2018 Mercedes X-Class Pickup — Not for U.S. consumption

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 31, 2017) Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. The Mercedes X-Class pickup will launch in Europe this November, in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in early 2018, and Argentina and Brazil in 2019. There are no current plans to bring this vehicle — which starts at the equivalent of $35,368 in Europe and is built off the Nissan Frontier/Renault Alaskan — to the U.S.

The X-Class will be available in three models:

    • X-Class Pure, the entry-level workhorse with an upscale look and feel.

    • X-Class Progressive, a prestigious private use pickup with extra styling and comfort features.

    • X-Class Power, a lifestyle pickup for urban environments, sports and leisure activities in the country, and outfitted with a high level of equipment.

How do you set a Mercedes pickup apart from the run-of-the-mill load hauler? Easy. You describe its capacities with upscale examples. Which means the X-Class can haul 1.2 tons of payload, and enough capacity to transport 17 50-liter (13.2 gallon) barrels of beer in the bed. It can tow up to 3.8 tons, and pull a trailer containing three horses or — when you want to get away from it all — a trailered 26-foot yacht. Yes, yacht. Oh, and a Euro palette fits between the rear wheel arches, should you be using it as a work truck.

Mercedes waxes eloquent about the instrument panel’s concave trim element that “creates an open feel and purist modernity” and is “a novel feature in this vehicle segment.” Buyers can choose from three trim levels in the mid-level X-Class Power: a pixelated effect in matte black, a longitudinal grain aluminum effect, and a brown matte woodgrain look.

The upper section of the instrument panel can be had with brown or black Artico man-made leather, and the round air registers are available in either high-gloss black or silver shadow. Also, Progressive and Power trim levels have their center consoles trimmed in silver shadow, which matches the interior door handles, and feature a freestanding 8.4-in. “Comand” central display.

Two four-cylinder engines will be available from launch, both based on the same 2.3-liter common rail diesel. The single turbo version produces 163 hp, while the twin-turbo version pumps out 190 hp. Either one is available in rear- or all-wheel drive, and mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

Midway through 2018, these engines will be joined by a V6 diesel  generating 258 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. As the top of the line model, it will come standard with permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive, the seven-speed automatic transmission, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and stop-start.

The Virtual Driver