The UK, for some strange reason, doesn’t see a great deal of the cars available from the manufacturers of the world. Only a small selection is offered to the somewhat conservative British public which means that we miss out on some fantastic vehicles. Today, I’ll be showing you my top 3 big cars from overseas that, I think, should really be offered to us here.
3. At number 3 here today comes a car which we’ve seen already here at 0to60: the Mercedes-Benz GLK.
A big hit in Europe, this car is meant to be the petite version of the colossal GL-Class but is really the big version of the smaller C-Class. DB said it was the best crossover car available, and I’d agree with him. It definitely looks the best, and is quite sizeable for its class, and, when you combine that with it being rather competent off-road, you can see why perhaps it isn’t sold over here. This car is so good that Mercedes would maybe make less money by selling it in the UK… You see, quite a few of the inhabitants of Cheshire don’t really need the space of the 7 seat GL because they’ve only 2 kids – the only reason they own one is because they would like a 4×4. The GLK is big enough for them, is more than stylish enough for them, and, most importantly, has a German badge on the front. All of the GL-Class owners would spend less money on a GLK.
And that’s a shame, because it makes it such a hassle to be able to sit in one of these cars and enjoy the lovely interior – 4 stars.
2. At 2 sits the overweight, oversized and overly-lovely Ford Flex.
This beast is an acquired taste. We’re not used to such massive cars, and we’re definitely not used to cars that don’t try to disguise their whopping mass. Somehow, Ford have managed to make what looks like a stack of boxes rather appealing and, it’s safe to say, that, if one of these drove past the local tea-rooms, it would take an age to remove the stains from all of those dropped scones.
The inside of this car is what really makes you want to move to the USA just to own one. You could, with ease, sit 29 or more Rugby players inside, but instead there are only 6 or 7 isolated seats for you to sprawl across. If you do opt for just 6, you can have a fridge, that can also freeze, with room for 7 cans – or about enough to sustain the average passenger for an afternoon. The central information system in the car will also tell you local fuel prices, as well as the latest news and sporting results. At night, you can select the colours that various parts of the interior will be lit with, and you can even completely change the direction of the third row of seats. Don’t think parking will be an issue with this gluttonous creature, because it can parallel park itself – 4.5 stars.
1. And the best SUV that you can import from abroad is… the Nissan Patrol – but not as we know it.
The Nissan Patrol that was sold in the UK was a giant, lumbering, tall car that was the best for those who drove in the worst conditions. It could cope with just about anything you threw at it, while its leather and wood rich interior kept the passengers unaware of the harsh outdoors. But it soon became outdated, and many turned away from it until sales stopped Nissan selling it in Britain.
But last year, in the Middle-East, Nissan unveiled the new model which combined stylish looks with Nissan’s most luxurious ever interior. The new Patrol was designed to rival the Range Rover, and was a direct attack on Toyota’s Landcruiser V8, but did we hear anything in Britain? No, not a whisper.
Nissan UK decided they wanted to portray an eco-friendly-happy-smiley-save-the-worldy image and so the new Patrol, with its edacious 5.6 litre V8, apparently didn’t suit. Nissan’s flagship model really is something to behold. It is gargantuan, and looks divine. There’s even a luxury version of Nissan’s luxury 4×4 from Infiniti but its exterior is just a little bit weird.
The Patrol really is the car to import, it’s going to be released in Australia shortly as well, so that means that the steering wheel will even be on the correct side of the car. I advise you all to just go for it – 5 stars.