Long-Wheelbase 2020 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup Truck Looks Roomy
13 January 2020 - autoevolution
Remember how excited the automotive world used to be ahead of the grand reveal of the X-Class?
The marketing and PR people at Mercedes-Benz hyped up a badge-engineered pickup truck like there was no tomorrow, but nevertheless, the sales figures since 2017 are abysmal at best.
Manufactured at the second-largest Daimler AG van plant in the world, the X-Class is exclusively offered as a dual cab with only one bed length. Single and chassis cabs don't make sense when we're talking premium trucks, but nevertheless, the three-pointed star won't leave it at that.
The long-wheelbase prototype spied testing in winter conditions reveals a roomier cargo area than the X-Class on sale today, made obvious by the gray camouflage over a section of the bedside panels. The fuel door, side badging, and tailgate badges are also masked, which makes it pretty much impossible to determine what kind of powertrain is hiding underhood.
There was talk at one point that Mercedes-AMG would step in with a V8, but the beancounters are understood to have said no to that project over the poor commercial success of the X-Class. In other words, don't expect this prototype to feature anything larger than a six-potter.
OM642 is the codename of the turbocharged V6 in the X 350 d 4Matic, a 3.0-liter engine that plays second fiddle to the 3.0 TDI that Volkswagen utilizes in the Amarok pickup truck. Make no mistake about it; Mercedes-Benz went with the wrong approach to designing the X-Class.
The first issue that Daimler AG should've taken into consideration is the platform. One can't badge-engineer the Nissan Navara then call it a day, not when Renault did the same with the Alaskan. The involvement of the Renault-Nissan (and Mitsubishi) alliance is even clearer once you step inside, welcomed by lots of plastics you wouldn't expect in a Merc.
Finally, let's talk about pricing points. The X-Class with the V6 starts at 48,790 euros in Germany for the Progressive Edition, which is pretty much too much for a mid-sized pickup truck in Europe. The Amarok is listed on the Volkswagen configurator from 43,619 euros for the Comfortline trim level.
When you're faced with the ever-popular Hilux from Toyota and best-selling Ranger from Ford, it's no wonder Mercedes-Benz can't win with the X-Class.