Since November 2017 Mercedes offers in Europe its first large series production pickup, the X-Class. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show we will also meet the top model X 350 d powered by Mercedes’ own 258 hp V6 diesel.
The new top model puts full emphasis on Mercedes technology on the drive side. Motorized by the three-liter V6 diesel with single-stage turbocharger and variable turbine geometry, the X 350 d will provide 258 hp and 550 Newton-meters (avalaible between 1400 and 3200 rpm), numbers which make it the most potent mid-size pickup ever. The X 350 d gets the seven-stage 7G-Tronic automatic as standard and is available exclusively with permanent four-wheel drive.
As standard, the model receives the Dynamic Select system (switch is located in the central control panel on the centre console) with five driving programs. They vary the characteristics of the engine, the shift points of the automatic transmission and the ECO start-stop function: Comfort (C) – the program is automatically activated when the engine is started. It offers a comfort-oriented and harmonious design of the accelerator characteristic as well as early shift points; ECO (E) – the 7G-TRONIC PLUS changes gears at particularly low engine speeds; Sport (S) – the engine responds more spontaneously to accelerating. The automatic transmission uses the entire speed range of the engine when changing gears and switches at higher speeds; Manual (M) – the automatic transmission can be operated manually via the steering wheel shift paddles on the steering wheel. The switching times are significantly shorter than those of the Comfort and Eco programs and Offroad (O) – this program is suitable for driving in difficult terrain. It offers higher switching points as well as a flatter and thus finer controllable accelerator characteristic. The Eco Start-Stop feature is available in all driving modes except off-road (O) mode.
With 222 millimetres of ground clearance, the X-Class climbs gradients of up to 45 degrees, fords water courses with a depth of up to 60 centimetres. The standard 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive (two-stage transfer case flange-mounted to the 7G-TRONIC PLUS main transmission, low-range reduction gear and an optional rear axle locking differential) offers three different all-wheel drive modes: 4MAT for increased vehicle dynamics and 4H for improved traction off-road. 4L mode (low range) is also selectable, with a reduction gearing of 1:2.9. In addition, a 100 percent differential lock is available for the rear axle if desired. The combination of a controlled longitudinal differential lock (0–100%), rear-axle locking differential and reduction gear delivers good performance both on and off-road.
Already available from November 2017, the Mercedes X-Class uses the technical base of the Nissan Navara, hence the X-Class is built in Nissan’s European headquarters in Barcelona. Unlike other “badge engineering” models such as the virtually identical duo Mitsubishi L200 and Fiat Fullback, however, Mercedes has – not least from the experience with the Citan – thoroughly re-engineered the architecture of the Nissan Navara.
Clients can opt for two equipment lines: PROGRESSIVE and POWER. Standard specification includes 17-inch 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, air vents in electroplated silver chrome, leather-lined steering wheel and parking brake and an 8-speaker system. In POWER guise, future X-Class owners also get a simulated, chrome-plated underride guard in the front bumper, a chrome-plated rear bumper, 18-inch 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, LED High Performance headlamps, electrically adjustable seats and the infotainment system Audio 20 CD with a multifunctional touchpad.
In contrast to the base price of 37,294 for the X-Class 220 d Pure with manual transmission and rear-wheel drive (for comparison: The Navara prices for the 2.3-liter double cab start at 31,110 euros), the top model Mercedes X-Class 350 d Power costs 53,360 euros in its native market, Germany. For comparisson, the X 220 d with four-wheel drive and manual transmission costs 39,115 euros and the 250 d with 190 hp and rear-wheel drive starts at 41,816 euros.