The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the first and only premium bakkie on sale in South Africa and offers something of an eccentric package proposition. Based on the Nissan Navara bakkie, this X-Class is not entirely Mercedes-Benz’s brainchild nor engineering in the sense that the drivetrain and underpinnings are that of the aforementioned bakkie. This makes the X-Class a mere expensive Navara. Powered by a 2.3 Turbodiesel engine with two outputs of 120kW for the X220d and 140kW for the X250d, starting at R642,103.00 for the X220d 6-speed Manual before a CO2 emissions tax charge.
Now Enters a model powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine, the X350d. Some say this is what the X-Class should have been in the first place and may be right in saying so as this powerplant is not shared nor provided by Nissan. Until the Amarok offers the 190 kW V6, this remains the most powerful bakkie on offer, with 190kW of power and 550N.m form the 3.0 V6 Turbodiesel engine, paired with a 7G-TRONIC Automatic gearbox sending power to all wheels through the company’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. This premium bakkie is able to accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds and go on to reach a top speed of 205km/h.
So what do the trusted media players say about this V6 X-Class upon getting acquainted?
Car.co.za think that the X350d has elevated the appeal of the bakkie.
The addition of a potent and willing V6 turbodiesel engine has definitely elevated the X-Class’ appeal. Many critics might argue that this X350d is exactly what the X-Class should have been all along. It has a stonking engine and is capable of executing effortless open-road overtakes. It’ll be great for towing too, and the flagship (much like its X250d siblings) has a 3.5-tonne braked tow rating, which will please outdoor adventurists.
RICHARD WILEY of Top Gear SA praised the car for its off-road competence and lovely drivetrain.
In summary, the Mercedes X350d offers a lovely drivetrain and excellent off-road competence, but at this price level you have the right to expect more in terms of the overall package. After all, a competitor down the autobahn also offers V6 power in a Rheinheitsgebot-compliant bakkie and can throw in a decent hatchback as well – for the same outlay.
Meanwhile Nocol Louw of CarMagazine felt that the V6 engine may be enough to sway buyers in signing up for one.
Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room: another German bakkie in the form of the Volkswagen Amarok V6 (which starts at “only” R720 000). Objectively, the Mercedes is not R200 000 better than the VW, but it is has a “star” up its sleeve – that large emblem on the front grille. Ultimately, the X-Class is the only premium-badged bakkie on the market and that alone may be enough to convince certain well-heeled folk to part with their money. At least with that V6 under its bonnet, the X-Class now has the firepower to back up the bold purchase statement…
The guys at Wheels24.co.za saw the X350d as a massive improvement over the 4 cylinder 2.3 models however let down by sub-standard interior.
The V6-powered model is a massive improvement over the X220d and X250d models. It feels more like a Mercedes should but it is let down, at least for its pricing, by a sub-standard interior. Local buyers of an X-Class are after the prestige offered by driving a vehicle with a three-pointed star on the hood. And through the myriad of Hiluxes and Rangers on the road, the X-Class will do what it’s meant to do: Stand out.
So this sums it up nicely then: If you have the R973 188 you may go on an buy one if you don’t mind the interior quality here and there.