A Mercedes pick-up truck? The idea sounds unexpected, even odd, and a bit too rough, tough and muddy-tyred for Mercedes. But less so when you remember the venerable G-Wagen off-roader, the thousands of vans Mercedes sells, and the trucks, too. It’s a marvel to marketing types that Mercedes manages to maintain its premium reputation while selling copious quantities of vehicles to taxi, van and truck drivers. But it does, and is unique for it.
Seen in this context, the new Mercedes X-class is less of a surprise. Especially as there’s a growing breed of pick-up that’s less hard-edged and more family-orientated, the so-called crew cab variety providing four doors, five seats and a dash of comfort, if at the expense of some load bed length.
If you’re wondering how this unusual cross-breeding came about, you might remember that Renault and Nissan are part of an Alliance that has seen the two marques sharing vehicle architectures and components for the past 18 years. Nissan also has a long and successful history of making pick-ups, the project to develop the latest Navarra yielding not only a renewed Nissan, but also the Alaskan for Renault and now the X-Class for Mercedes, the German company forging a co-operative arrangement with its French and Japanese counterparts.