Mercedes X-Class targets construction workers after a bit of posh
Pickup trucks are the backbone of many successful businesses around the UK, with the added bonuses of mean styling and toweringly lofty driving positions, the latter having become increasingly desirable for private motorists too. To date, only the Volkswagen Amarok has flirted with taking the pickup truck segment upmarket, but an announcement from Mercedes-Benz means that construction businesses and tradespeople will be able to combine the best of all worlds when its new X-Class takes to the road. It’ll be available in two distinct versions, the choice coming down to how ‘hands-on’ one’s job role is.
The more mainstream X-Class variant is perfect for entrepreneurs, freelancers, SME owners, construction site managers and anyone else seeking a large 4x4 sporting a prestigious badge that will make mincemeat of work duties during the week before ferrying kids and sporting paraphernalia around at the weekend. Stylish explorer’s imposing but classy grille, muscular bonnet powerdome, sleek headlights, beefy wheel arches and unmissable 22-inch alloys will leave prospective leasers smitten. The primary design innovation is found at the rear, though, which incorporates a continuous LED light strip.
The Mercedes X-Class Stylish explorer’s interior is designed around a “hot and cool” concept and is a lesson in plushness in this essentially utilitarian vehicle sector. Warming brown leather seats contrast elegantly against the cool white nappa leather that covers the lower half of the dashboard, which is trimmed in open-pore smoked oak. Helping freelancers stay in communication with clients and others while on the road, Mercedes has integrated a high definition touchscreen, central controller and multifunctional touchpad into the concept.
This version is the one for contractors whose jobs see them clambering over boulder-strewn terrain, its ‘lemonax’ paint rivalling high-vis vests worn on construction sites. Casting a formidable shadow with a towering height of 1.9 metres, the X-Class powerful adventurer boasts go-anywhere 35x11.50 tyres, a transfer case, two diff-locks and an electronic traction system for extreme off-roading, plus an electric winch for giving lesser vehicles a helping hand. A double cab based on a ladderframe chassis, it can seat two front passengers and three rear occupants on comfortable black nappa leather seats.
With a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes and the strength to cart around a payload of 1.1 tonnes, Mercedes’ debut pickup truck will certainly be capable, whichever style is chosen. Belying its dimensions, the X-Class with its specially-tuned suspension and steering along with rear coil springs is set to provide a surprisingly agile ride.
While the Mercedes X-Class will indeed roll off the same production line as the new Renault Alaskan and latest Nissan Navara NP300, Mercedes stresses that many of the luxury brand’s hallmark qualities will be embedded and the vehicle will more closely blur the lines of SUV and pickup truck than its relatives. Contractors left itching to lease one will have to wait a year or more for the X-Class, so can perhaps in the meantime search for the latest contract hire deals on pickups like the Hilux, L200 and Fiat Fullback.
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