The bet was a simple one. I reckoned that the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class would sell more than 5000 units in its first full year on sale in Australia. I even wrote it on one of the many whiteboards at our office, to which my colleague Rob laughed and suggested a less ambitious number.
I made this audacious suggestion after I went to see the reveal of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class concepts late in 2016, where I was left staggered at the styling of these two new trucks.
If it looked like those concept models, it’d be a huge deal for the brand. It could even become the company’s top seller Down Under … well, that may be a long bow, because the brand is on track this year to do about 9000 units of the C-Class.
But when I went to the reveal of the production version recently, I was left stumped.
It wasn’t as stunning as I thought it would be. In fact, I thought to myself, it’s a bit awkward looking.
The highly stylised headlights and bug-munching broad grille of the concept have been tamed to a level that has me wondering: is this new Merc ute good-looking?
I mean, if you’re looking to buy a Merc, you want it to be as much a statement as it can be. But the all-new Mercedes-Benz X-Class? It’s a bit of a head scratcher. More of a question, than an answer, perhaps.
I mean, it does all the things Mercedes said it would. It utes as good as most of its ute rivals, you could say. You can read all about its credentials, including the fact it’ll be the most powerful V6 diesel workhorse on the market.
The interior is pretty Merc-y, too. It’s stylish, luxurious and practical. Like it should be.
But it’s the exterior styling that leaves me second-guessing my workplace bet.
Look, I think the thing will be a success. But perhaps just not as huge a success as I had initially thought.