Toyota Vigo really has a bad rep in Pakistan due to the VIP culture but do we have alternatives? Sure we have. Toyota Tundra, since the Americans classify it as a truck and a truck is a commercial vehicle. Therefore, duties and taxes are low, and that’s why it isn’t as expensive as a 5.7 liter V8 vehicle should be, however, it is humongous and not at all ideal for our traffic. Plus, it isn’t even an off-road vehicle. We then have the locally assembled Hilux Champ that has received mixed sentiments but its image has also been distorted by the VIGO’s guard carrying wadera image.
Mitsubishi Triton hasn’t been able to catch up in Pakistan and is as rare as perhaps actual cold in the winters of Karachi, same goes for Nissan Navara but, the rumor-mill has sped up into confirmation mode that a Mercedes pick-up truck or UTE is coming, and it will be based on the Nissan Navara.
We should make it clear that Mercedes will only be sharing the platform with Nissan and everything else is done by Mercedes as reiterated by Daimler board member Thomas Weber said to CarAdvice, “Yes, to come to an attractive price we are using a common platform, but all the rest is done by Mercedes – to design, to develop the vehicle specifically to meet Mercedes criteria.”
It will mostly be focused on right-hand-drive and other markets such as Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, and probably Pakistan where Mercedes could focus it on the people who don’t want to associate themselves with Vigo’s image and desire a more premium vehicle with proper off-road and rugged abilities. This is also why the two names were put on the table during its design workshops; ‘X-Class’ and ‘Z-Class’ and participants naturally sided with X-Class since it associated better with a rugged 4×4 image.
The truck was announced in July 2015 and since then, Australia’s input in the truck has been huge. David McCarthy, Mercedes-Benz Australia’s senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications told CarAdvice.com.au that there will be three variants: a trades-focused base model, a better-equipped mid-level option, and a more lifestyle-oriented top specification. The base and mid-level models will have selectable 4WD while the top model will have full-time 4WD.
Rest of the information is currently moved over from Nissan Navara truck and into the X-Class when Mercedes has made it clear that they will be doing it all by themselves after getting the platform (shell) from Nissan.
Pakistan, despite being a smaller market, the Mercedes X-Class could be a solid contender here since the Vigo, and Vigo Champ don’t see a lot of tractor work and with their image, Mercedes can really spread its wings in the Pakistani market as Mercedes’ 4×4 vehicles are second to none either. And given the new Mercedes interiors are just a fantastic place to be, I’d have it!