Price from: £34,500 On sale: Late 2017
At first glance, a luxury pick-up truck would seem to be a contradiction in terms. After all, these cars are more transporting building materials across rough terrain, rather than keeping its occupants comfortable. Indeed, most of the cars in this market – the Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger and such – trade on their mountain-crossing agility rather than on their premium interiors. "But ah," says Mercedes, pointing to its new X-Class, "why can't we do both?"
Mercedes X-Class key features
Underneath, the five-seat, four-door X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara, which currently holds a three-star rating from our road test. Mercedes claims the X-Class is equally at home in the city as it is traversing mountains – although the Navara's poor driving dynamics suggest this is a point which will need some proving – and is pitching the car at buyers who want the go-anywhere and load-lugging ability of a pick-up truck without compromising on interior quality.
Pick-up trucks are often used to carry heavy loads, and with a weight limit of 1042kg the X-Class compares well with the stalwarts of this class. It can also tow up to 3.5 tonnes – equivalent to an eight-metre yacht or horse box.
Mercedes X-Class engines
From launch, buyers can choose from a 161bhp diesel badged as the X220d, and a more powerful 187bhp diesel in the X250d. Selected markets (unlikely to be the UK) will also have the option of a 163bhp petrol. A six-speed manual gearbox is available alongside a seven-speed automatic.
From mid-2018, the range will also include a 255bhp V6-engined diesel. This V6 engine has permanent four-wheel drive, while both lesser diesels can switch between front and four-wheel drive. Drivers can select between comfort, eco, sport, manual or off-road driving modes, tailoring the X-Class to different conditions.
Mercedes X-Class equipment
The X-Class will be sold in three trim levels: Pure, Power and Progressive, with the more expensive two trims expected to be big sellers in the UK. Available features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition and an app that can remotely locate the car and check its fuel level. The X-Class comes with seven airbags as standard. A 360-degree camera to aid parking also features on the options list.
The X-Class also comes a 7.0in infotainment display as standard, but this can be upgraded to a larger 8.4in screen if you opt for Mercedes' COMAND navigation software. Most functions are controlled using a touchpad and rotary dial on the centre console. Available features include Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player and internet access.
Mercedes X-Class price
How much you'll pay for an X-Class when it goes on sale towards the end of this year depends on whether you're a private or business user. If you run a pick-up truck through work, then there are generous tax advantages to consider. If you're thinking of buying one outright, though, then you'll pay about £34,500 including £5600 of VAT.
At that price, the X-Class is more than £10,000 more expensive than the Navara on which it's based. However, it's only £2000 pricier than the plush Volkswagen Amarok, which is currently one of the most comfortable and luxurious choices in this class.
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