Pick-ups may have a long-running reputation for being dusty battered workhorses that are fit for the building site and not much else. However, models like the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 have helped reinvent pick-ups for families and other private buyers.
Now, Mercedes-Benz is hoping to take it another step forward with the new X-Class, which was revealed this week.
The X-Class uses the Nissan Navara as a base, which is the result of a parts-sharing deal between the two manufacturers. This provides a fantastic starting block for Merc because the Navara is widely considered to be the leading name in the pick-up market, combining style and practicality with a determined work ethic and rufty-tufty off-road prowess, all at the right price.
This is more than a mere rebadging exercise though and Mercedes had made the model its own by bolting in its own engines and upping the luxury to the sort of levels you’d expect from something with a three-pointed star on its front grille.
From the side, the X-Class could be mistaken for a Navara but its imposing front-end washes away any potential confusion over its family.
The pick-up will be available as a 161bhp X 220d or a 188bhp X 250d. Both use the same 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine but vary power outputs accordingly and come linked to a six speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is an option for the higher-powered engine too.
Equipment will be split over three trim tiers with the entry-level ‘Pure’ model being ideal for rugged use. The ‘Progressive’ variant is aimed at those after a workhorse but with extra styling and comfort, while the range-topping ‘Power’ X-Class will appeal to buyers wanting optimum style, comfort and performance.
Prices are expected to start from around £33,000 when it goes on sale before the end of the year.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Pick-ups have become increasingly popular in the UK recently, as many realise the versatility and benefits they unlock. With an open load area, a pick-up can serve as a trade vehicle in the week, but with five seats, it can be ideal for a family weekend away too.
“Mercedes has recognised this appeal and we know they’ll bring something very special when the X-Class launches soon.”
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