First teased over two years ago in concept form, the production version of the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup was finally unveiled today in Cape Town, South Africa. Based on the platform found beneath the current body-on-frame Nissan NP300 Navara and available as a 5-passenger crew cab, the new X-Class also offers unique styling cues and powertrains choices as well as a host of upscale features to ensure it remains “the Mercedes” of the midsize pickup set. Although the X-Class will be sold in many world markets, for now, there are currently no plans to bring it to America.

Premium personality

While its main bodywork remains largely Nissan, the recast front end of the X-Class is pure M-B and evidences strong GLS-Class cues with unique details on its Pure, Progressive and Power trim grades. So too does the rear treatment. Buyers also will be able to add a wide selection of personalization elements, including dedicated Style Packages for the Progressive/Power variants, hard/soft tonneau covers, running boards and even an SUV-style bed canopy.

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Inside, the X-Class reflects its M-B heritage offering an impressive choice of fabric and leather upholstery, real wood trim, two sizes of multimedia touchscreens, and depending on model, power front seats, a Comand Online telematics package with voice control and hard-disk navigation, Live Traffic info, Audio 20 CD sound systems and 360-degree surround view camera. As in all M-B models, safety remains a priority and the X-Class will come with or offer active brake and lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, trailer stability assist, LED headlamps and an emergency call system.

Gasoline and turbodiesel power

The X-Class will offer 4-cylinder gasoline and turbodiesel engines, with the former making 163 horses and the latter 2.3-liter duo developing 161 with a single force feeder and 187 ponies with twin sequential turbos. By mid-2018, a 255-horse V6 turbodiesel with 406 lb-ft of torque will be added. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the Power model comes with a 7G-Tronc Plus automatic that is optional on other X-Class variants. It also will offer M-B’s multi-mode Dynamic Select system.

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To ensure outstanding ride comfort on road or off, the X-Class chassis features a wide track with coil springs all around and can be had in standard and elevated ride-height configurations. While the Power variant comes with permanent, dual-range 4Matic all-wheel drive, Pure and Progressive turbodiesel models will offer a dual-range version that allows the driver to electronically disengage the front wheels when surface conditions permit. Stopping power on all models is provided by vented disc brakes.

The new 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class goes on sale in Europe this fall. It will debut in South Africa and Australia in early 2018 with Argentina and Brazil to follow in 2019. 

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