With its sign in the front, X-Class is a premium pickup.
Pickups are mainly associated with the US, and then with rumbling V8 engines, but in fact the Ford F150 pickup is the world's most sold car. As of today, Europe stands for quite a few of those sales but the trend to drive pickups has exploded and even Mercedes has hopped on the bandwagon with its model X-Class.
“Driving fuel-thirsty pickups in Europe is not politically correct, but European buyers are not content with just anything”
Just like the Renault Alaska, the X-Class is basically modeled on the Nissan Navara, something some were not quite happy with. It was thought that Mercedes with all their rough terrain models should’ve been able to build a pickup based on their own designs. Just take the G-Class, for example, which is considered the world's best off-road car. So when the X-Class arrived with its four-cylinder engine, many were left disappointed.
But now the X-Class has been released with a Mercedes-produced three and a half liter, 258 horsepower, V6 engine. With the new V6 engine the X-Class really feels like it’s come into its own. There is plenty of power to go around and the engine works quietly, even at higher speeds and RPM’s. And as long as you have the license for it, you can tow up to 3500 kilos behind an X-Class V6.
When the V6 update came, some other updates followed. For example, the dreary gearshift housing disappeared which was too reminiscent of the Navara. Now it's just a straight gap where the lever runs for the six-speed automatic box. Behind the gear selector is a panel with various controls, including the wheel that one rotates to interact with the various functions on the center screen.
Also located here is the slider to select driving mode. The X-Class V6 is equipped with five different modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Off-road – the handling can be optimized to any situation. Moreover, you can set the permanent four-wheel drive in three different modes: 4H for easier off-road driving, 4L for difficult terrain and 4Mat for driving on a normal road. Rear differential lock is available as an extra.
Among the many pickups on the market, the X-Class belongs to the safest. Among the security systems available, the main stars are the course-correction system and the assisted brake system which can intervene should the situation require it. Also, there is a system for stabilizing trailers, and should an accident happen, the X-Class features an emergency call-dial system.
What also distinguishes the X-Class from other pickups is that it has Keyless Go, which means you can keep the key in your pocket when starting the car. All you have to do is press the start button. In order to simplify parking there is a 360-degree camera which captures the area around the car and displays it on the central screen.
The X-Class V6 offers a compelling package, especially thanks to the new engine. Getting this type of comfort in a pickup is a rare sight to be seen. Without a doubt, a V8 engine would be nice, and there are rumors that something of the sort could be in the works. But even a hybrid line would be nice and perhaps more politically correct to bring the pickups into the next phase of environmental awareness.
|Mercedes X-Class V6|
Starting price: from 415,000 SEK