| BUYERS GUIDE
The Navara-based M-B ute is due for release in April 2018
The X-Class was released in Australia in April 2018. The ‘Benz dual-cab ute is based on the Nissan Navara, using its chassis, axles, most body parts, four cylinder diesel powertrain and driveline.
At launch the X-Class was powered by Renault-Nissan common rail diesel 120kW and 140 kW engines. Manual six-speed and auto seven-speed boxes were available.
Later in 2018 there are plans to add a full-time-4WD version, powered by the aluminium block and head, three-litre Mercedes-Benz V6 diesel.
Changes to the Navara included revised coil spring suspension settings, slightly wider front and rear track dimensions and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Low-range gearing and rear diff lock were standard.
Unlike the Navara the X-Class won’t offer single and extra-cab bodies or optional heavy duty rear leaf springs. Three specification and equipment levels
were offered: Pure, Progressive and Power and there were 13 variants.
A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released from mid-2018, with 190kW and 550Nm, in a full-time-4WD version. This engine has been used in many Mercedes-Benz passenger car and van models – from the G-Class to the latest E-Class. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.
The ‘Benz press kit claims a payload of over one tonne and says that the cargo area can hold 17 full 50-litre barrels. We challenge them to load it like that and not exceed the rear axle load rating: it’s PR rubbish of course.
Like all other dual-cab utes the X-Class will be flat out containing a half-tonne in its tray.
Claimed trailer towing capacity is 3500kg, but we know the coil sprung Navara struggles with heavy ball weights, so that needs qualification as well.
Pricing four the four-cylinder diesel models starts at $40,500 for the base 120kW manual and rises to $64,500 for the 140kW automatic.
We've asked Mercedes-Benz for a press vehicle to test, but we don't expect one to be forthcoming for some time: they kept us waiting for five months before we got our hands on the 2017 Gelandewagen! We're petty sure M-B doesn't like our honest testing.
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