The crowded ute segment is set to get even busier, with the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class set to launch in Australia early next year.
Dubbed “the world’s first true premium pickup”, the X-Class is set to shake up the dual cab ute segment as both a work and private leisure vehicle.
While Mercedes is yet to confirm exact prices, early predictions suggest that it will be the most expensive ute on the market – around $45-$65k, plus on-road costs.
The X-Class is more or less built on the Nissan Navara frame, and is made on the same production line as the Navara in Spain. But you wouldn’t know it with a sleek exterior and the insides reflecting a definitive Mercedes flavour.
In terms of payload, the X-Class can handle up to 1067kg, which is ahead of the Navara ST-X at 941kg. Perhaps of even more help is the generous tray width of 1560mm that can accommodate an Australian-sized pallet.
On the whole, the X-Class is hardly a game-changer but an opportunity for Mercedes to bring its renowned style to a typically “workman-like” segment of the vehicle market. Whether drivers get behind the style and substance model remains to be seen, given other manufacturers are arguably offering greater value for coin at this stage.
“The new X-Class finds the perfect balance between the stylish design expected of a Mercedes-Benz and the uncompromising robustness and functionality demanded of the category,” Managing Director Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand, Diane Tarr said.
“As a result, with the X-Class, we can effectively provide a solution for trade and fleet customers, and we will find out just how far this category can evolve for private customers who need the vehicle to support their lifestyle.”
Three Different Models
Mercedes has promised 3 different variants as part of its X -Class series:
- The basic X-Class PURE variant is ideal for rugged, functional use. It fulfils all the demands of a “workhorse”. At the same time its comfort and design make it perfect for visiting customers or suppliers and for private activities.
- The X-Class PROGRESSIVE is aimed at people seeking a rugged ute with extra styling and comfort functions – as a “calling card” for their own business, while also being a comfortable yet prestigious vehicle for private use.
- The X-Class POWER is the high-end design and equipment line. It is aimed at customers for whom styling, performance and comfort are paramount. The X-Class POWER is a lifestyle vehicle beyond the mainstream – suitable for urban environments as well as for sports and leisure activities off the beaten track. Through its design and high level of equipment, it reflects an independent and individualistic lifestyle.
Price: $45,000 to $65,000 (estimated), plus on-road costs
Engines: 2.3-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel; 2.3-litre 4-cyl twin turbo diesel
Power: 120kW at 3750rpm; 140kW at 3750rpm
Torque: 403Nm at 1500-2500rpm, 450Nm at 1500-2500rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Fuel use: 7.9L/100km
On sale: April 2018