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Mercedes-Benz: X-Class News **Revealed (page 1)**

 
Old 07-07-2017, 08:53 AM
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Mercedes-Benz is giving the world the first glimpse at its upcoming X-Class pickup via an exceedingly dramatic video that looks like it took many months and many dollars to render. The 2018 X-Class will share components with the Nissan Navara pickup and use the NP300 platform courtesy of an agreement with Renault-Nissan. The midsize X-Class pickup was last previewed by two concepts at the Geneva motor show this year, named Stylish Explorer and Powerful Adventurer, that indicated what a Mercedes-Benz pickup could look like.

Billed as the "world's first premium pickup," the X-Class will actually skip our pickup-friendly market entirely, aiming for the likes of the Volkswagen Amarok and the Toyota Hilux in other regions. The teaser video demonstrates that the production design has been watered down a bit from the concept, with the X-Class featuring a GLS-style grille with prominent horizontal bars, a tall hood and a front bumper with an integrated skid plate. The rear fascia will be fairly conventional, dictated by utility, with vertical LED taillights bookending the rear gate.

Mercedes is promising that the X-Class will be aimed at off-road functionality rather than being a luxury road cruiser, and this means a live rear axle and a transfer case with reduction gears. Thrifty V6 engines will power the X-Class -- no AMG V8s in this truck -- with a turbodiesel V6 expected to top the engine range.


Why isn't the X-Class coming here? A big part of the reason is production locations in Spain and Argentina; the chicken tax will make it prohibitively expensive to sell in the U.S. And it's not that Mercedes doesn't believe that it could sell the X-Class to a U.S. audience, especially amid a comeback of midsize pickups and a rush toward luxury trucks and SUVs that kicked off in the latter half of the decade. Mercedes made it clear early on that it intended the X-Class to be a rough-and-tumble working truck priced to compete with other working trucks, aimed at markets where a commute could require some casual off-roading. But the automaker hasn't ruled out bringing it to the States at some point in the future -- though it's clear that it will have to be produced here to be sold here, and setting up a production line takes time.

The X-Class will be revealed globally on July 18 and enter production in 2018.

Read more: Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup previewed ahead of global debut | Autoweek
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:24 PM
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https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/x-class/first-drive

A posh pickup?
Yep, that’s the intention, bringing a little ‘Benz class to the pickup market, giving the owner/operator an option with a three-pointed star. Think of it as a Merc SUV with commercial vehicle tax breaks. You can tell, because it’s only sold through the Mercedes Benz van dealer network. Plus, pickups are about as ‘lifestyle’ as it gets, but they tend to lack the niceties that many cash-rich lifestylers actually want these days; the X-Class aims to roll all of it up into one multi-purpose, lycra-ready package.

So it’s a new niche for Merc, then?
Well, not quite. One, Mercedes makes some of the best commercial vehicles in the world, so doing a rufty-tufty vehicle really isn’t new to it. Two, this isn’t actually a Mercedes one-off: the X-Class shares its basic bits with both the new Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan, making it a co-production seeking a defined identity. Basically, it gets the same (initially) doublecab and four-wheel drive system, double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear and pair of 2.3-litre, four-pot diesels in either 163bhp (X220d) or 190bhp (X250d) formats, the latter getting a twin-stage turbo instead of the mono in the former. There’s a V6 diesel coming with 255bhp, but more on that in a bit. There are three model lines - Pure, Progressive and Power - with the X220d getting a six-speed manual in Pure or Progressive, the rest equipped with a seven-speed auto. A basic X comes in at £27,310, but you can spec them well into the 40s once you start slapping on one of the seven option packages, options and accessories. That’s a lot of money for a pickup truck, especially as they generally don’t feel very much like a proper SUV or passenger car. Ever. You put up with workhorse attitude in a workhorse, less so when you pay thoroughbred money.

So how do you make a Mercedes feel like a Mercedes?
Obvious stuff first - you put a huge three-pointed star on the grille and give it a re-style. And yes, the X-Class looks neat, clean and good-looking. No, it’s not disguising the fact that its the same basic format as every other pickup on the market, but there’s a good looking basic truck here. The rear is obviously more generic - there’s only so much you can do with a slab tailgate and tweaks to the rear lights - but the front works well, and with the right options and colours, it looks pretty good.

Inside, it gets even more Merc-ified, with a broad swathe of dash material (in our case a really rather nice unvarnished dark plank of tree), topped by the usual floating Mercedes infotainment screen and peppered with ‘X’ styled airvents. The media is handled by Merc’s ‘Audio 20’ system with a 7in screen and rotary controller, with the optional COMAND Online gubbins available as an option for just under a grand and a half. There are a lot of options, so go careful with the configurator, or you’ll be staring at one very expensive pickup.

There’s a traditional centre-console-mounted gear selector and handbrake, and you can’t help feeling that if this were a ground-up Merc product, that the more usual column-mounted Mercedes shifter and electronic handbrake would free up an extraordinary amount of space between the seats. To be fair though, there’s been a fair bit of work here, because the X-Class is actually 50mm wider in the cabin (and 70mm in the bed) than the Navara on which it’s based. It also gets a touch more headroom in the rear, and several tweaks to the ergonomics (there’s better padding in the rear seats) and more aggressive sound-deadening.

Still, so far so good - if you’d dropped into a Power-specced X without looking at the outside, you’d probably just assume you’d been inveigled into one of the twelvety-thousand SUV variants that Mercedes Benz currently offers. No bad thing.

What about the driving?
Here’s where it gets interesting. Mercedes says that it’s changed everything that the customer comes into contact with - meaning that it’s improved everything from ride-quality to NVH - and as soon as you get moving, you notice two things: first, it’s genuinely quiet, and secondly that it rides very well for a pickup truck. Now usually, a pickup has to be sprung to cope with everything from a bare bed to a full tonne payload, and subsequently feels harsh when there’s nothing in the back. The X-Class copes admirably with no ride-settling load, and actually rides as well as some SUVs. This is good. No, it’s not a magic carpet, and you’ll still get some chassis-shudder and bobble on wonky potholes and expansion joints, but it’s the best pickup for ride quality I’ve driven in a while - helped in part by being extremely quiet. Yep, you’ll notice this is one solidly soundproofed effort, which goes a long way to making it feel more like the premium machine it wants you to think it is. It’s not as long-journey lightly knackering as most other cars in this part of the market, and that’s hugely appealing if this were to be your only vehicle. The steering is light, braking is effective, handling is on par-slash-good for this sector. It’s a pickup - basic physics still apply.

What about the engine?
Here’s where it goes a bit wobbly. Bluntly, the X-Class struggles with the four-cylinder engine and auto ‘box. We tested the car at altitude in the mountains of Chile (more on that soon), but even without the inherent breathlessness of height, even the 190bhp Power-specced car (starting at £34,100) we had was woefully slow to react. Initial pull away is fine, but if you want to overtake, you best plan, submit an application and wait. Seriously, kickdown accounted for a two-elephant count before anything happened, and even then you aren’t exactly subjected to forceful acceleration. Worse, given this is a car that Merc is pitching as a ‘high-end variant for urban lifestyles’, the lack of reaction makes it an absolute bus to try and weave through town. Noise well-smothered, yes, but it comes with a feeling that there’s no guts to match the macho exterior.

Now, in answer to this chink in the X-Class armoury, we also managed a passenger ride in the forthcoming (middle of 2018) diesel V6 with 255bhp and a lump more torque - the X350d - and that also gets a full Mercedes transmission. A car which answers all of these questions and more, and transforms the X-Class into a full-house ‘proper’ Merc product. If you want the all-round Mercedes experience, then there’s really only one engine option. You’ll be left underwhelmed otherwise. Mind you, I’m not expecting that set-up to be the budget option.

Can it off-road?
Yep. Light-to-medium off-road is easy-peasy, helped by the multi-link rear end and decent clearances. As usual, you’ll be more limited by tyre-type than the car’s inherent 4x4 ability, though I would suggest that if you’re traversing muddy fields regularly that you option the rear diff lock (£495 ex-VAT) and the 20mm ride-height increase for £220. You can switch to all-wheel drive on the fly, and everything’s simple enough to use via a rotary switch on the centre console. If you get it wrong, there’s lots of safety kit, too, including a bouncy-castle’s-worth of airbags, active brake assist, lane-keep assist, hill start tech, a reversing cam and optional trailer stability assist for the towing of your lifestyle horse trailer or wood chipper, depending on what day it is.

So what’s the verdict?
Tough one this. I happen to think it looks better than either the Nissan Navara or Renault Alaskan with which it shares most of its guts. With a couple of light tweaks (bigger tyres, a decent roll bar, some extra lighting), it’d be a very good-looking machine. And there’s more appeal in saying that you have a Mercedes pickup than either of the other two. It’s also relatively refined and comfortable, quiet and largely capable. But the current/initial engine and ‘box don’t back up the pitch well enough to warrant the Merc premium. Either wait for the V6, or go cheap and practical, and be prepared for a less posh badge.

So, a largely refined pickup from Mercedes, with good looks and unusually cosseting refinement for the sector. Let down by sluggish engine and gearbox line-up.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:24 PM
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:25 PM
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:25 PM
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:01 PM
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https://www.motor1.com/news/303918/m...tended-pickup/

Could this be a prelude to a U.S. debut for the luxury truck?

Is Mercedes-Benz planning to release a long-bed version of its X-Class pickup truck? A year ago we thought that answer might be yes – spy photos of a Mercedes pickup with an extended bed appeared last March, but that was the only sighting. The long-bed Merc wasn’t seen again, and obviously no production models appeared. We thought the project may have been cancelled, but photos coming out today suggest otherwise.

There’s clearly no camouflage on this truck, save for a wrap on the fuel door which is bizarre to say the very least. The last time we saw this truck it was fully wrapped in camo, so either testing has progressed to a point where there isn’t a need to hide details, or we’re looking at a cobbled-together test mule of some sort. Either way, Mercedes has been quite secretive of whether such a machine could come to pass. Perhaps more importantly, the automaker has been secretive of whether the X-Class could make the jump to America.

That could actually be the crux of why this vehicle exists. A longer bed with more power under the hood would certainly appeal to U.S. pickup truck buyers, and Mercedes already supplies the latter with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel making 255 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque. There’s also the possibility that Mercedes engineers could fit the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the X-Class, but that would only happen if there was sufficient demand.

In the meantime, we can see an extended-length X-Class wouldn’t simply be the same pickup with more bed at the rear. This prototype wears what looks like a standard X-Class bed with extra length at the front, which means there’s also a longer wheelbase underneath. That could be why testing is ongoing, as stretching the wheelbase even by a small amount can have a dramatic affect on other components, notably at the rear suspension.

We’ll certainly keep a closer eye out for more X-Class news.

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Old 02-04-2019, 04:06 PM
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Gotta camo that fuel door.

Not sure I see the market for a F150 Limited-priced mid-sized truck.

Even with the TTV6 (400-class) it'll be expensive.

Not much of a litmus test, but the GLC43 starts at $57k & the GLE400 at $56k

A hard-loaded Ranger is just sub-$50k

So, I'd think the X would hit the US in the $50-60k range with the GLE400 TTV6 & not have a huge market to buy it.

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Old 02-06-2019, 08:07 PM
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This will fail so hard just like the Lincoln Blackwood, etc.

Ford, Chevy, RAM, GMC will always dominate this space.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:45 AM
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I'm sure there are plenty of people in CA who would love a MB pickup truck. Shows that they have money and work hard for it.

Those that need a truck to use it like a truck will continue to buy F150's, Silverados, etc.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:30 AM
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While the X would compete price-wise with the full-sizers here, it'd more of a comparison against the Ranger, Tacoma, Frontier, Ridgeline. Almost none of which would likely be cross-shopped against the X, price difference being a large reason, IMO.
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