Finally, Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vehicle division has announced pricing for its X-Class bakkie, which will be officially launched in SA at the beginning of May.
While the X-Class is based on the underpinnings of the Nissan Navara, the manufacturer has been at pains to explain how it is different from its donor car.
We were given a taste of the bakkie in 2017, albeit in the passenger seat.
The cabin, for the most part, is more three-pointed star with model specific instrumentation, air vents and the like, but we are yet to get behind the wheel to see if the drive polish warrants the extra capital outlay over essentially every other bakkie in the market.
Following our brief encounter with the new bakkie, we estimated it would cost about R700 000 when it launches in SA and, judging by the pricing below, we were not far off.
According to the company, four models will be offered initially in the form of the X220d 4X2 Progressive Manual — R642 103; the X250d 4X2 Progressive Automatic — R694 025; the X250d 4X4 Progressive Manual (optional Automatic) — R696 785 and the X250d 4X4 Power Manual (optional Automatic) — R791 315.
For those with a penchant for more power and refinement, the X350d powered by a 3.0l V6 turbodiesel variant will be made available in the fourth quarter of 2018. The likely cost — a ball-park figure according to a company spokesperson — is an eye-watering R950 000, which will make it the most expensive bakkie in SA. The most expensive bakkie now sold here is the Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI Extreme at R784 400.
The X220d will be powered by the Nissan derived 2.3-litre single turbodiesel with 103kW and 403Nm. The X250d has the same engine with a twin-turbo configuration to muster 140kW and 450Nm.
The X350d’s 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel is good for 190kW and 550Nm, which will make it the most powerful bakkie on the market until the updated Amarok V6 TDI with its 190kW arrives, likely in 2019, according to a company spokesperson.
Pricing is always a moot point in any segment and the X-Class is about R100 000 more expensive than its equivalent rival, which begs the question whether it is worth the extra capital outlay.
We will have to form our own opinion in this regard and relay our findings in the future.
For now, Mercedes says that one of its main selling points will be the comprehensive maintenance plan of six years or 100 000km. Whether this is enough to justify the price remains to be seen, but the manufacturer also claims that the bakkie will be one of the most capable and refined in the market.
“The much-anticipated Mercedes-Benz X-Class is well positioned to elevate the South African bakkie segment to the next level,” says Nadia Trimmel, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Southern Africa.
“It will do this not only by offering a dynamic design paired with luxurious interior and unparalleled performance, but also by being perfectly priced.
“We are confident no other bakkie can offer customers the level of comfort, technological leadership, functionality, premium quality, performance and reliability that the X-Class possesses,” says Trimmel.
The bakkie market is about to get interesting with the X-Class entering the fray. And it will be interesting to see the uptake among bakkie connoisseurs. – Lerato Matebese