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Mercedes Benz Launches New X Class

By Mxolisi Mhlongo 

Kaya 959 was invited by Mercedes Benz South Africa in Cape Town for the international X-Class launch. This is Mercedes’s first ever pick up truck, otherwise known as a bakkie in South Africa. So before we go into details about the car, let’s understand the difference between a pickup truck and a bakkie. The Oxford dictionary defines a pickup truck as a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate.

The word ‘pick up’ in automotive language means an act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle. So the Americans call these vehicles trucks and South Africans call them bakkies. It’s pretty much the same thing, to be honest with you. At the X-Class launch, Mercedes Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche said, “Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs.”

The X-Class has a variety of active and passive safety systems including a lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. It will also work with Mercedes’s connected-car services, so owners will be able to locate or otherwise check up on their trucks remotely. This connectivity will also permit door-to-door navigation.

The X-class will have three model variants which are:

Pure– This is very basic and would be regarded as the workhorse, this will be typically used on contraction sites and warehouses.

Progressive- This is a bit more refined and will be used for both work and leisure.

Power- This is the high-end sporty version which is fit for family and lifestyle use.

Design

The design of the vehicle embodies wildness, lifestyle, adventure and the finesse of Mercedes. The X-class did not deviate from its concept which had everyone worried about its practicality. The X-Class is the result of a parts-sharing deal between Mercedes and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, hence it is based on the Navara and Renault Alaskan. The X-Class will share factories with the Alaskan in Barcelona, Spain and Cordoba, Argentina.

Engine & Transmission

The X-Class engine line-up is based on 4 and 6-cylinder diesel motors. The X 220d (161bhp) and X 250d (188bhp) use the same 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel in single and twin-turbo form respectively. Both these engines get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is offered as an option on the higher-powered unit.

Price

According to Mercedes-Benz, the X-class will be available in Germany from €37,000 and when converted into Rands it is estimated at the price tag equivalent to R555318.20

The vehicle will be available from 18 April 2018 in South Africa.

Fact sheet:

Dimensions of the X-Class
Vehicle length 5340 mm
Vehicle width 1920 mm
Vehicle height 1819 mm
Wheelbase 3150 mm
Load bed length 1587 mm
Load bed width 1560 mm
Load bed height 474 mm
 Maximum payload capacity 1042 kg
Braked towing capacity (depending on engine and equipment) 1650–3500 kg

 Standard equipment includes:

  • Front bumper painted in the vehicle colour
  • Chromed visual underbody panelling in front bumper
  • Chromed rear bumper
  • 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels
  • LED High-Performance headlamps and part-LED tail lamps
  • Electrically adjustable, heated and folding outside mirrors
  • Windscreen made of heat insulating glass
  • Rain sensor
  • Instrument panel with upper section in ARTICO man-made leather including contrasting topstitching and a large trim element with a matt black pixelated look
  • Ventilation outlets galvanised in silver shadow

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