Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled its first-ever pickup truck in South Africa.
The luxury brand owned by Daimler AG (DDAIF) is introducing the mid-size vehicle to appeal to more consumers, from do-it-yourself-ers to construction contractors, following a three-million automotive recall over concerns of diesel emissions. Mercedes X-Class -- priced at $43,000 in Germany, according to Bloomberg -- will be available by November in its German homeland and other European nations, spreading to Australia and South Africa in early 2018 and Argentina and Brazil by early 2019. It will not be available in the U.S. market.
"With the X-Class, we will open this segment to new customer groups," Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. "Our pickup convinces as a workhorse just as much as a family and lifestyle vehicle.''
The X-Class comes in three model variants and has four engine options, including a high-torque V6 diesel to be available in the middle of 2018. The pickup also has driver assistance safety systems such as lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and automatic emergency braking as well as access to the brand's internet connected car services.
Just because the vehicle is luxury, however, does not make it limp. Fortune reported that in its bed, the vehicle will be able to haul 2,425 pounds -- or 17 full 50-liter beer barrels, according to the German automaker -- and tow 7,716 pounds, or a 26-foot yacht.
Mercedes said it expects demand for mid-sized trucks to grow by 43% over the next decade, according to Bloomberg. Other pickups from luxury brands, however, have struggled to find success. Autoblog ranked General Motors Co.'s (GM) Cadillac Escalade EXT as the 10th worst sold vehicle with 1,972 sales, and Ford Motor Co. (F) produced only 3,356 2002 Lincoln Blackwood in 15 months, according to Autotrader.
"The X-Class is the first genuine pickup with convincing passenger-car characteristics," said Volker Mornhinweg, head of the Mercedes vans unit, which developed the vehicle, Bloomberg reported. "As a result, the X-Class pushes the boundaries of the classic pickup."
Here is the X-Class' other competition.
The 2018 Ram pickup, which Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is calling its most luxurious ever, will be available in the third quarter of 2017 for $55,120. The special edition available for the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 luxury pickups.
Ford's (F) F-series pickups have been among the most popular vehicles in the United States. The 2017 F-150 starts at $27,110.
The 2017 model of Ford's toughest and strongest heavy-duty pickup starts at $32,535.
The 2017 class of Sierras range from starting prices of $28,405 for the Sierra 1500 to $55,580 for the Sierra 3500 Denali HD, which has the company's most powerful duramax diesel engine.
The 2017 top-of-the-line pickup from Chevy starts at $34,710.
Combining versatility and durability with premium quality, the 2017 Nissan Titan XD starts at $31,590 (NSANY) .
The 2017 Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) starts at $30,120, and offers features from wood-style trim to black leather-trimmed seats.