Last year, Mercedes-Benz announced they would be entering the hotly contested dual cab market with the X-Class. Dual cabs are not something traditionally associated with Mercedes and this move sent shockwaves through the industry.
The X-Class was a direct response to the Australian/New Zealand markets love of the ute and aimed to bring Mercedes style and luxury into a segment that demands robustness and practicality.
I arrived at Mercedes-Benz Canberra excited to spend a few hours getting to know the X-Class. After being momentarily distracted by everything with an AMG badge, I found myself sitting behind the wheel of an X250d Power. The Power variant is the top specification available and Mercedes says it aims to provide the highest level of comfort, style and performance.
The Mercedes DNA is obvious inside the X-Class with the interior being well appointed, stylish and comfortable. An 8.4” touch-enabled display takes centre stage on the dashboard and controls the 360-degree camera, navigation, audio and vehicle settings.
The seats were wrapped in a mix of leather and microfibre and were surprisingly well bolstered for a dual cab. This paired with the electronic adjustability made for a very a comfy place to sit for the day.
With most other dual cabs I have driven sounding like tractors from the inside, I (wrongly) assumed the X-Class would sound the same. I was impressed and surprised with how well sealed the cabin is from engine and road noise.
Outside, the X-Class is again unmistakably Mercedes-Benz (if you’re unsure, have a look at the front). The Power variant comes standard with chrome highlights and 18” alloy wheels, adding to the ‘refined-but-rugged’ look of the X-Class.
The tray is decently sized, can carry over a tonne and the Power and Progressive variants are fitted with an adjustable rail system ensuring the tie-downs are where you need them each time. Our X-Class was also fitted with the optional sport canopy that blends seamlessly with the body lines of the ute.
Under the bonnet of our X-Class was a 2.3 litre, 4-cylinder, twin-turbocharged engine making 140kW and 450Nm of torque. Whilst not going to break any speed records the engine felt strong and as though it would cope well with anything we wanted to throw on the back. The 7-speed auto gearbox also felt solid and refined. For those looking for more power there is a 6-cylinder option coming soon.
Whilst we didn’t have the opportunity to test it, I have no doubt the X-Class will hold its own off road. With selectable 4WD, an electronic locking rear differential and solid body on frame construction it’s meant to take you off the beaten track and, most importantly, get you home again.
As expected, the X-Class is safe as houses with airbags all round and other features such as lane keep assist and keyless entry/start to make life easier.
The X-Class brings a whole new level of refinement which has made the others stand up and take note. The X-Class has cemented Mercedes place as a solid contender in the dual cab market.
Special thanks to the team at Mercedes-Benz Canberra for lending us the keys for a day. For more info head over to their website or visit them at the corner of Canberra Avenue & Tom Price St, Fyshwick.