Category: Mercedes-benz

Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Driven Review

Should you buy the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6?

A little over 6 months ago, we found ourselves in George sampling Mercedes-Benz’s first ever double cab, the then hugely anticipated X-Class. In the four-cylinder guise, it featured an engine borrowed from the Nissan Navara, one which many found to be underwhelming. Perhaps we got overly hyped? Maybe we expected too much? Whatever the reason was, our first interaction the X-Class didn’t live up to what we all expected, purely because of the badge the car wears. Mercedes, however, stated that more was to come and that time has now arrived. The recent launch of a new variant of the X-Class in South Africa has given the folks at Merc a second chance to impress us. This time, we’re dealing with a Mercedes engine, a with a 3.0 V6 to be exact, one that could be this vehicle’s saving grace. Has the X-Class finally marked the spot?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Front

The Engine

190kW and 550Nm are very tasty numbers from the Mercedes V6, especially for a Double cab bakkie. With power figures like these, the X-Class is poised to impress much more than its 4-cylinder counterparts, which does. It’s also a thoroughbred V6, made by Mercedes-Benz themselves, unlike the 2.3-litre engine found in the lower spec variants.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Rear

Off-road

The torque produced by the V6 proved handy as we spent the morning traversing fairly serious off-road routes. Steep climbs, banks and technical sections proved too easy for the X-Class. I was slightly taken aback at how the X-Class dispatched of the challenges like it was a simple Monday morning school run. So far, so good.

Although I can’t imagine many X-Class owners attempting some of the gradients we did on their average weekend away, it’s good to know that should the occasion allow, mountains can be climbed. For me, the big test came later in the afternoon, on the open road, where the lifestyle double cab will spend many km’s tearing up the tarmac.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Badge

On The Road

It’s become somewhat of a habit of mine to always activate the sportiest mode a vehicle has to offer from the onset. This habit didn’t change with the X-Class. With Dynamic Select as standard in this model, the driver has the option of Eco, Comfort, Sport, Manual and Off-road settings to choose from.

How fast is it? Well, 7.9 seconds is the 0-100km/h time, just in case you were wondering. For a bakkie, that’s fast. So to answer the question, yes, the X-Class V6 shifts. Driver can activate Sport mode, this means the appropriate gear to “give it the beans” is always selected and throttle response seems to be a little more sensitive than usual.

When driving spiritedly, you may be a little surprised at how fast the dial on the left climbs and how the open road ahead is taken in its grasp. It’s very “unbakkie like”. What’s even more impressive is the vehicle’s stability at high speeds. Never at any stage did the X-Class make me feel unconfident, it’s really as poised as an SUV. A huge percentage of this is due to the bits you can’t see. At the rear, X-Class uses a 5-link rear suspension setup, unlike the conventional leaf spring system used on many other road-going bakkies.

The Nissan was the first bakkie we saw this system on and it proved itself then, as it did now. It’s more stable, more comfortable and is much more aligned to that of a passenger vehicle or SUV. Does it really drive like an SUV? Yes, it does. Road comfort is top notch, and with that V6 up-front, cruising and overtaking becomes as easy as an Englishman starting a bar fight.

Handling

As Franschhoek pass was approaching, Sport mode was aptly selected once again and it was time to find out if the launch would end with an upside down X-class, at the bottom of a ravine with myself inside – probably still filming. I was driving alone for this launch, which proved beneficial because it was time to put the X-Class and its 40/60 4Matic power split through its paces. An excercise not advisable when driving with squirmish passengers.

Sharp hairpins, tight bends, long sweepers and plenty of esses is what the pass gives you. In reality, Franschhoek pass is no place to “test” a double cab. However, the team at Merc instilled so much confidence into the X-Class, that a pommy just had to give it a go.

My findings? Well, the fact that you’re reading this article means it didn’t go too badly. But in all seriousness,  it really impressed me. I was hard fought to try and get some body-roll out the chassis, even on the tightest bends, to the point where understeer would set-in and the front end would push. Under heavy braking, the vehicle remained stable and it was nice to see that the rear-end didn’t go “light” especially on turn in. This is a great thing as most bakkies get nervous under extreme direction changes. Instead, the Merc aced the pass. With the V6 up front, you simply accelerate out the bend and the car agrees to disappear.

Interior

As good as the X-Class is on the road, I do have gripes. I still feel the interior quality doesn’t represent a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. There’s simply too much plastic and not enough luxury. An example of this is the air vents or even the drive selector which looks like it belongs in a Mahindra. Tough? Maybe. Luxurious? Not at all. It does get better thankfully. Sitting centimetres from the gear lever is the familiar Mercedes-Benz Command controls, which operate the Command system. This is now more in line with modern Mercedes’s and it does add a little bit more of a premium feel to the cabin.

The positive side to the plain interior is that it can probably take more abuse. For instance, if you’re a rich kid who wants to go wild with daddy’s money, the interior of the X-Class will easily take some kicks and knocks, as you pile in your four best mates and go looking for trouble in “Mozam” or any other coastal destination that can be abbreviated to sound cool.

Should you buy the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6?

Starting at R904,188 it’s certainly not a cheap double cab, especially when compared with the Amarok V6, albeit with 30Kw less power, for R810,000. From a drivability and refinement perspective, the Amarok is the closest competitor to the X-Class V6. Whilst Mercedes say the X-Class doesn’t have a competitor, I do feel the Amarok runs pretty close and next year, we may even see the 190Kw version on our shores. So there are other options to choose from.

The X-Class V6 is, without doubt, a lifestyle orientated bakkie, you ain’t gonna be throwing bricks in the back of this kind of Double cab, are you? Hence why I expected a more luxurious interior trim. It’s pricey, but it also wears the Mercedes-Benz badge which counts for something I guess and it does surprise you when it comes to road comfort and holding. It’s really good there. The reality is, however, when you’re spending this much though, you expect a certain premium feel, one which the X Class still somewhat lacks.

I feel the biggest buy-in for the X-Class will come from current Mercedes-Benz customers. Those who already own a passenger vehicle, perhaps a sedan, and would like a more lifestyle orientated product. It’s a great way to stay in the brand from that perspective.

All things considered, purely based on the engine and chassis, the X-Class V6 is one of the best double cabs you can buy. However, you will pay a Mercedes-Benz premium for it. At the end of the day, the buyer will need to weigh up to positives and the negatives and if it makes sense to them, it makes sense to them. Just don’t get mad when the Navara jokes start.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 Pricing in South Africa

X-Class Progressive – R904,188

X-Class Power – R973,188

 

Spec your X-Class V6 here:  www.x-class.co.za.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class – Setting New Standards

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class in Matt Grey, Overlooking Ocean and town

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Some car models evolve like a fine wine; slowly over time, each incarnation just a little better than the last. Not at Mercedes-Benz though, if other technologies progressed as fast as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, we’d be living around in a rather futuristic world. Twenty-one years ago, just after the first A-Class was launched, it made motoring headlines for failing the Moose Test, but that was actually a blessing in disguise rather than a setback. This problem forced the men in white coats to re-engineer the suspension as well as to add electronic driver aids never before seen in a compact car, forcing other manufacturers to follow suit. This was the start of a brilliant track record, amassing sales of three million A-Class cars (6 million compact cars in total) to date, each new model featuring improvements and upgrades that you’d only expect to find in top tier models.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is now in its fourth generation, and it’s no facelift, this technological marvel is an all-new affair from the ground up. The compact Benz is longer, higher and wider resulting in a sportier looking hatchback, especially when fitted with the optional 19-inch wheels. The front-end subscribes to the latest Mercedes-Benz design architecture and this new design also sees the car being the most aerodynamic in the segment. Much of this is attributed to the front and rear wheel spoilers that result in low airflow losses, in addition, wheel arches are insulated from the engine compartment and the radiator surrounds are sealed. The design of the A-pillars and the new wing mirrors also has an effect on drag, but most noticeably on wind noise. This all-new A-Class is easily the quietest hatch I’ve driven to date.

Cabin space is improved thanks to the new dimensions; so taller drivers have more comfort with better elbow and shoulder room. The boot receives a 29-litre increase in capacity, now totalling 370 litres and the taillights are now sectioned in two, meaning a 20cm wider load aperture giving your favourite set of Callaway clubs a perfect entry. Besides space, the interior of the all-new A-Class is a very premium place indeed. The retail price of these cars (which we’ll get to later) does seem high, but when you see the fit and finish of the materials and the amount of technology crammed in, things become a lot more palatable.

MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – is an intelligent multimedia system that adapts to your inputs and voice commands which is not only great to keep you company on long roads, it also keeps your eye focused ahead to keep you safe. All manner of things can be done via the voice control, such as turning vehicle systems on and off or finding you a better route through traffic.  To access this function, simply blurt out “Hey Mercedes” at any point and she’ll answer you back – sound familiar?  It’s also easy to use, however when you want your fingers to do the talking, the touch controls for all the systems are easy and intuitive, once you learn what does what of course.

Powering the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class are two new power plants; for the A200 there’s a turbocharged 1332cc 4-cylinder with 120kW and 250Nm on tap. The A250 Sport features 1991cc, also a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and produces 165kW and 350Nm available. Both engines are mated to a sublime, smooth and lightning-quick 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7G-DCT). A variety of drive modes are available, including Comfort, Eco and Sport, the latter being very responsive and firm. We were only able to sample the A200 on launch, and the responsiveness and available power from such a small capacity motor boggles the mind. It’s claimed to reach 100km/h in 8-seconds with a top speed at 225km/h, but it feels faster. Combined fuel consumption is claimed at 5.2l/100km which I’m sure it can manage, just not on launch. In this initial launch drive the A200 was put through its paces and it must be said that there’s not really any way to fault the car. With the technology on board, the new A-Class sets new standards, once again forcing others to follow. The automaker wants to target a younger, more tech-savvy buyer, and offerings don’t get much better than this. A diesel variant and the halo AMG version will come in time.

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class Pricing in South Africa

Pricing for the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sees the A200 comes in at R499 000 and the A250 lists at R593 300.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class: Does it have the X Factor?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

We drive the Mercedes-Benz X-Class

First things first, I feel we need to discuss the elephant in the article – this elephant isn’t Nellie, but rather Nissan.

You probably know by now and if you don’t, you will by the end of this sentence – that the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara. This is a bakkie which graced South Africa last year with features like 5-link rear suspension for improved comfort and performance. While some may say that under the body panels of the X-Class is a Navara, Mercedes say that everything we see or use has been retouched by a Mercedes engineer. Even so, Mercedes concede that without the involvement of Nissan, the X-class would of never made it from the boardroom table to South African tarmac in the space of four years. I am happy to take their word for it. Enough with the politics now, let’s judge this new bakkie like any other in it’s class and determine how the X-Class fares as the latest bakkie to enter the South African market.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

A night drive through the roads of George finally led us to the launch location where we were greeted by a huge X which lit up the night sky via bright lights, along with an extravagant launch setup. After the meeting, greeting, general formalities and a video introduction to the vehicle, two Mercedes-Benz X-Class models burst through wooden doors – which were big enough to hold back an army. If looks are anything to go by, the X-Class is a Mercedes-Benz product. It shouts premium through design and from a visual perspective, lives up to it’s bold name. However, looks aren’t everything.

We were then introduced to the two model lines, Progressive and Power. While the latter is the more premium of the two, featuring chrome trim, bigger wheels and LED headlights, the Progressive is the model more suited for weekend picnics at the top of precipices. In all honesty though, I was initially disappointed with the interior of the Progressive model, I found the amount of interior plastic to be just too much for a Mercedes product. I could understand if this was a “workhorse” bakkie, but with a starting price of R670k, it makes you think. I did think deeper about it. Looking back after driving this car a few days ago, this model is more suited for the adventurers of the world, taking the vehicle to places where a more durable, rugged setup is needed. Perhaps in that setting, the interior plastics would definitely serve their purpose, but still not at that price. Like the words of Vannesa Carlton, “I’m torn”. There is an argument for both sides to be made I guess.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class South Africa

The interior featured on the Power model was much improved compared to the Progressive variant, with leather on the upper doors and dash. Better it may be, it wasn’t mind-blowing inside the cabin. This is the model for those who may take their X-Class across the border once in a blue moon, but generally, use it for the daily grind of a work commute and the school run. It’s the “Sandtonized” version. You can spice the interior up with optional accessories such as the wood trim.  Both Progressive and Power models feature the Mercedes Command interface like many of their other vehicles, which is a big plus for the X class – as it does add a touch of class and modernity to the interior.

Seating was unlike many other bakkies on the road with good back and lumbar support, this was appreciated when attempting Devils Peak Pass  –  a route which has seldom been used by mainstream commuters since 1805 and featured rough, rocky passes and climbs. The reward to this route is the spectacular views you see at the top of the pass. Of course, the X-Class handled this with ease and we found ourselves more worried about getting the perfect shot as opposed to actually making it to the peak.

The range of genuine accessories available on the X-Class was pleasant to see, which items such as canopies, roll covers, style bars and bed liners all available. With the accessories available set to grow.

Throughout the day I sampled the X-Class 250d, which produces  140kW  and is a product of Nissan. Yes, the power supplied was enough. Enough to go off-road, enough to overtake and enough to cruise comfortably. To nitpick, a little bit more power to go with this extremely comfortable bakkie would be great. Whilst travelling on dirt roads at speeds of over 100km/h was really nice, road driving reminded me of a well-built SUV – which is a great thing. In terms of overall comfort, the X-Class is as good as a Volkswagen Amarok, is it better? That’s negligible.

So let’s answer the question I asked in the title, does the Mercedes-Benz X-Class have the X Factor?

Maybe I set the bar to high in my head, maybe there has been too much “hype” around the vehicle and just maybe the concept models gave us too much of an expectation. It’s like being told you’re going to meet Beyonce’s sister. In your mind you’ll expect a replica of her to appear, but you may only end up with Solange.

If I look at the Mercedes-Benz X-Class as just another bakkie, it’s a great all-round product. However, I look at the X-class a Mercedes-Benz product, a brand which I grew up with and have always been fond of. Right now, the current X-Class line up is a premium product, and for a first attempt as a bakkie, its impressive. For me, it doesn’t quite have that “ X-Factor” I was looking for. It can sing, but it doesn’t hit the tones I expected it to, again this is mainly due to the badge that it wears – naturally we want to be blown away.

There is a potential saving grace however and it comes in the form of a V6. Expected during the first quarter of 2019, the V6 X-Class will feature a Mercedes 350d engine and going by the overseas models, the added luxury too.  This could really be the model that sets the X-Class apart. Hopefully. If I was in the market for a premium bakkie, I would hold out until the V6 variant arrives next year for a true Mercedes-Benz experience. Go big or go home right?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-Benz X-Class comes with standard maintenance plan that covers your vehicle for 100 000 km / 6 Years, with the option of extending the maintenance plan up to a maximum of 180 000km/8 years

X-Class Progressive X 220 d 4X2 Manual : R 642,103.00

X-Class Progressive X 220 d 4X2 Auto : R 694,025.00

X-Class Progressive X 250 d 4X4 Manual : R 668,726.00

X-Class Progressive X 250 d 4X4 Auto : R 696,785.00

 

X-Class Power X 250 d 4X4 Manual : R 763,256.00

X-Class Power X 250 d 4X4 Auto : R 791,315.00

 

 

 

The All new 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a car that has long baffled many petrolheads. What is a car that has made a name for itself as an exceptional off-road vehicle, is often Finally, Merc has made use of the Detroit Motorshow to unveil the new 2018 model. The new G-Class looks much like the old model and offers a very familiar look too the old model and is very clearly identifiable as a G-Class through boxy design that lives on in the new model. Rear passengers will be happy to know the chassis benefits from 53mm of length and 121mm of width. Weight is down 170kg through the use of aluminium and the front solid axle has been ditched for a more modern independent double wishbone setup and with this electromechanical steering replaces the aged truck steering of before. The design is more evolution than revolution as it retains the round headlights, which now offer greater lighting through modern tech and a more rounded front end with a rounded front bumper and bonnet improve the aerodynamic performance. At the rear, the changes are limited to new taillights.

Interior

True to form a collection of parts recycled from other models come to the party, but surprisingly the best of the E and S class has been chopped and screwed for the new G-Class. This has resulted in the use of high-quality materials and the latest Mercedes automotive technologies such as the 12.3 high-resolution widescreen cockpit as the instrument binnacle and the infotainment screen. The list of touches and finishes is rather extensive and very much in line with the premium ethos of the vehicle currently is gunning for. Standard fair is rather comprehensive with heated and electronically adjustable memory front seats which can be upgraded even further, with options.

 

Drivetrain

On launch, the G500 will be offered with a 4.0 V8 with 310kw and 609nm, linked to the new 9-ratio automatic transmission, which has been enhanced to function best with the G-class’ driving modes, namely Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual offered on the DYNAMIC SELECT rocker switch, signature of the modern Mercedes. A special G-mode is enabled when one of the three diffs or low range is activated and is designed to improve off-road ability.

 

Off-road

Not that any will frequent such an activity, but the G is rather capable of the beaten track and is very much designed to climb, traverse and take you into the middle of nowhere and bring you back in absolute luxury. The figures are impressive with ground clearance at 24.1 cm, fording depth at 70 cm and tilt angle at 35 degrees. Approach angles sit a 31 and departure 30 degrees respectively while the break over angle is 26 degrees.

New 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-class pricing in South Africa

The only model on launch will be the G500 and the range will likely extended to more powerful petrol and diesel engines, the AMG treatment will naturally follow suit in the next few years. Pricing will be announced closer to the local launch later this year.

The hypercar of all hypercars: Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-Benz AMG Project One

At one time or another, we have all fantasized about driving a Formula1 racing car on the road, I know I have. The sheer noise, brutal acceleration, and damn right craziness is something that would really drive the neighbors crazy. and set your hair on fire, in a good way.

Of Course, we know that driving a literal F1 car on the roads would be practically impossible, so let’s jump to the next best thing, the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Mercedes have been teasing us recently for what feels like an eon with very obscure images, but promised great things,  and low and behold, great things have been delivered.

The AMG Project One features a 1.6-Litre V6 enginethe difference here, though, is that this 1.6L-litre motor is derived directly from the 2015 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, plus an additional four electric motors, one situated on the turbo to eliminate lag and provide better throttle response than a naturally aspirated V8, another connected directly to the engine and two further electric motors to power the front wheels. The result? Staggering performance.  

Total power output is somewhere around the 1000 bhp mark (740 kW) with the two front motors producing 240 kW just on their own. Here is our favorite fact though, 0-200 km/h is said to be completed in just under 6 seconds, with a top speed eclipsing 350 km/h.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a new, madefromscratch, hydraulically activated 8-speed gearbox which can be operated in automatic mode, or manual via the shifter paddles. The AMG Project One does feature different driving modes which range from a full electric drive (with a range of 25 km) to highly dynamic for the most outright performance characteristics.

To make sure all of this power is put down effectively, the AMG Project One will be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, specifically designed for the Project One. The front tyres will be 285/35 ZR 19 with the rears being much larger at 335/30 ZR 20. The forged wheels these tyres will be mated with are also unique and feature carbon fibre semi-covers for increased aerodynamic efficiency and carefully placed ventilation slots for more effective cooling of the weight-optimised ceramic high-performance compound braking system.

We can see from the images that the MercedesAMG Project One is a truly stunning car. Large, wide air intakes dominate the front end and give it a very aggressive look, and as the car slopes around, many Mercedes-Benz design cues come into play with large, bold wheel arches and a streamlined appeal. The rear-end houses long, thin aggressive rear lights and is very much dominated by the rear diffuser and a central, single exhaust, just like that of a F1 car. We can’t forget that unique roof scoop either, which draws massive amounts of air into the engine and also looks pretty awesome!

The interior is very minimalistic, but also very futuristic. You will not find one component in this car that is there just for visual purposes, every part has a function. The Formula 1 like steering wheel is adjustable, as well as the pedals and the backrests so the driver can achieve their most preferred driving position. Two digital screens also feature, but apart from that, a host of carbon fibre, small storage areas and A/C controls, power windows and the Mercedes COMMAND system, there is not much else to it.

Mercedes-AMG Project One Pricing

Pricing is said to be over $2.5 Million Dollars and all of the 275 models to be made are already spoken for. You will have to take yours into AMG every 50 000 km’s for a full engine rebuild, if you plan on driving it to that extent.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C Released in South Africa

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

What does one do when they want their new car to look and feel like the powerful, top of the range model, but just can’t reach the lofty price tag? Well, Mercedes-Benz seems to have the answer, it’s called the C-Class Edition C.

Edition C is a new and unique model added to the C-Class range offering luxury trim lines and options for exterior and interior, providing more individuality and sportiness.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Exterior

The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C features the AMG sports package, including 18-Inch 5 Spoke Light Alloys and full LED Headlamps and rear tail lights. Further to this, sports suspension comes standard to emphasise the sporty drive.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

Interior

The interior of Edition C has been based upon Mercedes-Benz’s luxury Avantgarde line. A trim of open-pore black ash and aluminium grace the interior, with a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel finishing things off. For added appeal, interior features such as ambient lighting are included to go along with comfort options such Active Park Control and the Electronic Mirror Package.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Edition C

The edition C is available across the whole sedan range for both petrol and diesel variants. If you are looking at purchasing a C-Class but fancy something a little different without the price tag of an AMG Variant, then the Edition C could be right up your alley!

Mercedes Benz C-Class Edition C Pricing in South Africa

C 180 Edition C R614 600

C 200 Edition C R639 900

C 250 Edition C R667 000

C 300 Edition C R 707 200

C 220 d Edition C R667 100

C 250 d Edition C R696 300

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

The mac daddy of the large, luxury sedan segment has always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with its pioneering ways and exceptional comfort. Seatbelt pretensioners, airbags, ABS, EBD, voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, night vision cameras etc, were all seen on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class before almost any other vehicle and so it came as no surprise to us, then, when the current W222 generation S-Class blew its competition out of the water with innovations such as Active Body Control, which scans the undulations of the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly, a 50% aluminium construction and seatbelt airbags for the rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

As with any vehicle, however, there is always room for improvement and as the world advances, so does vehicle technology. While changes to the W222 generations S-Class might not seem too drastic, there are certainly enough changes for us to stand up and take notice, so here are a few of the highlights!

An all-new engine range
Consisting of six and eight-cylinder motors, the new engines have been developed to allow for electrification of the powertrain. Six-cylinder diesel and petrol motors benefit from an in-line arrangement, much like you’ll find in a BMW, with impressive outputs across the board. The S450 produces 270 kW/500 N.m from electrified and turbocharged straight six petrol motor and the S400d will have an impressive 250 kW/700 N.m from its straight-six diesel motor – the most powerful diesel car motor in Mercedes-Benz’s history. The S560 has outputs of 345 kW/700 N.m from its all-new BiTurbo V8 petrol motor, and also makes use of cylinder deactivation to reduce consumption and emissions. A plug-in hybrid with a range of 50 km is on the cards, along with technology which we first saw from Audi in the form of a 48 volt electrical system.

Autonomous Driving
Somewhat of a buzz-word at the moment, autonomous driving is the bowl of pudding that every brand would like a spoonful of. Some are doing it better than others, but we can all rest assured that Mercedes-Benz are undoubtedly one of the brands, along with Volvo, who are at the forefront of this. Top-of-the-range S-Classes will benefit from ‘Intelligent Drive’ which works hand-in-hand with Distronic and Steering Assist to provide further assistance to the driver in maintaining a safe following distance and remaining within their lane. The system also adjusts vehicle speed ahead of intersections, traffic circles and bends.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Multibeam LED
An update of Mercedes-Benz’s already brilliant adaptive headlight system, this allows for over 1 Lux of light to be transmitted over the road when conditions permit, providing a clear line of sight in low-light conditions for up to 650 metres. Surface Scan also works in conjunction with headlights, recognising road bumps and curve inclination.

Energizing Comfort Control
Perhaps a gimmick, this allows for the smell, climate control, seat massage and ambient lighting functions to be adjusted to suit your mood. I’d be intrigued to find out what angry smells like but alas, it isn’t one of the modes offered…

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Three torches of light
In top-spec models, in conjunction with the Multibeam LED headlight system, three torches of light make up an interesting design element within the headlight cluster. These are what we usually refer to as Daytime Running Lights or “DRL’s”.

Amongst all of these features, one can also expect visual changes such as enhanced bumpers and headlight clusters, a new steering wheel, different trim, wheel and paint options and different pricing. The updated S-Class goes on sale in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Mercedes-Benz debuts their double-cab X-Class bakkie

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Mercedes-Benz X-Class released

After much anticipation, the cover has finally dropped off the Mercedes Benz X-Class double-cab bakkie. The focus of the X–Class is heavily on the combination of luxury and utility, all in a leisure focused package. The global launch held over the past two days revealed styling that was more conservative to that of the rather handsome concept model and covered the crucial details regarding the bakkie. The X-Class shares its base with the Nissan Navara – the underpinnings are the same and feature a car-like multi-link coil suspension setup, which proves for an improvement in ride quality over the traditional rear leaf spring setups found in the rest of the segment.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will feature a high level of customization to create a level of individuality, suited to the needs of its owners.  Three trim variants will be offered, the top spec Power Line, the Progressive line and the Pure line, which offers a greater focus on specific elements such as utility or luxury, and thus are more catered to the uses of the individual consumers.

Powertrain

The X220d will be the entry level model, powered by a turbo diesel 2.3-litre engine that delivers 120 kW and 403 N.m, driving the rear wheels only. The X250d and X250d  4Matic both share a 140 kW/ 450 N.m bi-turbo version on the same 2.3-litre engine, driving either the rear wheels or all four. Later, a turbo diesel V6 will join the line up as the X350d 4Matic, the top spec model offering a healthy 190 kW and 550 N.m driving all four wheels exclusively. The transmission choices will be either a 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speed automatic.  A choice between one of five driving modes via a Dynamic Select toggle allows for Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Off-road configurations to be selected.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Interior

The level of equipment will be comprehensive with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class being a dubbed “the Mercedes amongst pickups”, the cabin is well appointed and includes an integrated command Online multimedia infotainment system, with voice control, smartphone based internet access and Satellite navigation. The lesser Audio 20 USB and CD systems are also available. The infotainment units are controlled by the same floating display found in the passenger cars.  Live traffic updates are communicated through the integrated SIM card and the Mercedes Me Portal account. The seats can be optioned with leather, electronic control and heating and offer ISOFIX attachments in the rear.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Safety

The list of safety equipment is equally impressive as the X-Class offers 7 airbags, Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and Tyre pressure monitoring systems. The use of high strength steels also ensures the strong passenger cell and deformable front and rear sub structure are able to help reduce the effects of forces on passengers during accidents.

4×4 Toys

The higher spec 4Matic models come standard with a selectable or permanent Four-wheel drive system, offering low range and optional diff-lock on the rear axle. DSR or Downhill speed regulation is also standard on the 4Matic models. A 28.8-degree approach and 23.8-degree departure angles help to provide for sufficient clearance when off the beaten track with a ground clearance of 202 mm at the front and 221 mm with the optional raised suspension.

The X-Class hits European markets in November of 2017, with us South Africans and our ‘mates’ the Aussies only getting the X-Class in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pricing

South African pricing is still unknown at this point, but as an indication the European prices starts 37,294 Euros, which for the sake of context is less than the 40 995 Euros needed for a base VW Amarok with a V6, let’s hope the South African pricing is just as competitive.

 

A Light show to say hello? : Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe launched

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe has recently been launched and aside from looking a bit like a Renault Laguna Coupe from the rear, it promises to be quite the vehicle. Big news is that it “Welcomes you” and “says goodbye” by using both the headlights and taillights to perform a bit of a show. You can see that here.

Based on the tech-laden Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the Coupe promises to be just as advanced and connected, all while offering a slightly sportier and dynamic drive.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Merged under a single lens, the two optional 12.3-inch displays give a widescreen effect and relay all relevant information to the driver, including infotainment and the instrument-cluster within the driver’s field of vision. Should this option not be selected, a more conventional system of dials and an infotainment screen is fitted. Along with the air-conditioning vents, reminiscent of turbines, the interior also features an advanced ambient lighting system with 64 available colours, and of course the highest quality materials. Strangely, the designers have opted to carry over the awkward, miniature C-pillar as seen on the previous generation E-Class Coupe, an interesting design cue…

The engine lineup consists of two 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motors (135 kW/300 N.m and 180 kW/370 N.m) a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 (245 kW/480 N.m) and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor (143 kW/ 400 N.m) with model designations being E200, E300, E400 and E220d respectively.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The standard suspension system is 15mm lower than that of the E-Class Coupe which translate to a more dynamic drive. Alternatively, both Dynamic Select and Air Body Control multi chamber suspension systems are optionally available. Both Avantgarde and AMG Line trims can be had with the E-Class coupe, each offering something different to the discerning Mercedes-Benz customer.

As with all tech-laden cars these days, you can integrate your smartphone into the infotainment system, as well as let the car park itself and also drive itself (sort of) with Mercedes-Benz’s semi-autonomous driving system or Drive Pilot, which is able to follow another vehicle up to 210 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe pricing in South Africa

The E-Class Coupe is on sale in South Africa, all models coming standard with a 6 year/100 000km maintenance plan. Pricing is as follows:

E200 – R754 500

E220d – R806 500

E300 – R842 500

E400 – R1 021 500

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Released in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S

About a year after the release of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German automaker has brought the fire back into the range through the introduction of the big power, big engine performance variants of the new model – The Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S models.

Mercedes-AMG E43

Taking the position as the entry level performance E-Class is the E43, with headline figures of 295 kW delivered at 6100 rpm and peak torque at 520 N.m, heralded from just 2000 rpm through to 5000 rpm. All this power is produced from the 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 we first saw in the C43 AMG.

Mercedes-AMG E43

In line with the new AMG mantra of rear bias AMG 4Matic, the drive is to all four wheels and will provide for a 31:69 split of power. The new attitude towards drivetrain dynamics is good for a 4.6-second 0-100 sprint and the obligatory 250km/h German car speed limiter. Drive will be through a new 9-speed G-Tronic Automatic gearbox.

The preeminent act being the E63S AMG model and dubbed ‘The most powerful E-Class ever’, it delivers a colossal 450 kW between 5750-6500 rpm from a twinturbo 4.0 Litre V8 and 850 N.m of torque, from 2500-4500 rpm. The employment of the 4Matic system aids in the 3.4 second 0-100 km/h scurry, smashing the likes of the RS6 Avant and F10 M5 for a best in class time. Top speed is again pegged at 250km/h with the option of a higher 300 km/h limit with the AMG Driver’s package. A beefier 9-speed MCT dual-clutch box helps to translate all the power into movement, along with rather evocative noises.

Both models employ the Sporty Air Body control in the pursuit of agility and neutrality in the twisties. This system works in tandem with the Adaptive Dampening systems that allow for the selection of three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, as a means of adaptation the vehicle to the conditions and requirements of the driver.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Based on the E-Class, the list of technical wizardry tricks and electronics is long and vast. Features such as Connected Me and Remote online are available, which allow for phone integration through an app that allows vehicle data to be viewed remotely along with a Vehicle Tracking and a Parked Vehicle Locator system with remote unlock and locking.

With the E63S taking the fight directly to the new M5, much debate and kafuffle will surround these rivals, all while still offering a milder option for the less brave, or endowed given the almost R2 million rand price.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC: R1 165 800

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+: R1 868 400

All vehicles come with a 6-year/100 00km PremiumDrive maintenance plan. Visit Mercedes-Benz for more details.

 

 

Khanye Ngwenya

Junior Writer