Benz begins roll out of new utility

Riley Riley

And the new Benz X-Class is off and running.

The all-new utility is racing out of dealerships around the country, priced from a tearaway $45,490 plus on-roads.

The launch of much anticipated X-Class, the first ute from the German car maker (but by no means its first commercial vehicle) is considered one of the biggest events of the year around the world.

It’s a pretty big deal here too, given Aussies seemingly insatiable thirst for high-riding, dual cab sports utilities in their many shapes and forms.

More than 8000 customers have registered an interest in buying an X-Class utility, reveals Benz, with some leaving deposits at dealerships to get theirs first.

The big test however will be whether punters grab one of these “premium” utes or keep their powder dry in preparation for Ford’s mouth-watering Raptor that;s due very soon.

Raptor is an upmarket version of the best-selling Ranger utility that takes the macho image a step further.

Decisions, decisions . . . Only time will tell?

But, just to clarify, X-Class is basically a Nissan Navara that’s been given the star treatment – the three-pointed star treatment that is.

It’s the same chassis, same part-time four-wheel drive system and same 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel.

Available with one turbo or two, with the same 120kW/403Nm or 140kW/450Nm, they are hooked up to the same 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto.

And, yes, it’s got the same multi-link rear suspension under the back that has caused such a kerfuffle for the Japanese manufacturer.

Just saying.

A more powerful V6 diesel model will join the ranks later in the year with a class-leading 190kW and 550Nm of torque.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has kicked off its marketing push by inviting celebrity Henry Rollins to travel around Australia in an X-Class, producing a podcast and documentary in the process called, Tough Conversations.

The show that features interviews with real Australians on what it means to be “tough” goes to air on Network Ten’s ONE channel at 9.30pm on April 18.

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