The X-Class may share underpinnings with the Nissan Navara, but it has different suspension settings, a stylish cabin and the option of the V6 in the flagship model.
By RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
As the first bakkie from a premium manufacturer it offers the typical strengths of Mercedes-Benz. Three different spec levels are available, and both the 2,3-litre turbo diesel and the bi-turbo version could have either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built on a ladder type frame with a rear multi-link solid axle, front independent wheel suspension and coil springs on both axles, which provides a comfortable ride. Rock solid build quality in a well-insulated and luxurious cabin certainly sets it apart from rivals. Although it shares much with the Nissan Navara, it is slightly bigger, and the interior is radically different along with the suspension settings, which provides a vastly more comfortable ride. The X-Class is extremely capable off-road with loads of ground clearance and a wading depth of 600mm, while long distance driving in such a quiet cabin is bliss. Engageable 4-Matic all-wheel drive masters any terrain at the press of a button. So when you switch from rear-wheel drive to “low” all-wheel drive it activates the low range gearbox and the differential lock on the rear axle, which removes the challenge from more demanding terrain. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures maximum traction under all conditions, including at top speed on the road.
I was also rather pleased with a CD-player, which nowadays have become a luxury in a car. Having collected hundreds of CDs over the years with mostly classical music, I just don’t feel like copying them into any other format. However, typically Mercedes, the technology offering is also right at the top of its class, being the first midsize bakkie that features a communication module with an integrated SIM card. Therefore, it is possible to use the extensive Mercedes me contact services and to access this bakkie via smartphone. Exemplary safety levels are a given, it being a Mercedes-Benz. Expensive for sure, but if you have the money and want the best, why not?