Mercedes had a great idea when it decided to enter the pickup truck market. After all, pickup trucks are booming these days and there’s certainly money to be made. However, the worst decision it ever made was to “partner” with Nissan to build the X-Class. Well, by partner, I mean to rebadge the Nissan Navara (also known as the Frontier here in the U.S.) and try to pass it off as a Mercedes. Of course, here in the U.S. we know better, so Mercedes chose not to bring it to the U.S. market. Apparently, it didn’t win folks over in Europe, either, as it’s going out of production after just three years on the market.

The Mercedes X-Class Was Doomed From the Start

The X-Class Pickup Just Taught Mercedes That You Can't Polish a Turd into a Diamond High Resolution Exterior
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It really feels like Mercedes half-assed the X-Class from the very beginning. It tried to pass the cabin off as Mercedes like, but there were still a bunch of Nissan plasticy bits here and there. Even the stand-alone debut event was one of the worst in recent memory. Sure, partnering with Nissan meant Mercedes didn’t have to spend a small fortune developing a truck, with most of the budget spent on lazily trying to differentiate the X-Class from its affordable roots.

There’s some real irony here, though. With the X-Class written off as a complete and utter failure, there are surely some execs sitting around their desks, sipping an espresso, discussing how glad they are they didn’t spend all that R&D money on developing a truck. Of course, if Mercedes had done what it does best, and designed something worthy of a Mercedes badge, the X-Class probably would have been a hit. At the very least, Nissan would have sold more than the reported 16,700 examples in 2019 or around 10,000 in 2019.

The X-Class Pickup Just Taught Mercedes That You Can't Polish a Turd into a Diamond High Resolution Exterior
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The midsize pickup segment was expected to grow a lot over the next decade, but slapping a luxury badge on an affordable model isn’t going to get the job done. Lesson learned? You can’t polish a turd and call it a diamond.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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