Finally, after teasing us with not one but two concepts, Mercedes-Benz has revealed exactly how its posh pick-up will look when it hits the UK at the end of 2017.
We got a pretty good idea of how the Nissan Navara-based Mercedes would appear when the firm revealed its second X-Class concept at the end of the last year. While the concept was shown in two versions – the bling Stylish Explorer with its 22-inch alloys and extra chrome, and the rough-and-tough Powerful Adventurer with chunky tyres and an electric winch – buyers of the production model will be able to choose three difference variants.
The basic X-Class Pure is intended as a rugged workhorse, while still being comfortable and stylish enough for visiting customers or taking the family out. The mid-level Progressive model is a little more stylish, while the top-spec Power is “a lifestyle vehicle beyond the mainstream,” says Mercedes, “suitable for urban environments as well as for sports and leisure activities off the beaten track.”
Why is Mercedes making a pick-up?
Simply, because there’s a demand for it. Just like Mercedes was an early entry into the SUV segment with its original M-Class, it’s hoping to trigger a premium pick-up niche. With pick-up trucks like the Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux increasingly being seen as company car tax-friendly lifestyle vehicles rather than all-out workhorses, Mercedes reckons there’s a market out there for something a little more upmarket.
By using its commercial vehicle knowledge (from the Unimog to the Vito), Mercedes says it’s in a good place to offer the first truly premium pick-up on the market (although Volkswagen’s Amorok could put up a fight for the title). It helps that, through Daimler AG’s relationship with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Mercedes has a good base (and factory) ready to go. It just needs to make it a little chintzier.
Tell me about the technology
While pick-ups traditionally fall short when it comes to safety features, the X-Class features no fewer than seven airbags as standard as well as i-Size points for fitting child seats. Further passive safety features from elsewhere in the range are also available: including Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist.
A 360-degree camera is also available to aid parking, while an infotainment system (up to 8.4-inches depending on spec) with an in-built SIM card allows you to access certain features remotely (great if you’ve forgotten where you’re parked or how much fuel the truck has).
What about the engines?
As well as a platform, the X-Class shares a diesel engine with the Navara. The 2.3-litre turbodiesel is available as the turbocharged X220d with 163hp, or twin-turbo X250d producing 190hp. Buyers get a choice of rear- or engageable four-wheel-drive with both power outputs, while a six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range. A seven-speed auto can be chosen as an option for the X250d.
A V6 turbodiesel will arrive in summer 2018. Badged the X350d, the range-topping engine will provide 258hp and more than 400lb ft of torque. Four-wheel drive will be standard with the V6, as well as a seven-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel paddles.
Mercedes-Benz X-Class: release date and price
UK prices are yet to be confirmed, but its €37,294 sticker price in Europe roughly translates to £33,000. If it makes it across the channel without adjustment (unlikely), that’ll make it marginally more expensive than the entry-level Volkswagen Amarok.
If you’re keen, Mercedes-Benz dealers are taking £1,000 deposits, with European deliveries beginning in November 2017.