Once again, my Swift VDi exceeded my expectations during this long drive of 4450 km (Jamshedpur – Bombay – Lonavla – Bombay – Sambalpur - Brajrajnagar - Sambalpur - Jamshedpur).
The car was completely trouble free and 100% reliable during this long drive, as any self-respecting modern car should be. Additionally, my Swift VDi was a pleasure to drive both at high and low speeds – thanks to a jewel of a diesel motor which produces peak torque at only 2000 RPM and is highly responsive over its entire power range.
There were hundreds of kilometres of bad roads on the way and the suspension took it fairly well. The suspension is definitely better than that in my previous car (Maruti Esteem). There were a few ‘bottomings’ of the front suspension (while hitting unmarked speed-breakers, for instance) and the metallic sound given out by the front suspensions during such bottomings was pretty jarring. When I heard that metallic clang for the first time I was quite alarmed but subsequently I discovered that the clang from both the left and right front suspensions was identical. Anyway, I must probe further into the root cause of this metallic clang.
Another little flaw was a couple of minor body noises – apparently coming from the doors.
Driving the car at 160 kmph on the Lonavla-Bombay expressway was pure ecstasy. There were 4 adults plus weekend luggage in the car and the AC was on when I touched 160 kmph quite effortlessly.
The climbing ability of the car, even in higher gears at relatively low speeds, is excellent. It was a very pleasant new experience (as compared to my earlier petrol cars) for me to drive my new baby on the numerous ghat stretches in Maharashtra and Orissa.
And once again, the icing on the cake was the phenomenal mileage figures. Overall mileage obtained over this entire 4450 km trip (including city driving in / around Bombay and Bombay – Lonavla – Bombay trip) was 24 kmpl. If city driving and Lonavla trip are excluded, the mileage comes to 25.5 kmpl. The best mileage measured (over a distance of 890 km between Nagpur and Bombay) was 26.56 kmpl. AC use was around 50%. Non-premium diesel was used.
Can one ask for more?