Mercedes has lifted the veil and presented the new X-Class. Mercedes X-Class is the company’s first large scale production luxury pickup and we reveal all its secrets, including the prices for the German market. The X-Class will be available in Europe, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. No USA.
There it is, the Mercedes of the pickups. Following the 2016 reveal of the close to production concept, the series X-Class has now been revealed in South Africa. Sales start this November with a basic price of 37,294 euros.
It is widely known that Mercedes is buying the technical base from the Renault Nissan Group, the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara and is also being built at Nissan’s European headquarters in Barcelona. In contrast to other “badge engineering” models such as the practically identical duo Mitsubishi L200 and Fiat Fullback, Mercedes has – having learnt its lesson from the experience with the Citan – heavily updated the Nissan Navara donor base and created an unique interior and exterior design.
On the technical side, the ladder frame and the drivetrains are primarily identical. In addition, the basic cell of the cabin and individual body parts such as the doors are identical. Nevertheless, the Mercedes X-Class is a completely new car, from a design stand point.
The front is dominated by the radiator grill with powerful big star and two cross chrome bars, the headlights with LED daytime running lights are smaller and more aggressive. Depending on the equipment variant, the lower apron is decorated with a large chrome surround, lacquered in car paint or molded in dyed plastic, which is more robust. At the rear, we notice the extremely narrow high-angle lights, an unusual styling idea in the pick-up camp. Mercedes is fitting a rear bumper to every X-Class, depending on the variant painted in car paint or in chrome, “naked” commercial vehicle variants as with other manufacturers will not exist.
In the chassis department, Mercedes has made major changes to the Nissan Navara. Wider gauge and its own optimized for road use will bring a considerable improvement compared to the Nissan. This is to be desired, because the Navara chassis is despite all coil springs quite rustic and bumpy. On the other hand, Nissan technology can be used again for engines, at least for the time being. The two variants of the 2.3-liter turbodiesel with single- and twin turbocharging (163/190 hp) are known from the Navara, in the Mercedes they operate under the designation X 220 d and X 250 d. Both variants are available with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive and come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the X 250 d is also offered with a seven-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive variants have a switchable off-road 50/50% traction lock switch and optionally a rear axle differential lock.
In contrast to the prospective main competitor, the VW Amarok V6, Mercedes will only offer a V6 variant from 2018 onwards. Powered by Mercedes’ own three-liter V6 diesel, the X 350 d with 258 hp and 550 Nm will be the most potent midsize pickup ever. The X 350 d is equipped as standard with the seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic and is available with permanent all-wheel drive only.
Unique interior amenities
Particularly much work has been done in the interior design, with hardly one part lifted from the Nissan. From the Navara was taken only the small switch unit in front of the gear lever, from which all-wheel drive / support, hillside control and the rear axle lock can be operated. Otherwise everything is new. This begins with the door panels and handles and continues over the entire dashboard, which is now covered side-to-side with a full-surface mid-section plastic ornament. The rotary push button for the Comand system is integrated into the center console, the instruments with round screens and the central info display and the multi-function steering wheel are the same as in the current Mercedes SUV line-up. Many details, such as the control panel of the climate control system or the design of the round fan nozzles, are known from the Mercedes GLA. In addition, Mercedes promises an unusually high individualization potential for pickup conditions with various color and decor variations. Despite all this, the interior designers had obviously no easy task with the constructive specifications of the base. Individual details such as the fan nozzles or the Comand controller have the effect of being retrofitted.
Mercedes X-Class can be found by mobile phone
With the assistance and media options Mercedes X-Class takes full advantage of the brand’s parts bin. The X-Class already has the eCall system, which is required from 2018, and also the technical prerequisites for online services. For this reason, the optional me-connect system can be used to access the vehicle via a smartphone, for example, to determine the location or to check the tank content and tire pressure. In addition to the voice-controlled Comand Online, Mercedes also offers the 20 USB and 20 CD audio systems from the other series for the X-Class. Tracking, traffic signs and active brake assist are on board as well as a trailer stability program, cruise control and LED headlights. In addition to the rear-view camera, a 360-degree camera system with Birdview mode is available at an extra charge.
Mercedes will offer the X-Class in three different equipment variants, which also differ externally. Base is the X-Class Pure with a dark plastic apron. In addition, Mercedes offers the X-Class Progressive, in which the apron is lacquered in car paint. With its chrome apron, the top equipment X-Class Power can easily be recognized. The upcoming V6 is only offered in this version. In addition, Mercedes already plans to offer a pickup-typical accessories program such as a hardtop and loading area cover or off-road accessories at the start of sales.
The market launch of the X-Class will take place in Germany and Europe in November 2017, followed by South Africa and Australia in early 2018 and Argentina and Brazil in early 2019. On the export markets, a petrol engine with 165 hp will also be part of the program. There will also be slightly less pompous versions available. The X-Class 350 d with the V6 diesel will come in mid-2018. According to Mercedes, the demand for particularly luxurious and comfortable midsize pickups is steadily rising, which is why the X-Class, unlike the competition, will only be available as a double cab with an already comprehensive basic equipment. Real workhorses with minimized rustic equipment are not on the program for Germany. In the face of the basic price of 37,294 for the X class 220 d Pure with manual transmission (for comparison: the Navara prices for the 2.3-liter double cab start at 31.110 Euro) may be assumed that for the top model X-Class 350 D will cost around 60,000 euros.