Recently, I received an email from a friend, with this picture followed by a number of question marks. He couldn’t believe that Mercedes was making a pickup. He has a relative that lives in Switzerland and she spotted this Mercedes X250D on the road. Seeing as these were just launched at the end of 2017, they are likely still an uncommon sight.
I had heard of that Daimler-Benz was developing a pickup some time ago, but to be honest hadn’t really followed it all that closely. Mercedes has been making capable SUV’s for some time, and has a long history making large trucks, including the go-anywhere Unimog. So it doesn’t seem like building a smaller pick-up would fall too far outside its expertise. However, in this case, the new X-class pickup is actually just a re-worked Nissan Navara. The Navara is the European market’s follow-up to the Frontier that we still get in North America.
To be fair it is more than a typical rebadge, as Mercedes had specific benchmarks in place to improve upon the Nissan basis. The truck had to meet Mercedes ride and handling standards, while still retaining its utilitarian abilities. The X-Class shares the same ladder frame as the Navara, including its rear coil spring suspension. However, the X-class has a wider track and Mercedes engineers retuned the suspension to closer align with their standards.
There is no shared sheet metal between the two trucks despite the fact they share the same assembly line. The X-class has a wider body and track width, a full 2.8 inches, compared to the Nissan. The extra width results in a slightly larger cabin. Of course, being a Mercedes, there is additional sound insulation, and added reinforcements including an additional chassis cross-member. Critics have quipped that there are a number of interior parts that are shared with the Nissan, and they don’t quite live up to Mercedes standards.
Powertrain options are mostly supplied by Nissan. They include the entry level X220d that uses a 2.3L Nissan 4 cylinder turbo diesel, pumping out 161 hp and 297 ft-lbs of torque. Next up is the X250D which uses a 2.3L turbo diesel, making 197 hp and 332 ft-lbs of torque. Later in the year, Mercedes plans to launch an X350d variant, which will use Mercedes own 3.0L turbo Diesel V6, rated at 254 hp and 406-ft-lbs of torque. Of note, some markets will have a 2.0L naturally aspired gasoline powered 4 cylinder model, dubbed the X200. With an automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, Mercedes claims the X250D has a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of sedate 11.8 seconds.
The X-Class has a base price of more than 37,000 Euros in Germany. Adding a few options on to that can quickly increase the price. At the present there are no plans to launch the X-Class pickups in North America, despite automakers seemingly having more interest in the mid-size pickups as of late. Perhaps it’s a wise move, since North Americans are decidedly loyal to North American-branded pickups.