12 May 2018 Read: 287
When Merc announced that they would be entering the bakkie market last year, the international motoring media fraternity went into hyper drive. Their South African counterparts, choked on their coffee. “A bakkie? Mercedes Benz is launching a bakkie!?”
To be fair though, the new Mercedes X-Class is not entirely new to the bakkie market.
The bakkies destined for the South African market are manufactured by the Nissan-Renault alliance at its Barcelona factory in Spain. This means that the new X-Class is essentially a modified, spruced up Navara. This is not a bad thing either as the local motoring experts reckon that the Navara offers the perfect foundation and has helped Mercedes achieve their goal of the perfect balance between a comfortable ride and a powerful workhorse.
The X-Class chassis, suspension, transmission and 2.3-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder motor are all Navara. Unique to its class is the coil spring rear suspension which separates this bakkie from the rest (besides the Nissan) which employ leaf springs in their rear suspension.
Does this mean you are basically buying a Nissan Navara with a Mercedes badge? Not at all. In fact, allowing Nissan to handle the mechanics of this new breed of bakkie, has freed up Merc to focus on the important things such as safety and luxury and the option to customize your vehicle to suit your needs.
There are currently two classes available at Mercurius Motors Tzaneen where the new bakkie was unveiled earlier this week. They are the Progressive and the Power models. The Progressive is the baseline model which will be perfectly suited for the farmer or the construction contractor, while the Power will appeal more to the taste of the urbanite. Between the two models there are the usual upgrade differences such as the rims, sideboards and the electric rear window.
The interior of this bakkie screams Mercedes. From the perfect stitching on the super comfy seats, to the stylish finishings around the dash. Mercedes Benz says that there will be no safer bakkie on the market.
Currently the pricing on the X-class is in the region of R640 000 for the X-Class X220d 4X2 Progressive (Manual Transmission) and around R820 000 for the X-Class X250d 4X4 Power (Automatic Transmission). Mercedes has announced plans for a V6 X-Class to be released later this year, but there is currently no pricing available for that model.
It is a good-looking bakkie and if one had to judge simply on the aesthetics and comfort of the vehicle, it truly appears to be in a class of its own. The vehicle was launched at a gala function on Friday evening which coincided with the relaunch of Mercurius Motors Tzaneen branch. The event was supported by many of the local business people who saw to it that six of the nine X-Class models have already been sold on pre-order.
The evening was graced by a keynote address by Johannes Fritz, CEO of Mercedes South Africa.
Contact Yogi or Ridwaan at Mercurius Motors Tzaneen to book a test drive and find out more about the various pricing and upgrade options.