The What Van? Road Test: Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018   |   Author: Steve Banner


Interior and equipment

With a brushed aluminium-style finish dominating the dashboard and leather trim wherever you look, the X-Class’s cab interior is rather more upmarket than what is on offer from the majority of pick-ups.

Settle down behind the wheel and your first task is to adjust the seat to your precise requirements. But there’s no need to start tugging manual levers – no matter whether you want to move forwards or backwards or alter the angle of the seat back, all the adjustment is electric.

You can alter the angle of the seat cushion electrically too, as well as the height, but the steering wheel’s height is adjusted manually.

All four doors feature electric windows and the heated exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable. Push a button on the dashboard and you can fold them back to make parking easier.

Feeling a little chilly? Not to worry – a button on the seat switches on the seat heater, which has both high and low settings. The front passenger seat, which is also electrically adjustable, is heated too. They are included in a Winter Package, an option which also encompasses heated screen washer jets.

Looking rather like a tablet computer, the 8.4in main, colour, dashboard display sits above four adjustable, centrally mounted chrome air vents. It is at the heart of the optional Comand Online Navigation 1 package, which includes satellite navigation, live traffic information and Linguatronic voice control. It shows the satnav map, gives you your choice of radio stations and, thanks to the rear-mounted camera, tells you what is directly behind when you engage reverse.

It also gives you a bird’s-eye view of the truck on a split screen at the same time for added safety as part of an optional Parking Package. The camera system is also capable of providing a 360° ground-level view.

A small graphic display directly in front of the steering wheel provides a variety of different aids to select from, including Traffic Sign Assist, which alerts you to the prevailing speed limit.

Some of the controls for the satnav, DAB digital radio and so on are on the dashboard, while the rest are on a module between the front seats. Radio remotes are mounted on the steering wheel.

Bluetooth connectivity is included in the deal and a CD player (remember CDs?) is fitted.
Lane Keeping Assist is installed and can be switched off.

Like their front counterparts, the rear seats are trimmed in a mixture of leather and micro-fibre upholstery and come with headrests. What they don’t come with, however, is much legroom, even with the front seats pushed forward.

Oddment stowage facilities include a lockable glovebox, a net in the front passenger’s footwell, and a lidded bin between the front seats along with a cup-holder, although one or two more cup-holders would be nice. All four doors feature bins with a moulding that can hold a soft drinks can, and a sunglasses holder sits above the windscreen.

The lidded bin has a 12V power point inside and you will find another one on the dashboard.

The console the bin sits on has air vents directed towards the rear passengers.

Driver and front passenger airbags are in place along with thorax airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and window airbags throughout.

Large disc brakes with diameters of 320mm at the front and 308mm at the back are installed. Onboard safety systems include ABS, electronic stability programme, active brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, anti-slip control, tyre pressure monitoring system and hill-start assist. If things go badly wrong, nevertheless, then eCall is provided so that emergency help can be summoned.

Further features include front fog lights, cruise control and a windscreen rain-sensor with automatic wipers. The rear-view mirror has an integrated compass so you always know which direction you are heading in.

Thermotronic automatic climate control is fitted too.

One of our demonstrator’s more unusual pieces of equipment was a centre window in the cab’s rear screen that can be opened and closed electrically. It gives a bit more ventilation plus the ability to load through certain items that are too long for the cargo box to swallow, but one has to wonder how genuinely useful it would be in practice.

It comes as part of an optional Style Package, which includes 19in alloy wheels with six double spokes and shod, in our case, with Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport 225/55 R19 tyres. The suspension the wheels are attached to employs a double-wishbone set-up at the front, a multi-link system at the back, and coil springs help provide support all round.

Other items in the package include roof rails, privacy glass and running boards on both sills.

The X-Class’s power steering offers a 13.4m wall-to-wall turning circle.



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