It’s a much closer race than you’d think.

Mid-size pickup trucks are back with a vengeance. Americans have more choices than ever in the segment, with the Ford Ranger returning and Jeep offering the Gladiator – a first for the company since the 1980s. However, there are parts of the world that have even more choice. Take South Africa, which has the Volkswagen Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-Class, two trucks the U.S. doesn’t get to enjoy. In a test of performance, Car magazine pitted the two against one another in a drag race.

Car lined up the Volkswagen Amarok TDI 4Motion against the Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic. Both are diesel-powered with all-wheel drive. The 3.0-liter diesel in the VW makes 221 horsepower (165 kilowatts) and 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque. The Mercedes makes 255 hp (190 kW) and the same amount of torque as the Volkswagen. The Amarok is claimed to hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 8.0 seconds while the Mercedes Claims the X350d can do it in 7.9 seconds.

While the Mercedes has a small yet clear performance advantage, the Volkswagen does weight about 440 pounds (200 kilograms) less than the Mercedes. The Volkswagen is also about $14,000 less than the Mercedes. While the two appear similar, there are enough differences to make a race between the two very interesting. The Volkswagen gets a small jump ahead when the race starts, quickly pulling ahead. The VW crosses the finish line first at 15.71 seconds while the Mercedes crosses it at 15.82 seconds.

The race is close, but the lighter Amarok has a clear advantage. Then again, most people won’t buy a truck based on its track times. Yes, a drag race between two diesel trucks is a bit unconventional, but it does show that an extra $14,000 doesn’t always mean better performance. The X-Class does ride on the same Nissan F-Alpha platform, too, which underpins the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan.

Source: Car Magazine SA via YouTube