Motoring and Property Editor
4:21 AM 22nd June 2020
Farewell Mercedes X-Class. It Has Been A Pleasure
As lockdown eased in England, I was lucky enough to spend a week with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup. It came at a useful time, with plenty of runs to the tip and assorted errands to catch up with.
What is it?
Mercedes decided to enter the pickup market just a few years ago and in partnership with Nissan, the X-Class was born. Aimed more at the leisure user, the idea was to tempt people out of their luxury SUVs.
On test here is a V6-powered model only available in top ‘Power’ trim priced from £39,510 excluding taxes. Add in the VAT and a few choice extras and suddenly you have a £50,000+ pickup truck.
It seems that UK sales have been sluggish, so the decision has been made to discontinue the X-Class.
Mercedes-Benz X350d 4MATIC POWER
Price as tested £56,593 (inc VAT)
258PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine
0-62mph in 7.5 seconds
Top speed 127mph
Combined economy 31.4mpg
Emissions – 236g/km CO2
3,500kg braked towing capacity
How does it drive?
The V6 engine suits the X-Class perfectly, being smooth and refined. With 500Nm of torque, it pulls like a train and makes the Merc an able sprinter. Only the Volkswagen Amarok comes close in performance terms and that is being discontinued too.
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 choose from ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’, ‘Manual’ and ‘Off-Road’ modes. Sport proved to be the inspired choice for B-road fun, hanging onto each gear to best 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. I was able to thoroughly test the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and came away extremely impressed. Steep, rocky gradients were climbed with ease and even the stickiest gloopy mud failed to halt forward progress.
Back on terra firma, the X-Class boasts a mostly comfortable ride, free from the rear end bounce that tends to afflict most empty pickup trucks. Handling is safe and secure, almost fun on the right roads.
Should I buy one?
If you can afford it, most definitely! You will get (in my humble opinion) the best driving pickup on sale in the UK and one that boasts a surfeit of power. The interior is suitably upmarket, and all the usual luxury features are present and correct.
I suppose you could say that the Merc brings a touch of class to an otherwise more workaday category of vehicle.
Alternatively, seek out a second-hand X-Class, though a quick trawl through the AutoTrader website would seem to suggest that values remain strong.
The most obvious rival is the Volkswagen Amarok as it too boasts a powerful V6 diesel engine. The Mercedes is more capable off-road and boasts a more premium interior.
With both about to disappear, a Toyota HiLux would seem the next obvious choice. Beautifully built and with a long warranty, it will probably last forever.
I should also mention the Ford Ranger Raptor which I tested late last year. A tad too big for UK roads, it proved to be hugely impressive off-road and rather capable and refined on it. The near £50,000 price tag will ensure it remains a rare beast.
As it stands, the X-Class is the pickup of the crop! A comfortable car-like interior, excellent road manners and imposing looks impress. V6 power further improves the package and refinement. We are unlikely to see its type again, so if the package appeals, buy without delay.