Ride: Mercedes X-Class

Cape Town (South Africa), 20. July 2017

Actually, Jens is Rach in the vehicle development of Mercedes, but he explains to us that to be in the small lake to our Right crocodiles on the way. Where are we? About 40 kilometres to the West of Cape town, South Africa. Where there are not only vineyards, but also appeared to exchange warm primeval beings in irrigation ponds. With what we are, we are on the way, and why here at all? Because Mercedes has presented us here with last night, the new X-class. And now, only a few hours after the Much-fanfare-premiere event, I sit in the passenger seat of the new Pick-ups. Whether this fact is good or bad? Let's find out ...

Not a Single Cab, a known wheelbase

As a reminder: Yes, Mercedes will be offering starting in November 2017, a new Pick-up, the X-class. And, therefore, the manufacturer wants to bring a certain amount of Premium attitude in this country rather of craftsmen, forestry or farmers-influenced Midsize Pick-up Segment. The Facts: Single Cabin? It will not give. The X-class is just Sitting with four doors and five as a double cabin available. The Dimensions? 5,34 Meters In Length, 1.92 M Width 1.82 M Height. The Wheelbase? 3.15 meters. The last number is known to you? Well.

Four-cylinder Diesel from now on, V6 from 2018

The X-class, despite their independent and almost crease-free optic, in fact, a product of the collaboration between Renault-Nissan and Mercedes. So it is that the brand with the star the same ladder frame with independent front suspension and a multi-link rigid uses axis and the coil springs, such as Nissan the Navara NP300 Double Cab. Under the hood a 2.3-Liter four-cylinder Diesel with 163 PS (X 220 d) or 190 PS (X 250 d) work for the time being, from the Nissan shelf. Merced and help in the engine room, it is only in mid-2018, when a V6 Diesel with 258 HP and 550 Newton-metres of torque than X will be introduced in 350 d. In the future the Top model, a seven-speed automatic series is, in the case of the four-cylinder, you have the choice between automatic and six-speed circuit, the small Diesel comes only with manual transmission. A gasoline engine will not give it to us.

Pragmatism meets Premium

To know before we lose ourselves now, but in terms of Numbers and data, quickly back to Mr Rach: Our drivers not only with the Fauna of southern Africa, he also knows quite a lot about the car, he just moved. While we wait for a free run on the test course, is a little bit of time to let the interior sink in. Rach explains that we sit in the highest of three trim lines. "Power". It comes with adjustable and very comfortable leather seats, a 8.4-inch Display on the dashboard, the familiar Mercedes-Infotainment-control and quite a few wizard ... for a Pick-up. For example, there is a lane-keeping assistant, or a 360-degree camera.

It goes on the track ...

Rach fires up the engine, the train seems to be so released. After a short stretch of dirt road, the road surface suddenly changes, and we switch on the perfect tarmac of a private course. Full throttle. With a subtle hum of the 190-HP Diesel power. Insulation can Mercedes. At least in contrast to Nissan, because of the identical engine in the Navara clearly audible present. And also as the speedometer needle, after what felt like ten seconds, the 100-km/h mark overcomes, the wind noise to a Minimum in the spacious Interior.

Utility vehicle with SUV character

The first curve is approaching and Rach seems to think dream of it, to reduce the speed. With the Nissan Pick-up in the back of the head, I expect a strong body roll, understeer and squealing tires on the front axle. Maybe even a rough ESP intervention, which reminds you that you should go with a workhorse not a race, but nothing like this happens. The 70 mm wider track (compared with the Nissan) and the changed suspension settings seem to result in a significantly richer on the road. It almost feels like you are in a GLE. Only the mixture of any quantity of hard plastic and leather, the heavy duty grab handle on the A-pillar, the large Gearshift lever and manual hand brake to remind me that I can carry, theoretically, in a vehicle seat, the pallete on the Euro-receiving load surface of up to 1.0 tonnes of payload.

Off to the grounds ...

With a sharp swerve, my personal test pilot abruptly with the end of the race track outing. The pace must be below 100 km/h, from rear wheel to all-wheel drive can be switched. As we then come to a standstill, it switches from Rach to the very subtle work by the end of the seven-speed automatic transmission to "N", then activate the off-road ratio and locks the rear axle differential. During the X-class now has to take all sorts of terrain obstacles under the wheels (so get a Lifestyle Pick-up in real life, probably never-to-face), thinks Rach, it would be time for a few more Numbers: ground clearance? 20 inches (22 inches with optional lift). Fording depth? 60 centimeters. Angle of approach? Of 28.8 degrees on the front, to 23.8 degrees on the back. Maximum Skew? As 49.8 degrees. The ramp angle? To 20.4 degrees. Climbing ability? 100 per cent. Problems with any obstacles? Zero comma zero. If you want to prefer a permanent all-wheel drive with the appropriate driving modes for the respective Situation? Then you have to wait for the V6 Diesel.

Production at Nissan, and the fee for the star

Is manufactured for the European X-class in the Nissan factory in Barcelona. Prices in Germany start at 37.294 Euro. On demand is confirmed to me, that's what I get for the 163-HP Diesel model with a manual gearbox. In the naked handyman-facilities "Pure" with steel wheels and unpainted bumpers. In the case of Nissan, there is a similar model. For 31.110 Euro. Around 6,000 euros extra, the manufacturer requires for the comfortable Mercedes-tuning and your own optics with a star. Is it worth it? You have to decide.(ml)