Opin­ions that mat­ter

I would love to hold on to cars that I have main­tained than to be force­fully sub­jected to 'new car smell'

Evo India - - CONTENTS - by BIJOY KU­MAR Y @bky911 Bijoy Ku­mar is the found­ing edi­tor of BS Motoring mag­a­zine and now heads Mahin­dra Ad­ven­ture

IIT IS NOT EASY FOR ME TO PART WITH CARS and mo­tor­cy­cles. Well, I am yet to sell a mo­tor­cy­cle in my life but cars do not leave me with a choice. Ear­lier this year, I had to get rid of our ten year old Swift and it was a tough de­ci­sion for me de­spite the fact that it was my wife who drove that car most of the time. But I had given it a nice Re­mus ex­haust and roof-graph­ics and it was al­ways fun to drive. But then it was ten years old de­spite the 55,000km on the odo and it had to go in favour of a brand new Honda Jazz that seems to be get­ting along fa­mously with my wife these days.

Last month I got a bolt of an e-mail re­mind­ing me that my com­pany car has al­ready reg­is­tered five years and I have to buy it back and get a an­other CTC ve­hi­cle. Most peo­ple I know are happy when they get the op­tion to buy back their CTC car and make a quick buck in the mar­ket. Even bet­ter they get to en­joy a brand new car which the com­pany main­tains and pays fuel for. Alas, what is bril­liant for oth­ers is painful for me.

A sim­ple white Re­nault Lo­gan with 96,000km on the odo is not a driver's car that you fall in love with. It does a 0-60 kph run in... er, even­tu­ally it gets there and has never been driven above 125 kph. But guess what, I can't even think of some­one driv­ing my Lo­gan away for­ever. I got this car when I started out with Mahin­dra Ad­ven­ture and it has been with me through the thick and the thin. It is the Lo­gan that I trust when I need to reach Pune or Nashik in two hours flat from Mum­bai and it does a fan­tas­tic job of it. Want to go to Goa with the fam­ily and flight tick­ets are hard to come by — well the Lo­gan was al­ways upto it. Nu­mer­ous trips to Igat­puri when the 4X4 track was be­ing built were also done by the Lo­gan. And when you are in a hurry to catch a movie it is not the Mercedes or the Honda that my wife guns for — it is the Lo­gan (be­cause you don't worry about get­ting traf­fic scars in this one). It is the Lo­gan that is the go-to ve­hi­cle when we need to do air­port runs — its huge boot will swal­low full size suit­cases with ease. It is this car that my wife bor­rows when she has no time to fill fuel in her car — the Lo­gan al­ways has fuel in it, what with 20kpl on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

When I choose to be driven around by my driver, it is the Lo­gan that we take. The ride qual­ity has been ex­cel­lent over the five years and the rear seat com­fort supreme. Al­right, I have en­sured that the car gets ser­viced at every 5000km in­ter­val and that has en­sured that the car is in ship shape. Now that is why it hurts — I know per­fectly well that this car can serve me for an­other five years and 100,000 more kilo­me­tres with­out break­ing a sweat. I don't know whether you will be­lieve it — I would love to hold on to cars that I have main­tained than to be force­fully sub­jected to 'new car smell'. Un­less we are talk­ing re­ally ex­otic stuff here.

But the Lo­gan has to go. Pe­riod. And that brings me to the topic of which car to re­place it with. With a hatch and sedan at home it makes sense to go for an SUV and that means it looks like a Mahin­dra XUV500 is win­ning the race for my garage. One good rea­son? This is the car that has won Mahin­dra Ad­ven­ture a na­tional rally championship and I can have a bumper sticker that reads 'My other driver is Gau­rav Gill'. ⌧

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