Set to arrive in Germany in November 2017 and other global markets — but not the United States — in early 2018, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is, according to Mercedes-Benz, “the first pickup from a premium manufacturer.”
Lincoln Blackwood? Cadillac Escalade EXT? Lincoln Mark LT? You apparently don’t count.
We’ve seen the concepts before. Mercedes-Benz today revealed the production X-Class, a Nissan Navara-based pickup truck from the three-pointed star.
Marketed in Pure, Progressive, and Power trim lines, the X-Class will initially be available with two diesel powerplants generating 163 and 190 horsepower as well as a 165-horsepower gas-powered engine. Mercedes-Benz says the range-topping X-Class will feature a V6 diesel with 258 horsepower.
Though related to the Navara, the X-Class is both wider and longer, making the Benz a particularly large pickup in many of the markets in which it will compete. At 211.8 inches long, the X-Class is 20 inches shorter, bumper to bumper, than a Ford F-150 SuperCrew with the 5.5-foot box. Mercedes-Benz says the X-Class’s bed is 62.5 inches long, 61.4 inches wide, and 18.7 inches high. Payload maxes out at nearly 2,300 pounds; towing capacity rises as high as 7,700 pounds. The X-Class will be available with rear-drive or “engageable all-wheel drive,” though the top-spec X350d is equipped solely with permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive. Mercedes-Benz will also make available its Dynamic Select system with Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual, and an Offroad mode, the latter not available on the AMG C43 Cabriolet.
But it’s with a premium interior that Mercedes-Benz hopes to support the idea of premium pricing. Mercedes-Benz credits the instrument panel’s “concave trim element,” leather dashtops, silver door handles, specially developed seats, a 9.4-inch Comand infotainment screen, and a range of customizability.
Mercedes-Benz isn’t new to the commercial sector, with a large van presence across much of the world. But whether a German pickup truck (built in a Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, and a Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina) would fly on this side of the Atlantic is a massive unknown. Minimizing the X-Class’s chances of a U.S. presence are the costs associated with importing, a comparatively small American midsize segment, and past rejection of premium brand trucks.
Which apparently don’t exist in Mercedes-Benz’s books anyway.
[Image: Daimler AG]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.