Tatler Thailand Takes Mercedes-Benz's Latest SUVs On A Spin In Kanchanaburi
I confess I’m not much of a petrol-head but when Mercedes-Benz kindly extended an invitation to join other members of the fourth estate on a two-day trip to the wilds of Kanchanaburi to experience the range of SUVs under the Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG brands, well…I got quite giddy with excitement! Held in late autumn, the outing was partly the renowned motoring marque’s way of introducing the new Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 Progressive—a seven-seater compact multi-purpose SUV—and partly its way of highlighting and helping to mitigate against the difficulties rural communities and businesses are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our trip, the party for which included Thai actor Ray MacDonald and was led by Mercedes-Benz Thailand CEO Roland Folger and the brand’s marketing and communication general manager Atch Bunyaprasit, began with a chance to experience the cruise capabilities of the SUVs on the drive out to Kanchanaburi. Our destination was the Grand Prix Motor Park at Chong Dan, where we spent the afternoon putting the cars through their paces on a specially designed off-road test track prepared with various obstacles (think cliffs, boulders, ravines and soggy bogs). The course was enough to push any vehicle to its limits and test the skills of the drivers. The front-wheel drive GLB200 Progressive was particularly fun to pilot. The driving position is high and the suspension firm but not so stiff as to feel every last bump. It also has more than enough grunt to cope with most off-road conditions thanks to its four-cylinder, 1.3-litre petrol-turbo engine, which delivers 163hp. At 2.86 million baht the car offers an alternative to the GLA and GLC SUVs in terms of size and price. It is comfortable, practical and eminently versatile, making it ideal for the most active of families.
Following the exertions on the test track, the evening was given over to a celebration by the River Kwai at U Inchantree Hotel and the next morning we once again enjoyed a leisurely drive returning the vehicles to Bangkok.
Here's a short teaser of our fun little test drive with Mercedes at Kanchanaburi:
See also: The First Thai-Assembled Mercedes-AMG Car