Tag: X Class

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

 

 

 

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 Mercedes-Benz Bakkie – Would you buy one?

Over recent years we have seen the Pickup or Bakkie market change, instead of the classic workhorse, Bakkies are used more for commercial and private sectors, simultaneously. Not only have they adapted into vehicles that look and feel great, they also have plenty of space for passengers, especially the double cab models.

Mercedes have cottoned onto this and released the first concept images of their new  X – Class. Mercedes say they will change the segment of mid-size pickups by releasing the world’s first premium Bakkie, fair enough. There are two model variants, the first being entitled “stylish explorer.” As you can see from the designs, this is a more upmarket urban vehicle which maybe gets used for a cross-border family trip once in a while. The interior is true Mercedes style with leathers, woods, and shiny metal. Although being a Bakkie, I can’t imagine this vehicle will be lugging around too much construction/building materials during its life. I feel its more aimed at the owner or big boss of a construction company or architectural firm, maybe once in a while a spanner and screwdriver might slip into the back.

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The second is the X Class “powerful adventurer.” This vehicle, as the name suggests have been aimed at those kinds of people who like to go out, explore and conquer many terrains and lands. This model is my kind of vehicle; it features massive ground clearance, big, chunky off-road tires measuring 35 inches high, by 11 inches wide, the wild offroad styling is finished off by an electric front winch. The interior is still luxurious but has more rugged, out there kind of feel. The Powerful Adventurer is the kind of vehicle which would be loaded up with surfboards and driven over the border into Namibia when the Skeleton Bay surf is firing. Both variants will contain the classic Mercedes tech such as online connected drive systems, lots of sensors, fancy suspension systems and the like. Regarding engines, Mercedes have said top-of-the-line models will be powered by a V6 Diesel, coupled with a very technical four-wheel drive system.

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Mercedes are aiming the X Class at five markets with one of them being the successful adventurer/extreme sports person.( They will need to be successful to afford one of these) Another target market is active families with an “affinity” to premium products( See above, once is a while cross-border holiday). The X class is also aimed at trend-conscious individualists, business owners and landowners in South Africa.

These vehicles are targeting for a late 2017 launch, the question for me is price, the X class is a much more premium vehicle than the R600k Wildtrack, so how much more is it going to cost? Unfortunately for most, I feel this vehicle is going to be out of their league.

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