Mercedes-Benz Vans Gives The “V For Victory Sign For The V-Class.

Mercedes-Benz makes some damned good cars and they make some pretty damned good vans too.Their V-Class vans have been given some extra ammunition in their battle against makers such as Iveco, Hyundai, Ford, and Renault. The current V model, the V 250 AVANTGARDE, is now backed up by the V 220. Both will be powered by a 2.1 litre diesel, with outputs of 140 kW/440 Nm and 120 kW and 380 Nm respectively.

Yes, they “might” be vans but M-B certainly believes that drivers and passengers have the right to enjoys as well. Here’s what the V 220 will offer: Garmin MAP Pilot navigation system with 3D map display; Audio 20 sound system with touchpad, innovative controller & large CENTRAL MEDIA DISPLAY with a screen diagonal of 17.8 cm and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels; 17 inch 5-spoke alloy wheels; Reversing camera with dynamic guide lines and Driving Assistance Package (COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist).

There’s plenty of very handy technology on board for the driver. There’s Agility Select, which provides four distinct driving modes which changes the mapping of the engine, throttle, and transmission. Agility Control changes the suspension and ride as a result, plus there’s Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Parking Assist, Driver Assistance Package, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, and the PRE-SAFE® accident anticipatory system.

Both vans are luxuriously appointed, with Legano leather standard in both, four way lumbar support, and the seat ventilation system has fans that can reverse flow to optimise humidity levels. A feature unique to the V Class is Thermotronic climate control, which offers pre-entry climate control from the key fob. There’s an internal demisting sensor and even a sensor to automatically switch from Fresh to Recirculate when passing through a tunnel.

The vans also have split tail gates with the rear glass able to be opened independently of the main door. This offers ease of access in tight parking spaces and the doors are also power operated.

Being luxury oriented means there’s a good dollar to be paid. The Valente BlueTec is $58,100 (MRLP) with the others priced at: V-Class V 220 BlueTec $74,990 (MRLP) and V-Class V 250 BlueTec AVANTGARDE $87,200 (MRLP).

Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealership for state pricing.

Mercedes-Benz Joins The Ute Club.

Mercedes-Benz has put to rest rumours of the company releasing a pick-up by confirming, in the last week of October 2016, that they will sell a four door utility vehicle. The X Class vehicle was unveiled in Sweden and will become the fourth commercial vehicle line the German based company will market.x-class-variantsIt will stand as a competitor to Volkswagen’s Amarok, with VW the first of the upper level manufacturers to release such a vehicle, plus the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Coloradao and, of course, Toyota’s HiLux. The X Class is based on the Nissan platform, the NP 300 Navara, which also will form part of the forthcoming Renault Alaskan range, due in 2018 for Australia.x-class-stylish-explorerx-class-front-leftDr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said of the new vehicle: “With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.” x-class-profileVolker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world’s first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle. Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before.” x-class-left-rearx-class-stylish-explorer-interiorArgentina, Brazil, South Africa and Europe are seen as the vehicles primary markets, as well as Australia, with over 14 percent of vehicles sold being in the light commercial utility market. The four wheel drive segment constitutes 12.4 per cent of the market overall in Australia, making it the second largest segment after sub $40K small cars. Australia was also chosen a development location, which means that models sold in Australia should have the benefit of local tune.x-class-powerful-advenrurerx-class-powerful-adventurer-front-rightIt’s a substantial investment by the German goliath, with one figure being quoted of $1.4 billion Australian. Part of that investment is ensuring the corporate look is embedded, with the company’s signature SUV styling, including the single louvre grille and flared wheel arches. So far, M-B have listed two models, the “Stylish Explorer” and “Powerful Adventurer”.x-class-powerful-adventurer-interiorx-class-powerful-adventurer-rear-left

Engine wise, it appears to be a mix of Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Nissan, with V6 diesels seeming to be reserved for the top echelon, whilst four cylinder diesels and petrol engines should be available from the entry level up. It’s likely these will power the 4Matic autos at the top end, which no confirmation yet as to the drivetrain for the lower models. However it’s likely we’ll see the standard mix of both two and four wheel drive variants.

Inside, the X-Class is likely to feature leather clad seats, with oak and aluminuim trims, a high definition touchscreen, stylised rounded air vents, and a centre console mounted controller/touchpad, plus the bespoke MercedesMe system. A manually operated, rather than electric, hand brake is said to be part of the package.

A payload capacity of 1100 kg and towing of up to 3.5 tonnes will be available, a redeveloped five link rear axle, coil springs and a specifically calibrated sping and shocker setup will be on board.x-class-duo

Pricing is yet to be confirmed however it’s rumoured that the X-Class will be offered with very competitive pricing.

Australian Car Icons Slide Back Whilst Sales Overall Hit The Million Again.

Although the icons of Australia’s automotive industry, Ford and Holden, went backwards in sales in 2015, overall sales hit the million mark for the fourth year in a row, with preliminary figures tipping 1.156 million.
Holden went backwards by 2.9% and was within reach of Hyundai, with less than 1000 sales between the two. The Blue Oval, meanwhile, hurt even more, with sales dropping by 11.6% and outside of the top five, beaten by Mitsubishi for the first time. The iconic Falcon, once one of the country’s favourite cars, sold less than 6000 units and was comfortably outsold by Germany’s Mercedes-Benz, with their C Class sedan.2015 Ford Falcon XR6 2It wasn’t all bad news for Australian made cars, however. Toyota’s Camry cracked the number one position in December, for the first time in 2015, helped by a pricing structure and finance package that made the vehicle’s value a better proposition. 5320 Camrys found new homes in December, making it just the third time the Camry has topped a monthly sales chart, with the Corolla, a perennial top seller, moving 3470, just twenty more than its persistent rival, the Mazda 3.2016 Toyota Camry Atara front

Toyota and Ford stood nose to nose in the workhorse stakes, with the Ranger just 290 units behind in December, with 2840 against the 2130 of the HiLux. The Commodore, also once a family favourite, shifted just 2620 in December and in series 2 guise, with Mitsubishi’s revamped Triton, with 2140 units, making inroads.2016 Mitsubishi Triton GLS manual profileHyundai’s i30 moved 2000 units in December just ahead of the 1920 of Mazda’s CX 5 and stablemate Tucson, at 1630.

Overall, Toyota also took the number one spot for December and for 2015, with a rise to 206237 units, an increase of 1.3%. Mazda saw a huge increase for 2015, with a huge 13.2 percent putting them into second overall, with 114024. Mazda also took the runner up position in December, albeit with half of Toyota’s 21K units, at 9700.
Third for 2015 and December was Holden, at 102951 and 9145.Holden logo

Hyundai jumped by 1.9%, to 102004, to claim fourth and fifth went to Mitsubishi, at 71752. The bottom half of the top ten: Ford 70,454 — down 11.6 per cent, Nissan 66,063 — up 0.05 per cent, Volkswagen 60,225 — up 9.9 per cent, Subaru 43,600 — up 7.6 per cent, Honda 40,100 — up 21.5 per cent.

What also stood out in 2015 was the continued rise of ute sales, with the Triton, Ranger and HiLux, tradionally seen as workhorses, more and more being used as family vehicles in a dual cab configuration. Small cars continued to sell well also, ahead of the SUV category. Production volumes, month by month, were also mostly down in 2015, as Ford prepares to wind up local manufacturing this year and Holden & Toyota look to do so in 2017.

Mercedes-Benz Strikes At Audi and BMW In SUV Civil War.

It’s the battle of German SUV’s that’s been taken to a new level, with the launch of the mid sized 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC. With the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 firmly in its sights and a starting price of $64500 plus ORC’s the GLC comes with a choice of a single petrol engine and two diesels. Transmission is relegated to a single option, being a nine speed auto along with permanent four wheel drive. Air suspension is an option from early 2016 at $2490.

The two diesels are of the same capacity, at an odd sounding 2.1L. You can choose 124kW and 400 Nm or 150 kW and 500 Nm, with that extra 100 torques stinging you an extra five thousand dollars. In between,M-B slots in a more conventional sounding 2.0L petrol, with 155 kW and the almost mandatory 350 Nm from this size power plant. Stash away $67900 + ORC’s for the privilege.2016-mercedes-benz-glc350e-

There’s also the new GLS to consider. Due to go on sale in April of 2016, the 5130 mm long beastie features a restyled exterior, 620 Nm 3.0L diesel V6, 9 speed auto, Apple CarPlay and five driving modes. Rolling stock are 20 inch ten spoke alloys. Price starts at $116900 (manufacturers recommended list price or MRLP). Sir can move up to the GLS 350d Sport, with 21 inch AMG alloys, active roll stabilisation and Active Curve System. There’s also a Nappa leather and AMG Line interior, AMG Line Exterior and tyre pressure monitoring. A snap at just $132900 MRLP.

Moving up the ladder sees the GLS 500 with “just” 335 kW and 700 torques from a 4.7L turboed V8. Throw in a panoramic glass electric sunroof with slide/tilt function, Luxury Front Seats with heating and ventilation, Heated second row seats, an Anti-theft protection package and a Digital TV tuner and one might just feel satisfied at $161900 MRLP. Might…

Because there’s the full house Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. Think zero to freeway in 4.6 seconds. Think a 5.5L V8. Think a stonking 430 kilowatts and a tidy 760 Newton metres of twist. Lob in a top speed of 270kmh, courtesy of the AMG Driver’s Package, 4MATIC all wheel drive and 22 inch AMG wheels, AMG Sports Suspension and High Performance Braking Package. All this can be yours at just $217900 MRLP.2016 M-B GLS

A note: the MRLP includes GST and any LCT applicable to the base / standard specification model but EXCLUDES DEALER DELIVERY AND ALL ON ROAD COSTS such as, for example, registration fees, stamp duty, CTP and the like.
For drive away price information, contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer.