For all of Mercedes’ efforts to pitch the X-Class as a high-end pick-up, its Nissan-built engine is arguably the primary giveaway of its more agrarian, workhorse roots.

It’s a gruff-sounding motor – not noticeably more so than other pickups’ four-cylinder diesels – but an Amarok with its 3.0-litre V6 oil-burner is considerably more refined. It’s a good thing, then, that Mercedes is set to launch its own V6 diesel variant this year.

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Road tester
As befits its brief as a dependable, go-anywhere vehicle, the X-Class gets a full-sized spare tyre that’s mounted to the undercarriage

With a kerb weight of 2159kg to shift (we weighed it at 2320kg with a full tank of fuel), the X-Class’s four-cylinder engine has to work hard to make any reasonable progress too. The sprint from standstill to 60mph was dispatched in a fairly tardy 11.2sec, and the dash from 30mph to 70mph took 11.6sec.

The five-cylinder Ranger Wildtrak we tested in 2012, meanwhile, hit 60mph from rest in 10.8sec and recorded a 30-70mph time of 10.6sec.

A persistent roar from the X-Class’s engine accompanied its leisurely rate of acceleration as well. At maximum revs in third gear, we measured cabin noise at 67dB.

Still, with a lot of weight to shift and only modest power reserves to call upon to do so, the X-Class didn’t suffer any issues with traction off the line. Its slug of low-down torque – 332lb ft available between 1500rpm and 2500rpm – provides plenty of pulling power right from the get-go, although multiple testers commented on a slight hesitation from the seven-speed transmission at times. But although it’s not the quickest gearbox in the world, it’s not slovenly, either, and it swaps cogs smoothly as you pick up the pace.

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As for stopping power, the X-Class managed to come to a halt from 60mph in 3.17sec, doing so in a largely controlled and stable fashion. Sure, there was a considerable amount of pitch as the Mercedes’ weight shifted forward under braking, but no more than you’d expect from what is essentially a very tall, heavy vehicle. By way of comparison, the Ranger took 3.19sec to slow from 60mph to a standstill.

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