Mercedes-Benz adds a Dash of Luxury to the Midsize Pickup Market

When consumers think of Mercedes-Benz, premium sedans, coupes, and SUVs come quickly to mind. Now, a pickup truck is wiggling its way into the equation. This week, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its X-Class pickup, the brand’s second body-on-frame model available to the general public (the other being the G-Class), and the only model with an open bed.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz showed a concept version of what would be the X-Class, but the production model looks considerably tamer. At the front, the X-Class features a large grille similar to other Mercedes SUVs, slender headlights, and a large lower fascia. At the rear, tall LED taillights are pushed to the ends of the truck to permit as large a tailgate opening as possible.

Apart from these distinctions, the X-Class shares design cues with the Nissan Navara upon which it’s based. The partnership between Daimler and Renault-Nissan afforded Mercedes-Benz the opportunity to build the X-Class, which is aimed at a more premium market than the Navara.

If Americans are starting to become suspicious at this point, I’ll go ahead and share the bad news: the X-Class isn’t coming to the U.S. Yes (insert sad trombone), Mercedes-Benz will offer the X-Class in Europe, South America, and Australia, but not in North America at all.

The X-Class will be available in three trims with three unique outputs. The entry-level X220d uses a 2.3-liter four-cylinder diesel that makes 163 horsepower when equipped with a single turbocharger, and 190hp with a bi-turbo configuration (the X250d). A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, but the twin-turbo diesel can be paired with a seven-speed automatic for more coin. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available. A range-topping X350d will be added later with a turbodiesel V6 making 258 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.

Those who are up-to-date on their Mercedes-Benz history will recall that the tri-star brand has built a few pickups in the past, including the 170 V flatbed, G63 6×6, and W115 pick-up. These limited-run models notwithstanding, the X-Class will be the brand’s first mainstream cab-and-bed vehicle.

All images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz/©Daimler AG