Give this a shot

Would you re­ally rather an SUV than the Shoot­ing Brake?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - PAUL GOVER paul.gover@cars­guide.com.au

CHIEF RE­PORTER IN a world dom­i­nated by hulk­ing SUV fam­ily haulers, Mercedes-Benz bucks the trend with its CLS Shoot­ing Brake.

The smooth new wagon puts style way ahead of space, al­most dar­ing lux­ury-class buy­ers to give it a try.

Some are al­ready con­verts. The first 12 Brakes en route to Aus­tralia are pre-sold, even though their own­ers have no idea of the fi­nal price.

It’s likely to be at least $170,000, al­though Mercedes- Benz Aus­tralia gives no hints be­fore the car’s lo­cal launch at the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show next month.

But we don’t have to wait for Sydney to get the other de­tails on the Shoot­ing Brake, in­clud­ing a Cars­guide first drive that shows— not sur­pris­ingly — that it goes the same as the CLS coupe.

Mercedes-Benz be­lieves it is set­ting a new trend that oth­ers — per­haps even Porsche with a Panam­era wagon at the Paris show— will fol­low.

‘‘ Peo­ple want some­thing dif­fer­ent. The Shoot­ing Brake sat­is­fies that,’’ says CLS de­sign chief Uwe Haller.

VALUE

Even with­out pric­ing— al­though the ba­sic Shoot­ing Brake costs an ex­tra $2000 over the CLS coupe in Europe — it’s clear peo­ple in Aus­tralia want the car. They will prob­a­bly be happy to pay an ex­tra $10,000.

The CLS four-door starts at $164,070. A tar­get of 100-150 Shoot­ing Brakes— around the same num­ber as E-Class wagon

de­liv­er­ies each year in Aus­tralia— is not out­ra­geous. That’s way, way fewer than Benz’s SUV de­liv­er­ies in Aus­tralia, but no mat­ter what you call a wagon— and we have ev­ery­thing from a Com­modore Sportswag­ons to Audi Avants— they are nowhere as pop­u­lar now as they were in the past.

The value deal for the CLS looks a lit­tle bet­ter when you know that it can (just) fit five peo­ple in the cabin, but the gor­geous wooden load­ing deck in the press pre­view cars, which looks more like it be­longs on a lux­ury boat than in a car, is go­ing to put an ex­tra $4000 on the bill. The Shoot­ing Brake lineup for Aus­tralia will be a

250 diesel, a 350 petrol and theAMG 6.3 V8 flag­ship.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The Shoot­ing Brake is me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal to the CLS coupe, from engine out­puts on the three mod­els through to the seven-speed au­to­matic gear­box, sus­pen­sion de­sign and brak­ing sys­tems.

It’s a pre­dictable path for any wagon, al­though the Brake does pick up a split-fold rear seat that’s miss­ing from the four-door model, and it comes with a power-op­er­ated tail­gate.

DE­SIGN

This is what it’s all about. Style, de­sign, flair and the look-at-me fac­tor. Benz knew it was tak­ing a safe road af­ter the suc­cess of its two mo­tor show tasters— the Con­cept Fas­ci­na­tion and Con­cept Shoot­ing Brake— and the only real change is that it comes with four side doors and not two. It picks up the chunky nose of the sec­ond-

Wag­ne­r­ian wagon: MercedesBenz’snew take on the work­ing class wagon

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