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Last year Mercedes-Benz showed the world what a pickup with a three-pointed star could look like, when it unveiled a pair of attractive concepts built on Nissan’s Navara (NP300) architecture. Fast-forward some nine months later and the German brand is ready to show us the production version.

Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled its production X-Class during a special launch event. It will be available in three variants, the base Pure, mid-level Progressive and range-topping Power. If you thought the concepts probably didn’t look Mercedes enough, several styling adjustments now make its face resemble the large GLS-class SUV.

It gets a slightly smaller but bold grille and larger more traditional Merc-looking headlights. The cab makes its transition to production form virtually untouched save for some cosmetic changes like larger side mirrors. Higher variants get roof rails and step bars. At the rear, it receives simple but distinct vertical taillights and a conventional 90-degree opening tailgate—order it without a rear bumper and it can drop a full 180 degrees.

Inside you’ll be greeted by the same interior previewed by the concept, albeit with different trim colors and materials. At the center of the gauge cluster is a 5.4-inch multimedia display, and above the unique-looking quad central air-con vents sits a floating style touchscreen which can measure up to 8.4-inches. Seat materials range from fabric to different kinds of leather depending on the variant.

At launch it will be available with two 2.3-liter in-line-four oil-burners: A single turbo unit making 161hp and 403Nm for the X220d and a twin-turbo lump producing 188hp and 450Nm for the X250d variants. A four-cylinder gasoline powered 164hp X200 variant will be offered in select markets.

All four-pot variants come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, while the X250d can be ordered with a seven-speed automatic tranny and all-wheel drive. The range-topping X350d 4MATIC will follow in mid-2018; it will be powered by a V6 diesel which pumps out 255hp and an impressive 550Nm. It comes standard with permanent AWD and a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic with paddle shifters.

The X-class uses coil springs all-around with double wishbones up front and a live axle suspension at the rear. Its long 3,150mm wheelbase and wide tracks allowed Mercedes to optimize the vehicle’s on-road driving dynamics without sacrificing off-road performance. It’s capable of hauling 1.1 tons and can tow up to 3.5 tons.

In Germany the X-class will start at €37,294 (P2.19 million). It will reach European showrooms in late 2017; this will be followed by South Africa and Australia in early 2018, and Argentina and Brazil in early 2019. It will be manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain and Renault’s plant in Cordoba, Argentina.

It’s too early to tell if it will reach our shores, but it would definitely be an interesting premium alternative.

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Andrew Guerrero
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Andrew has a passion for cars, both old and new. He prefers a good ol' manual transmission and feels sad when a new car model isn't released with one.
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