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Mercedes-Benz X-Class Review

Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Pick-up
      Fuel type
      Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
The Mercedes-Benz of pickups

Best bits

  • Mercedes-Benz image
  • Attractive styling
  • Smart interior combined with practical load deck

Not so great

  • Expensive to buy
  • Only higher trims give the full Mercedes-Benz experience
  • Nissan roots shine through

Read by

Mercedes X-Class frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes X-Class dashboard

On the inside

Mercedes X-Class frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes X-Class  frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes X-Class frontleft exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The X-Class is a desirable premium pickup with good looks, a nice cabin and a lovely V6 engine option. Trouble is, it’s so expensive, and this is in a sector where watching the pennies really matters. It’s an appealing vehicle, but for many buyers, it might just be a step too far."

Mercedes X-Class frontleft exterior

Mercedes-Benz is a giant global carmaker represented in almost every vehicle sector. Except, for many years, the pickup market. Through an alliance with Renault-Nissan, Mercedes finally rectified this in 2017 with the launch of the X-Class – a ‘posh pickup’. It was just the thing for upwardly mobile builders everywhere.


It’s not immediately apparent this is a pickup based on a Nissan Navara. There’s a lot of differentiation, particularly at the front, where the big Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star dominates the grille. It’s a sporty, more aggressive look than some of the firm’s regular cars, reflecting the preferences of its target buyers.


The interior is extremely well decked out, too. It looks like a proper Mercedes-Benz, with the dials, infotainment screen and even air vents likely to prove familiar to those who have driven an E-Class or even an S-Class. There are also some lovely design details, including a very attractive wood-look trim option.


Saying that, those who have driven another Mercedes-Benz will also find interior quality isn’t quite up to the firm’s usual standards. Yet this is arguably a positive: the materials aren’t so soft-touch, but they’re more likely to withstand heavy-duty use.


Practicality hasn’t been compromised, either. The X-Class still has a 3.5-tonne towing capacity and a large rear deck, and even spacious rear seats accessed via their own doors. The Nissan Navara is an exemplar in terms of practicality and the X-Class follows suit.


Engines are – no surprise – entirely diesel: a 2.3-litre four-cylinder motor producing either 163PS (in X 220 d form) or 190PS (called X 250 d). It’s an effective engine, particularly the torquey 190PS version, but not a very memorable one. It feels a bit too ‘Nissan’. That’s why the X 350 d V6 engine is very much the preferred choice. It produced 258PS and even more pulling power.


The V6 costs much more, however, and this further accentuates a major X-Class failing: very expensive prices. Even excluding VAT, it is costly, and as you move up the range to get the features you’d expect from the Mercedes-Benz brand, it becomes pricier still. For a machine that goes up against mainstream rivals, this is a bit of a culture shock.


The three-pointed star is desirable, but is it really that desirable? Not least because running costs are also heady. The counter-argument is that this really is, well, the Mercedes-Benz of pickups, and it’s undeniable that the vehicle cuts quite a dash. It offers far more status than, for example, a Nissan, Mitsubishi or Isuzu.


As a working vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is very eager to get stuck in. It has a well-specced all-wheel drive system, which has even more electronic support as you go up through the range. If you’re looking for a premium SUV alternative that you can put to good use during the working week, the X-Class is worth considering. If you can afford it...

Is the Mercedes-Benz X-Class right for you?

For ultimate bragging rights at the builder’s yard trade counter, nothing beats chucking down a set of Mercedes-Benz keys. It’ll mean instant respect from your colleagues driving Fords and Mitsubishis – and proof positive that your business is doing well enough to afford the hefty step-up in purchase price or monthly lease costs.


The X-Class doesn’t call for any compromises in terms of usability, though. It takes all the Nissan Navara’s robustness and, well, keeps it fully intact. If anything, the powerful V6 version is even more useful still, simply because of the surfeit of pulling power it possesses.


However, if your business is on a budget, you’ll either have to take a back-to-basics X-Class, or trade the three-pointed star badge for something more mainstream. Even pickups can carry a premium price tag, it seems.

What’s the best Mercedes-Benz X-Class model/engine to choose?

We love the X 350 d V6. It is a super engine, producing 258PS, and gives the double cab pickup a fittingly rich and premium feel. Trouble is, list prices reflect this, so while it’s the most desirable version, it’s not necessarily the best for real-world pickup buyers.


This is where the 190PS four-cylinder diesel comes in. No, it’s not as smooth, but it’s punchy enough in its own right, and costs a lot less. It also delivers better fuel economy, so will be cheaper to run – important when your working vehicle is being put through the small business accounts.

There are three trim grades, but Pure is just a bit too basic. It doesn’t even get painted bumpers or alloys. Best value is Progressive, while Power comes with a lot of fancy extras that look great on your driveway but won’t necessarily withstand heavy-duty use on the building site.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz X-Class?

The most obvious alternative to the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the vehicle it’s loosely derived from: the Nissan Navara. This machine has built a formidable reputation for toughness over the years, and itself has quite a following.


The Mitsubishi L200 is another popular pickup, as is the Isuzu D-Max. A semi-premium competitor comes in the shape of the Volkswagen Amarok – the German brand even offers its own V6 version – and the Ford Ranger has an expensive, outlandish range-topper called the Raptor, which those with X-Class money might be swayed by.


Then there’s the legendary Toyota Hilux, a pickup icon that cannot be ignored. In terms of reliability, ability and reassuring reputation, it’s unsurpassed.

Learn more

Mercedes X-Class dashboard

On the inside

Mercedes X-Class frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes X-Class  frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes X-Class frontleft exterior

Prices, versions and specification