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