The pick-up market has really, erm, picked up in recent years. Independent traders are one reason for that; exploiting the versatility of these vehicles that can serve as hardy, loyal workhorses in the week, doubling up as spacious, comfortable family wagons at the weekend.

Mercedes X-Class front

While the Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara are long-established well-respected staples in the pick-up segment, they’re not really renowned for their premium feel and that’s where the new X-Class comes in.

Using the very solid Navara as a starting block, Mercedes felt it was time to inject some much-needed luxury into the segment, so here we have what is essentially the world’s first truly premium pick-up.

But is it any good?

Apparently so. Pretty much every review published so far has awarded it four out of five stars.

Mercedes X-Class rear

One of them was in Auto Express (AE), which didn’t mince its words, hailing the X-Class as ‘the best pick-up truck on the UK market’.

The motoring weekly noted that, when compared to some more premium family SUVs, the X-Class’ rough edges were clear to see. However, these were easy to overlook when the company car tax and VAT savings attached to running a commercial vehicle came into play.

Mercedes X-Class

Considering the X-Class is being targeted largely at fleet customers and businesses, the pick-up’s level of desirability simply can’t be matched by rivals.

“That’s why plenty will deem the premium worth paying,” AE added.

On the road

There may be the famous three-pointed star on the front grille, but behind, it is the same Renault-sourced 2.3-litre turbodiesel you’ll find in the Nissan Navara.

Mercedes X-Class top

That’s right, it says Merc on the bonnet, but a humble Renault is doing all the grunt work.

Don’t let that put you off though, because it’s perfectly fine by all accounts. Two power outputs are available – a 160bhp capable of completing a 0-62mph sprint in roughly 12 seconds, and a 187bhp (11 secs).

Mercedes X-Class farm

Honest John’s van critic describes the lower-powered unit as fine for motorway driving and light off-roading, but has the potential to struggle when tackling steep inclines or carrying heavy loads.

For maximising the X-Class’ gargantuan towing ability, as well as thundering up hills, the higher-powered engine – with 450Nm of torque – is the only option, Honest John adds.

‘Massively impressive’

Car Magazine said it was ‘massively impressive’ to drive, but Top Gear was very meh about the X-Class’ on-road performance.

They thought initial pullaway was fine, but any drivers thinking about overtaking should “submit an application and wait”. That’s because “kickdown accounts for a two-elephant count before anything happens, and even then you aren’t exactly subjected to forceful acceleration”.

Mercedes X-Class urban

As such, they thought it was kind of ridiculous for Merc to pitch the X-Class as a “high-end variant for urban lifestyles”.

Honest John went on to say that fuel economy was the only area where the Mercedes-Benz fell ‘a little flat’.

The 160bhp engine will return an official 37.1mpg, while the advertised economy for the more powerful 187bhp drops to 35.7mpg – some way short of the 44.8mpg advertised by Nissan for the four-wheel drive Navara.

Is it premium though?

Yes and no.

Honest John acknowledges that the quality inside the cabin is high compared to other pick-ups, but it doesn’t reach the same levels of what you’d find in any Mercedes-Benz car.

Mercedes X-Class interior

That would make sense, because the X-Class is meant to be a working vehicle, so hard-wearing plastics are a must. That said, there are still plenty of premium touches, such as leather seats, wood trims and stitched dashboard covers.

Verdict

Car Magazine doesn’t think the X-Class is as easy to live with as an SUV, but they do believe it ‘moves the pick-up game on’.

Mercedes X-Class rear

It added that anyone thinking of using a pick-up as an everyday runaround should totally consider the X-Class or VW’s Amarok.

With a starting price in excess of £27,000, Autocar said the X-Class was too expensive for a pick-up, but agreed it did raise the standard for comfort in a commercial vehicle while retaining tough qualities.

Are you keen on picking up a new X-Class? Have these views swayed you much? Let us know down there in the comments.

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