MO­TOR­ING

If you de­mand qual­ity, com­fort and quiet from your shoot­ing ve­hi­cle then this wel­come ad­di­tion to the Mercedes SUV range could be all you ever wanted. By Ben Sa­muel­son.

Shooting Gazette - - October 2017 -

Iwas shoot­ing the other day with a re­cently re­tired chap who has found him­self in the rather for­tu­nate po­si­tion of hav­ing £50,000 to spend on a new gun­bus. Strug­gling to find some­thing po­lite to talk about af­ter a drive dur­ing which I had shown even more mal-co­or­di­nated in­ep­ti­tude

the ob­vi­ous choice would be a mid-level Dis­cov­ery. As I wrote only last month, the lat­est Disco is an ut­terly su­perb piece of kit. but my po­lite and pleas­antly minted chap re­fused point blank to buy on the ba­sis of what he re­ferred to as “the very odd thing go­ing on with its rear num­ber plate”. It’s also rather larger than this post-kids fel­low needs and, more per­ti­nently, £50,000 wouldn’t get him much by way of bells and whis­tles.

bit it does if you’re pre­pared to down­size a bit. And this, the Mercedes-benz GLC, might be

just the ticket. It’s not Merc’s first foray into build­ing this size of SUV but some pre­sum­ably now sacked bean-counter in Stuttgart chose not to de­velop the last one with right hand drive. As it ac­tu­ally wasn’t all that good, it wasn’t that great a loss but the new GLC is a very dif­fer­ent ket­tle of fish.

It’s based on the very smart C-class but has an ex­tra foot in the wheel­base to give rear seat pas­sen­gers rather more room for their breek-clad knees.

What this means is that its in­te­rior looks stun­ning, is made from very high qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and has all the gad­gets that you could ever dream of. And a few more, ac­tu­ally. How would you like your car to smell? The GLC gives you the op­tion of hav­ing elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled scent dif­fused from some­where un­der the dash. I didn’t feel it po­lite to test it against three wet labradors and my old shoot­ing coat, but you get the idea.

It also has an ex­ten­sive choice of en­gines, in­clud­ing, most cru­cially, a six-cylin­der diesel. Most peo­ple will choose the highly com­pe­tent, pow­er­ful yet par­si­mo­nious four-pot oil­burn­ers. Un­for­tu­nately, most peo­ple will al­ways have cars that, when pushed, sound like de­liv­ery vans. Al­beit very quiet ones. The ex­tra pair of cylin­ders may have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on your fuel con­sump­tion but no-one said that my car for life had to be fuel and tax ef­fi­cient. be­sides, the GLC 350 still does the neck end of 50mpg while also hit­ting 60mph in just over six sec­onds. So there…

It can also be fit­ted with an off-road pack and air sus­pen­sion, which makes it unique in this com­pact pre­mium SUV class. While it may not be as good off-road as a Disco, nei­ther is an Evoque, X3, Q5 or F Pace, this car’s more nat­u­ral com­pe­ti­tion.

How­ever, in terms of wind, road and en­gine noise, the Merc is streets ahead of any of them.

The only slight prob­lem is that your £50,000 could also get you a Porsche Ma­can S, which is a sim­ply out­stand­ing car. How­ever, I’d go as far as to say that the GLC runs it very close, and if com­fort, re­fine­ment and ground clear­ance are more im­por­tant to you than en­ter­tain­ing han­dling, I’d choose the GLC. It re­ally is that good…

“In terms of wind, road and en­gine noise, the Merc GLC is streets ahead of its main com­peti­tors.”

than nor­mal, he struck upon the idea of ask­ing me what he should spend his hard-earned on. Had I been a urol­o­gist, I am sure he would have been ask­ing me about his blad­der – but the £50,000 gun­bus ques­tion did get me think­ing.

You get plenty of bells and whis­tles for your money, in­clud­ing an elec­tronic scent dif­fuser.

What would you be able to fit into the boot of a GLC?

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