Mon | Sep 23, 2019

X-Class: where luxury meets the traditional pickup

Published:Sunday | August 18, 2019 | 12:11 AM

Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to commercial equipment, with models like the Actros, Freightliner, Sprinter, and the iconic Unimog. Therefore, seeing the three-point star on the front of some work vehicle should be no surprise in certain markets. Known for providing the ultimate in luxury, and as Mercedes-Benz the first German premium manufacturer to tackle the competitive pickup segment, the X-Class is no commercial vehicle.

Can it do commercial stuff?

Yes, but its primary aim is to lug its human occupants ensconced in the comfort and technological conveniences not normally associated with the common work pickup. Think of the X-Class as the child if a Unimog and an S-Class got together physically. The very first concession to this goal is the coil-spring suspension all around. This gives it a smoother on-road ride that many of its rivals ever could with their rear leaf-spring configurations. And it works.

The X-Class drives car-like, soaking up bumps and possessing very direct handling. This makes it able to be peddled along on the strength of the equally smooth power delivery of the twin-turbo 2.3-litre diesel engine. Not that you can hear the motor from the quiet cabin.

An interior up to Mercedes Standards

Most will spend their time inside the cabin, and the first thing to notice is the space. In four-door cab configuration, the X-Class is more car than pickup, easily handling its human load. The seating is very sporty, wrapped in leather and alcantara. The fronts are, of course, power-adjustable. The dashboard is instantly familiar to anyone used to Mercedes products. The vents, the seven-inch infotainment screen and its accompanying rotary controller, and the accompanying silver and piano-gloss black are all staples of the brand’s luxury vehicles. Connecting and controlling the infotainment system is a breeze as it pumps out great audio from its eight-speaker system while delivering clear pictures from the parking, reverse, and 360-degree camera system. The latter very helpful in off-road situations, making sure no one has to leave the comfort of the dual climate-control interior unless absolutely necessary.

Ultimately, the X-Class has to earn its keep as a pickup. LED lighting means that loading up to a tonne of payload into the bed is an easy task, even at nights. Towing capacity, if so equipped, is 3.5 tonnes.

Off-roading is a breeze as even with 19-inch wheels, the X-Class can claw its way over rough terrain in an unassuming manner. The 187bhp and the 331lb/ft of torque are put down in a way as to not upset the occupants. Boost comes on in a linear fashion, and unless in Sport or Manual mode, the seven-speed transmission shifts early in a nod to fuel consumption.

The X-Class does offer more refinement than class rivals, and the badge will make a statement whereever it goes. It’s not expected to be a workhorse, instead a vehicle that can handle the transition from light labour to fun off-roading to being parked at the fanciest of venues without scorn from a valet.

Specifications

- 2019 Mercedes Benz

- X-Class X250d

- Progressive Edition

- Automatic

- Diesel (twin-turbo)

- 4WD

- Leather interior

- 360 and reverse camera, fog lamps, front fog lights and LED load bay lighting.

Review courtesy of Carland, (876) 929-6784, (876) 929-1433, sales@carland-jamaica.com.