Mercedes-Benz X250 d

4MATIC Power

Mercedes X-Class, front
Mercedes X-Class, front
Mercedes X-Class, front
Mercedes X-Class, side
Mercedes X-Class, rear
Mercedes X-Class, rear
Mercedes X-Class, rear
Mercedes X-Class, interior
Mercedes X-Class, interior

IF prizes were awarded for the best looking pick-up then the guys and gals in the design department at Mercedes-Benz would be rubbing their hands with glee as they held aloft the trophies for the mighty new X-Class.

That's because the company's first venture into ute territory sees the introduction of a model that, from the front end, looks ready to take on the world.

With a large wide grill and the biggest three-pointed Mercedes star imaginable, anyone glancing in the direction of the vehicle would be left with little doubt what it is.

Then when you factor in the LED high performance headlights, muscular wheel arches, fog lights, rippled bonnet and massive 18-inch alloys, the Mercedes pick-up certainly has the X factor from a visual viewpoint.

But there are a few hidden secrets behind this vehicle. Mercedes struck a deal with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and as a result, the X-Class shares many of the same platforms with the highly successful Nissan Navara, including powertrains.

But the German marque is quick to point out they have stamped their own identity on the X-Class in the styling and technology departments and that becomes very apparent when you explore the interior of the vehicle.

It oozes premium styling with a whole host of on-board techno treats to explore.

Creature comforts include the likes of an outstanding infotainment system that will meet all connectivity needs, fine black leather upholstery, powered seats that can be heated, air vents that have been inspired by jet engines, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a smart colour screen and easy access to the car's systems via a dial positioned on the console between the seats.

It's nice that the climate controls are old school so a turn of a dial increases or decreases the temperature, and just below this section is the control to switch between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD Lock.

But all this wizardry and premium styling does come with quite a hefty price-tag for a pick-up. Our range-topping model was priced at £34,100 but a list of optional extras saw the cost reach £40,670 and that's without any VAT.

The X-Class Power was driven by a 2.3-litre 190ps diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

The 0-62mph dash takes 11.8 seconds and top speed is 109mph. On the economy front, the X-Class can deliver combined fuel economy of 35.8mpg with carbon emissions of 207g/km.

But pick-ups have to be the complete package these days. They need to have a decent road presence but also put in a good working shift along the way. With that in mind, the open-back X-Class has a 3.5-tonne towing limit along with a practical 2.14 square metre load bed that can carry 1.1 tonnes of goods.

When it comes to performance, the X-Class is brilliant fun to buzz around in.

On the open road, the acceleration through the gears is nicely timed and there is ample power on tap for short bursts of acceleration.

It cruises effortlessly at motorway speeds and even twisting bends can be attacked with confidence thanks to the precise steering and the vehicle's agility on the road.

Comfort levels are excellent and the high-sided cab means there is ample room for a couple of six-footers in the back without any complaints about head room. It has a refined feel to it both in its design and in its ride and handling qualities.

There were a few points that began to niggle. Firstly, the lack of steering wheel paddle shifts to change gears (the Mitsubishi L200 amongst other rivals has them). Secondly, the shallow cup holders that would not safely secure a hot coffee without fear of spillage.

There is no height adjustment on the steering wheel and finally there are two USB connection points that are awkwardly positioned in the central storage box but facing away from the driver making it really fiddly plugging anything in.

But, in fairness to Mercedes, I am being particularly picky because this is a premium pick-up with a premium price-tag, and for £40,000-plus you expect the attention to details to be just so.

Mercedes has packed the X-Class with a raft of safety features and it secured a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz X250 d 4MATIC Power

Price: £34,100

Mechanical: 190ps, 2,299cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 35.8

Insurance Group: 39

C02 emissions: 207g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 2yrs/100,000 miles

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