The eagerly-awaited Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup has been launched on the Irish market, with the entry level X220 4x2 PURE priced at €39,950, inclusive of VAT and VRT.
This new model that marks the first venture by the German vehicle manufacturer into this popular light commercial vehicles segment is being sold through a seven-strong main dealer network. Dealers are Sligo-based Connolly Motor Group; Cork Truck Services; Gilmores of Kingscourt; Kinahan Commercials, Moate; and three Dublin city outlets, MSL Grange at Pottery Road, Deansgrange; MSL Park Motors on North Circular Road, and MUTEC on Long Mile Road.
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 the raunchy newcomer a distinctly up-market appeal that echoes its passenger car stablemates.
Said by Fergus Conheady, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, as likely to become "the weapon of choice" among pickup buyers, the X-Class is designed to suit all lifestyles and work environments. It 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 POWER, a high-end variant designed for urban lifestyles.
Prices across the X-Class range have been pitched at a level that Fergus Conheady says "puts it within the domain of those who, prior to its introduction, might have opted for a model from the volume end of the market", with the entry level X220 4x2 PURE priced at €39,950, inclusive of VAT and VRT.
Across all three design and equipment lines, owners can choose from nine exterior colours and a variety of exclusive 17, 18 or 19-inch wheel rims. As expected from Mercedes-Benz, its premium credentials are seen in its three choices of cockpit trim, in a choice of five seat covers that includes two leather options with contrasting topstitching, and in a choice of two roof lining colours – all together the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. More individualisation comes from a diverse range of Mercedes-Benz designed accessories.
Driving the X-Class, owners experience a level of enjoyment on a par with passenger cars. Thanks to its wide track and a spring and damping system tuned to deliver Mercedes-Benz levels of comfort, X-Class delivers high levels of off-road and on-road performance.
All-wheel drive equips it to handle any surface with selectable 4MATIC all-wheel drive – with its low-range gearing and optional rear axle differential lock – giving it the ability to master any terrain. Next year a permanent all-wheel drive version will be available.
Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary passive and active safety elements - active brake assist, lane keeping assist and traffic sign assist being among its most notable features. Billed as the first intelligently connected pickup, ‘Mercedes me’ connect means owners are linked to their X-Class via smartphone at all times.
In design terms, X-Class represents a fine balance between tough and stylish. It has an elongated body that exudes pure dynamism thanks to its long 3150mm wheelbase, short and cladded front overhang, backward-shifted passenger compartment and very long rear overhang.
Its longitudinal dynamics are reflected in its side windows, with a kink along the beltline, its taut lines and muscular, sculpted surfaces. Flared wheel arches, a commanding front and its purist rear design accentuate the impression of width to give it a powerful on-road presence.
Inside, ‘progressive’ and ‘power’ lines include a centre console prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The instrument cluster consists of large, analogue round dials from the C-Class and V-Class range that, in both versions, are tubular in form with a seven-inch colour multimedia display positioned between the dials.
Other items to which special attention was paid include seat comfort, thanks to optimum lateral support, a high seat position and the use of ergonomically formed soft foam with ‘power’ variant having electrically adjustable seats and electric two-way lumbar support, as standard.
Powering the X-Class is a 2.3-litres, high-torque, common-rail diesel engine with a choice of two power outputs – 120kW/163hp in the single turbocharged X220d, and no less than 140kW/190hp in the biturbo X250d. Six-speed manual transmission is standard with seven-speed automatic transmission available for the X250d 4MATIC models.
In work terms, X-Class can haul a payload of over one tonne – sufficient, for example, to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer in the cargo area. Towing strength up to 3.5 tonnes gives it power to pull a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht. The only mid-size pickup equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard, the load bed is designed wide enough to fit a Euro-pallet between the wheel arches.
Among the X-Class’ various other measurements are its vehicle length (5,340mm ), width (1,920mm, wheel to wheel ), height (1,819mm ), wheelbase (3,150mm ), load bed length (1,587mm ), width (1,560mm ), height (431mm ), maximum payload capacity (1,042kg ), and braked towing capacity (1,650–3,500 kg ), depending on engine and equipment.
Technical option features include a choice of five drive programmes: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Manual and Offroad and ECO start/stop function and a Comand online multimedia system with 8.4 inch diagonal screen - the biggest in its segment with 960 x 540 pixels resolution and high-contrast technology that markedly increases the image quality of its 360-degrees camera and navigation maps.