Finally, the date of launching the new drive unit expected by the Mercedes customers, i.e. 3-litre V6 engine (258 HP and 550 Nm), which has been postponed for many months, is getting closer, and, to be more precise, the cars can already be ordered.
Therefore, we rely on the 2.3-litre drive unit, available in the 163 and 190 HP versions, which has been available to order since its debut. We have had the pleasure of driving several hundred kilometres, so we can confidently express our opinion on the Class X and compare it to other pickups available in the European market.
General information about the model
The X Class is a result of cooperation between Mercedes and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and it is based on the same components as Nissan Navara NP300 D23 and Renault Alaskan (not available yet in Poland). We can say that this is Navara with the star produced by the Renault factory near Barcelona. The target markets are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America and, of course, Europe including Russia. In Poland, the gross prices for the Progresive version with the 2.3-litre engine start from PLN 175.275.
It is always a subjective matter. The fact is that the intention of Mercedes was to create the first premium brand pickup and it must be said that you can see this in the interior, which makes a very positive impression. Outside, there is a large front grille with a large Mercedes star. And from the side? From the side, it will always be Navara.
Undoubtedly, the Class X drives very well, holds the road impeccably and does not tilt with a sharp change of driving direction, which is due to the extended track of the wheels and the wide wheelbase. Thanks to the dual control arms in the front and the coil springs with five-rod suspension, it compensates for bumps very well. The fact remains that even the 190-HP engine by Nissan is too weak to accelerate the car weighing more than two tonnes at a rate expected from the premium brand and satisfactory to most Mercedes customers.
Mercedes Class X is a very interesting pickup, but due to the premium brand and its price it is not addressed to all users. Mercedes has made an attempt to grab a piece of the cake, which is the pickup market, for itself, however there is no point in deceiving yourself – it will mainly compete with Volkswagen Amarok, which debuted with its pickup in 2010 and has far more experience. At this time, both brands are targeted at the individual customer. And there is a certain paradox here: By launching the V6 engine and, at the same time, withdrawing the two-litre unit from the Western European market, Amarok has to some extent decreased the sales level by itself due to significantly lower performance in tenders which it was winning with its weaker and cheaper unit. On the other hand, Mercedes did not have a good debut with its 2.3-litre engine, but launching the V6 engine may eventually convince a larger group of Mercedes customers who have not wanted to invest in Nissan with the star so far. Is it going to be like this? We will see soon.