The X-Class is the result of a parts-sharing deal between Mercedes and the Renault-Nissan Alliance – so it’s based on the ladder-frame platform of the Japanese brand’s Navara bakkie. Mercedes has made significant modifications right across the board, however, in a bid to produce a pick-up that it deems worthy of the three-pointed star. People who gleefully proclaim that “it’s just an expensive Navara” aren’t as clever as they think they are. All Mercedes-Benz is borrowing from Nissan’s flagship bakkie is the ladder frame. A move that makes sense since Nissan has decades of experience in bakkie building.
Three trim parts for the cockpit, six seat covers including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and two colours for the roof lining provide the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. The PURE basic variant for classic robust use, PROGRESSIVE for higher requirements in terms of quality feel and comfort, and POWER as the high-end variant for urban lifestyles. As from its market launch, customers can add a styling bar, side bar, canopy, various covers as well as numerous cargo and off-road solutions – all developed and designed by Mercedes. Thanks to Mercedes me connect, X-Class customers are connected to their vehicle via smartphone at all times and can call up useful information such as the location of the vehicle or the fuel level, and navigate from door to door.
The market launch will start with the diesel X220d (120 kW) and X250d (140kW) as well as a petrol engine (122kW) in selected markets, but this model is probably not destined for South Africa. A top-of-the-range V6 diesel with 190kW/ will be released mid-2018 occupying a leading position in the mid-size pickup segment.
The engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle will make the X-Class a formidable 4×4. From the middle of next year a permanent all-wheel drive will be available. Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary passive and active safety equipment. This includes Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, among others. Thanks to the wide track, the spring and damping system tuned for the comfort typical of a Mercedes, and the coil springs as well as internally vented disc brakes on the front and rear, the X-Class offers not just excellent off-road but also superb on-road performance.
When will it be in SA?
Market launch begins in November 2017 in Europe. South Africa and Australia will follow at the beginning of 2018, as well as Argentina and Brazil at the beginning of 2019.
The X-Class is available in Germany from 37,294 Euro (incl. 19 percent VAT). Given the current Euro/Rand conversion, its price tag is the equivalent of R555 512 (this doesn’t include import costs). Barring fluctuations in exchange rates, our guesstamate is that the X-Class will be priced from the vicinity of R650 000.