Mercedes Benz X-Class V6

   After having driven one diagonally across Wales in December 2017 as part of its launch, it was difficult not to develop an affinity for the then very-new Mercedes Benz X-Class pick-up. It was comfy, and not just by pick-up standards: it genuinely rode well. It was well appointed; leather, sat-nav, heated seats, DAB and more. And it was more than rugged enough to cope with whatever the Welsh winter weather could come up with. We drove it over mountains both on road and off, through snow, through flood water, and even the through incoming tide on Black Rock sands. No wonder we bonded with.

    But, Benz’s plushest of pick-ups wasn’t quite without fault.

  “It’s no rocket-ship by any stretch of the imagination” We commented of the 193bhp 4 cylinder X-Class, before adding “ There’s little joy to be had from making the engine work unnecessarily hard, or from trying to throw the X-class around on a Welsh Mountain B-road”. Firm perhaps, but fair. We did however note. “A 3.0litre 258bhp V6 diesel will be available by mid-2018”.

   And so the anticipation began. Like many a potential X-Class customer we waited patiently for the six-cylinder.

    Recently we got to sample one – and on some of the same roads as we did last time too. The weather coincidentally was equally as bad, Storm Gareth’s arrival coincided with Mercedes Benz’s delivery of their (to give it its full title) X-Class X350 d V6 4Matic.

    By replacing the 4 cylinder Nissan derived engine – the X Class is based upon a Navara, albeit with further heavy-weight chassis reinforcement, a wider track, a far more Mercedes interior plus extra sound-deadening to go with it – with their very own V6 turbo diesel coupled to their snappily entitled 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic gearbox, the Munich mechanics at Benz have finally built an X-Class with the kind of shove you’d expect from something so resplendent with their three-pointed star. Power has been increased to 258bhp, whilst torque, available now between 1,400rpm – 3,100 rpm is up to very generous 406 lbft.  

    The result of such modifications this is a truck that feels both genuinely sprightly – 0-62mph takes just 7.5 seconds – and, for the majority of the time at least, genuinely smooth to drive. Granted, it still feels like a pick-up; there’s more than an element of shimmy on broken surfaces, and those balloon-like tyres still thump heavily into potholes. Nevertheless there’s surprisingly little body roll for something of this size and weight, and if given the choice I’d still pick the X-Class over many a premium-priced (and in some cases pick-up based) SUV if faced with a long distance drive. The X-Class is quiet, and surprisingly, involving.

   Most owners I suspect will simply slip the selector into Drive and do just that, munching the miles and letting the X-Class pick its own ratios in a bid to match its claimed 31.4 mpg. But, in V6 form the X-Class comes with paddle-shifters. There’s even a Sport Mode, which if selected means your pick-up can embarrass many a boy-racer at the traffic lights. If you’re so inclined you can now really hustle things along. Alternatively, you can cover all kinds of ground, those paddle-shifters now mean you’ve even more control off-road – especially so if spec the option locking differentials.

       So, the V6 X-class is the perfect pick-up then? Err… Not quite.

    You’ll need a load-cover if you want to carry both family and luggage at the weekends – and the load cover isn’t fully waterproof, as we noted the first time we drove the X-Class, that lovely thick-rimmed steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, and ironically, there’s little in the way of storage space inside this large load-lugger. And then there’s the price…  

    Add a few extras and you could soon see your X-Class costing the thick end of £50K. Even if you’re savvy enough to register it for business use and you’ll get VAT back, that’s still a serious sum for something that’s essentially still so working class.  

    But, X-Class V6’s wide ranging abilities mean it is virtually without competition. As the people who will no-doubt covet it will tell you: You get what you pay for.


Mercedes Benz X-Class X350 d V6 4Matic

Engine: 2.987 cc 6-cylinder 24 valve turbo-diesel

Transmission: 7 speed G-Tronic Plus automatic with selectable 4Matic All-Wheel Drive and low range.

Power: 258 bhp @ 3,400 rpm

Torque: 406 lbft @ 1,400 – 3,200 rpm

0-62mph: 7.5 sec

Max Speed: 127 mph

Mpg: 31.4 (combined)

CO2: 236 g/km

Weight: 2,234 kg

Price: £47,405 on the road.




Many thanks to Caroline and Sue at Mercedes Benz’s UK press office for the loan of the X-Class.



Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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