Road Test and Review – Mercedes-Benz X-Class X 350 d V6 4MATIC
It’s only 9 months since I wrote a full review of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. At the time, all versions were fitted with a 2.3 litre diesel engine, with a maximum output of 163hp. Since then, the manufacturer has introduced a 3.0 litre V6 option which produces a whopping 258hp.
Eager to compare this to the V6 Volkswagen Amarok recently tested, I’ve spent a week with this latest addition to the X-Class range. As it’s pretty much identical in other aspects to the truck reviewed last year, these few paragraphs should be read in conjunction with the original road test report which is available here.
Starting the engine up is greeted by the unmistakable ‘burble’ produced by a V configuration engine. Select drive, and the X-Class moves away with little drama, although the gearbox doesn’t like to change up too soon, even gentle pressure on the accelerator resulting in relatively high revs before the next cog is introduced.
With performance figures of 0-62 in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 127 mph, the X 350 d combined with the 7 speed automatic transmission is never going to be a slouch. Manual transmission mode can be activated purely by overriding up and down changes with ‘paddle’ levers mounted underneath the steering wheel. This rarely seemed to be necessary and didn’t achieve any significant performance advantage compared to letting the auto box do its own thing. Generally speaking, progress was relaxed, swift and effortless.
With the exception of the seemingly excessive revs under gentle acceleration, engine noise intrusion, as one would expect was only significant when pushed, otherwise it remained at an acceptable level in the background.
Fuel consumption isn’t the X 350 d’s strong point. Despite an official combined figure of 31.4mpg, over a few days of very gentle driving in mainly rural areas it proved very difficult to persuade the trip computer to record an average better than 23mpg. On a 200 mile motorway journey, with cruise set to 60mph, the truck still only managed an indicated 33mpg.
Compared to the Amarok V6, when pushed, the X-Class doesn’t feel (and isn’t on paper) quite as quick as the VW which boasts 272PS when in overboost mode, and in day to day running one can’t help but feel that the auto box’s reluctance to change up early might be having a negative effect on fuel consumption. But, overall, on road at least the Mercedes-Benz definitely has the edge on refinement, a long legged cruiser with characteristics more akin to a luxury car. Ride is excellent, undoubtedly helped by the independent rear suspension.
Pricing for many could well be an issue however, the basic truck being priced at £39510 +VAT. Add on the over £9000 + VAT of extras fitted to the test vehicle and you’ve got a very pricy one tonne pickup indeed. The three pointed star on the front will however justify much of that to many image conscious customers looking for probably the ultimate light commercial vehicle on the UK market.