When you think of a work vehicle that’s designed to take five people and a pallet of fencing across the mucky fields and babbling brooks of Ballyfin, it’s not Mercedes that springs to mind.
Yet luxury pick-ups are finding many new homes in Ireland with sales increasing year on year so maybe it’s not crazy for Mercedes to be launching a new luxury 4×4.
The X-Class has been jointly developed with Nissan/Renault with a lot of the running gear underneath coming from the Nissan Navara.
Mercedes make no secret of this, they actually show the differences between the two cars, speaking of which, there isn’t one panel on the exterior of the car that’s the same as the Nissan.
Power does come from a shared Renault-built 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with two outputs the single-turbo 161bhp X220d and the twin-turbo 187bhp X250d.
There’s a 163bhp petrol that won’t appear in Ireland but next year we will have the V6 255bhp.
The X-Class can tow a 3.5-tonne trailer and transport a maximum load of 1,067kg in a load bed measuring 1587mm by 1560mm.
The standard six-speed manual transmission is very capable and for off-road use, you can engage low-range power which can pull the whole car up a gradient without touching the pedals.
You can choose the auto box with seven gears and a locking differential so you’ll never get stuck.
The interior is very well put together, there’s good plastics used and, if you plump for leather, there’s a luxury feel when on the road. It does feel smaller than the Amrock.
There are three basic models Pure, Progressive and Power with the entry-level model getting a good level of kit, the X220 4×2 PURE priced at €39,950, inclusive of VAT & VRT.
This is the kind of car you buy for work and I understand that there are a good many Ford Ranger owners out there who have the car because they like that “truck” feeling.
The problem with owning this car is the tax system means it can only be taxed as a commercial car, there are hopes to change this and it looks to be going ahead but until it changes you can be in trouble for dropping the kids to school.
There’s no doubt that Mercedes have the right look for the market, there’s plenty going on with the three-pointed star up the front that will keep the brand looking well.
For a commercial proposition, you’ll be able to claim the VAT back on the purchase of the car as well as the diesel costs. The Volkswagen Amrock has a bigger interior and I think the Ford Ranger looks a bit better for retail buyers but Mercedes have the luxury feeling bang on.
We’ll see next year if the gamble on a luxury 4×4 pays off for Mercedes, I’m sure the competition will be watching what’s happening.