Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Review New Zealand
To many of us, the tough, hard-working, utilitarian side to the Mercedes-Benz brand generally goes by unnoticed. However, if you take a moment and look around at the Vans, Trucks, Minibuses and Lorry’s that make up some of our motoring landscape, you’ll begin to see the three-pointed star everywhere. Last year, Mercedes-Benz released the X-Class, a strong and very robust vehicle that launched them into the ever popular ute market. But stand back everyone, for now, they’ve added a huge V6 heart.
Utility vehicles or ‘utes’ are rife within New Zealand motoring culture and for very good reason, they cross the great divide between work and play, even including family life where necessary. In short, they’re vehicles of action and adventure yet also have the ability to be domesticated should you so choose, hence their popularity. Now, however, I have discovered that the Mercedes-Benz X-CLASS V6 is all of the above, and then some.
At 5.34m long x 1.92m wide the Mercedes-Benz X-CLASS V6 is no shrinking violet but that’s exactly what you want in a working truck. With a strong chassis, powerful road presence and an athletic silhouette, this ute is ready for whatever you care to throw at it. What’s more, under its extensive bonnet is the new brute of a V6 diesel engine that comes straight out of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Germany. Offering 550Nm of torque and 190kW of power, it is strong enough to be your ever-enduring partner during working hours but versatile enough to be your exciting, adventurous pal when it’s time to close up shop and start exploring.
With dimensions that will just about swallow up a quad bike, the X-Class proudly boasts one of the largest trays in the segment and with a near 1.1-tonne payload, it gives you plenty of space for both tools and toys alike. Plus, with a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, this ute makes light work of boats, jet skis or any dirtbikes that you may want to venture out with.
The dual cab cockpit is roomy and uncluttered with materials that offer a sweet blend of comfort and robustness. Driver’s get more than a fair share of attention with Keyless push-button start, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel, analogue and digital instrument cluster, plus a 7-inch infotainment screen that among other things, features Apps, Navigation, Reversing camera and a Powerful stereo that’s ideal for playing rock music, loud.
The front seats are supportive and well-bolstered and the stadium seating in the rear gives everyone a great view. There’s no obvious place for your smartphone, so I opted to put mine out of harm’s way in the centre console, which for a variety of reasons is where they should all go anyway. The power-assisted steering is fairly light which is great around town but also carries some reasonable feedback, which certainly helps when the speedometer heads north on the highways and byways. Overall, the cabin is well isolated from the outside world, I didn’t feel the need to raise my voice, not even when making hands free calls.
On the road, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 feels commanding and omnipresent. Both its size and the way it rides gives you a real sense of certitude. Off the line, there is a hint of anticipation before the near 2.2-tonne truck shifts from 0-100km in an impressive 7.9 seconds. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission moves up and down the range very smoothly regardless of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes (Offroad, Sport, Manual, Comfort and Eco) you opt for, while your fuel economy numbers are reported to be around 8.8L/100km.
With its commercial lineage, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 was of course built to enjoy a whole host of terrains too, so 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive comes as standard, perfect for when the going gets unsealed roads or off-road track rough. The low-range reduction gear and rear axle differential lock provide stability and traction on the most unpredictable paths while its 222mm ground clearance and 600mm wading depth, combined with its approach and departure angles (30 and 25-degrees respectively) will soon have you confidently embracing much of what New Zealand’s great outdoors has to offer. Don’t expect it to be smooth sailing though, the chassis is pretty rigid and does let you know when you’re not on smooth sealed roads.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 really is a stand out ute. Its sheer size and rugged good looks never fail to turn heads and its capability both on and off the tarmac is quite simply admirable (albeit a little gruff when it gets rough). The powerful V6 heart laps up the demands of a working week but it’s while being out with the weekend warriors that this vehicle really excels – rest assured that this is one brute of a ute.
Thanks for your help and input Matthew D’Souza