Boasting a superb 2298cc (140.2 cu in) I4 Turbo 190hp engine, the X-Class is as refined as it is tough. Complimented by a very smooth seven-speed automatic transmission which offers greater driving comfort and sharper gear changes, the gearbox also offers a manual mode for the more spirited driver, as well as offering greater control while driving off-road.
The X-Class has three driving modes including rear wheel drive, 4MATIC and 4MATIC low-range. It also offers a downhill regulator to control speed when descending steep gradients.
Throttle response is excellent: push the accelerator and there’s no traffic light embarrassment. Alternatively, the more sedate driver will find a composed take off with very little, and once on the move there is very little tyre and wind noise.
The brakes are excellent: In slow speeds they felt positive, but sometimes a sharp dab on the pedal means a juddering halt. In high speeds they offer the driver supreme confidence. On a private road, at 85mph the X-Class performed admirably, braking hard and straight with no swerve or driver action required apart from hands on the steering wheel.
The expectation of a Mercedes customer is one of refinement and comfort and the X-Class delivers. In low speeds the ride is excellent, it glides across tarmac with ease, leaving bumps and road imperfections as a distant memory. Built on a ladder chassis fitted with independent suspension all round it has coils on the front, for added off-road grip.
It’s important to note that not many pick-ups generally have a decent drive quality about them, (especially when compared to a family car or SUV) but Mercedes-Benz engineers have worked their magic in this instance. The steering is sharp and precise, performing excellently in urban traffic where a very light grip is all that’s required to manoeuvre this 2.2 ton beast, while on the motorway it is balanced at motorway speeds.
The X-Class handles very well on tight and twisty B-roads. There’s no body roll or a nervousness going through the bends, the X-Class feeling assured and stable with minimal steering input. The seating is comfortable and snug with good solid lumber support and supple leather (In this X250 d 4MATIC POWER) coupled with 18-inch alloy wheels It all adds up to making any journey enjoyable.
Loadspace and Practicality
The load space is excellent. The X-Class has a 1587mm load area capable of holding a Euro pallet between both wheel arches, along with pretty much anything else you want to throw at it – it easily took a couple of bikes in the bed. The payload comes in over a tonne with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity, so any job can easily be handled. Loading is made easy with the drop down tailgate, but if you go for the entry level Pure model, it will offer you an amazing 180° opening, meaning that it can be folded down completely.
The interior is everything that you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. Here is a luxurious experience that has elements taken from the SUV range, including the infotainment system and the instrument dials. The X-Class offers a sensible ergonomic design with all the switchgear in easy reach of the driver. The infotainment system is easy to use with either the dial option or the mouse option. The 8.4inch screen is clear and precise to the touch, displaying high quality images when using the excellent navigation system or the internet browser.
The X-Class scores very highly in the space and comfort departments. The seats offer excellent lumber support and overall comfort.
There is plenty of space for four passengers in comfort as there is plenty of leg room, but there is a single cup holder – a small gripe perhaps, but on the other hand there is a large glove box locker between the front seats.
You cannot escape the fact that this is a pick-up, but it’s fair to say that Mercedes-Benz has a done a good job in trying to disguise that fact, while keeping the ‘family’ look combined with an elegant road-going presence.
The test car’s Axinite Bronze was good enough to turn heads and proved a conversation-starter.
The Garage Verdict
We covered just over 800 miles in the six days and whatever the road conditions or weather conditions could throw at it, the X-Class dealt with it superbly well. It’s extremely well balanced, very practical, offered good economy (just shy of 37mpg on a long run) and has an excellent towing capacity. Mercedes-Benz has built a great all-rounder for the pick-up market, and some might say by far the best looking. Although there is price for all this luxury, people will be happy to display the three pointed star proudly.