Would a Mercedes GLB pickup sell in America?
Mercedes doesn’t make a GLB pickup, but if it did, it would look something like thisby Andrei Nedelea, on LISTEN 03:05
Pickup trucks are all the rage in the U.S. and have been at the peak of buyers’ preferences for decades. However, such vehicles are only really made by mainstream manufacturers, with few (if any) of the premium automakers in on this highly lucrative segment. But what if Mercedes made a pickup version of its new GLB small SUV? Would anybody actually buy such a thing?
Mercedes is actually the only premium automaker to actually have a pickup on sale, the still fairly new X-Class. Sure, it’s not a bespoke model and it’s mostly a Nissan Navara underneath, but at least Mercedes does appear to be tempted by the prospect of selling pickups. The X-Class went on sale in 2018 and, while it’s not been the best-received model in recent history (because people are calling it derivative and not-a-Mercedes), it’s actually not a bad pickup, adding an extra layer of comfort and luxury over the Navara’s highly capable character.
Why the GLB?
The reason I chose to turn the new GLB into a pickup has to do with the way it looks.
The first time I laid eyes on Mercedes’ new crossover, the first thought was “I like what I see,” and the second was “this aesthetic would really work for a pickup.” I didn’t go crazy with changing the GLB - the wheelbase is the same and I didn’t even lengthen the rear overhang to make it look more like a utilitarian pickup.
This would not be a utilitarian pickup. Quite the contrary, it would be a lifestyle vehicle, an accessory for people who kind of need the practicality of a pickup but who will really buy it because they think it’s just so cool. I also chose the AMG Line model as the base for this rendering specifically because I thought those who would fancy a GLB pickup would really like one nicely kitted out from the factory, and not some base trim level deal with steelies and hubcaps.
Untapped market potential
Since pickups are just so popular Stateside, a vehicle like the GLB pickup would undeniably be very intriguing for the local car buying public.
It would have undeniable badge kudos (few badges trump the Three Pointed Star), its exterior and interior design are really good and on the road, it drives as well as a regular hatchback, albeit a slightly taller one.
It wouldn’t be a huge effort on Mercedes’ side to create something like this (since only the rear part would be different), and I’m wondering why no other premium manufacturers are coming up with pickups for North America. There’s no reason why a pickup from Lexus or Cadillac would’nt work. Lexus could go with a reworked version of the Toyota Hilux or just its NX or RX turned into pickups. Caddilac could go with an Escalade EXT redux but based on the latest model or just a pickup version of the CT5 crossover. Maybe even a pickup version of the Audi Q5 could work, or one based on one of the new Lincoln SUVs (the Corsair, Aviator or Navigator). Granted, these wouldn’t be high volume sellers, but they would perhaps open a new chapter for luxury pickups.
|GLB 200 d||GLB 200 d 4MATIC||GLB 220 d 4MATIC|
|Transmission||8G-DCT (automatic)||8G-DCT (automatic)||8G-DCT (automatic)|
|at rpm||3400 – 4440||3400 – 4440||3800|
|Max. torque (Nm)||320||320||400|
|at rpm||1400 - 2600||1400 - 2600||1600 - 2400|
|Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)1||5.0-4.9||5.5-5.2||5.5-5.2|
|Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)1||133-129||144-136||146-138|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)||9.0||9.3||7.6|
|Top speed (km/h)||204||201||217|
|GLB 200||GLB 250 4MATIC|
|Transmission||7G-DCT (automatic)||8G-DCT (automatic)|
|Max. torque (Nm)||250||350|
|at rpm||1620 - 4000||1800 - 4000|
|Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)||6.2-6.0||7.4-7.2|
|Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)1||142-137||169-165|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)||9.1||6.9|
|Top speed (km/h)||207||236|
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLB Concept.