Mercedes-Benz has unveiled one of its most anticipated products this year – the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup truck. The X-Class is the first midsize pickup truck from the premium automaker which is claimed to blend the versatility of a pickup truck with the style, comfort and premium equipment levels that Mercedes-Benz is well-known for.
The X-Class is borne out of the Mercedes-Benz Van division’s partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance which began seven years ago. With the X-Class, Mercedes-Benz Vans is expanding its portfolio (which includes the Citan, Sprinter and Vito range) to a fourth model series and is closing the gap between commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
The X-Class borrows its underpinnings from the Nissan Navara NP300, which allows Mercedes-Benz a fast and cost-efficient entry to the high-growth segment of midsize pickups. The X-Class will also be produced alongside Nissan pickup trucks for certain markets.
The X-Class will be offered in three trim levels, to suit different customer bases and applications:
The X-Class retains a quantum of the styling cues from the concept vehicle. Exterior equipment will depend on the trim level, for instance, the rear bumper is painted black for the Pure line, in the vehicle colour for the Progressive line and in chrome for the Power line. Customers also have the option of deleting the rear bumper to achieve the concept’s sporty look, this also enables the tailgate to swing open 180-degrees.
The X-Class is the only mid-size pickup to be equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard. The third brake light contains LED lights which can illuminate the whole load bed. A 12-volt socket is also part of the standard equipment in the load bed.
The X-Class measures 5,340mm in length, 1,920mm in width and 1,819mm in height, which makes it longer (5,255mm), wider (1,850mm) and taller (1,810mm) than the Navara it’s based on. The wheelbase of both X-Class and Navara are identical at 3,150mm.
This X-Class' underpinnings consist of a ladder-type frame, rear multi-link solid axle, front independent suspension and coil springs on both axles. The pickup is claimed to haul a payload of up to 1,042kg and tow up to 3.5 tonnes..
Customer will be offered up to nine exterior colours and a variety of rim designs in 17-, 18- or 19-inch sizes to choose from across the three equipment lines.
The X-Class will be offered with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbodiesel with two output levels – the single-turbo X220d with 163hp and twin-turbo X 250d with 190hp. Both diesel models are available as left- or right-hand drive vehicles with rear wheel drive or with selectable all-wheel drive.
Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission for the X250d and X250d 4Matic models.
A range-topping Mercedes-Benz V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018 – dubbed the X350d, slated to generate 258hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. The X350d will offer as standard, permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive and the 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles and an ECO start/stop function. The Dynamic Select system with offer five drive programs, including an ‘Offroad’ mode.
On the inside, there are six seat covers to choose from across the three trim lines, including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and there are two roof liner colour options as well. The dashboard also features concave trim element which stretches across the width of the instrument panel – aimed at creating a wide, modern feel in the cabin. Premium variants will receive Artico man-made leather on the top section of the dash and ventilation outlets with different finishes depending on trim level. The X-Class will be offered with a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel which is height-adjustable.
The X-Class will carry the Comand Online multimedia system with an 8.4-inch central infotainment screen. The screen includes IPS technology (In-Plane Switching) and works in conjunction with a 360-degree Camera and the navigation maps.
As part of the Comand Online system – a multifunction touchpad such as on the passenger cars is located in the centre console and can be controlled using gestures or by entering letters and characters.
The market launch in Europe is scheduled for November 2017. At the beginning of 2018 South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will follow and in 2019 Argentina and Brazil. The X-Class will be produced from Nissan’s plant in Barcelona and Renault’s Cordoba plant in Argentina.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will go on sale in Germany starting from EUR37,294, with further market-specific prices to be announced successively.