Spotlight: Mercedes X-Class makes its worldwide debut

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Mercedes-Benz has taken the covers off its all-new 4×4 double cab pick-up, the X-Class, and it goes on sale in the UK this November with customer deliveries starting in early 2018.

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Continuing Merc’s already established relationship with the Renault-Nissan Alliance (Citan), X-Class is based on the underpinnings of the latest generation Nissan Navara and the upcoming Renault Alaskan. UK variants will be built in Nissan’s state-of-the-art facility in Barcelona.

Drivetrains

From launch, there will be two  four-cylinder engines to choose from; the X 220 d with single turbocharger generates 120 kW/163 hp, and the biturbo X 250 d 140 kW/190 hp.

Both diesel models are available as left- or right-hand drive vehicles with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive. Due to very specific market requirements, for example in Dubai and Morocco, the 122 kW/165 hp X 200 petrol model is only available as a left-hand drive vehicle with rear wheel drive.

Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW/190 hp X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.

A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring greater agility on- and off-road. It will generate 190 kW/258 hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm.

Suspension

One big advantage of basing your new pick-up on Navara is the suspension system; independent double wishbone at the front and multi-link at the rear. There’s not a cart spring to be seen. Merc has fine-tuned the settings for Europe with different coil lengths and damper ratings, effectively lowering it slightly — by 21mm giving it 202mm of ground clearance — without compromising off-road capability. We look forward to trying it out as Navara itself is no slouch in the ride department on and off the road.

For the UK, gross payloads easily exceed one tonne, making X-Class VAT-reclaimable, and all models will have a braked trailer towing weight of 3.5t; pretty much the industry standard these days.

Trim Levels

Externally, X-Class displays its Navara origins design-wise, apart from the obviously Merc front-end and despite being a tad longer and wider, but the cab interior has had a complete makeover. Three trim levels will be on offer — Pure, Progressive and Power — distinguished by varying levels of colour-coding, bling and trim.

Merc is going for as many market sectors as possible, although we doubt that the entry level package will be quite ‘utility’ enough to interest the fleets.
Full UK specifications and prices will be released closer to the on-sale date, but one thing is for sure; Mercedes-Benz is taking the UK pick-up market seriously, albeit a little late in the day.

Neil McIntee

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