We’ve been waiting for Mercedes-Benz’s pick-up since it was announced in 2015, and after two concepts later, it’s finally here. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is said to be the first pick-up truck in the premium segment (the company’s own G-Class notwithstanding), and will go on sale starting in Europe in November.

Although its ties with the Nissan NP300 Navara on which it is based is readily apparent – particularly around the centre cab section – the X-Class has enough unique design details to distinguish itself as a product of the three-pointed star. The front is pure Mercedes, with C-shaped headlights that flank a massive grille with the trademark dinner plate-sized badge.

The twin grille slats feature rectangular cutouts first seen on the facelifted GLA, while a protective bumper guard sits below it, flanked by twin fog lights. Along the sides, the arches are squared off instead of round on the Navara to give it a more macho look, and the Nissan’s prominent haunches have been softened here. The rear has been simplified with flat C-shaped tail lights being the only adornment.

Inside, the X-Class is also recognisably Mercedes, with round air vents and many elements such as the steering wheel, instrument cluster, COMAND infotainment system and light switch taken from the C-Class. However, some switchgear, like the climate, window and four-wheel drive system controls, have been lifted from the Navara, and the gearlever is also mounted on the floor instead of the steering column.

As befits a Mercedes, the X-Class is available with a few luxurious appointments, including an Artico faux leather dashboard and power-adjustable seats with electric lumbar support, upholstered in Artico and Dinamica microfibre. Also available is the upgraded COMAND Online navigation system with an 8.4-inch centre display that replaces the standard 5.4-inch screen.

At launch, the X-Class is available in X 220 d and X 250 d variants, but unlike other diesel models in Mercedes’ range, these are not powered by Stuttgart’s ubiquitous 2.2 litre mill. Instead, they utilise the Renault-derived 2.3 litre four-cylinder engine found on the Navara in other markets, with a single turbo on the 163 hp X 220 d and sequential twin turbos on the 190 hp X 250 d.

There’s also a 165 hp petrol engine available in markets like Dubai and Morocco, likely the QR25 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated mill from the Nissan Teana. All models come with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox, with the diesel models also available with switchable four-wheel drive. A seven-speed automatic transmission is offered as an option on the X 250 d models.

An X 350 d will be offered starting in mid-2018, motivated by Mercedes’ own 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 that develops 258 hp and a solid 550 Nm of torque. The range-topper will come as standard with a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus auto and a permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive system, as well as the Dynamic Select system with Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Offroad drive modes.

Safety-wise, the X-Class comes as standard with seven airbags, as well as Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist. Also offered is Trailer Stability Assist, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an emergency call system, cruise control and LED headlights, as well as a 360-degree camera.

After Europe, the X-Class will be offered in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand early next year, and in Argentina and Brazil in 2019. European, South African and Australasian models will be built at Nissan’s Barcelona plant, while Latin American vehicles will come from Renault’s Cordoba facility in Argentina. Prices start at €37,294 (RM184,400) in Germany.






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