X-factor X-citing X-Class

Friday, April 20, 2018

The X-Class POWER sits atop the model line-up.

The wait is over – ladies and gentlemen start your X-Class engines. Trucks and Trailers hosted customers and media at the company’s Wiri head office in Auckland last night on day one for the new Mercedes-Benz ute range. On display were multiple examples in different trim packages from the three-layer model range. Starting at the work-horse end of the market, aimed at the tradie, workshop foreman or farm manager, is the PURE range, with a high wash and wear factor, meaning inside as well as out. Next on the list is the PROGRESSIVE for the business-week and family-weekend set. This model comes with a higher degree of comfort including carpet floor coverings, leather appointments and an eight-speaker sound set-up, etc. On the outside there are titivations like 17” six spoke alloys to set it apart.   

The top of the tree currently is the POWER range for those seeking total creature comfort and with little desire for dirty Red Bands. The PURE features LED headlamps, KEYLESS-GO, electrically adjustable seats, THERMOTRONIC climate management, and COMMAND online multi-media with an HD screen. Feet go up another size to 18”.

The interior is ‘purposeful plush,’ the company claiming it’s the world’s first luxury ute.

All models in the current offering (the 3.0L V6 version is due later) are powered by a 2.3L (2298) 4-cylinder direct injection twin turbo diesel.

Safety in the new range includes Active Brake Assist, lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring and seven air bags, and being a Euro, all variants come in a manual option as well as an auto.

Tow capacity comes in at 3,500kg and the ute itself is good for a one tonne payload. One feature likely to attract the interest of the freight set is the vehicle’s ability to carry a CHEP pallet loaded orthodoxly between the wheel arches. Obviously there’s huge range of deck lids, toolboxes, roof rails, running boards, etc available.

But the big surprise in all this is the pricing for a vehicle carrying the three-pointed star on the grille. Entry level on the PURE is $53,300 (prices include GST), the PROGRSSIVE kicks off at $63,000, and the POWER at $69,000.

Customers at the launch were lined up and eager to get into the test drive models, some of which were loaded and towing trailers.

The twin turbo direct injection 2.3L diesel.

Kelly Fry, marketing manager for Trucks & Trailers, said the launch of the X-Class was a very exciting time for their business and changes the point of sale dynamics considerably. “The level of ‘walk-in’ enquiry is now going to be a lot higher than with our traditional more specialised van and heavy truck product lines. Our Manukau showroom will be open Saturday and Sunday this weekend to gauge the foot traffic and their open hours will be up for review. We are also offering a ‘we'll bring the X-Class to the customer to test drive’ service so the customer can experience it in their own environment, not just around our block."

If sales on launch day are anything to go by, the team at Trucks and Trailers will certainly need a rest by Christmas!