High cost of going off-road
ROAD TEST/ Does the Mercedes-Benz X-Class have what it takes to be considered a premium bakkie offering? asks Lerato Matebese
It felt like a long time coming, but we have finally got our hands on the Mercedes-Benz X-Class to see what it brings to the hotly contested bakkie segment and whether it has the clout to show a clean pair of heels.
There has been much banter surrounding the vehicle and this spiralled even deeper into the bowels of debate during our test tenure with the vehicle. To say that the model elicits a great deal of interest would be a gross understatement on my part as there seems to be huge gravitas when something dons a three- pointed badge on its snout and rump, let alone one in the mould of a bakkie.
The model looks the part with its prominent Merc badge up front floating on satin silver horizontal slats, while the sides remain clean with no creases, ditto the rear load box door flanked by the slimmest of vertical light clusters and only the brand badge and model nomenclature — X250d in this instance — being the only ornate items.
Hop into the cabin, though, and the layout and overall architecture will be similar for most modern Merc owners, particularly the floating infotainment screen, crosshair airvents, instrument cluster and multifunction steering wheel.
Under the bonnet of this version nestles a 2.3l twin-turbo engine from the Nissan Navara, replete in this instance with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It pushes out 140kW and 450Nm. Of course, the engine is not the only thing that the model has borrowed from the Navara,
The X-Class might have a Mercedes badge but it is much more Nissan than it should be. Right: The rear is simple and uncluttered with an overall clean look.
The interior has a Mercedes look combined with Nissan equipment.