Spied: 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup

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For those keeping track of such things, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan are joining forces in the mid-size pickup truck segment — at least that's what they call it in the U.S. That means we can expect to see Mecedes-fied Nissan Navara. From everything the Germans tell us, they want their version of the pickup to be a global work truck. Of course, that doesn't mean it won't eventually make it to the U.S., but that's not likely to happen anytime soon. Expect the MB pickup to follow the strategy of the Metris small work van: keep safety and performance top-notch, but limit the frills to keep costs down. Here's what our spy photographers sent us after seeing the most recent test unit.

"Today we spied the upcoming 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup (to date, not slated for the U.S.) looking quite production ready during its tests near the Arctic Circle.

"As we've stated before, the new X-Class will share a platform with the Nissan Navara and some of the body as well. That said, the Mercedes X-Class will still have its own look as we've seen by the two concept versions Mercedes has already revealed.

"We are expecting the X-Class to use the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 from Mercedes' European passenger cars with 261 horsepower and 450 pounds-feet of torque. The X-Class will also almost certainly have at least one four-cylinder offering. The X-Class will also feature Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system."

Chris Doane Automotive images


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Competition to the two little girls from GARBAGE MOTORS.

Rut ro.....a real truck could enter the market.....just because it has Mercedes on it, would make me want it.

Wow, just about everyone will be offering a mid size before Ford gets to market with it's baby F-series. Hope their not too late???

Spies went all way to artic circle to get these pictures? Geez. I hope it was worth it.
261hp/450lb-ft. That's would be better than ecodiesel. But seems a little overkill for a midsize with such a small bed, but surely someone will think otherwise. In a way who cares if not coming to usa. I guess the media needs something else to talk about since Chicago's special additions or refreshes were so boring. The X or "Navara" is shaping up to be no different than the twins even if it did come to usa. The additional competition is good for us consumers, but I think at a point of diminishing returns so to speak. I saw a few Mercedes 2500 vans this weekend. Clearly cab forward designs is achievable even with the reduced crumple safety zone. Now I'm seeing a new blinged out full size GMC (crew cab 6.5'bed) in the neighborhood. Very long engine compartment and overall length. And the hoods are so UNARROWDYNAMIC. A brick! Ridiculous long engine compartment. There has to be some kind of frontal engine compartment design that is a compromise between the two extremes. Also saw a Titan XD in the nearby grocery mall. These trucks are so big, that the owners are forced to drive slower than grandma in any kind of mall grocery area. That does nothing but congest things up even more. It's the absolute truth! One full size truck grocery getting is like two sedans grocery getting. Buy hey, the Texans don't care, it makes them look and feel more manly.

@ gms, you would need to worry about the truck above, as mercedes is waaaaaaaaay ahead of GM in making great vehicles.

@GMNOTSOGREAT, wishing it were. I 'm sure that when you saw that picture you and little Jonny were thinking it was a "special trim" package on your Canyon/Colorado.
History lesson for you and brother - Ford Enters, Ford Wins. Your 2017 Malaise is gonna be rough, and 2018 even worse.

looks like a ridgeline to me...... just sayin

Stick to cars MB.

@Mark Williams
This vehicle will not come to the US as Mercedes already does not sell a lot of it's lineup in the US( eg it's Heavy Duty Semi's)
As far as a " Mercedesized" Nissan Navara , No, as there is a Renault version as well destined for primarily Latin America.

There will be two versions of the X Class
One will be similar to the luxury Mercedes Vans, which are not available in the US and the other a more work inspired Pickup
with considerable Off Road ability and a minimum 2,400lb Psyload, 3.5 Tonne towing

@Mark Williams
Mercedes Marco Polo Campervan, not a conversion but a Van model available in Europe

Yes, the Renault pickup, Navara and Mercedes GLT? we're all going to be trucks based off the same chassis. I don't see much of a market for the GLT in the U.S.

The Nissan Frontier will probably have the work truck market (and maybe a non-compete?). Mercedes can't compete with Ridgeline for ride/handling in the upscale market (not on traditional BOF chassis, anyway), so that leaves an overly-crowded mid-level mid-sized market to compete in. Ranger will be a wildcard for the work truck/ mid-level market, also.

As for FCA, I'd like to see the Jeep pickup and RAM Dakota with the 3.0 Ecodiesel....

Mercedes can't compete with Ridgeline for ride/handling in the upscale market (not on traditional BOF chassis, anyway)


Really? Isn't the RAM 1500 on a body/frame chassis? There isn't a more enjoyable or better-riding pickup in the universe than the half ton RAM.

Who designed that chassis? Daimler engineers. 15 years ago. I bet they've learned a few things about it since then too. Don't count them out.

It's the sticker shock that kills this, not the "ride."

@Papa Jim, Ram rides great on smooth streets/highway, Ridgeline does better when it gets a little bumpy, RR tracks, etc.

Ram rides great on smooth streets/highway, Ridgeline does better when it gets a little bumpy, RR tracks, etc.


You responded to my accurate post with an opinion, a subjective comment about the way a Ridgeline rides compared to a RAM 1500, according to you.

I gave you objective facts. Please cite specifics---I did.

Not for me if it will ever come tot the US market. But can be a nice niche truck choice for some and alternative choice for Ridgeline buyers or even high end versions of shaky GM twins & the future US Ranger...

For all of you saying how MB needs to stick to cars, MB owns the Class 8 Heavy duty truck market in Europe and the US (freightliner). They defiantly know what the're doing with heavy duty vehicles

@Papa Jim

Take a RAM 1500 for a test drive over various road surfaces, not just the ones the dealer wants you to drive on.

Then test drive a Ridgeline over those same various roads.

You may be quite surprised.


Take a test drive? Is that the best you've got?

I'm asking you to respond to the facts I presented with a solid case for your viewpoint.

I've driven thousands of miles in GL and ML Benz crossovers, including the AMG models. They are whisper quiet. Their chassis are beautifully isolated from vibration with loads of soft bushings and killer engineering.

I've driven the Pilot and the Ridgeline. They are both pretty "trucky" for cars that are supposed to be so refined, according to you.

Frankly Longboat you went way out on a limb comparing a Honda or Acura to a Mercedes. Likewise for the half ton RAM. If you have any specifics to the contrary, please supply em.

@Papa Jim,
We can do armchair facts and statistics all day long and it won't change a thing in the real world. I've driven both Ram 1500 and Ridgeline, and I definitely know which ride I prefer.

I'm just saying that if you're in the market for a truck, you owe it to yourself to see what is out there and test drive the vehicles. People who blindly purchase based on preconceived notions really do deserve what they get. Perhaps ignorance truly is bliss.

Easily will give a vastly better ride/ handling than a traditional US Pickup. They make everything from Cars , SUV's and Heavy Duty Trucks that have better ride and handling.

Easily will give a vastly better ride/ handling than a traditional US Pickup. They make everything from Cars , SUV's and Heavy Duty Trucks that have better ride and handling.

Posted by: Robert Ryan | Feb 13, 2017 8:33:24 PM

I'm sick of people claiming something when they don't know jack-$hit & just speaking from seat-of-the-pants with no first hand experience.
My company had invested heavily into Mercedes vehicles for the last 30 years (buses, coaches, mini-vans, 300 series sedans etc etc); I can attest the reputation they have of being reliable is a heap of crap - they go through the same routine problems all other makes have.

Currently testing out Ford's new Transit vans 12-15 seats & so far, drivers report it rides better than the similar Mercs & I agree - so far no major mechanical problems yet after 2 yrs.

Let me preface things first by saying that the price for space in Silicon Valley is at a premium premium premium. As is any high population area in Ca. And being one of many Ca residents, participating in the 6th largest economy, I demand to be listened too. :-) New single family one story home developments are extinct (well only to be found above $1.5M in suburbs). 2 story’s are the norm, and 3 story’s have taken wind for the vast majority of first time home buyers who want to buy near a Cisco, Google, Facebook, or Tesla BART in Fremont. Developers’ with a plot of land carve out 100, 3 story units instead of 50, 2 story units, and make a good profit. I hate the 3 story design. Garage at bottom, and bedrooms on the 3rd. But for some it will do. I’m betting that’s what they put in front of the new Fremont Bart station plot that has just been carved out. Would suit well for all those young Tesla employees. They did something like that at Oakland Colisseum BART station, and that’s pretty much the developments they’ve put in the town of Milpitas, Ca, since the uptick in our economy. Not to mention downtown San Jose. And San Francisco was way ahead of the curve on the 3 story homes. They cost $$$. And I’m nearly positive that all these 3 story homes have no driveways. Please don’t ask for references since it’s just the trend I’ve seen over 40 years. I’m 50. I’ve lived in my driveway less townhome for 20 years, and even though I can move to a home with a driveway, I never get around to it. If I want to park outside, I have to park 1/4mi away. On this site, I’ve carved myself out as the guy advocating for more cab forward, small length engine bay designs. So be it. I’ll keep trying to get people to think outside the box, otherwise, we will keep getting the same approximate designs, and this site will keep showing the refreshes that focus on a headlight and grill and paint refreshes as the differentiator. And no, gas mileage isn’t the primary driver for me, but is always a nice thing, although a bigger gas tank can compensate for abating how often one has to be inconvenienced to fill up. And my comment about un-arrow dynamic brick front ends is more about them having to be a parking hindrance. Ok so I’m not versed in driving full-sizers, but one can never see the rear bumper of the car in front, when parking behind it, because it’s so out of sight. Surely, it is something to get used to, but I’m not interested. I don’t need something so big to feel manly, I get more enjoyment from airplanes and vehicles that are more compact and maneuverable. One should see the turning radius of a Mini, even better than my E30 M3, and BMW’s have always had great turning radius’s.

I guess I’ll just keep drumming my beat since I’m convinced the cab forward smaller engine compartment design emphasis is of incredible value.

I know some have said it’s hard to change the last 2 spark plugs in a compact engine bay. I wouldn’t care if I had to get under the car to change the last two if the truck was more compact. Better yet either a diesel or gas compression ignition engine already puts the entire spark plug, distributor, wires, cap, and rotor point of failure into the history books. From that point of view DEF is well worth it since it allows removing all those parts.

I’ve said it before, and as you’ve said, Nissan has taught us a lesson about pricing for the low end. Maybe Marchionne is counting on that too with FCA’s “push out” of a new design. Amortized tooling, and getting the bugs out of a design, surely can make for good profits, and build more goodwill, among consumers, with respect to reliability.
We shall see.

Perhaps when the longer warmer days appear, you’ll get a chance to get your truck running again. But as far a Mercedes targeting a $40-50k priced midsize market, I’m kind of tired of speculating what manufacturers will do. And as much as I can’t stand small truck beds, it may just be these 1st time 3 level home buyers, with good salary’s from the fore-mentioned company’s, that a future MB will target. Sometimes manufacturers listen to our thoughts, and sometimes they don’t. We shall see. Take care.

@Lionel. So Jeff S is right, and I'll concur again. No one has a monopoly on quality.

You have very little idea and think a Ford Transit is great .They are not well received here. The Mercedes will make a big impression, in this category. I wonder if others will follow?
Renault's version could also surprise

Mercedes has been dominating here. Real surprise is the Renault Master


try concise.





Did you read that article you posted Ryan? They chose the Transit as the winner. No matter, what happens down under has little correlation to us in the USA. You don't have many of the vehicles we have, and we don't have many you have, especially cheap Chinese trucks. I think you said cab overs were dominant there where they are almost non existent here.

Just provided another paragraph of positive remarks based on Ryan's feedback, but it's not posting. Twice last night and once this morning.

A compromise between the non cab over market in the usa, and the cab over market in many other parts of the world will just need more time. With space being an even bigger premium in California, and even further increases in population and traffic, we just might be at the threshold for those cab forward designs to start accelerating in usa.

Could be an interesting collaboration. Any chance of that diesel finding its way into a non XD Titan?

at the threshold for those cab forward designs to start accelerating in usa


The cab forward design is by no means new. Nor has its acceptance been a boon for the auto industry. Back in the late 80s, early 90s Chrysler corp and its corporate kinfolks at Mitsubishi developed an entire line up of cab forward vehicles built at the Diamond Star plant they co-developed in Normal, Illinois. The result was a calamity.

Mitsubishi is effectively out of business in the US and Chrysler went through bankruptcy.

At the same time that the cab-forward designs from Mitsubishi/Chrysler were hitting the showrooms, Ford Motor Company brought out the latest generation of the Crown Victoria full sized (long hood) sedan.

Crown Vics sold in the many millions and even though the model was dropped about five years ago, it seems that every police department and cab company in the world has a fleet of them even today. Can you find a retirement community anywhere in the USA that does not have a parking lot full of Mercury Marquis or Lincolns, each derived from the Vic?

If cab forward was such a big deal, Ford would have collapsed and Chrysler would be king.

Appreciate your perspective, but because something didn't work in the 80-90's doesn't mean it won't work in 2020. We didn't have a Mars Rover in the 80's, but we do now. In 1995, the population of USA was 250million people. I had to memorize this number, in international marketing, while getting an MBA. I also had to memorize the top 40 nations in terms of 1) top populations, 2) top GDP/capita, 3) top overall GDP. Today USA is at 300million people, and the number is accelerating. And Ca is getting most of those people. So space as I said is continuing to be a premium! I'm suspecting it will change car designs, as we are hearing with autonomous cars. I've been to Google campus and seen these cars driving around Mountain View, CA. Tests are going on everywhere. So between Google and Tesla autonomous cars, things are changing. I'm just saying, because something didn't work a while ago, doesn't mean we should never try to implement previous failures, in the future. These are what new starter homes look like. And most only allow visitors to park in the outside parking spots, other wise it has to fit in one's garage. Have you ever tried finding parking in San Francisco or Boston. I hear you: why mess with the traditional design of trucks when last year 2.7Munits have sold, well because if they don't continue to become more useful, a new technology might take their place (horse drawn carriage). It's not going to happen overnight, but it needs to and will happen.


Try making a pitch to the board of directors at Ford or GM with your reasoning and get back to me.

My wild guess: They will tell you that boutique designs developed specifically for Boston or Santa Clara probably are not their first priority for engineering and product development dollars.

OK, but I think my time will be better spent speaking to the board of directors over at Google or Tesla, who are in my backyard, and more less tied to the past, and how things have been traditionally done.

You have very little idea and think a Ford Transit is great .They are not well received here. The Mercedes will make a big impression, in this category. I wonder if others will follow?
Renault's version could also surprise

Posted by: Robert Ryan | Feb 14, 2017 12:19:33 AM

My point was more to the fact that renown prestigious brands to be an assured winner in reliability. Although I have first hand experience with Mercedes, buddies with BMW's also were riddled with stupid simple malfunctions & issues.

Appreciate your perspective, but because something didn't work in the 80-90's doesn't mean it won't work in 2020.


This is where the confusion starts. I'm not talking about a "perspective"

I recited accurate facts about cab forward Mitsubishi designs that Chrysler Corporation pursued back in the 1990s and it was a major design thrust for them well into the next century.

It had its moments but it did not sell well even at fire sale prices. During the same period Ford sold a traditional sedan to the same basic market with huge success. These aren't perspectives.

They are historical facts.

This will be my next truck.

This will be my next truck.

@Jeff S

If you are the REAL Jeff S you have to prove it. It's really simple but I can't give you any clues.

Just reply and prove that you are the real Jeff because right now I'm convinced otherwise.

A case of the Internet picking a winner. Transit is floundering here, but the Renault and Mercedes are the leaders Another winner is Hyundai with its ILOAD

Outside of NA, it is the default configuration , except for Australia/ New Zealand and South Africa where there is mixes, depending on the companies preferences.
You can have the one company have Japanese , European Trucks that are Cabover and Australian produced Conventional Trucks.
Australian Manufacturers produce Cabovers as well

@Robert Ryan

Do you have any seat time on American highways?

One of the first big trucks I ever drove was a gas powered cab-over GMC six cylinder. The conversation with Angelo got into the weeds because we drifted into discussing cab-forward designs and sedans.

Cab over trucks are big here but the likelihood of a cab over being a hit for suburban consumers who make up such a big part of the market for pickups and vans is zilch. My opinion.

I only saw Conventional Semi's on US Highways. Cabovers for ordinary consumers? No they do not exist here either.

@papajim--Seriously I like this truck and if I were in the market to buy another truck now I would look at this truck along with the Honda Ridgeline. Honda makes quality products and I have been satisfied with the Accord my wife had for 17 years and the CRV she now has. I also have a Honda Harmony lawnmower with the xenoy deck and others lawn equipment with Honda engines. Overall I have been very satisfied with Honda products.

Good to know some history and that the cab forward design philosophy in USA is not new either. Sounds like it was a little ahead of its time. The failure you mention was~30yrs ago. I'm trying to find a truck picture of a Chrysler/Mitsubishi cab forward effort of the 80's, but can't so I'm assuming the failure was with a sedan. Well if I can't remember what a cab forward Dodge of the 80s looked like it must of been a failure. Unlike the cab over VW bus that seemed to be pretty successful in CA. I even see those buses in Santa Cruz at times with surf boards on top. And a co-worker today said he loved the pop up bed, and being so tall it was easy for him to dress in it. He did say the cab over made the wheel wells encroach on the front seats, and that he never used the kitchen options even though he had them. So seems Chrysler did widen things up in their cab forward design so as to alleviate wheel well encroachment.


the point I had hoped to make is simple.

The needs of communities that have limited parking space, or the demands of a couture, boutique, marketplace aren't going to drive the major automakers to fulfill a niche requirement.

Most Americans have ample parking space and are not in any way inhibited by the parking lots and commuting challenges you've described in the south bay

Have you had any seat time on CA highways, Ca metropolitan areas, since the uptick in the economy ~2010. Where are you located? I've shared where I am essentially located.
It has been ~30yrs since the Chrysler cab forward failure of ~1990, and my facts show USA population has increased 20% (50 million) since then. As I've said, I don't necessarily think that my time would be well spent trying to convince any manufacturer's board to do a cab forward design. However, that original 1985 design team of the cab forward Portofino at Chrysler surely did. Maybe Marchionne will take his European perspective and couple that with Chrysler's cab forward history, and drive the RAM 1500 design team to move things forward by 6-9inches for the 2020 RAM 1500. Again thanks for history lesson, and by the way, Portofino is a popular very quaint port town in Italy.

Ok. But you didn't answer my question about last time you were in CA and what region you are from. I've tried to outlay a trend with respect to population growth, metropolitan areas, housing, and congestion in CA, and you've over simplified to the point of saying San Jose metropolitan area is just an anomaly. An outlier. Boutique. And that Ca doesn't even matter to rest of country even though it is the biggest economy in all the states. That's almost like not even acknowledging anything I said. So I'll formally agree to disagree with you with respect to where things might be trending in truck design.

I hear your points but I also believe you are being a little closed minded in seeing my valid points. We are not just talking about south bay. Ever heard of Los Angeles, Chicago....I really don't want to say it, but Jeff S's blow up with you might of actually been quite valid. OK I'll just agree to appreciate some of may of had I'm starting to see some

@papa jim--My comments have been blocked for no apparent reason. I just wanted to say that the Jeff S you are responding back to is me. If they can get Duck Dynasty to endorse these trucks then that is an added bonus. Maybe they could offer an autographed duck call with each truck from the Duck Dynasty and sell these for 60k.

While I like this Merc mid-sized pickup, all press to date indicates it WON'T be available to the North American market.

On a more relevant note to those of us in the NA market... the next Ford Ranger has landed (for testing)!

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