With the debut of the X-Class concept last October, we knew it was only a matter of time before Mercedes-Benz unveiled the production version in full. And now it's finally here. With a more subtle design, a range of gas and diesel engine options, and a proven chassis, the X-Class could be an immediate hit from the start... assuming buyers are willing to pay the premium.
Underneath that more upscale skin is the same platform that underpins the Nissan Navara and upcoming Renault Alaskan. The truck will be built as part of a joint development program between Nissan and Mercedes, and apart from obvious rebadging and some minor exterior tweaks, Mercedes promises that it will see big improvements over its more mainstream siblings.
Much of the exterior is borrowed from other vehicles in the Mercedes lineup. The front fascia, most notably the grille, draws a number of distinctive similarities to the GLS SUV. A few extra add-ons can be had on the exterior, including features like a side step, a "Styling Bar," and even a choice of bed cover.
In the cabin, many of the same Mercedes design elements carry over. A standard 5.4-inch, or optional 8.4-inch infotainment screen sits front and center, while amenities like electric seats with lumbar support, Bluetooth connectivity, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and rear seats with room enough for three passengers are offered. Leather seats can be had at an extra cost.
The X-Class measures in at 210 inches (5.34 meters) long and 75.6 inches (1.92 meters) wide, with a wheelbase of 124 inches (3.15 meters). Maximum payload is 2,297 pounds (1,042 kilograms), and ground clearance is 7.95 inches (202 millimeters). The X-Class has a competitive approach angle of 20.4 degrees, besting rivals like the Chevy Colorado (17.6 degrees), and Honda Ridgeline (20.1 degrees).
At launch, the X-Class will be available with three engine options. A diesel engine, available in either X220d or X250d trims, will produce 163 horsepower (120 kilowatts) and 190 hp (140 kW) respectively. A comparable gas engine will produce 165 hp (122 kW). Both will come paired to either a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed automatic transmission.
A more powerful X350d option will be available mid-2018 with as much as 258 hp (190 kW) and 405 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque on tap. Mercedes says that, when its more powerful model is introduced, it will be the "leader of the segment," and include five different driving options: Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual, and Off-road.
At launch, the base X-Class will come equipped with an available 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system with a locking rear differential and low-range gearing. The company says that a more permanent all-wheel-drive system will be introduced sometime next year for even more off-road capability, first on the aforementioned X350d.
The new Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be available in Germany beginning in November with an asking price of €37,294 including VAT (approx. $43,114). The pickup will make its way to markets like South Africa and Australia in early 2018, and Argentina and Brazil in early 2019. For now, Mercedes has no plans to bring the X-Class to the U.S.