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.
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?