How a Mercedes bakkie became South Africa’s first R1.1 million double-cab
- Mercedes-Benz has produced South Africa's first seven-figure double cab bakkie.
- You can upgrade your the new X-class bakkie with an number of trimmings, all coming at a price, of course.
- These include metallic paint (R4,600), leather trim (R14,950), woodgrain inlays (R3,105), heated seats (R5,175) and canopy (R60,165).
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There is one element the world’s oldest car company has never attempted to integrate into its marketing message – and that is the notion of affordability.
Mercedes-Benz is unapologetic about the premium billing and pricing of its products and justifies this by a simple metric: no other automotive brand spends more on research and development than them. The German brand has an enormous research and technology budget which runs at R230m per day, every day of the year.
When Mercedes-Benz promised to revolutionise the local bakkie market with its X-Class double-cab, the expectation was never that it would be cheap.
For most, the real test of X-Class has only happened since the launch of the X350d V6 model, late last year. This is the only X-Class powered by an engine built in Germany, of Mercedes-Benz’s own design. All other X-Class bakkies are powered by four-cylinder engines borrowed from Nissan.
The X350d is South Africa’s most expensive bakkie by quite a comfortable margin. It prices at R973,188, which is a third more than its closest rival, Volkswagen’s Amarok 3.0 V6 Extreme. For that money you get the most powerful bakkie engine on sale in South Africa, a 190kW V6 turbodiesel and all manner of driver assistance systems.
But there are also things you’d like, and Mercedes-Benz would be very happy to provide, at an appropriate optional price. Once you start configuring the X350d to its full potential, that price swells to well over R1m. It then becomes South Africa’s first seven-figure bakkie.
All the trimmings
Size-up the alloy wheels from 18- to 19-inches, for R9,356. Metallic paint? That’s R4,600. No bakkie owner can do without side-steps to assist passenger into the cabin and the metal ones Mercedes offer, cost R11,130. Inside you can add leather trim (R14,950), woodgrain inlays (R3,105) and a comprehensive SatNav/infotainment system (R26,733). For those cold winter Karoo or Highveld mornings, there are heated seats at a cost of R5,175.
Aiding convenience is a surround-view camera system and parking sensors, which help you avoid a low-speed fender bender, for R14,950. No bakkie is complete without a canopy and the Mercedes approved one for the X350 costs R60,165. If the canopy can’t home all your gear and you require hitching a trailer, you’ll need a coupling and socket – which is R6,900. Those X350d owners who are keen off-road adventurers will need underbody protection too, which is a R13,572 option.
Indulge the options and a decently kitted X350d will run you R1,143,824. A price which will buy you two Japanese double-cab 4x4s.
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