Mercedes-Benz will soon be one of the few luxury manufacturers in the world offer a pickup truck. The German marque is set to introduce the X-Class pickup, hoping to succeed where Lincoln and Cadillac tried, but eventually quit. Who would have thought…? Well, Mercedes did and thanks to its partnership with Nissan Motors, the X-Class will soon be offered around the world – but sadly, not in North America (at least not initially).
2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is a midsize luxury pickup truck, rivaling the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, and Nissan Frontier in size. It’s based on the Nissan Navarra chassis (which has also yielded the Renault Alaskan pickup) and will share some body panels. However, most of its features and technologies are exclusive to Mercedes, including a double wishbone suspension for the front wheels and coil springs and disc brakes at the rear axle. Notably, these are features typically found in upscale models, including Mercedes’ own sedans.
Exterior and interior highlights
As far as exterior embellishments go, we expect the X-Class to offer features like automatic headlamps, LED daytime running lights, power-heated side mirrors, and alloy wheels. Likewise, an AMG package seems likely, offering special exterior trim, wheels, and color choices – that’s par for the design course of nearly all Mercedes-Benz models.
The front seats in this four-door truck will likely be quite comfortable, with heating and cooling options. Moreover, just as the least expensive Mercedes models deliver such amenities as dual-zone climate control, MB-Tex faux leather seats, a color touchscreen display, and navigation, those features should also be X-Class staples.
Engine and transmission choices
Several engine choices will be offered, but we only know about one so far: a turbo-diesel V6 with full-time four-wheel drive, according to Road & Track. There will also be at least one gas engine and perhaps a second diesel.
Customers will have a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Expect payload and towing capacities to come in at 2,200 and 7,000 pounds, respectively – matching models such as the GMC Canyon crew cab.
Targeted markets – but not North America
Mercedes will bring the 2018 X-Class to the market before the end of this year for several targeted markets. Specifically, the list will include Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East, as well as select African and South American markets. However, the US and Canada are currently not in line for this truck, likely because market demand is small and previous luxury models like the Lincoln Blackwood and Cadillac Escalade EXT were poor sellers. On the other hand, that might change if Mercedes customers demand the truck.
So, why a pickup truck? Like other manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz studies the market for consumer trends. Its own data shows worldwide growth in the pickup truck market, especially in underserved areas. Certainly, Mercedes is rolling the dice with the X-Class, hoping that customers will flock to its pickup truck as they have to the brand’s beloved sport utility vehicles and commercial vans.