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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz X-Class
For:A genuine Mercedes, nicely finished, gets an enormous boot...
Against:...but do you need that much space for your shopping? Can't match a proper SUV for comfort either.
What is it?
Merc’s first attempt at a proper lifestyle pick-up. Now, Mercedes has had a couple of attempts at building pick ups before, but they’ve been less, well, mass market than the X-Class: the £370,000 AMG G63 6x6 and the Unimog.
This is something new – a global attempt to go after the likes of the Toyota Hilux, VW Amarok and Nissan Navara. Now, developing a new car from scratch is a vastly expensive business, so if there’s a way to reduce those costs, it’s worth considering. So if you scratch the surface of the X-Class you’ll find a lot of it is actually the aforementioned Nissan Navara. Same 2.3-litre Renault-developed turbo diesel, same ladder frame chassis, same switchable 4wd system with low range and so on.
On the surface Mercedes has done a good job of disguising this fact. Until you get to the far end of the double cab, the X-Class looks unique, well aligned with the rest of Merc’s commercial and passenger car range. It’s only the shape of the rear lights and that kick-up in the rear passenger window line that look Nissan-ish.
It’s on sale now with a choice of two engines (the same 2.3-litre with either 161 or 187bhp), two gearboxes (six speed manual or seven-speed auto) and three trim levels (Pure, Progressive and Power).