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Lead: LIFESTYLE: Motoring and Travel

Mercedes 350 CLS Shooting Brake

This is a totally new breed of car from Mercedes Benz, a four-door coupé with a twist – as it’s also a station wagon. This new concept design ensures the CLS Shooting Brake stands out from the crowd. Its front end is almost identical to the conventional CLS design, including the rather unique headlights with twin led light strips giving the front end a sporty brutish look.

The car looks longer than the normal CLS as the hip of the car stretches all the way from the front to the rear end almost horizontally and the roofline drops off sharply at the rear.

This almost makes the car look like the rear is going to fall off, which I guess is in keeping with the coupé design. The rear end has the same leaf shape lights as the normal CLS and from a distance almost looks the same. Viewed from a distance, the one distinguishing sign is the rear wiper and LED brake light that stretches across the top of the rear windscreen.

Inside, the car is a typical Mercedes oozing luxury and opulence with lashings of leather and wood. Its cabin feels airy and open, even at the back. The lack of a typical gearshift frees up the centre console to make space for substantial cup holders and the command system control. Its gear lever is like an additional indicator stalk, while boot space is fair, even though the rear end is steeply raked and does take away a fair amount of luggage space. There is no hard-top board allowing for easy loading all the way to the roof of the car and this does
expose your luggage.

There is a somewhat opulent option of a wooden luggage compartment – very luxury yacht-ish. The rear seats can accommodate three passengers fairly comfortably.

Driving the car is simple once you get accustomed to the position of the gear lever, which is positioned like an indicator stalk. Rear vision is not that fantastic as design took presidence. Parking can therefore be tricky, but thanks to all the sensors, you have ample guidance. A clear rear view camera leaves no excuse for not parking perfectly, even in a tight spot.

On the road is where this car comes alive, as Mercedes have managed to retain the handling and feel of a coupé, while adding the practicality of a grand tourer. Its steering is light and responsive, and the suspension fairly soft, making for a cushy ride. This is the type of car for a person who enjoys the long road and needs to take a few things with them, while still enjoying standing out in the crowd – this ‘shooting brake’ is definitely a fashion statement.

The CLS Shooting Brake may not appeal to all, but its owners will certainly bask in the limelight.

Manufacturer Specifications :
3.5l 6 Cylinder
6.7 Sec (Claimed)
Average 8.1l/100km
188 g/km
From R829 186,00
Car courtesy of Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

Range Rover Evoque SD4
Range Rover has entered a new market by targeting the urban cool and trendy with the so stylish Evoque. They still cater for the buyer who would like to go off the beaten track, in absolute luxury, while taking on almost any terrain – but just in a
smaller body and most intriguing shape.

The new baby Range Rover is designed unlike any other Range Rover or SUV currently on the market. It has a striking front with sweeping headlights that taper off around the edges of the bonnet. Still, the traditional clam shell bonnet synonymous
with Range Rover has been incorporated. Its large front windscreen is angled back while the roofline slopes downwards
towards the rear.

The hipline is angled in the opposite direction in that it is tapered upwards at the rear of the vehicle, making the rear windows smaller than the front windows. This innovative design gives the vehicle an almost coupé like look, while remaining elegant and

Its sportiness can be enhanced even more by opting for the dynamic version which I tested. This adds on chrome
bits on the bumper and a revised rear bumper featuring chrome exhaust cut outs. Although the Evoque looks its best, this does
reduce its off road ability as the front and rear is lower than the standard version.

Range Rover has certainly gone radical with this design and it’s the kind of shape that you either love or hate.
Despite the all new look, the Evoque definitely lives up to the Range Rover promise of a “go anywhere” vehicle , which
is enhanced by having pre-set driving modes.

Driving the vehicle on a normal road is decent and fairly comfortable for an off-road vehicle. If you plan on going on
a longer trip or plan to get up to the national speed limit on our freeways, it is advisable to put the vehicle into dynamic mode.

This stiffens the suspension and makes it easier to control on the bends. This mode also changes the colour of the dials from green
to red, making the vehicle look as sporty as it feels.

Opening the front door, you are welcomed by dual colour leather sport seats and the usual Range Rover dashboard with
green back light and a touch screen entertainment system. The gearbox control is new and in line with Range Rover’s sister
company Jaguar, with a dial controller to select the gear, i.e Drive, Reverse, Neutral or Park.

This dial disappears into the panel once the vehicle is switched off. The only disappointment on the inside is the rather large
steering wheel that looks like it was taken directly out of the bigger Range Rover. I enjoyed driving the car, but felt the turbo lag on the diesel motor to be a bit annoying. The gear changes were smooth and with all the driver aids it was simple to drive around town, on the long road and parking was effortless.

The vehicle comes into its own when you select the various off-road modes, depending where you are going.
These include soft sand, water and rivers or the rugged off the beaten path route.

Overall, the Evoque offers a vehicle ideal for city-living, yet allowing for the occasional bundu bashing, while never compromising on looks. In the four-door version you also have the practicality of taking the family along without losing the cool factor. The only drawback is the limited packing space and turbo lag. All in all a really nice vehicle that I believe would sell
better if keenly priced.

Manufacturer Specifications :
2.2l 4 Cylinder Turbo
8.5 Sec (Claimed)
Average 6.4l/100km
174 g/km
From R622 500,00

Car courtesy of Land RoverSouth Africa.

Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ.

Lead Lifestyle Travel

Your home in the Mother City

Protea President Hotel

Once you’ve visited this venue, you’ll agree that it makes a wonderful home away from home. The reality, as you know, is that business travel is often stressful. In addition to all the normal pressures of work – a challenging presentation or pitch, a tense meeting, or a difficult client interaction – separation from your home and loved ones, and exposure to unfamiliar surroundings just add to the difficulty of performing your job.

The Protea President Hotel offers more than you could ever ask for. From the moment you make your way through the teak door entrance, you are made to feel like your satisfaction is the venue’s only focus. It’s the kind of place where you feel at home the moment you walk through the door, welcomed with genuine warmth. Every day, someone comes to clean your room, a call to the front desk ensures that all your needs are met, and a balcony (a feature of every room) gives you a million dollar, panoramic view of the ocean and mountain.

Opened by Nelson Mandela himself, hence the name, the Protea President Hotel is located in the trendy neighborhood of Bantry Bay in Cape Town. The hotel is conveniently located away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town.

The atmosphere of this luxurious seaside 4-star hotel is relaxed, yet professional. The accommodation is refined, yet affordable. It is a resort in the city; it is the Protea President Hotel. For business or leisure there is no better choice of venue. Bracketed by the stunning Lion’s Head Mountain peak and the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel’s spacious rooms offer all the facilities that one would expect from a world-class establishment.

At the start of your day, or as it winds down to an end, you can make use of the hotel’s well-equipped fitness centre. The hotel embraces a healthy and holistic lifestyle and is committed to the well-being of its guests. Enjoy a cocktail in the newly refurbished Senate Bar or a sundowner on the terrace, overlooking the magnificent rim-flow pool and ocean beyond it. Once
you’ve taken in the gorgeous scenery, let the Islands Restaurant tantalise your taste buds with its sumptuous cuisine.

When you’re not visiting the famous Clifton Beach, the V&A Waterfront or Table Mountain, indulge yourself at the Amber Hair Salon, or experience the sites of Cape Town with a tour on the hop-on-hop-off Cape Town Site Seeing Bus. You can purchase these tickets from the hotel’s Travel Desk, and use the bus stop situated right outside the main entrance as your
starting point.

Tickets to the Two Oceans Aquarium, Helicopter flights around the Cape Peninsula, or Robben Island Day trips can also be purchased from the Travel Desk. Guests are offered a variety of on-site recreational activities, including jet-skiing and mountain biking. Once you have experienced the remarkable variety of facilities, impeccable service and consummate luxury at the Protea President Hotel, you will agree that there really is no better choice of venue, and that it is without a doubt the most prestigious Cape Town hotel on the Platinum Mile.

A 3-minute walk from Queen’s Beach, the hotel serves a full English breakfast.

The Island Restaurant offers buffet and a la carte menu options, in a casual and spacious setting. The service at breakfast is fabulous. A great selection of fresh fruit/yoghurts, cold meats, cheeses, pastries, breads, cereals and omelettes are freshly prepared in your presence and cooked to your taste. It really is fabulous and worth the little extra. On special request a diet menu is also available.

Guest rooms are air-conditioned with a contemporary styling. All rooms have a flat-screen TV, semi self-catering kitchenette with tea/coffee making facilities, bar fridge and a microwave. The en-suite bathrooms have a shower, a hair dryer and
complimentary toiletries.

A business centre in a hotel is no longer enough; executives want a high-speed wireless connection in their room. A small desk with a lamp that takes up most of the square footage isn’t adequate either; they need a large working surface area with adequate lighting and ample electrical sockets, and the Protea President Hotel does not fail to deliver.

The hotel also offers complimentary internet access, so check your emails, surf the net and catch up on your social media. An added and rare bonus is sleeping with the window open, so that the swish of the ocean soothes you throughout the night.

The Protea President Hotel is 6km away from Cape Town Stadium and the shops and attractions of the V&A Waterfront. Cape Town International Airport is approximately 30 minutes away. The University of Cape Town, the South African Astronomical Observatory and the Castle of Good Hope are within a 10-minute drive of the property.

It’s that satisfying feeling of an oceanside home from home that will keep you coming back to the Protea President Hotel whenever your travels take you to Cape Town.