To those who thought the Nissan-engined, four-cylinder Mercedes X-Class bakkie wasn’t “pure” enough to carry the three-pointed star, the much-anticipated six-cylinder X350d recently entered the arena. Not only does it have a genuine Benz engine in the snout, but with gladitorial outputs of 190kW and 550Nm it’s become SA’s most powerful double cab, outgunning VW’s Amarok V6 (165kW and 550Nm), which has until now single-handedly ruled the muscle-bakkie arena. The price tag is also pure Benz: at R904,188 for the “entry-level” X350d Progressive and R973,188 for the more extensively equipped X350d Power derivative. Both come with a six-year/100,000km warranty and maintenance plan. These prices exclude a raft of optional extras and accessories available for extra money — including a canopy, style bars and bed liner — which could make the price breach the R1m mark. The standard equipment level in the X350d Power we road tested is decent if not over-endowed. It includes items such as electr...

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