Mercedes may have culled X350d. But you can still get a new Benz of Bakkies for a steal
This Mercedes-Benz X350d may well already be out of production, but you can still buy one. More likely steal it.
Why on earth would one want to buy a dodo bakkie though? Well, first up it’s a still a damn good pickup. Secondly, you will probably be able to get an incredible deal on one of the run-out models. And then, what would a real live dodo be worth, were you to find one today?
X350D WILL ALWAYS BE THE BELLE OF THE BALL
Plentiful, fat and easy to pluck, the dodo never stood a chance. The same more or less applies to this Mercedes of bakkies. The only difference being that you can still buy one of the few left. And it will forever be a truly unique, different and most capable bakkie that will no doubt long be the belle of the ball, wherever you take it.
The X-Class divided opinion. Yes, it is a Nissan bakkie at heart and it was very expensive. So expensive that it failed to take off. Its bakkie turned out to be a painful and embarrassing failure for Mercedes. So the X-Class was axed before it ever had a chance to prove itself. The factory is already closed and they don’t build them anymore. But you can still buy one, while socks last. So it’s worth a test, no?
This million-buck X350d flagship tossed the controversial 4-cylinder’s Japanese innards and substituted all that for a real 190kW 550Nm Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel V6. Among SA’s most powerful bakkies, it also has a genuine Benz 7-speed automatic transmission in place of the Nissan box. And it turns a genuine Merc permanent four-wheel drive through a transfer box nicked straight out of the legendary G-Class. All tried and tested state-of-the-Mercedes-Benz-art kit, of course.
THIS FLAGSHIP X HAS IT ALL. AND THEN SOME
Permanent all-wheel drive with low-range and a rear differential lock has three dynamic, all-wheel-drive and hard off-road modes. Add 222 mm ground clearance, 45-degree gradient ability, 600 mm water fording and the ability to deal with inclines of to 50 degrees. Dynamic Select has five engine and transmission response driving modes from Comfort through Eco. Manual and Off Road to dynamic Sport The Eco start/stop operates in all driving modes except Off Road.
X350d of course packs full range of Mercedes-Benz safety kit from seven airbags and i-Size child seat attachments, optional Active Brake Assist and Traffic Sign Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. This Power edition also sets the double cab standard with everything from 18-inch alloys, LED headlamps, power seats, multifunction steering wheel and touchpad infotainment, to and eight-speaker Audio 20 infotainment. And the rest.
So X350d is as capable of hanging off a rocky Cape tor as it is dashing across Franschhoek Pass. Or cruising the Karoo in epic comfort and style. Never mind that all The Mercedes-Benz of bakkies delivers serene and effortless progress and impressed on the road. I’d say it even feels even rides and runs far more like a GLE than a Navara.
PERFORMS VERY WELL. HANDLING IS SOLID
Handling is solid — most impressive for a pickup truck it is. It performs very well over all driving parameters. It compares well to its closest rival Amarok V6 in very similar conditions in our test too. The Merc had a few hundredths of a second advantage to 60km/h, but the VW came back by that much to 100 before the Merc is back ahead at 160. And it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other to the quarter mile.
The Mercedes is more flexible though and it’s basically a tie on fuel and emissions and all that.
The interesting bit is that this run-out X350d double cab 4Matic Power retails at R985K, ten grand less than the flagship Amarok. And Mercedes dealer showrooms now want to see the back of these, so you can expect a silly discount or a dilly trade in. Or both, if you push the dealer a bit. The dealers will of course be happy to look after you round the back though. Most of the range remains available and all new X-Classes continue to benefit the full Mercedes treatment.
Still, it’s a dodo bakkie. The Mercedes X-Class is basically already extinct. But that also means that your Benz bakkie will stay unique. It will be a constant cause for conversation. And it’s still a Mercedes, after all. That star on the nose will always stand it apart.
And best of all, you will likely get one for a song, too. Sounds like a deal to us! — Michele Lupini
Images – Dylan McKay
ROAD TESTED: Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic Power Engine: 190kW 550Nm 3-litre turbodiesel V6 Drive: 7-speed automatic 4x4 Payload: 1066 kg 9 Braked Trailer: 3500 kg 9 TESTED: 0-60km/h: 3.39 sec 9 0-100km/h: 7.89 sec 9 0-160km/h: 19.57 sec 400m: 15.5 sec @ 144 km/h 9 80-120km/h: 5.50 sec 8 120-160km/h: 8.71 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 205 km/h Fuel: 9.0 l/100 km 4 CO2: 235 g/km 4 Warranty/Service: 2y Unl/5y 100K km 6 LIST PRICE: R985K 1 RATED: 68