Here’s Why the Mercedes X-Class’ Design Sucks
Pops is at it again!by Pops, on
So Mercedes finally unveiled the X-Class somewhere in Africa and everyone is excited about the German brand finally offering a pickup truck. Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating. I’ve noticed a ton of negative comments about this vehicle. How it’s not a true Mercedes-Benz, how it’s design is boring, and how it’s just a Nissan Navara. Well, I hate to break it to you folks, but the X-Class is a freakin’ pickup truck, of course it’s not a true Mercedes. It’s a brand-new body style for an automaker that didn’t make pickups before, of course you’re hating. But you’ll get over it, just give it a couple of months.
I also don’t agree with all the "it’s not a real Merc, it’s a Nissan underneath" commotion. So it’s based on the Nissan Navara, what’s wrong with that? Is there a problem with the Navara? It’s ugly, unreliable, it can’t haul stuff on a trailer? Of course not! But hey, I get it, you wanted Mercedes to come up with its very own truck. Well, tough luck, it’s 2017 and all carmakers are looking to reduce costs by sharing platform. And as long as you yuppies keep buying Mercs for the badge, they will keep borrowing platforms for new cars and bigger profits. Wanna do something about? Buy a Hyundai! But hey, I agree with you on the boring part...
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Designed by Yawn Yawnson
The big problem with the X-Class is its profile.
It’s that boring! I makes me yawn every time I look at it. Sure, it’s a pickup truck, and pickups trucks are meant to be useful instead of pretty, but hey, if others can do it, Mercedes-Benz should be able to as well. The big problem with the X-Class is its profile. Just look at it. It’s featureless. Almost everything is flat!
Now take a look at the truck it’s based on. Notice the slightly curved character line of the front bumper running into the front doors? See the slightly arched line above the side skirts? Now look toward the rear and notice yet another curved character line above the wheel arch, which transforms the usually boring box into an attractive haunch? Now that’s what I call clever design. And you know what? Renault took the same styling cues for its new Alaskan truck.
Hats off to Mercedes for designing its own version of the Navara? I think not!
Then there’s the Ford Ranger, which is somewhat simpler around the sides. But there’s three tiny details that save it from being the most boring truck in the world: the beefed-up wheel arches, the protruding character line above the side skirts, and the vents on the front fenders. Now let’s switch to the Toyota Hilux. Just look at those inflated fenders. And how the front wheel arches descend into the side skirts. And how the rear ones spawn a distinct line that blends in with the taillights toward the rear fascia. Say what you will about the Hilux, but this has a lot of character.
Note: Ford Ranger pictured here.
Someone at the Mercedes design center has been very lazy...
Oh My God, the Plastic!
The X-Class' interior looks incredibly spartan and dated compared to the Toyota Hilux.
I’m gonna be honest here. Although this thing has a Mercedes badge, I didn’t expect all trim levels to look premium. Merc makes a lot of utility vehicles nowadays and most of them look as cheap as they get inside the cabin. However, I think that the X-Class has way too much plastic that looks really bad. I like the design, but I don’t like the cheap plastic. And I’m gonna say it again: both the Nissan Navara and the Renault Alaskan look better. I’m willing to give Mercedes a small clap for using the A/C vents in the C-Class, but that’s it!
What’s more, the X-Class’ interior looks incredibly spartan and dated compared to the Toyota Hilux. The two-tier center stack, the nicely designed dashboard, the big screen in the middle, they all look great together. Add a few optional extras and you could say you’re sitting in a much more expensive SUV. The Ranger ain’t bad either. Although it also comes way too much plastic, it still doesn’t look as if it was designed as a fleet vehicle only.
It’s bad. Bad to the bone. But not the George Thorogood way.
Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.