Mercedes-Benz’s first new pick-up, the new X-Class will go on sale in November.
Initially I approached the thought of a premium car manufacturer’s first venture into the pick-up market with scepticism. However, after experiencing it on- and off-road, I have been converted to the ‘Yes’ side.
To succeed in what is effectively a new sub-segment, the X-Class would have to offer some unique qualities. Because of the brand’s heritage and proposed buyer profile, it would have to offer upmarket car appeal, prestigious design, refinement and comfort, and on-road performance - and it does. Mercedes-Benz hope to offer the new X-Class with an entry-level price that should be less than €40,000 including VAT.
Because there is no offering on the horizon from premium rivals such as BMW, Audi, Volvo, and the rest, I think that Mercedes will be rewarded for their bold move.
Sporting a characteristic SUV appearance, the X-Class fits seamlessly into the broad Mercedes-Benz model portfolio. Its twin-louvre radiator grille, centrally positioned star, and powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps, extending far into the wings, combine to give this newcomer a distinctly upmarket appeal that echoes its passenger-car stablemates.
The X-Class gets off to a good start by sporting a characteristic front-half SUV appearance. Its grille, the muscular yet dynamic bonnet, and the headlamps extending into the wings, combine to offer the upmarket appeal of a premium SUV.
The engine, transmissions, and four-wheel drive systems of four-cylinder versions of the new pick-up are all supplied by Nissan, which is a major plus. The ladder chassis from the Navara is also carried over, but with additional bracing designed by the Germans to handle the available V6 engine’s additional torque.
The Navara’s multi-link rear suspension has been carried over too, but Mercedes has revised the settings to deliver even better ride and more agile handling, while improving load-carrying ability.
Mercedes-Benz say the X-Class is designed to suit all lifestyles and work environments, but I see their big advantage is as a premium on-road (with light off-road use ) vehicle that business owners can reclaim VAT on.
The X-Class comes in three model variants – ‘Pure’, a basic variant for classic robust use; ‘Progressive’, a crossover variant in terms of quality feel and comfort; and the ‘Power’, a high-end variant designed for urban lifestyles.
The X-Class promises first class passive and active safety elements.
Billed as the first intelligently connected pick-up, ‘Mercedes me’ connect means owners are linked to their X-Class via smartphone at all times. It also offers ‘Comand’ online multimedia system with 8.4 inch diagonal screen – the biggest in its segment and which markedly increases the image quality of its 360-degree camera and navigation maps.
I really think Mercedes-Benz have come up with a winner here - a pick-up with the X-Factor!
Contact Michael Moore Mercedes-Benz on (090 ) 6403000 for more details.