From early 2018, Mercedes-Benz’s first ute will be available in Australia and New Zealand. The X-class is a twin-cab ( four-door), midsize ute that promises the ruggedness typical of the model with the prestige of the brand. This week, Volks Affair talk you through the new Mercedes-Benz model, the X-class ute.
Why a Ute?
Mercedes-Benz is known for prestige cars. Although they have recently delved into vans, the company are not usually the name one associates with work cars.
When revealing the X-Class in South Africa, Mercedes-Benz said that no longer are utes used solely for worksites, or as “workhorses”. Increasingly, they argue, utes are being used for leisure and sport. Even those being used as tool carts are doubling up as on-road advertisements for their owner’s businesses. It is for these reasons Mercedes-Benz designed the X-Class ute.
Three Models for Three Different Uses
The three reasons Mercedes-Benz believe people drive utes are for leisure, for sport and for work. So the company have developed three different models: PURE, PROGRESSIVE and POWER.
The X-Class PURE is so named because it is the purest, most traditional ute. Its key focus is on functionality.
One level up from the PURE is the PROGRESSIVE. With extra comfort and styling, the PROGRESSIVE is more passenger-focused. The PROGRESSIVE sits in the mid-ground between PURE’s rugged utility and POWER’s prestige, private use. The PROGRESSIVE was designed as the on road “calling card” for businesses.
The X-Class POWER is on the other end of the spectrum to PURE. It’s designed for urban environments and leisure drives, though all three have off-road capabilities. It has the highest level of extra equipment. To use Mercedes-Benz’s terminology, where PURE is a “workhorse” vehicle, the POWER is a “lifestyle” vehicle.
Inside the Cabin
Inside the cabin is installed the Me Connect infotainment system with COMAND online. The infotainment also contains an emergency call system should you be in an accident.
The X-Class seats have lumbar support and seat heating for those long drives and cold, early morning starts.
Mercedes-Benz have gone all out with the X-Class ute’s safety features. Beginning with the most basic: there are seven airbags inside the cabin and the infotainment system has a 360° parking camera to help getting in and out of tight spots.
The X-Class utes feature Traffic Sign Assist, alerting drivers to speed limits and no-overtaking signs. This is an addition to the more familiar Lane Keep Assist, a pulsing vibration in the steering wheel to alert drivers when they dip out of their lane.
Active Brake Assist is the X-Class’s third bit of futuristic safety tech. If you are too close to the car in front, you will be given a “visual warning”. Then, if nothing changes, an alarm will sound. And if nothing changes still, the car can reduce its own speed to create some distance between you and the driver in front!
Common Ute Problems
Utes are not designed to be empty. When they are, they are often front-heavy and this can lead to fishtailing. Mercedes-Benz claim to have overcome this problem, they call it “weaving”, by using targeted braking, in a system they call “ESP with trailer stabilisation”.
With passenger experience being the focus of the X-Class, it makes sense that Mercedes-Benz’s first ute would pay special attention to the suspension. For long, leisurely drives and for more enjoyable off-road jaunts, the X-class have special comfort suspension in the seats so that passengers feel less the bumps and jolts of a typical ute experience.
So there you have it! It seems that Mercedes-Benz have thought of everything for their first foray into the utility vehicle market. We’ll be quite excited to test drive one!
Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it will be important to have your X-Class ute serviced annually. Volks Affair are Melbourne’s leading Mercedes-Benz dealership alternative. Contact us today to schedule a repair or service for your Mercedes-Benz vehicle, X-Class or otherwise.