As I stepped out of the Mercedes Benz X Class, a security guard rushed up to me and said “You must have a rich husband!”
When I asked why, he said no young woman would buy such a big and expensive bakkie, it had to have been purchased by a man.
Over the past week of driving this X-Class 2.3 turbo diesel bakkie I experienced a lot of chauvinistic comments, including quite a few about how I would manage to park it.
There were many more remarks about the price and several people congratulated me on landing myself such a sexy beast to drive. I also witnessed shocked faces when I stepped out of the bakkie.
The X-class is very big and its size is intimidating to anything else on the road, excluding trucks.
Visually it’s beautiful. The front grille reminds anybody who sees it that it‘s a Benz. Driving something so large may seem like quite a cumbersome task, but it isn’t.
It comes in automatic, so there’s no shifting gears or trying to balance a heavy vehicle on a slope.
This model comes in diesel and it‘s not so bad on fuel. I managed to go a full week driving from the north to the south of Joburg, with trips in between daily, without re-fuelling.
The canopy is sexy, with tinted windows that give the vehicle a bit of aesthetic edge you wouldn’t get on the usual bakkie for carrying heavy goods.
There’s no complaints about space here – you could even fit a mattress in the back without having to tie it to the roof of the car.
In true Benz style, the interior is stylish with comfortable seats covered with a suede-like fabric. My difficulties with the vehicle were mostly to do with the infotainment system.
It can take up to 40 minutes for the Bluetooth system to find any audio device. Then there is the fact that parts of the dashboard are plastic, which can be seen in two ways.
The first is that in essence this is a hard body that doesn’t need fancy bells and whistles to fulfil its purpose.
Secondly, most bakkies have a similar type of dashboard, so in this regard this vehicle is in the same league as the others.
The dark window in front of the canopy can make looking back to park difficult, but that doesn’t matter because the infotainment has a rear parking assist system.
I enjoyed the fact that while parking there are no beeps from the 360 degree camera and parking sensors.
Mercedes calls their system PARKTRONIC.
There are guidelines drawn on the screen to help you keep your wheels at the correct angle when parking.
Safety hasn’t been neglected on this model.
There are airbags for passengers and as the engine starts, a sign goes on for passengers in the back to put on seatbelts.
This is part of the Extensive Occupant Protection system.
Although it feels heavy, it takes a corner quite well. But you won’t be racing in this bakkie, you’re buying it for functionality.
Many people asked me if such a stylish bakkie was practical or worth its price.
Absolutely. This is a tough, box carrying, place all your necessary stock in sort of bakkie at a price of just over R600 000.
Prices vary for each model type.
- Prices: X-Class X220d 4X2 Progressive M/T – R642 103
- X-Class X250d 4X2 Progressive A/T – R694 025
- X-Class X250d 4X4 Progressive M/T (available in A/T as an optional extra) – R696 785
- X-Class X250d 4X4 Power M/T (available in A/T as an optional extra) – R791 315
- Mercedes-Benz X-Class Engine
- Transmission 6-speed manual 7-speed automatic