Drove the Mercedes X350d 4Matic this last week which is the V6 version. Was really looking forward to it, and wasn’t disappointed at all. Definitely got my fair share of curious or admiring glances during the week, many people still see the Mercedes brand as luxury, and not normally associated with a bakkie. But it is very refined indeed, and is very quiet and delivers a smooth drive.
It looks pretty impressive, and we tested a midnight blue colour, which had a solid cover on the load box, which made it look very cool. The iconic Merc badge in front with the distinctive grille, made many cars pull to the left, either to make way, or to get a better look as we went by. The solid load box is a good idea if you have valuables to keep safe.
When it comes to double cabs, however, the four-cylinder X-Class ushered in the premium segment, and now, with the X-Class V6, the three-pointed star is aiming straight for executive-level business-owners, families with an affinity for premium products, trend-conscious individuals, as well as sporty and enthusiastic adventurers.
When you first climb in, it can seem a little basic, and my millennial stated exactly that when she did. However, the seats are very comfortable with electric options to move your setting. The dash is minimalistic, with the small circular vents, as well as the two bigger ones on the side, so airflow is not an issue. The media screen is big enough and is easy to navigate.
Space in the rear is big enough, and the doors are roomy enough for entry and exit, for larger people, possibly being the proposed target market. Leather seats are comfy. The X-ClassV6 features a comprehensive array of comfort and safety features seldom seen in this segment. The basis for the high level of occupant protection is provided by the particularly robust body shell with its high-strength passenger cell, plus a structure whose front and rear sections are able to absorb energy by specific deformation.
For passive safety, the standard equipment includes seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. With optional Active Brake Assist and Traffic Sign Assist , two driver assistance systems are at the ready to simultaneously increase active safety and comfort. Additionally the X350d 4MATIC – as the top model of the X-Class –also features Active Lane Keeping Assist as an option.
I did not get to do any heavy off-road driving, just some soft dirt roads, and of course, around the Jozi roads. The 4-Matic all wheel drive makes the car feel solid and reliable. It comes with a throaty, 3 L diesel powerful six-cylinder engine, with a 7G-Tronic Plus auto gearbox, that is seamless. It can get from 0 to 100km/h in a quick 7.9 secs, but frankly, it’s not really it’s purpose. Nice to know that you can do it though. 190kw and 550 stonking Nm of torque are on tap.
Fuel economy did not seem off the charts, and after 7 days it went back with a tad under a half tank. Around 10.2 L/100km. It lays claim to the most powerful bakkie on the market, and the Amarok might have something to say about that. The auto gearbox has various modes, must say that in eco and comfort, it lagged a bit at a robot. Sport mode, not at all.
DYNAMIC SELECT for an individual choice of driving characteristics
With a choice of five driving modes, the engine response can be changed by fingertip control – from relaxed and comfortable to sporty and dynamic.
Comfort: This mode is activated automatically when the engine starts. It provides comfort, emphasising harmonious accelerator characteristics as well as early shift points.
Eco: 7G-TRONIC PLUS changes the gears at particularly low engine speeds.
Sport: The engine responds more immediately to throttle input. The automatic transmission makes use of the entire engine speed range to change gears, and shifts at higher engine speeds.
Manual: The automatic transmission can be manually operated using the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. This leads to far shorter shift times than in the Comfort and Eco programmes.
Off-road: This mode is suitable for driving on challenging terrain. It offers higher shift points and a flatter, and therefore more precisely adjustable, accelerator characteristic curve.
The ECO start/stop function is available in all driving modes except Off-road mode.
On-road excellence and quiet running on a par with passenger cars
With 1632 millimetres at the front and 1625 millimetres at the rear, the X-Class V6 has a wide track, providing the ideal prerequisites for optimum driving stability and higher cornering speeds. At 3150 millimetres, the wheelbase is also longer than in many midsize double cabs. This reduces vibrations during the journey and makes for smooth and reliable straight-line stability.
With an anti-roll bar to reduce body roll, coils springs fitted to the axle to balance the comfort of suspension, and shock absorbers designed to be flexible in generating counter-balancing forces, the X-Class V6 offers its passengers a level of refinement on a par with the V-Class people carrier.
Two equipment lines for the X 350 d 4MATIC
The X 350 d 4MATIC is available in the equipment lines PROGRESSIVE and POWER, both of which set new standards for comfort and perceived value in the midsize double cab segment.
The PROGRESSIVE line includes the following as standard: 17-inch 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, air vents in electroplated silver chrome, leather-lined steering wheel and parking brake, the infotainment system Audio 20, and an eight-speaker system.
Standard features in the high-end equipment line POWER include a simulated, chrome-plated underride guard in the front bumper, a chrome-plated rear bumper, 18-inch 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, LED High Performance headlamps, electrically adjustable seats, and the infotainment system Audio 20 with a multifunctional touchpad.
This premium market contender is now available at the below prices:
|Model||Trans-mission||Drive||Price excl. VAT||CO2 Tax (excl. VAT)||Price Incl. VAT||CO2 Tax incl. VAT||Price incl. VAT & CO2 Tax|
|PROGRE-SSIVE||X350d (190 kW)||Automatic||4x 4||R 777 100.00||R 9150.00||R 893 665.00||R 10 522.50||R 904 188.00|
|POWER||X350d (190 kW)||Automatic||4 X 4||R 837 100.00||R 9150.00||R 962 665.00||R 10 522.50||R 973 188|
The test drive for the week was pretty awesome, certainly my favourite bakkie of the year so far. It is premium outside and in, has terrific power, smooth gear change, and the 4-Matic keeps it on the road as steady as a rock. If buyers want a premium bakkie, this one is the one to beat.