2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Revealed

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Revealed

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The all-new 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the biggest new vehicle unveiling this year and the fact that it’s a 4X4 ute says a lot about where the average Aussie’s interest lies; somewhere between wanting a practical vehicle with off-road ability and dare we say it, one that in the right circumstances is FBT exempt and doesn’t require a log-book to substantiate vehicle expense claims.

We are a practical lot!

Mercedes-Benz is taking the humble 4X4 ute and lifting it to a luxurious new level (depending on the spec you choose), and we reckon it won’t take long for the competition to respond with new, higher spec luxo versions of their current utes.

X-Class POWER specification

Based on the Nissan Navara, and built on the Navara production line in Spain, the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be available in the following three variants:

The X-Class PURE – basic variant, ideal for rugged, functional use
The X-Class PROGRESSIVE – mid-spec variant aimed at people seeking a rugged 4X4 ute with extra styling and comfort functions
The X-Class POWER – top spec variant, for those wanting top-shelf luxury and power combined with the practicalities of a 4X4 ute

X-Class PURE specification

We’ll leave it with you to analyse the X-Class’s styling (check out the gallery at the end of this article), suffice to say that not all of the concept’s ‘hotness’ found its way into the production version.

As you’d expect, the styling is ramped up as you move up the variant ladder, with the PURE featuring more practical black bumpers and features more in-tune with a work ute, and the top-spec POWER showing off with a range of glitzier features.

X-Class PROGRESSIVE specification

Wheels range in size from a sensible 17” to a less sensible 18” and a mostly useless (except to look at) 19” diameter.

The jewel in the X-Class crown is the beautifully designed and crafted cabin that will surely set the standard for this segment – a shake-up has been long overdue. The interior fit-out varies which each variant, with the PURE featuring fabric seating with the option of fau-leather, the PROGRESSIVE has its own unique fabric trim, with the option of Artico (still not-quite-real leather) and Dinamica mircrofibre. The POWER gets black Artico/Dinamica as standard, with the option of real leather and contrasting stitching.

X-Class POWER interior

Infotainment is courtesy of Mercedes-Benz’s media system, with the POWER coming standard with the Comand Online 8.4 inch screen unit, featuring a multifunction touchpad located between the front seats, integrated satellite navigation and a 360-degree camera.

The PURE and PROGRESSIVE make do with the older Audio 20 media system and a 5.4 inch colour display.

X-Class PROGRESSIVE interior

A range of accessories will be available for the X-Class line-up, including a sliding glass section for the rear window (as per Navara), side steps, sports bar, soft and hard ute bed covers as well as a full canopy. Tub-liners, and cargo solutions such as tie down points and a partition system will also be available.

There will be a variety of drivetrain options available, depending on the variant chosen, although all-wheel-drive will be limited to the POWER variant only.

X-Class drivetrains:

X220d – the base spec engine is Nissan’s (Renault really) 2.3-litre four-cylinder single-turbo diesel producing 120kW/403Nm. Available in rear-drive or selectable four-wheel-drive, and only with a six-speed manual transmission.

X250d – the same Renault 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel, but this time with twin-turbos. This is the same engine that powers the current up-spec Navara models and produces 140kW/450Nm. Available in rear-drive or selectable four-wheel-drive, with the choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.

X350d – this is the engine that is going to attract some real attention. It’s a Mercedes-Benz 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel that produces 190kW/550Nm, enough to put the V6 Amarok on notice. The V6 is partnered with permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive and a seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic with paddle-shifters. It also features ECO stop-start and Dynamic Select drive modes that include comfort, eco, sport, manual and off-road. This drivetrain won’t be available until around the middle of 2018.

Mercedes-Benz has re-tuned the base Navara’s coil sprung suspension (Navara features a coil-sprung live rear axle arrangement), with two suspension tunes being made available, a comfort tune with a ride height of 202mm for Europe and a more focused suspension tune with a ride height of 222mm for other markets (optional in Europe).

Notably, Mercedes-Benz has chosen to utilize a wider wheel-track than the Navara (1570mm front and rear), with a 1632mm front track width and a 1625mm rear track width.

Disc brakes are standard, with the X-Class using 320mm front discs and 308mm rear discs as is a rear locking differential. Hill-descent control is only standard on the POWER all-wheel-drive variant.

X-Class vital statistics:

Fording depth – 600mm
Ground clearance – Front axle 202mm; Rear axle 221mm for vehicles with 20mm factory lift (222mm ride height)
Approach angle – 30.1 degrees
Departure angle – 25.9 degrees for vehicles with 20mm factory lift (222mm ride height)
Ramp breakover angle – 22 degrees for vehicles with 20mm factory lift (222mm ride height)
Length – 5340 mm
Width – 1920 mm
Height – 1819 mm
Wheelbase – 3150 mm
Load bed length -1587 mm
Payload – up to 1,067kg depending on variant
Towing – from 1,650kg to 3,500kg depending on variant
Tailgate – opens to 90 degrees or 180 degrees (in some markets)

X-Class safety features:

As you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz, the X-Class features a full suite of passive safety features, including seven airbags – dual front, front side, full-length curtain and driver’s knee. The rear bench seat has been redesigned and includes ISOFIX anchor points, positioned to allow the fitting of two child-seats.

Active safety features include three driver assistance systems; active brake assist, lane keeping assist and traffic sign assist. Additionally, there is trailer stability assist, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an optional 360-degree camera (in addition to a reversing camera) and LED headlights that are standard with the POWER and optional on the lessor variants.

X-Class in Australia

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is expected to arrive in Australia in early 2018. Pricing information will be released closer to the launch date.

If you’re a dead set 4X4 enthusiast, sign-up for our FREE eMag here > The Magazine

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