RECENTLY an old pal of mine told me how he wanted to buy a pick-up truck.
He didn’t need a truck, he explained, he just wanted one.
So off he went to the showrooms and drove home in a nice new . . . Audi A4.
“Eh, what happened to the truck?” I asked. “Well I just didn’t need it,” he replied.
Six months later he calls again. He’s bought the truck. And kept the A4.
Why both? “I still just wanted a truck,” he conceded.
He’s not alone. If we’re honest we all want a truck really, don’t we? That lofty driving position, those 19in wheels, that sense of “MY ROAD, BUDDY!”
I want the Mercedes X-Class.
I knew I wanted it from the second I saw it parked outside my small terraced house. It looks great. It weighs more than three tonnes and can carry a further one. It will tow up to 3.5 tonnes – that’s the equivalent of an eight-metre yacht to ordinary folk like you and me.
It will certainly fit a four-man family tent, two blow-up double mattresses, four camping chairs, a camping table and drawers, a cool box, five bags of food, eight coats, wellies for everyone and just about any other camping luxury you can think of (48 cans of lager for me).
The X 350d 4MATIC I tested has a 3-litre V6 that pumps out 258hp, 550Nm of torque. That’s a lot. Yet if you drive it sensibly you can get 30mpg-plus. And if you happen to end up on a bumpy farm camping ground just outside Stevenage, as I did, it will take care of that effortlessly with its no-nonsense four-wheel drive system.
Mercedes X-Class: Key facts
Engine: 3-litre V6 diesel
Power: 258hp, 550Nm 0-62mph: 7.9 secs
Top speed: 127mph Economy: 31mpg
Just a few minutes of this confident power and you know why you want a truck.
It’s muscular. You can feel it in your bones. Meanwhile, you’re sitting in air-conditioned comfort on the leather seats, singing along to tunes on DAB radio on the infotainment system, albeit with the fiddly touchpad Mercedes insist on putting in.
It feels like you’re in a luxury car but not in a luxury car.
Because you’re in a truck.
A truck you don’t need.
A truck you just want.