Johannesburg - On Thursday Mercedes-Benz SA released pricing for the four-cylinder X-Class models that are due to hit our streets in May, and now - thanks to an industry insider - we have indicative pricing for the V6 turbodiesel flagship versions that are due towards the end of the year.
|X350d Progressive auto||190kW/550Nm||R885 894|
|X350d Power auto||190kW/550Nm||R954 294|
Although these prices sound exact down to the last rand, they are still given as ‘indicative’ - as in subject to possibly change between now and launch if the exchange rate doesn’t play along - and they also exclude CO2 tax. As reported on Thursday, the four-cylinder X-Class models sell for between R642 103 and R791 315.
The V6 X-Class stretches close to the million rand mark when matched with the range-topping ‘Power’ specification grade, and will no doubt surpass it once fitted with a few options and accessories.
Even the ‘base’ Progressive model is somewhat more expensive than its closest rival - that being the 3.0 V6 TDI Volkswagen Amarok, which sells for R697 400 in Highline guise and R784 400 in Extreme form. It’s worth noting, though, that the Amarok - in its current form - is less powerful than the Merc, with 165kW and 550Nm on tap, and a gutsier 190kW Amarok is expected to join the range later this year - and certainly at a higher price.
And that’s what we call a fully-blown bakkie war!
To recap what we reported on when it was revealed in Geneva earlier in March, the Mercedes X-Class X350d 4Matic is powered by a 3-litre V6 turbodiesel engine from Merc’s own stable (the 2.3 four-pot motor is from Nissan, remember). The V6 produces 190kW at 3400rpm and 550Nm from 1400 and Mercedes claims the big load-lugger will sprint from zero to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds, albeit not when lugging said load!
The engine is mated to a 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox with shift paddles, and as with flagship Amarok models, the V6 Merc has a permanent four-wheel-drive system, rather than the selectable 4WD that you get on four-cylinder X-Class bakkies - and just about every other other pick-up for that matter.
It’s still a capable off-roader, according to Mercedes, as the X350d sports a low-range reduction gear for steep ascents and descents, and customers can order a rear axle diff lock for those axle-twisting trails.
There is a rearward bias in the power distribution, with the central diff apportioning torque in a fixed 40:60 front to rear split. The all-wheel-drive system has three selectable modes, namely 4MAT for on-road driving, 4H for optimal traction off-road and 4L (low-range) for the really rough stuff.
Also unusual in the bakkie realm is the X 350d’s driving mode switch that allows drivers to choose from five modes for the engine and transmission characteristics, including an off-road mode.