Australia’s pickup truck niches needs to understand: is your Mercedes-Benz X-Class greater than only a badge-engineered Nissan Navara?
(1)”That is barely a dual badge,” Mercedes-Benz Vans’ international boss Volker Mornhinweg informed Motoring.)
(s)However, there is a propensity to observe things another manner. The manufacturing X-Class, not bound for North America’s nonexistent premium midsize pickup truck market, is not just a carbon copy of their X-Class Theory shown in overdue 2016.
()Additionally, that X-Class equipment lever appears downright recognizable to Navara drivers.)
()Mornhinweg is not denying that the inherent partnership between Daimler and Nissan-Renault. Acknowledging that Mercedes-Benz does not commonly look for platform partners at the passenger car industry, Mornhinweg states, “We now had a goal of presenting the vehicle at a short distance note, and since it is a international solution, we couldn’t build 1 centre with this item.” Really, this inability to rapidly construct a U.S. mill for your X-Class all but removes the X-Class out of hitting the U.S. market due to large Chicken Tax export tariffs. (******).”So,” says Mercedes-Benz’s Mornhinweg, “we talked about it together with Nissan, if they’re excited or possess the willingness to use us. They’ve a very long tradition of doing pickups, and their base overall was useable for us, so we had it done.”
Mercedes-Benz would have been “stupid” to distinguish parts “a customer cannot feel or see,” Mornhinweg states, “because you will need those economies of scale.”
To be fair to the X-Class, it isn’t just a Navara. It’s bigger: 3.3 inches longer and 2.8 inches wider despite riding on exactly the identical wheelbase. As pickups are wont to do, though the 2 pickups look similar when viewed from the side this is likely to alter the styling. But wheel arches are worn by the Benz. The front end of the X-Class is decidedly; only the housing for the fog lights maintains a form that is similar. The tailgate of the Navara is distinctive; the X-Class plain. Inside, Mercedes-Benz plants slots its wheel and a screen in many of its passenger cars as atop the vents.
They’re not the very same trucks. Under the epidermis, Mercedes-Benz states the coil springs of the X-Class are more heavy, the dampers are re-valved, and the bars are thicker. The track is wider.
As a result, “To be honest there was no challenge [to improving the Navara chassis],” Mornhinweg states, seemingly insulting Mercedes-Benz’s truck donor/partner, “because we had a very clear development target of what we want to achieve with the pickup when it has to do with driveability, comfort, suspension, and turn-in.”
So the X-Class isn’t merely a Navara. Yet given the level to which consumers already know that the very first Mercedes-Benz pickup is based on a Nissan, all those thorough adjustments and styling alterations might not be adequate to sufficiently distinguish the new Spain/Argentina-built German truck.
[Images: Mercedes-Benz, Nissan]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.