Quite often, vacations present a multitude of dilemmas: Where do you go, what do you see, what do you do, where do you live, how do you get there. Putting aside several of these variables, let us dwell on the kind of vehicles that make the best sense for you in a road trip.
A road trip by itself is a wonderful way to explore not just your destination but also get intimate with the journey. Driving to your destination provides you the freedom of managing your time according to your convenience. It is also money saved on several tickets if you fill your car with four passengers and split the costs; plus, you don’t need a rental at your destination. All that money can go into that top-of-the-line aroma therapy at a nice spa.
On a road trip, keep in mind the size of the country you are in. If planning a road trip within India, distances, fairly long already, get extended when you account for traffic, weather and road conditions. It makes sense, then, to have a comfortable car, one that is durable and can withstand all that India can throw at you.
How do you zero in on the vehicle that makes best sense? Can a hatchback cut it, will a sedan do the deed, or would you need an SUV? If this were a road trip within India, the no-brainer is to go gallivanting in an SUV. This is because you get better visibility, usually more space, higher ground clearance and a commanding presence that prevents other road users from messing with you.
There are all types of SUVs these days. Here’s a list of the best SUVs at various price points that will get you almost anywhere.
It is the same as the Renault Duster and is a basic entry-level SUV priced roughly around Rs 13 lakh. It is a tremendously spacious car to take on any road trip. Wide, long and tall enough to accommodate five passengers with enough space in the boot for a road trip that would last a fortnight. A healthy and robust diesel engine ensures your money isn’t flowing out of your pocket at the same rate as petrol out of a tank. It lacks a four-wheel drive but makes up for that with a rustic ruggedness that will easily withstand a terrible beating from some of the worst roads this country has to offer. And that masculine styling is guaranteed to electrify any landscape.
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(This story appears in the 02 May, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
Long drive vacations in india is not about cruising hundreds of kms on national highway in your comfortable sedans. The real fun is driving on twisting turns and narrow roads of hill stations, and this is where small suvs like duster are real pleasure to drive. Indians roads are full of surprises once you get out of the comfortable highway. Xuv is the last vehicle I would take for long drive, it took me a whole week to recover from body ache after driving xuv for 4 days on long drive. One who has owned a car before would never buy ecosport, ford is fooling firsr time buyers with all in board new gadgets, the vehicle is horrible to drive with a transmission more then 20 years old. As of now the best vehicle below 15 lacs for long drive on indian narrow and broken hill stations roads is definitely duster or terrano, but both are a rip off for the horrible interiors.on Oct 1, 2014
I wonder why the author has not reviewed any of the Indian SUV\'s like the Tata Safari or Mahindra Scorpio or XUV5oo? In a similar vein, the Toyota Innova is ignored. The bye-line of the story is \"What does your road trip need—a hatchback, a sedan or an SUV?\" I cannot see a single sedan reviewed. Mr. D\'Souza has just ignored sedans on a mono-dimensional and arbitrary assumption of the higher seating of an SUV. What about the superior ride with less body roll a sedan provides? What about superior fuel mileage which is one the primary concerns of the average Indian motorist? I regularly do Bangalore to Chennai road trips as well as Bangalore to Pune, and though I own an SUV, the smooth road hugging drive of a sedan, is incalculable. Lastly, does Mr. D\'Souza honestly believe people who spend upwards of one crore on the Range Rovers and Audi Q7 will rough it on road trips and that too in India? Let\'s not even consider the pip-squeak Freelander 2. The article says people want the comfort of a larger cabin of an SUV and then you review a vehicle that has a cabin the size of a mid-sized saloon. Surely Forbes and Mr. D\'Souza can do better than a product pitch for a few select imported (or assembled in India) SUVs.on Apr 29, 2014