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Mercedes / Toyota / Chevrolet / Nissan

By the numbers: X-Class vs. Tacoma vs. Colorado vs. Frontier

The X-Class probably isn't coming to the US, but if it did, here's how it would stack up.

You can't learn everything in the world from a spreadsheet, but comparing basic numbers can give you a pretty good idea how certain vehicles will stack up. Last time, we looked at the new slate of midsize sedans -- this time, we're checking out how the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class would slot into the midsize truck segment, were it to come to the US.

Mercedes-Benz has been pretty cagey when asked if its luxury pickup will come to the US. But for now, it's not slated to arrive on our shores. If it did, however, it would compete against the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. The GMC Canyon is also in this segment, but since it's the same truck as the Colorado, I've left it off the list.

Trying to give every truck even standing for comparisons was tough, but I did the best I could. All truck measurements below reflect base models with shorter bed options, two-wheel drive and (where applicable) manual transmissions. The comparisons aren't 100 percent perfect, but they're as close as I could get them. The respective manufacturers have provided all specifications used in this feature.

Midsize ain't so midsize anymore

When it comes to exterior dimensions, the X-Class proves it's quite the honker. It's the tallest and widest of the group. However, when it comes to both wheelbase and overall length, the Colorado is the biggest.

In terms of ground clearance, the Tacoma bests the group at 9.4 inches. The X-Class is technically the lowest truck available, with a sub-8.0-inch ground clearance, but that's only with its European-spec suspension -- in other markets, it's packing an ample 8.7 inches of ground clearance, enough to best the Colorado and Frontier.

The X-Class might be one of the biggest trucks in this segment, but it comes with one big drawback -- curb weight. At an estimated 4,758 pounds, it's several hundred pounds heavier than the next-portliest Frontier. The Colorado is the slimmest at 4,028 pounds.

Exterior Measurements

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Wheelbase (in) 124.0 128.3 127.4 125.9
Length (in) 210.2 212.7 212.3 205.5
Height (in) 71.6 70.7 70.6 70.1
Width (in) 75.6 74.3 74.4 72.8
Ground Clearance (in) 8.7 (outside Europe) 8.3 9.4 8.6
Curb Weight (lbs) 4,758 4,028 4,095 4,229

Interior is anyone's guess

Sadly, Mercedes-Benz hasn't provided interior dimensions for the X-Class. I tried to look up data for the latest Nissan Navara, with which the X-Class shares many components, but that information wasn't available. So this comparison only looks at the trucks currently available in the US.

There's no clear winner here. The Colorado wins on front headroom and both front and rear legroom. The Frontier offers the best rear headroom and rear hip room, while the Tacoma has the best rear shoulder room and front hip room. The Tacoma and Frontier tie on front shoulder room.

Given the X-Class's height and width, it wouldn't be dumb to assume the X-Class is at least competitive in all three areas.

Interior Measurements

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Headroom (Front, in) N/A 41.4 39.7 39.9
Headroom (Rear, in) N/A 38.3 38.3 38.6
Legroom (Front, in) N/A 45.0 42.9 42.4
Legroom (Rear, in) N/A 35.8 32.6 33.6
Shoulder Room (Front, in) N/A 57.5 58.3 58.3
Shoulder Room (Rear, in) N/A 56.2 58.9 58.3
Hip Room (Front, in) N/A 55.0 57.2 55.6
Hip Room (Rear, in) N/A 53.3 56.3 58.0

Capability in many forms

When it comes to fuel tank capacity, the X-Class ekes out a victory thanks to its 21.9-gallon tank, which is ever so slightly larger than the segment's common 21.1-gallon tank (21.0 gallons on Colorado).

Where the X-Class really shines, though, is payload capacity. Mercedes estimates it at a stout 2,297 pounds, which is hundreds of pounds more than any other midsize offering in the US, most of which hover around 1,500 pounds.

The story is similar for towing. The X-Class's base towing capacity is about 3,637 pounds, which is higher than both the Colorado and Tacoma, but not as much as the Frontier. Fully specced for towing, though, the X-Class is king at 7,716 pounds, barely beating out the diesel Colorado's 7,700-pound towing capacity.

The X-Class has the worst turning circle of any midsize truck, at 43.96 feet. The Tacoma is the best, at 40.6 feet.

Off-roaders don't have a clear winner. The Frontier has the superior approach and breakover angle, but the X-Class's rear end sports the best departure angle of the group. Strangely enough, the Frontier's departure angle is the worst by several degrees.

Capability Measurements

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Turning Radius (ft) 43.96 41.3 40.6 43.58
Approach Angle 23.8 17.4 29.0 30.5
Breakover Angle 22.0 22.0 20-21 22.1
Departure Angle 25.9 22.1 23.5 19.8
Fuel Capacity (gal) 21.9 21.0 21.1 21.1
Max Payload Capacity (lbs) 2,297 1,574 1,505 1,460
Towing (lbs) 3,637 - 7,716 3,500 - 7,700 3,500 - 6,700 3,760 - 6,630

X-Class wins on torque

The X-Class is only available with diesel engines, so comparisons are tricky, as most other vehicles use gas engines as their base. All four trucks wield four-cylinder engines on their base models. The Colorado has the most horsepower, at an even 200, while the X-Class's base diesel engine's 297-pound-foot torque output is the best of the group.

Both the Frontier and X-Class only offer a manual transmission on their base engine, although the X-Class has one more forward gear than the Nissan. Six-speed automatics are available on both the Colorado and Tacoma. The EPA has not tested the X-Class, and European measurements are different, so for now, the Colorado wins the base-engine fuel economy battle.

Base Engine Specs

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Cylinder Count 4 4 4 4
Displacement (L) 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.5
Horsepower (hp) 163 200 159 152
Torque (lb-ft) 297 191 180 171
Transmission Type(s) 6MT 6MT / 6AT 5MT / 6AT 5MT
Fuel Economy (mpg, city/hwy/combined) N/A 19 / 26 / 22 19 / 23 / 21 19 / 23 / 21
Fuel Type Diesel Regular Regular Regular
Tow Capacity (lbs) 3,637 3,500 3,500 3,760

Optional Engine Specs

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Cylinder Count 4 6 6 6
Displacement (L) 2.3 3.6 3.5 4.0
Horsepower (hp) 190 308 278 261
Torque (lb-ft) 332 275 265 281
Transmission Type(s) 6MT / 7AT 8AT 6MT / 6AT 6MT / 5AT
Fuel Economy (mpg, city/hwy/combined) N/A 18 / 25 / 20 19 / 24 / 21 17 / 22 / 19
Fuel Type Diesel Regular Regular Regular
Tow Capacity (lbs) 3,637 7,000 6,700 6,630

Higher-performance offerings

If you want a bit more oomph, the Colorado, Tacoma and Frontier all offer six-cylinder gas engines. The X-Class has a second, more powerful version of its 2.3-liter I4 diesel, which beats the V6-equipped trucks on torque once again. In this engine group, Chevrolet is the only automaker that doesn't offer a manual transmission.

If you really want to maximize your capability, though, the X-Class and Colorado offer a third, even more capable engine option. The Colorado's big one is a 2.8-liter I4 diesel, which puts out 369 pound-feet of torque and can tow 7,700 pounds. The X-Class has it beat, though, thanks to a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine with 406 pound-feet of torque and a tow rating of 7,716 pounds. The Colorado's diesel is also its most efficient engine, at 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

Range-Topping Engine Specs

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Nissan Frontier
Cylinder Count 6 4 N/A N/A
Displacement (L) 3.0 2.8 N/A N/A
Horsepower (hp) 258 181 N/A N/A
Torque (lb-ft) 406 369 N/A N/A
Transmission Type(s) 7AT 6AT N/A N/A
Fuel Economy (mpg, city/hwy/combined) N/A 22 / 30 / 25 N/A N/A
Fuel Type Diesel Diesel N/A N/A
Tow Capacity (lbs) 7,716 7,700 N/A N/A