There’s been much talk for many years about Mercedes making a pickup truck, and now it looks like it will finally happen. Don’t get your hopes up that the vehicle will be available in the United States, thanks in part to a viciously competitive market loaded with well-established competitors, plus the infamous “chicken tax” that would make it necessary to build the truck inside the country’s borders.
Another factor that works against the truck coming to the U.S. is consumers’ perception of the brand. In other parts of the world, Mercedes is known for its heavy-duty machinery, the Unimog and other hardcore vehicles. Most Americans would likely find it difficult to associate Mercedes with tough or capable pickups, no matter how luxurious the segment has become recently.
Supposedly the Mercedes pickup is years away from launching. Before, rumors indicated the name would be the GLT, which fits in nicely with the automaker’s new nomenclature. Now, CarAdvice claims to have an inside informer who says both X-Class and Z-Class are being seriously considered, with X-Class the favorite. Why Mercedes would revert to its old naming scheme for the pickup is a mystery, casting some doubt on the validity of the information.
To build the truck, Mercedes is turning to its new best buddy Nissan. It will ride on the Navara platform and have four doors. A four-cylinder diesel engine reportedly will be in the mix, along with a six-cylinder diesel. That’s right, no gasoline engine, which is another hit against it launching in the United States.
While you might think that the Mercedes pickup will be uber-expensive, CarAdvice’s source says otherwise. In USD, the vehicle will be offered from about $42,000 to $56,000. The base model will be a stripped-down work truck. A mid-range and premium versions will also be offered. Partnering with Nissan will allow Mercedes to keep costs down, which is why the price range isn’t higher.