In fact, one thing I’ve quickly come to depend on from the X-Class is smooth, quiet progress. The silky automatic ’box works perfectly with this engine, cruising like a saloon on motorways. It’ll even bolt quite well out of roundabouts if you insist, though acceleration times are modest.
The steering and handling take some getting used to. This is a body-on-frame machine, so there are body tremors over bumps you don’t expect at first. It’s light over the rear end, too, so even with the independent rear working well, there’s still an occasional tendency to wheel hop.
On the other hand, with such a long wheelbase, the X-Class does stay very flat. It rides bumps very quietly. The steering is light and there’s very little lost motion at the straight-ahead, but you can’t help thinking the capability of the rest of the chassis (it grips quite well and resists leaning) would benefit from faster steering around the centre.
Driving my first 1000 miles in the X-Class has been an entirely pleasant experience, and easier than I expected, what with the decent driving characteristics, a 530-mile touring range, fuel consumption running around 36-38mpg and a quiet mechanical package.
The one thing I’m not yet used to is the feeling of going places in a vehicle that seems needlessly vast. But to judge by the number of my four-cab fellows on the road, I’ll soon get over it.
It feels a bit vast for the parking spaces in the London street I live in. I don’t think I could own one for that reason alone. But it’s easier to drive than you think, and more pleasant, because it’s quiet. And I suspect we’ll use that inviting-looking load bay as a photographer’s shooting platform before too long…
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Mercedes-Benz X-Class X250D 4MATIC specification
Specs: Price New £34,100 Price as tested: £39,780 Options: metallic paint £510, headliner £215, Comand infotainment £2225, Style package £1345, parking package with 360deg camera £915, winter package (inc heated seats) £340, towbar connections £130
Test Data: Engine 4cyl, 2,298cc, twin-turbocharged diesel Power 187bhp at 3750rpm Torque 295lb ft at 1500-2500rpm Top speed 109mph 0-62mph 11.8sec Claimed fuel economy 35.8mpg Test fuel economy 36.5mpg CO2 207g/km Faults None Expenses None
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