MB Vans Dealer Network

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Now With V6 Power, 7th January 2019, 14:16 PM