A pickup truck from Mercedes? The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is quite the unusual Benz but does it deserve the star on the front?
What is it?
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the German manufacturer’s latest car in the utility range. That means it is a mid-sized pick up truck sold in Europe, Africa, South-America and Australia. Wait? Not America you might be asking? Altough the X-Class is 5,3 meter long and weighing in at 2.200 kg’s. It isn’t big enough to be called a full sized pickup truck. Nissan and Toyota are trying to push out their mid-sized pickups in the US market and they only take up 78.000 units of the 1.2 million pickups sold in the US. It’s safe to say there are better markets to invest in at this time.
But only Americans drive pickups
Well not 100% true altough Americans are the biggest pickup fans. They mostly use them as passenger cars whereas the X-Class is really aimed at being a utility vehicle. After all, it’s a Mercedes-Benz Vans product just like the Sprinter and the Vito. This is reflected in the interior that looks very durable and built to last. In Europe pick up trucks are actually starting to gain momentum as both utility vehicles and passenger vehicles since some countries have a tax reduction for utility vehicles. That said, the flat bed trunk is really nice. Large enough to fit decent sized equipment in and there are various options to customise your trunk. Hell you can even get your own camper unit for it.
As soon as you get into the X-Class you immediatly notice it’s no ordinary Mercedes. The leather and suede seats feel comfortable but also tough, like it’s built to last. And that goes on further in the car. You won’t find the usual fancy bells & whistles you see on a regular Mercedes. The cabin and infotainment system are very minimalistic however it still retains all the necessary functions. Heated seats and cruise control are a few of the luxuries you can get on the X-Class.
The only thing I couldn’t wrap our head around was the speed of that infotainment system. Or the lack of speed to be precise. Launching the GPS took half a minute from time to time and if you skip 10 songs forward on your phone, it’ll play the first 5-10 seconds of every song in between until it gets to where you wanted it to go. Not a huge deal but the hardware behind the infotainment could use an upgrade in a future facelift.
The version we had was the X250d with partial 4Matic system. What do I mean by that? It’s that the car is in rwd for most of the time but when you need it, 4×4 is available at the flick of a button. The X250d has a 190 hp and 450 Nm four-cilinder engine which propels it forward quite easily. The automatic gearbox is a smooth 7-speed shifter that can definitely pack a punch. Sometimes it’ll wait a bit before shifting but that’s mostly for towing reasons presumably.
German or Japanese?
It’s no secret that the Mercedes X-Class is a product that has been co-developped with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Just like the Twingo and Smart, The Citan and Kangoo, the X-Class (and Renault Alaskan) shares its components with the Navara. Underneath it still houses some Japanese Nissan parts. Most things you won’t notice since they come from Mercedes or have been Mercedefied but other parts like the heated seat buttons are straight out of the Nissan parts bin.
Overall it feels durable as it should be while still capturing the Mercedes vibe inside.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class truly is a successful pick up truck. It combines the practicality of the flat bed trunk with true Mercedes utility class. The engine is good enough to pull some weight and it’ll be interesting how the V6 performs. Steering is solid and stable at high speeds. Mercedes put in a solid pick up contender in the European market. If you don’t eat bacon on a daily basis or have an arms collection then you don’t need something like a RAM or F-150. You’re perfectly fine with a premium pickup like the X-Class.