Tradies get your cheque books out, Mercedes announces ute prices
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Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced the New Zealand pricing for the X-Class ute with prices from $53,330 to $69,000 for current models.
The X-Class will go on sale in April with 13 variants available, starting with the two four cylinder diesel engines – the 220d and 250d - while the top spec 3-litre V6 diesel will be released mid-2018 with the price announced early next year.
There will be three model options - the Pure basic variant for traditional robust use, Progressive for a higher level of comfort and quality, and the top-of-the range Power models aimed at urban lifestyles.
The high-torque common-rail diesel models are available as 2.3-litre versions producing 120kW of power from the 220d and 140kW from the 250d. The X200d will be available as either a rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive while the X250d will have AWD as standard.
The X220d and X250d have a six-speed manual transmission as standard with a seven-speed automatic available for the X250d only.
The V6 diesel engine will have a 3-litre engine producing 190kW of power and 550Nm of torque. It will also have 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, and the 7-speed G-Tronic Plus auto transmission with steering wheel paddles plus dynamic select (to include sport driving mode).
The Pure range starts at $53,300 for the 220d, RWD 6-speed manual with cab chassis set up. To have a load bed, you have to add $900. The X250d Pure with tray starts at $57,500 for the manual and $2700 more of the auto.
The Progressive line-up begins at $59,300 for the X250d 4Matic manual and tops out at $63,300 for an auto with tray.
The Power currently starts at $66,200 for the X250d 4Matic manual, and $2800 for the auto.
Mercedes-Benz started the ute project with the Nissan Navara ladder frame, but says its own engineers and designers have worked to develop all of the X-Class ‘touch and feel, and drivability.’
The Nissan’s Navara starts at $39,990 while New Zealand’s top selling ute, the Ford Ranger, has an entry point of $ 47,040 for a double cab with the popular Wildtrak starting at $59,990. Volkswagen New Zealand has had a flurry of buyers of the Amarok V6 ($69,990).
VW and Ford will be worried at the impact the X-Class will have on its lifestyle buyers, especially once V6 version arrives.
Driven was among the first in the world to drive the X-Class Power ute in Chile recently, and after hundreds of kilometres on motorways, rough pot-holed secondary roads and rough gravel trails, it proved robust, exceptionally quiet for a ute, and comfortable.
The German marque says utes are no longer viewed purely as workhorses, but are increasingly popular for those who lead an active lifestyle.
The company has shied away from offering a single-cab version and is instead concentrating on the booming double-cab ute market, particularly the Southern Hemisphere which it describes as ‘the natural habitat’ of the ute.
The models are aimed at buyers in Australasia, South America and South Africa, although they are already on sale in several European markets.
The product marketing and management head of the X-Class, Christian Pohl, said the initial production run had gone well and the models had been well received in Europe.
“The X-Class sits naturally in our SUV portfolio of models - you can blaze a trail through the outback or drive it through urban areas looking for a restaurant,” he told journalists at the world-wide launch in Santiago.