Mercedes-Benz X-Class revealed: pickup meets lifestyle like never before
It was one of the star attractions at the Geneva Motor Show last year, and now the luxurious Mercedes-Benz X-Class has been revealed in full.
With the tag-line ‘First of a new kind’, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pushes the boundaries of the classic pickup by merging its typical traits - robustness, functionality, strength and off-road capabilities - with the classical characteristics of a Mercedes - design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety.
With this in mind, the X-Class variants will offer a pickup to suit different lifestyles and work environments: The Pure basic variant will be ideal for classic robust use, Progressive will be for those with higher requirements in terms of quality, feel and comfort, and Power will be the high-end variant for urban lifestyles.
The resulting is set to be the first ‘premium’ product in a pickup market that is literally picking up across the globe. The worldwide market for pickups has undergone radical change in recent years and, thanks to various tax benefits, are becoming an increasingly popular choice in the UK.
The X-Class is the result of a parts-sharing deal between Mercedes and the Renault-Nissan Alliance – so it is based on the platform of the Nissan Navara pick-up which is as solid a choice as possible.
The models feature a five-seat double cab layout, with the aim to create a dual-use vehicle – one for personal transport, and one for commercial use. Style-wise, there’s no doubt that this is a Mercedes and it’s one of the most upmarket pick-ups we’ve seen to date.
Its gaping air intake and high up headlights give it a look that distinguishes it from the rest of the sector, but it’s dominated by Mercedes’ trademark three-pointed star, just in case you weren’t aware of its opulent aspirations.
From its market launch, customers can add a styling bar, side bar, canopy, various covers as well as numerous cargo and off-road solutions – all developed and designed by Mercedes.
If the exterior left you in any doubt as to the pick-up’s origin, clamber aboard and those doubts are immediately erased.
There will be three trim parts for the cockpit - six seat covers including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and two colours for the roof lining - to provide the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment.
There’s a tablet display at the heart of the dash, while all the vehicle’s functions are controlled through the same touchpad interface we have seen in other Mercedes.
From launch, customers can choose between the common rail diesel X 220 d (120 kW/163 hp) and X 250 d (140 kW/190 hp) as well as a petrol engine (122 kW/165 hp) in selected markets. A top-of-the-range V6 diesel (190kW/258hp) will be released mid-2018 occupying a leading position in the segment.
Thanks to the wide track, the spring and damping system tuned for the comfort typical of a Mercedes, and the coil springs as well as internally vented disc brakes on the front and rear, the X-Class is the first pickup that offers not just excellent off-road ability but also superb on-road performance.
An engageable all-wheel drive system will offer low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle to master any terrain, while a permanent all-wheel drive system will be available from the middle of next year.
On top of this, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary passive and active safety equipment including Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, among others.
Dr Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment."
The X-Class will launch in November 2017 in Europe. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, bit it will be available in Germany from EUR37,294, which is around £32,000.