In an interesting turn of events, Mercedes-Benz has officially announced their very first pickup truck, the X-Class. It’s been a long time coming for Mercedes, but they finally were able to show off one of their biggest reveals in recent history.
The X-Class is a mid-sized pickup that has put an emphasis on bringing luxury to the once blue collar category. But before you get too excited you should know one thing, it’s not going to be available stateside. There is a good reason for that I suppose, as the platform the X-Class is currently built on is shared with the Nissan Navara and the Renault Alaskan, the latter of which I had never heard of. Both of these foreign pickups are currently available in other markets except for the US. Funny, isn’t the US the land of the pickup?
Regardless, the X-Class is the first time a luxury company like Mercedes has taken the dive into this kind of market, which will be an interesting experience. It’s curious to me how the X-Class is supposed to drive. Are they taking the approach they have with their cars, making them dead quiet and smooth? If so, isn’t that counter intuitive the entire truck experience? I mean, sure, a lot of mid-sized trucks already drive more like cars than their full-size counterparts, but Mercedes seems to be taking it a step further, which eliminates the purpose of even driving a truck, with the exception of actually towing and hauling things. But I doubt you are going to be lacing up your dirty work boots before getting into that plush Mercedes interior.
Even still the X-Class is looking to start at just over €37,000 and will be exclusive to Europe in through its first year. Later expansions have already been mapped out, with Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Australia making the list.
The X-Class will be highly configurable from the factory, offering 4 engine choices and rear-wheel-drive or a selectable 4-wheel-drive system. This will be a type of 4MATIC, but now with a new low range option. Like any Mercedes worth its salt the X-Class will utilize a number system to designate how much money you were willing to spend. The base model is set to be called the X-200, featuring a 4-cylinder that only makes 160hp and a 176lb-ft of torque. That barely edges out a Mazda Miata, but maybe that’s none of my business.
From there the rest of the engine options are all diesel, highlighting the reason we will likely never see the X-Class stateside. The X-220D and X-250D are the middle children, sporting both power and torque gains over their petrol powered sibling. but the real class leader is the X-350D with it’s 6-cylinder diesel. At 255hp and 405lb-ft of torque this model actually becomes appealing. They claim it will tow up to 3.5-tons, or haul a 1-ton payload in the bed alone. Surprisingly that actually beats out some of the lower configured F150’s, while absolutely decimating the US spec Toyota Tacoma. All of that power is set to be sent through either a 7-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. Normally the manual is only available on the base model, but this car will be sold where folks actually know how to drive stick, so there is a chance even the top shelf model could have a stick.
Styling wise the X-Class is a fairly good looking truck. The front is gorgeous, with that giant prop emblem present well in the dash. It’s on the rear that the X-Class loses me a little bit. The tail lights look too much like a first gen Nissan Frontier, while the short bed and redneck roll bar leaves something to be desired. When looking into it I saw the Renault Alaskan concept and I have to say, that truck is a thing of beauty. It may not be as luxurious, but it sets of the aura of being a proper truck. Just smaller. With the fact that they are sharing a chassis I am honestly bummed neither of these trucks will be coming to America. Might be time to move.
Mercedes promised a vast selection of accessories including “styling, loading solutions and off-road. It will be expanded successively, especially for off-road use.” It will be really interesting to see what a customized X-Class looks like, but for that, we will have to wait. overall for a small pickup, the Mercedes X-Class could turn out to be the best blend of comfort and towing performance.