The Mercedes-Benz X-Class brings new levels of safety and refinement to the ute market.
A proper high-riding, four-wheel-drive, turbo-diesel ute with Mercedes-Benz badges is now available.
This sort of car was unthinkable a decade ago. But we should not be surprised by its appearance.
Dual-cab pick-ups have exploded in popularity in recent years, triggered by the promise of adventure, a desire to stand apart from the SUV crowd, and tax breaks which encourage people to run them as company cars.
High-end models are leading the push.
Dianne Tarr, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Australia, says the brand is “super excited” about the potential offered by the new X-Class.
“We see it as a real game changer,” she says.
“We’ve had a little bit of a white spot between the passenger car and commercial portfolio and I know the X-Class really fills that spot with its natural Mercedes-Benz heritage, strong four-by-four qualities, and the genes of Mercedes Benz – the safety and off-road capabilities that come from the star.
“We’ve been waiting for it.”
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Our time with the X-Class during its brief Australian launch was spent in the range-topping X250d power, which features a decent level of equipment as standard. 18-inch wheels, LED front and rear lamps, dual-zone climate control and seats trimmed in “Artico” faux leather join a proper Mercedes-derived 7-inch infotainment system with sat nav, a 360-degree camera and more.
As usual for a luxury car, an extensive options list includes extras such as metallic paint, a towbar wired up with an electronic brake controller, side steps and a soft cover for the load bed.
Prestige know-how emerges on the road, where the X-Class feels much quieter than rivals. Wind and road noise is lower than expected, as is the hum from Nissan’s engine. The manufacturer claims this is the quietest ute on the road – without testing rivals back-to-back, we’re inclined to believe them.
Test drive an X-Class at Taree Motorama, 54 Victoria Street, Taree. Phone 6539 3300.