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New Mercedes-Benz X-Class – dawn of the ‘premium bakkie’ in SA

2018-05-08 20:00

Image: Wheels24 / Sean Parker

The South African bakkie landscape could be be radically transformed with the launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, in George, Western Cape.

The X-Class represents the first bakkie from a premium automaker. 

Why launch such a relatively expensive bakkie locally? Nadia Trimmel, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Southern Africa: "There has never been a more perfect time for Mercedes-Benz Vans to enter the bakkie segment in South Africa.

"But in true Mercedes-Benz fashion, we are opening this segment to a new customer group who want a robust bakkie with refined sophistication and unparalleled driving comfort."

Who is the bakkie aimed at?

The X-Class is launched with two design and equipment lines: Progressive is aimed at consumers "seeking a rugged bakkie with extra styling and comfort functions, while also being a comfortable yet prestigious vehicle for private or dual use". 

Power is the high-end line "aimed at customers for whom styling, performance and comfort are paramount". 

We’re out in the Western Cape driving the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

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The bakkie is powered by a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with a choice of two power outputs; in the X220d, the engine generates 120kW/ and in the X250d this is raised to 140kW. 

The X220 d is available in rear-wheel drive, while the X250 d is offered in rear-wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive, with low-range. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed automatic transmission is available for the 140 kW, X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.

Suspension and frame

A robust ladder-type frame with closed longitudinal profiles and cross-members provides the basis for transporting heavy loads and handling tough off-road terrain. The suspension is designed to offer high levels of ride comfort on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability. 

Coil springs are used both at the front and rear. The front wheels are guided by double triangle wishbones. At the back, a rear multi-link solid axle with good articulation capability is well-suited to transporting heavy loads. 

With 1632mm at the front and 1625mm , the X-Class has a wider track than most competitors. This provides the ideal pre-requisites for optimum driving stability and higher cornering speeds. At 3150mm , the wheelbase is also longer than many other bakkies. 

Commanding infotainment

The Command Online multimedia system offers concert-hall acoustics, intelligent navigation and intuitive communications. A fast hard-disk navigation with high-quality 3D-view map display takes into account Live Traffic Information (traffic information in real-time) to enable dynamic route guidance, with the aid of which traffic jams can be avoided and travel times can be reduced.

An engaging media display, an internet browser, an integral 80GB hard disk and a DVD player are also included in the host of equipment. In addition to innovative operation of the ergonomic touchpad with controller, the multimedia system can also be operated using voice control via linguatronic. 



The X-Class comes with a comprehensive array of comfort and safety equipment such as seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. It also has Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, driver assistance systems.

To reinforce its above-par safety levels, the X-Class has already been awarded the highest possible score in the independent safety test "Euro NCAP Test". 

Optional extras

Customers can choose from line-specific packages. These include the Parking Package (parktronic and a 360 degree camera); Comfort Package (driver and co-driver lumbar support, electrically adjustable seats for the driver and co-driver, artico / dinamica seat covers, automatic air-conditioner and a stowage net in co-driver foot-well) and the Style Package (LED high performance headlights, partial LED tailights, roof rails, a privacy glass, electrical opening rear window, 18” alloy wheels and running boards). In addition, the Winter Package offers driver and co-driver heated seats and heated washer fluid jets.

WATCH the video below:

Excellent off-road capabilities

Wading depth 600mm

Ground clearance 221mm 
Approach angle 30.1°
Departure angle 25.9°
Maximum tilt 49° 
Breakover angle 22° 
Gradeability 100%

PremiumDrive as standard

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is sold standard with the manufacturer’s PremiumDrive; cover for 100 000km or 6 years. For a nominal cost, customers have the option of extending the maintenance plan up to a maximum of 180 000km/8 years, whichever occurs first.

Read more on:    mercedes-benz  |  launch  |  george  |  bakkie  |  x-class  |  new model

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