Published on July 20th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes-Benz Shows Its X-Class Pickup
The X-Class’s design draws attention to the basic virtues of a pickup – robustness, strength and off-road capability – in an emotionally appealing way. Even the dimensions themselves exude effortless superiority with a length of 5340 millimetres, a width of 1920 millimetres (excluding the outside mirrors) and a height of 1819 millimetres. Both physically imposing and hardworking, the X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes. That is enough to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer in the cargo area. Able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes, it can pull a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht.
Thanks to its long 3150-millimetre wheelbase, the short and cladded front overhang, the backward shifted passenger compartment and the very long rear overhang, the pickup has an elongated vehicle body which exudes pure dynamism. The design of the side windows with their dynamic kink along the beltline and taut lines contrasting with muscular, sculpted surfaces also allude to the longitudinal dynamics. Widely flared wheel arches, the commanding front and the purist design of the rear all accentuate the impression of width. Together they give the pickup a powerful on-road presence and make reference to the X-Class’s excellent lateral dynamics.
Powerful and commanding front with three different characters
The front has the masterful looks of one of the brand’s typical SUVs – with the centrally positioned star, twin-louvre radiator grille, high and powerfully honed bonnet and the headlamps extending far into the wings. The front apron emphasises width and has its own distinct character depending on the chosen design and equipment line. In the PURE basic variant it is unpainted and thus shock and scratch resistant. With the PROGRESSIVE design and equipment line it is painted in the vehicle colour. The POWER high-end variant likewise has a bumper painted in the vehicle colour and also comes with a chromed underbody panelling.
The headlamps with their design idiom, clearly defined contours and high-quality modelled details are another compelling visual feature. The POWER line is equipped with LED High Performance headlamps as standard. Besides their striking look with the brand’s hallmark torch effect, they provide extra safety at night and in poor weather conditions. The headlamp unit also contains LED side lights and daytime running lights. High beam on the inside works using a reflector system and low beam on the outside uses projector-beam technology.
Rounding off the unmistakeable face of the Mercedes-Benz pickup are two standard-fit fog lamps in the front apron, which blend in harmoniously in the overall front design.
Purist design for the rear with bumper including step as standard
Like the front apron, the rear bumper also varies depending on the selected design and equipment line: it is painted black for the PURE line and in the vehicle colour for the PROGRESSIVE line. The POWER line has a chromed bumper for a particularly classy look. To conveniently access the cargo area for loading and unloading, the bumper has an integral step. If the standard 90-degree tailgate opening is not adequate, as an option the X-Class can be ordered without the rear bumper. Then the tailgate opens to 180 degrees.
In terms of width, the load bed is designed in such a way that a Euro-pallet can be loaded straight between the wheel arches. The X-Class is the only mid-size pickup to be equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard. The third brake light contains LED lights which illuminate the whole load bed. Operation is by a switch in the centre console. As soon as the ignition is switched on, those lights turn off automatically. A 12-volt socket to power additional equipment such as compressors, for example, is also part of the standard equipment in the load bed.
Wide variety of paint colours and wheel rim designs
There are nine attractive exterior colours to choose from across all three design and equipment lines: the standard paint finishes danakil red, chisana white and granite green, as well as the metallic paint finishes kabara black, axinite bronze, rock grey, cavansite blue, diamond silver and bering white.
Exclusive 17, 18 or 19-inch wheel rims are available to complement the model variants. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class PURE comes with 17-inch steel wheels as standard with a design featuring 12 holes. The X-Class PROGRESSIVE has 17-inch six-spoke light-alloy wheels in vanadium silver, while the X-Class POWER comes with 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in himalayas grey. In total, there are six different wheel rims to choose from. Depending on the selected line these may come as standard or be available as an option:
- 17-inch six-spoke light-alloy wheels in vanadium silver or six-twin-spoke in black with a high-sheen finish
- 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in himalayas grey or five-twin-spoke in black with a high-sheen finish
- 19-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels in black with a high-sheen finish or multi-spoke in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish (PROGRESSIVE and POWER)
- Style Packages and accessories for individual character types
There is a specific Style Package for each of the PROGRESSIVE and POWER lines, enabling further individualisation. For example, side running boards and an electrically opening rear window can be added to the X-Class. What’s more, Mercedes-Benz has designed an extensive range of accessories so that customers can individually customise their X-Class even further. If required, the design, functionality or off-road capability can be enhanced to suit specific tastes and needs. For example, there is a choice of soft tonneau cover, hard tonneau cover or roll cover, as well as a canopy which makes the pickup look like an SUV. It continues the vehicle’s lines perfectly, merging with the vehicle body to create a distinctive silhouette. Other options include a bed liner and a technical underguard.
New benchmark in comfort and quality feel
In the interior, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class elevates comfort and quality feel to a new level within the segment for mid-size pickups. The Mercedes-specific cockpit features a large trim element, round ventilation outlets and a freestanding central display. Thanks to its clear design, it exudes high quality and a sense of modern luxury. When it comes to selecting materials, the PURE, PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines offer plenty of scope for further differentiation – from grained plastic to the woodgrain effect, from hard-wearing fabric to genuine leather with stylish contrasting topstitching. With a total of three trim parts for the cockpit, six seat covers including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and two colours for the roof lining, the X-Class provides the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup stands out for its comfort and generous amount of space for up to five people.
Emphasising width, the clear interior shape of the X-Class radiates strength and exclusivity simultaneously. The instrument panel has a dynamic form with a concave trim element stretching across its entire width – a novel feature in this vehicle segment. It creates an open feel and purist modernity. There are three trim variants to choose from for the X-Class POWER: a pixelated look in matt black, an aluminium effect with longitudinal grain and a brown matt woodgrain effect. This look of open-pore wood or sporty aluminium makes for an exciting contrast with the vehicle’s robustness. To complement the high-quality feel, the upper section of the cockpit is available with ARTICO man-made leather in either black or nut brown with lavish topstitching.
The characteristic round ventilation outlets add a sporty touch. Depending on the design and equipment line, these come in either high-gloss black or silver shadow, creating a high-end cool touch effect. The freestanding central display, which is familiar from the V-Class, reinforces this impression. With a screen diagonal of up to 8.4 inches, it is the biggest display in the mid-size pickup segment. With the PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines, the centre console is also prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The large door handles are also finished in silver shadow.
Multifunction steering wheel and central control unit with touchpad
The control and display concept shows the familiar levels of convenience and ergonomic comfort. It is both clear and bright as well as high-tech. The instrument cluster consists of the large, analogue round dials from the C-Class and V-Class. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER they are tubular. A 5.4-inch colour multimedia display is nestled between the round dials. All the typical Mercedes displays such as trip information, assistance systems, navigation and telephony can be accessed and operated from here. The experience and method of interaction thus resemble those in the proven passenger car model series. Thanks to the pushbuttons on the standard-fit three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the settings on the colour display can be controlled without drivers having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The steering wheel with its 12 buttons in total is height-adjustable, thereby improving ergonomic posture and allowing a relaxed seating position. In the Mercedes-Benz X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER, the steering wheel, shift lever knob and handbrake lever are also covered in leather.
In conjunction with the Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online multimedia systems, and in addition to the central control unit, the X-Class contains the multifunctional touchpad familiar from the passenger car model series – another novelty in this segment. It is located in an ergonomic position on the centre console and, like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by entering letters and characters.
Electrically adjustable comfort seats also available with lumbar support
Plenty of attention was paid to comfort when developing the seats, too. Premium materials and a seat structure featuring optimum lateral support, a high seat position and the use of ergonomically formed soft foam make sitting comfortable for both the driver and front passenger, even on longer journeys. With their clear, ergonomic and functional design, the comfort seats can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction as well as for height and backrest tilt. The X-Class POWER has electrically adjustable seats and electric two-way lumbar support as standard. The rear seat row for three people is positioned at a comfortable height and has reinforced seat side bolsters for optimum support in the outer seating positions. These seats are also equipped with attachment points for an i-Size/ISOFIX child seat as standard. Other top tether fixing points on all three seats make it possible to additionally secure the child seats, thus increasing safety further.
As from its market launch, there are two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance. The high-torque common-rail diesel drive system with a displacement of 2.3 litres is available with a choice of two power outputs. In the X 220 d with single turbocharger it generates 120 kW/163 hp and in the biturbo X 250 d no less than 140 kW/190 hp. The X 200’s petrol engine outputs 122 kW/165 hp. All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. In mid-2018 the top-of-the-range high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released, ensuring even greater agility on- and off-road.
The biturbo engine in the X 250 d has two turbochargers of different sizes which, depending on the engine speed, compress the intake air either singly or in combination. This delivers powerful torque at low revs and more output at the top end of the rpm range. Immediate response times, good pulling power and strong acceleration are thus guaranteed. The large turbocharger is designed for high throughput and kicks in when the revs are going up. This evens out the acceleration right through to the upper limit of the rpm range, creating the ideal prerequisites for a dynamic driving experience as well as for transporting heavy loads and for trailer operation.
Six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission
Both diesel variants 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 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. Its special feature is the wide transmission spacing, with a short first gear for maximum torque and a long sixth gear to keep rev speeds down. This design makes allowance for typical situations such as hill starts with a horse or boat trailer in tow and long-distance comfort on motorways. Furthermore, the manual transmission combined with a diesel engine can be equipped with the ECO start/stop function as an option in various markets. This makes an important contribution to the X-Class’s moderate fuel consumption. As soon as the driver brakes, disengages the gear and releases the clutch, the engine switches off automatically when the vehicle is at a standstill. When the clutch is engaged, the engine immediately starts again. This saves on fuel, particularly in urban traffic.
A seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW/190 hp X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.
The top-of-the-range engine: V6 diesel with 7G-TRONIC PLUS
The most powerful engine version, a high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018. It has already proven its credentials in numerous Mercedes-Benz passenger car models – from the G-Class to the latest E-Class. The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/stop function. Similar to the seven-speed automatic transmission in the four-cylinder diesel model, 7G-TRONIC PLUS doesn’t show any interruption of traction when changing gears. This improves the handling on gradients, off-road terrain and when towing a trailer. Furthermore, 7G-TRONIC PLUS permits fast shift operations and low rotational speeds. This has a positive effect especially with regard to efficiency and noise levels.