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Mercedes "pick-up" the game

 
Created on 08/08/2018 @ 10:46
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

There’s no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the best looking pick-up truck on UK roads.

After a week behind the wheel I was starting to tire of explaining to friends and strangers that this really was a Mercedes and why the company felt the need to be in the pick-up sector at all – there was so much interest in the model.

The X-Class ws initially offered with a choice of two engines - the X 220 d 4Matic 4-cylinder 2.3l diesel with common-rail and turbocharger, offering 163hp (120kW), or the X 250 d 4Matic 4-cylinder 2.3l diesel with common-rail and twin-stage turbocharger, offering 190hp (140kW). There’s now a 350 version too.

We tested the X250d 4Matic Power option with seven speed automatic transmission and selectable all-wheel drive with low-range and drive selection modes which weighed in at close to £42,000 thanks to a list of optional features including Command Online, style packaging, leather upholstery, a winter package and metallic paint.

So you start to get the picture that this is no ordinary pick-up even though it shares a platform developed by the Renault-Nissan alliance and that means heavy influences from the successful Nissan Navara.

Bosses say there isn’t a part of the vehicle that hasn’t been influenced in some way by Mercedes and both inside and outside the quality and luxury aspects are evident for all to see.

The bold Mercedes grille and front badging soon let you know which stable this model came from and chrome inserts to the front bumper are also attractive. And when you stand the X250 next to a Navara you see that there’s a wider track and sculptured flared arches to ensure road presence.

X-Class Power models are offered with 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in Himalaya grey, as standard.

Customers can choose from three distinct model lines to suit different lifestyles and work environments: the Pure basic variant for classic robust use, Progressive for higher requirements in terms of quality feel and comfort, and Power as the high-end variant for urban lifestyles.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its safety equipment. As standard, the X-Class offers: driver and passenger airbags and thorax bags, window bags on the A-D pillar, driver knee bag, Active Brake Assist (radar-based autonomous emergency braking), Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Hill Start Assist, Reversing Camera, Anti-theft protection package, ECO start/stop function and ESP (Trailer Stability Assist can be added as an option.

The Power alternative on test came in conjunction with the 250 d 4MATIC engine and featured painted bumpers with simulated under guard in chrome; a rear bumper in chrome with integrated step; fog lights with chrome surround; shoulder line trim strips in chrome and LED high-performance headlights.

Inside, the Power line comes with eight-way electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seats as standard, with A leather and microfiber upholstery, with a leather dashboard with topstitching, complimented by a black, high-gloss interior trim.

Inside, the Audio 20 CD infotainment system is offered as standard across all model lines, with seven-inch high definition screen, rotary controller with touchpad, Bluetooth audio and media interface, with DAB digital radio and pre-installation for Garmin MAP PILOT included.

Also standard is Mercedes-me-Connect services, including call automatic emergency response, breakdown and maintenance management.

Powered by a 2.3 diesel unit the X250 averages a claimed 35.8mpg and emits 207 CO2g/km – though the model on test proved a little more thirsty.

The overriding question faced by Mercedes is whether buyers will be convinced to cough up the extra money. After all there are some pretty god alternatives in the sector already and do you really need such luxury on a pick-up?

There could also be the threat that Mercedes buyers may simply switch to the X-Class, which would defeat the company’s objective of winning a slice of the market. Only time will tell.

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