100 Hot Cars

Just Car Blog

Mercedes Abandons Plans For Diesel Engines In The U.S. 19
Jan
Posted by Michael Gauthier in diesel, mercedes, Reports, USA on 01 19th, 2018


Mercedes abandoned its attempt to have diesel-powered models approved for sale in the United States last year and it appears they won't be making a return.
Read more »



BMW X3 Will Reportedly Gain A Diesel Engine In The U.S. 17
Jan
Posted by Michael Gauthier in BMW, BMW X3, diesel, Reports, USA on 01 17th, 2018


BMW's lineup in the United States continues to grow as the company is reporting preparing to launch a diesel-powered X3 crossover.
Read more »



Order The New Honda Civic Diesel From £20,120 In Britain 15
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in diesel, honda, Honda Civic, new cars, prices, UK on 01 15th, 2018


Joining the rest of the Civic range in the United Kingdom is the new diesel model, which will arrive at dealers nationwide next month.

Pricing for the diesel starts at £20,120 ($27,620), in the new entry-level ‘S’ grade (with 6-speed manual), but consumers will be able to specify it in the SE, SR, and EX trim levels as well, like they would the 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol model.

The EX starts from £24,925 ($34,216) and can be had with an optional Tech Pack, for £600 ($824), which adds a few amenities such as the LED headlights with washers, LED fog lamps, heated rear seats, and wireless phone charging.

“The arrival of the diesel variant completes the lineup for the Civic hatchback in the UK. This 1.6-liter i-DTEC is the most technologically advanced diesel unit we have launched to market, and will deliver a very competitive offering for both the retail customer and the fleet market”, commented Honda UK’s chief, Phil Webb.

This version of the Honda Civic uses a 1.6-liter unit that delivers 120PS (118hp) and 300Nm (221lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. It takes 10.4sec to reach 100km/h (62mph) from a standstill, and promises to return 76.3 UK mpg (3.7 l/100 km / 63.6 US mpg), while releasing just 99 g/km of CO2 into the atmosphere.

If you would rather have an automatic transmission paired with the Civic diesel’s engine, then you need to wait until early summer, when Honda will launch it across Britain.

PHOTO GALLERY



Reports Of Diesel Engine’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated 13
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in diesel, Reports, VW on 01 13th, 2018


It is no secret that Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal has negatively affected demand for diesel vehicles, particularly in Europe. Take a deeper look at the figures, however, and you’ll see that demand for diesel-powered vehicles has risen and fallen multiple times throughout the past 30 years.

In statistics published by Euro News, it is revealed that in Europe, diesels reached their peak popularity in 2008 when 8,211,709 examples were sold across the continent. In the same year, petrol vehicle sales peaked at 7,233,662.

However, since 2008, demand for diesel (and petrol) vehicles has declined significantly. In fact, from a peak of over 8.2 million in 2008, diesel sales plummeted to just 4,913,025 in 2014, before the dieselgate scandal broke. Similarly, petrol sales fell to their lowest figure in over 30 years, scoring just 3,915,268 sales. Both of these figures were gathered before the dieselgate.

As of 2015, 52 per cent of cars in Europe were still fueled by petrol, with diesels accounting for 37.29 per cent and ‘Others’ (we guess that means hybrids and all-electric) at 10.78 per cent.

In a handful of countries, diesel remains the preferred option. For example, the share of new diesel registrations in Sweden has soared from 0.9 per cent in 1992 to 59 per cent in 2015.

In France, however, diesels have dramatically fallen out of favor. In the early 1990s, the country accounted for 45 per cent of all new diesel car registrations in Europe, but by 2015, that figure had dropped to just 16 per cent and the market for new cars has reversed in favor of those powered by petrol engines while diesel ones experienced a 16 per cent decline since 2005.

Despite what many believe, the decline in popularity of diesels hasn’t been driven entirely by Volkswagen’s cheating practices. Instead, demand for such vehicles has been dropping for much of the past decade. Nonetheless, diesels still account for a sizable share of the car market and are not expected to disappear anytime soon.

PHOTO GALLERY



Reports Of Diesel Engine’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated 13
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in diesel, Reports, VW on 01 13th, 2018


It is no secret that Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal has negatively affected demand for diesel vehicles, particularly in Europe. Take a deeper look at the figures, however, and you’ll see that demand for diesel-powered vehicles has risen and fallen multiple times throughout the past 30 years.

In statistics published by Euro News, it is revealed that in Europe, diesels reached their peak popularity in 2008 when 8,211,709 examples were sold across the continent. In the same year, petrol vehicle sales peaked at 7,233,662.

However, since 2008, demand for diesel (and petrol) vehicles has declined significantly. In fact, from a peak of over 8.2 million in 2008, diesel sales plummeted to just 4,913,025 in 2014, before the dieselgate scandal broke. Similarly, petrol sales fell to their lowest figure in over 30 years, scoring just 3,915,268 sales. Both of these figures were gathered before the dieselgate.

As of 2015, 52 per cent of cars in Europe were still fueled by petrol, with diesels accounting for 37.29 per cent and ‘Others’ (we guess that means hybrids and all-electric) at 10.78 per cent.

In a handful of countries, diesel remains the preferred option. For example, the share of new diesel registrations in Sweden has soared from 0.9 per cent in 1992 to 59 per cent in 2015.

In France, however, diesels have dramatically fallen out of favor. In the early 1990s, the country accounted for 45 per cent of all new diesel car registrations in Europe, but by 2015, that figure had dropped to just 16 per cent and the market for new cars has reversed in favor of those powered by petrol engines while diesel ones experienced a 16 per cent decline since 2005.

Despite what many believe, the decline in popularity of diesels hasn’t been driven entirely by Volkswagen’s cheating practices. Instead, demand for such vehicles has been dropping for much of the past decade. Nonetheless, diesels still account for a sizable share of the car market and are not expected to disappear anytime soon.

PHOTO GALLERY



Diesel Car Share In UK Could Plummet To 15% By 2025 12
Jan
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in diesel, Reports, UK on 01 12th, 2018


According to an industry expert, the market share for diesels in Britain could collapse to just 15% as motorists continue to choose other means of propulsion.

Aston University’s Professor David Bailey says that diesel cars are caught in a “perfect storm”, while adding that demand has already fallen to 17.1% in 2017, as reported by The Telegraph.

In fact, the drop even accelerated towards the end of the year, as motorists continue to be confused by government policies towards diesels – with sales dropping by 31.1% in the month of December alone.

“Diesel cars face a raft of challenges, each one of which could damage sales, and which are combining to kill off the domestic diesel sector, which was so rattled by the ‘dieselgate’ scandal,” said Bailey.

“They face a perfect storm of bad PR over pollution, coupled with concerns over increasingly strict regulations and sinking second-hand values.”

He also predicts that sales for new diesel-powered vehicles will drop by another 10% this year, and will represent just 15% of the new car market by the year 2025, compared to 47.7% in 2016 and 42% in 2017.

Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s biggest car maker stated that its UK sales were flat in 2017, expressing frustration over the government’s treatment of diesels.

“We’re investing and exporting 80% of our output and delivering a huge amount of benefit to this economy,” said JLR sales exec, Andy Goss. “One would expect hand-in glove approach when it comes to looking at an area of policy so we don’t get surprises. It’s a reasonable request when, as a car manufacturer, planning takes a long time and takes huge amounts of money.”

Meanwhile Professor Bailey points out that governments had several other opportunities to encourage drivers to switch to alternative means of propulsion, even back in 2001 when “there was a misconceived drive to get people to opt for diesels.”

“Now that it’s clear diesel is dying a slow death, the time is right for the government to take the initiative and offer up scrappage benefits to those who are prepared to ditch their diesels and switch to electric cars.”



Ford Sued By Super Duty Owners Over Diesel Emissions Cheating Claims 11
Jan
Posted by Joel V. Patel in diesel, Ford, Ford F-250, Ford F-Series on 01 11th, 2018


Few can forget the fiasco with Volkswagen and its emissions-cheating diesels, but the automaker wasn’t the only one to stretch the rules to sell its diesels. According to a report by Bloomberg, Ford is being sued by F-250 and F-350 Super Duty owners, as they claim the trucks are putting a lot more harmful contaminants in the air than the pickups are supposed to.

The outlet claims a proposed class action lawsuit against the automaker states that about 500,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks cheated emissions testing. The trucks reportedly emit roughly 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants. The lawsuit involves F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks sold from 2011 and 2017.

Obviously, the owners are upset, as the diesel engines in the vehicles cost approximately $8,400 more than the gas-powered options. And the diesel-powered pickups were marketed as being “the cleanest super diesel ever.”

“The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emissions control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” said attorney Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman, which is the firm that filed the complaint.

The complaint, which was filed in a federal court in Detroit, claims that German automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH helped Ford to hide the pickup truck’s real figures in the name of performance. Bosch is one of the defendants in the proposed class action lawsuit. Last summer, U.S. lawyers claimed that Bosch played a large role in developing VW’s “defeat devices.”

Ironically, the proposed lawsuit comes days after Ford added a new diesel engine to the 2018 F-150 lineup.

We’ve reached out to Ford for a response and will update the post if we hear back.

Photo Gallery



2018 BMW 540d xDrive Brings Diesel Power To The United States 9
Jan
Posted by Michael Gauthier in BMW, BMW 5-Series, diesel, Reports, USA on 01 9th, 2018


BMW’s diesel-powered lineup is about to get a new addition as the EPA has signed off on the new 540d xDrive, as reported on TCC.

Designed to appeal to diesel fans, the model is expected to mirror the 530d which is offered in other markets. As a result, the car should have a 3.0-liter diesel engine that develops 261 hp (265 PS / 195 kW) and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm) of torque. The engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system which enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 5.4 seconds.

The EPA listing for the 2018 540d xDrive reveals the model will be rated at 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. The government agency goes on to say drivers can expect to spend around $1,500 annually to refuel the luxury sedan.

The 540d xDrive will reportedly go on sale in the United States next month and cost $62,995 including destination charges. That’s significantly more than the 530e xDrive iPerformance which features a plug-in hybrid powertrain that enables the model to travel up to 15 miles (24 km) on electricity alone.

Photo Gallery



New Chevy Silverado 4500HD And 5500HD Coming To 2018 Truck Show 8
Jan
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in Chevrolet, Chevrolet Silverado, diesel, GM, new cars, Trucks on 01 8th, 2018


Chevrolet will unveil its all-new Silverado Class 4 and 5 chassis cab trucks in Indianapolis at the 2018 Work Truck Show, taking place March 6-9.

The two trucks will be available as regular as well as crew cab models, with both 2WD and 4WD capability, plus a wide range of GVWRs and wheelbases. They are expected to go into production in late 2018.

Doing the pulling will be the pairing of Duramax diesel power with the Allison transmission, while creature comforts such as OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi will aid connectivity.

“The Silverado 4500HD/5500HD trucks are the flagship of our full-line commercial truck portfolio and we’ve designed them to be among the best in the industry in maneuverability, serviceability, visibility, quietness and comfort, diesel fuel economy and more,” said GM Fleet VP, Ed Peper.

Since additional technical specs will only be made available in March, the least we can do for now is shine more light on the teaser image, revealing a very imposing front end.

PHOTO GALLERY



Ford Details The Oily Bits On Its New Power Stroke Diesel F-150 8
Jan
Posted by Carscoops Staff in diesel, Ford, Ford F-150, Ford F-Series, Trucks on 01 8th, 2018


Want a light duty, full-size pickup with a diesel? FCA has pretty much had that specific slice of the market cornered with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but now Ford’s getting in on the action.

First announced almost a year ago, the Blue Oval has now released full details on the sixth engine option to join the F-150 range: a new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6, developed by the same team behind the Super Duty’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8.

Smaller though it may be, the F-150 Power Stroke diesel claims class-leading output and capacity: 250 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, 11,400 pounds of towing capability, and 2,020 pounds of payload. Mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, it’s targeted to return an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

“For every truck owner who wants strong fuel economy while they tow and haul, we offer a new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 engine that dreams are made of,” said Ford’s powertrain chief Dave Filipe. “The more you tow and the longer you haul, the more you’ll appreciate its class-leading towing and payload capacity and how efficient it is at the pump.”

To make the engine strong but light, Dearborn built the new Power Stroke V6 around the same compacted-graphite iron block construction and forged-steel crank used in the 2.7-liter EcoBoost. It also employed a variable-geometry turbocharger and common-rail fuel injection to combat turbo lag, giving it a nice flat torque curve: peak torque comes in at just 1,750 rpm and stays constant across the rev range.

Buyers will be able to spec the new diesel option on both 4×2 and 4×4 models, in Lariat, King Ranch, or Platinum trim levels, with SuperCrew or SuperCab configurations, and with 5.5- or 6.5-foot beds. Dealers will soon start taking orders for delivery in the spring.

Photo Gallery



2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Likely Getting Diesel-Electric Hybrid 6
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in diesel, Geneva Motor Show, Hybrids, mercedes, Mercedes C-Class, PHEV, Reports on 01 6th, 2018


In a surprising move, Mercedes-Benz has reportedly decided to offer the updated C-Class with a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain.

According to Autocar, this version of the revamped C-Class will be named the C400d EQ Power and feature a zero-emission range of up to 31 miles (50km). Moreover, it will be joined by a new petrol-electric version, called the C400 EQ Power.

Both will use an updated version of the electric motor used on the current petrol-electric C350e PHEV that’s delivering an extra 41hp to the wheels, in addition to a tweaked charging system, which will provide quicker charging times, according to undisclosed sources that are familiar with the issue.

The rest of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models will benefit from new 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, with extra power and lower CO2 emissions.

Diesels will churn out 148hp, 192hp, and 241hp in the C200d, C220d, and C300d, respectively. One of the petrol options will get 188hp in the C200 EQ Boost that’s named that way to highlight the implementation of a mild hybrid setup with a 48V electric architecture that adds an extra 17hp of electric boost for short periods of time, and a belt-driven alternator.

The upcoming C300, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hybrid function, but comes with 255hp, up 13hp compared to the current car, thanks to increased turbo boost pressure.

At the higher end of the range, the C43 models are believed to retain the 3.0-liter V6 engine, but with a minor power boost, whereas the top-of-the-tine C63 will get an updated version of the 4.0-liter V8 with new twin-scroll turbochargers.

Depending on the selected model, the facelifted C-Class will come with either a 6-speed manual or a new 9-speed automatic gearbox that replaces the 7-speed auto offered on the current models.

Styling changes to the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are expected to be discreet, with modified lighting units, bumpers, and a new diamond pattern grille insert on AMGs. The range-topping versions will get Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus headlights as seen on the E-Class and S-Class.

The facelifted Mercedes-Benz C-Class is expected to mark its first public debut in March, at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

PHOTO GALLERY



VW To Fight The Appoint Of An Auditor Investigating What It Knew About The Dieselgate Scandal 29
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in diesel, Reports, VW on 12 29th, 2017


The Dieselgate saga continues as Volkswagen has announced plans to fight the appointment of an auditor who has been tasked with determining what the company’s management team knew about the emissions cheating scandal.

According to Reuters, the company will petition Germany’s constitutional court to overturn a lower court ruling that would install an investigator to determine whether or not Volkswagen’s management was aware of the emissions cheating and failed to disclose that information to investors. A lower court ruled Volkswagen couldn’t appeal the decision but the company rejects that notion as they believe the action is a “violation of its fundamental rights.”

Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports the company will attempt to have the audit stopped until the constitutional court hearing takes place. Volkswagen declined to comment on the reports but confirmed it will take its case to the constitutional court sometime in the future.

Volkswagen’s decision to fight the audit obviously raises a few eyebrows and, if the audit goes forward, it could potentially cost the automaker billions of dollars if investigators determine the company knew about the scandal and didn’t disclose the information to investors in a timely fashion. Volkswagen believes they are in the clear but it’s apparent they aren’t taking any chances.

Photo Gallery



Entry-Level Diesel Doesn’t Spoil Appeal Of Mercedes C-Class Cabrio 27
Dec
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in diesel, Film, mercedes, Mercedes C-Class, Mercedes Videos, reviews, video on 12 27th, 2017


While some people still associate convertibles with potent gasoline engines, the likes of the Mercedes C220d convertible does have quite a few things going for it.

According to Carbuyer’s Ginny Buckley, not only is the C-Class cabriolet a standout in its segment due to its style and high levels of quality, but this entry-level C220d diesel version is also sufficiently refined.

It can get from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 8.2 seconds, which becomes 8.1 if you go for the 4MATIC version. Still, Buckley admits that while good, the convertible version of the C-Class doesn’t quite match the BMW 4-Series Convertible’s driving dynamics.

She also enjoyed the look and practicality of the cabin, although the build quality, at least in the center console, isn’t quite what you might expect from a Mercedes-Benz product.

Overall, the C-Class Cabriolet gets a big thumbs up in this review. It’s practical, good-looking and refined, even in C220d spec – which starts from £38,540 in the UK.

VIDEO



FCA Discussing Settlement Over Diesel Emissions Cheating 21
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Chrysler, diesel, FCA, Fiat, Jeep, RAM, Reports on 12 21st, 2017


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is engaging in settlement talks with owners of certain diesel-powered vehicles from the brand.

On Tuesday, a court-appointed advisor revealed that Fiat Chrysler and lawyers of diesel owners have exchanged settlement documents and briefly discussed proposed terms earlier this week alongside the Justice Department, California Air Resources Board and Robert Bosch.

In May, the U.S. Justice Department sued the car manufacturer, claiming that it had used illegal diesel software on roughly 104,000 vehicles sold in the United States since 2014. These diesel controls allowed the vehicles to emit excess pollution during normal driving conditions.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
has denied any wrongdoing and claims to have never attempted to create software aimed at cheating emissions rules.

Court settlement master Ken Feinberg revealed to Reuters that all the parties involved are acting in good faith to find a solution.

“We’re looking for different substantive ways to secure an early comprehensive settlement. Everybody in good faith is certainly trying to figure out how we might achieve a comprehensive settlement,” he said.

PHOTO GALLERY



First Drive: Is The New X-Class A True Mercedes Of Pickup Trucks? 20
Dec
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in diesel, featured, First Drive, mercedes, Mercedes X-Class, reviews, Trucks on 12 20th, 2017


It’s been a little over one year since Mercedes gave us a taste of their first ever mid-size pickup truck in the form of the X-Class Concept, and now, we’ve driven the real deal on both motorways and snow-covered mountain roads.

This isn’t just Mercedes’ first pickup truck, but the first such mid-size vehicle for any premium automaker, which the Germans themselves will happily point out, while also highlighting the fact that they were also the first to the luxury SUV game with the M-Class.

Whether the X-Class will have the same effect on the industry, spurring other premium manufacturers to follow suit, remains to be seen.

Benz’ mid-size premium pickup is aimed at a wide range of individuals, who don’t necessarily have specific (or heavy duty) professional needs, but are looking for a light duty truck with a premium badge.

A Tale Of Two Halves

By now, most of you probably know that the X-Class shares the same underpinnings as the Nissan Navara NP300 and the Renault Alaskan. It also shares some of the styling, which is quite evident unless you’re looking at it directly from the front.

In the flesh, the production model isn’t as imposing as any of the two X-Class concepts from last year, the Stylish Explorer and the Powerful Adventurer. Then again, concepts are meant to make an impression on shows and very rarely make the transition to the production line without a host of changes.

Buying an X-Class will cost you a lot less than a GLE, and that’s been made possible, as the company admits, by teaming up with Nissan, which meant there were restrictions to what Merc’s designers could (or couldn’t) change. The badge does help, obviously, as does the elegant and purposeful Mercedes-Benz design language around the front fascia; you’d probably think it was a Mercedes SUV if you saw it in your rear-view mirror.

If styling is anywhere near the top of your list, we recommend you spring for the flagship ‘Power’ model, as it looks considerably more upscale than the base ‘Pure’ or the mid-range ‘Progressive’ ones. Which, as we shall see, does have a lot to do with the interior, too.

Choose Your “Class” Wisely

The reason why you should care whether you buy a top-spec X-Class or the entry or mid-level model goes a little bit beyond just equipment levels. Jumping from the mid-spec Progressive model into the flagship Power version feels a lot like making the switch between a regular Ford and a Vignale, quality-wise. The materials not only look better – they are better, as you get leather on top of the dashboard and door panels, like you would expect on a Mercedes-Benz, instead of hard plastics.

At its best, the X-Class can pull off a “Mercedes feel” once you take a seat behind its leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, but again, this applies to the Power version, otherwise the quality level is pretty much on par with the industry standard. Not a bad thing per se, but it might disappoint some customers who expect a certain level of quality from a Mercedes.

Otherwise, the interior is well laid out and the ergonomics are sound, with all vital commands within reach. The only problem I had was the poor visibility up front once I started using the wipers to clear away all the snow and mud being kicked around. It accumulated right next to the already thick A-pillar, making it even harder to see around tight corners.

A base trim will land you some fairly decent standard equipment on the entry-level ‘Pure’ model, such as the ‘Tunja’ black fabric upholstery, manually adjustable driver’s and co-driver’s seats, chrome outlining and high-gloss black details around the air vents, 7-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth connectivity and available USB ports, air conditioning and a reversing camera.

As expected, it’s the flagship Power spec that comes with all the bells and whistles, like LED headlights and taillights, retractable/heated side mirrors, lumbar support for the electrically-adjustable driver and passenger seats, keyless go, cruise control, Active Brake Assist, Thermotronic climate system and more.

There’s also a quite comprehensive list of optional extras, such as 19” wheels, 360-degree camera, Comand Online system, 7-speed automatic gearbox, brown leather, and the Winter package, this being the spec I enjoyed most, mostly thanks to the nut brown Artico leather with top-stitching. It’s the type of thing you expect from a Mercedes-Benz product.

As for how roomy the X-Class is, there’s plenty of space in the front, although the rear can get a little cramped if you’re a reasonably tall individual and you like to travel with ample knee and leg room.

Heavy Foot? Heavy Car

After driving the X250d across various surfaces, from motorways to back roads, plus some mild off-roading (we’ll get to that in a bit), I’m quite confident in saying that its 2.3-liter turbo-diesel engine, even with 190 PS (there’s a 160 PS version, too), could use more power the same way a mountain climber could use extra oxygen on his way to the summit.

Like its rivals such as the VW Amarok or the Ford Ranger, the X-Class is a heavy vehicle, weighing over 2.2 tons (4,850 lbs) if you add the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. That makes it heavier than a GLE, which generally carries well over 200 horses.

The figures state that the X250d gets from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.8 seconds, yet it’s at high speed where the X-Class struggles most. With that in mind, the upcoming V6 diesel that’s due in 2018 should make for a much better purchase if you really want the best of both worlds, as it will have 258 PS and 550 Nm (405) of torque.

Otherwise, the X250d 4MATIC should still satisfy those who enjoy low-end grunt and, most of all, silence – yes, the diesel-powered X-Class is surprisingly quiet for its segment, at idle as well as on the move, keeping wind and tire noise in check. Paired with the good overall ride quality, it’s a solid achievement for the boys from Stuttgart.

As for handling and maneuverability, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a mid-size pickup truck, meaning the steering is on the numb side (albeit good for a pickup truck) and it feels heavy at low speeds, while the poor turning cycle will often force you to perform multiple maneuvers during parking. At regular and motorway speeds, the X-Class feels sufficiently planted and stable, similar to most of its truck rivals, but not as good as an SUV.

No Tarmac? No Problem

We didn’t do any serious off-roading with the X-Class, but we did tackle plenty of snowy and rough surfaces that would normally make a regular family crossover struggle to make it through. The X-Class handled itself with poise and felt sturdy regardless of what the course threw at it. The ride was also smoother than in most, if not all, other mid-size pickup trucks I’ve driven.

The X250d can go about its business using either rear-wheel drive, or, when the going gets tough, four-wheel drive (4H – High or 4L – Low). It’s not permanent AWD though, which is a feature reserved for the X350d.

You can also haul a payload of 1.1 tonnes (2,425 lbs) with it, and tow as much as 3.5 tonnes (7,716 lbs). As for what it can really do in extreme conditions, it’s got a maximum fording depth of 600 mm (23.6 in), a 30-degrees angle of approach and you can tilt it at nearly 50 degrees (49 to be precise).

A Merc That’s Priced Close To A Volkswagen

If you’re truly in the market for a mid-size pickup, you might be intrigued to learn that, in certain markets, the X is similarly priced to something like a Ford Ranger Double Cab. We already know that the X-Class starts off from €37,294 in Germany, whereas UK buyers will spend upwards of £27,310 – about the same as you would on a VW Amarok, albeit the V-Dub comes with a V6 TDI engine as standard over there. A quick round-up of all the numbers does show that you’d spend a little more on the X-Class, but for fans of the star, the price gap could be considered negligible.

Unfortunately for US-buyers, the X-Class isn’t coming their way. It will, however, make it to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in early 2018, with Argentina and Brazil to follow in early 2019.

So, What’s The Verdict?

We didn’t really know what to expect from the X-Class at first. The concept looked pretty good and its cabin was definitely an upgrade compared to any mid-size pickup out there. In production reality though, unless you go for the flagship model, you’re not getting the whole Mercedes-Benz experience you might expect if you’re used to their passenger cars. So yes, the X-Class is at its best when it’s got everything going for it, but in the end, that’s understandable seen as how it’s not designed from scratch and, more importantly, it’s competitively priced, especially for a Benz.

Let’s just go ahead and call the X-Class a very strong swing at the mid-size pickup segment crown. Time will tell if it can actually claim it, seeing as how there are so many competent alternatives out there, but a) it’s got some pretty strong features going for it, and b) it’s the only one wearing a premium badge, which might very well play into its hand.

Photos: Andrei Tobosaru/Mercedes-Benz Vans Romania

PHOTO GALLERY







 Category



 Blogroll