Not the first company to criticize Mercedes for its X-Class aka "the first pickup from a premium manufacturer."
It was less than two months ago when a high-ranked BMW official criticized Mercedes for its “appalling” X-Class and now Volkswagen has something to say about the posh pickup truck, though it’s not using such harsh words. In an interview with Aussie magazine Motoring, VW Australia’s man in charge of corporate communications, Paul Pottinger, pointed out he arrived at the conclusion “it’s very difficult to disguise a Nissan Navara” after seeing the X-Class in the production metal during last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Pottinger went on to specify the X-Class’ design is not the only problem Mercedes is having as he believes a bigger concern is represented by the pickup truck’s Navara roots and consequently the fact that it comes from a mainstream brand:
“If I was a buyer I might be surprised [with the quality]. When a Mercedes-Benz owner opens the door and sees Nissan hinges, the game might be up.”
As a refresher, the X-Class won’t actually be built by Mercedes as production will take place at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona where the output will cater the European, Australian, and South African markets. In addition, the X-Class will be assembled by Renault at its factory in Cordoba, Argentina beginning with 2019 for the Latin American region.
As you may recall, the Navara has another alter ego in the form of the Renault Alaskan.
If you’re wondering about how much it costs, the X-Class will go on sale this month in Germany where it’s going to start at €37,294 (including VAT) while in the U.K. it will kick off from £27,310 (plus VAT). Come mid-2018, a more powerful X350d will be added to the range with standard all-wheel drive, seven-speed automatic transmission, and a turbodiesel V6 developing 258 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 550 Newton-meters (405 pound-feet) of torque.
An AMG variant has not been entirely ruled out, but the chances of happening seem rather slim at the moment.