FuelRunGod

Tata Safari: Bombay-Delhi (BMW X3 pg 4)

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Yes the vadodara-surat route is still bad but better than before..I think it will be completed by end of this year and then Ahmedabad-Bombay part will be fun as you will reach there by much less time..

Also the Surat-Bombay is now not as good as before, i think rains have destroyed the good roads..

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FRG, you are a high miler! How much time does it take for the entire trip & how many passengers are with you on the trip. Also, do you take another vehicle along?

The diff. between the 2 trips must have been huge, but how would you compare between Safari & a normal Saloon, say a Corolla instead of a Bimmer.

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What a fantastic review FRG.

I am also a Travel freak and would always love to be On the drivers seat on such Long trips..

 

Whoooo.....! what a dream drive.

 

I have a mighty Swift and Have done few 800-1000km drives ..The fun is always in the travel and not in the arrival at destination.

 

I dream of owning Safari or any such SUV , Such vehicle gives you command and confidence on highways and the expirience is just fantastic..

 

Keep posting such High miling expirience ..!

 

Regards

 

 

 

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FRG' date=' you are a high miler! How much time does it take for the entire trip & how many passengers are with you on the trip. Also, do you take another vehicle along?

The diff. between the 2 trips must have been huge, but how would you compare between Safari & a normal Saloon, say a Corolla instead of a Bimmer.
[/quote']

 

In both the trips, it was one vehicle alone along with one passenger. It took about 20hrs of driving time with the Safari. Entire trip was two days including a night stop mid way.

 

For the X3 it took us about 17hrs driving time. The X3 was brand new and we had to take it easy for the first 1000kms. We completed this mark just before Ahmedabad. Till then we were restricted to 2500rpms which by the way still translated to a top speed of 130kph in 6th gear. But with the restriction removed, I got a chance to stretch her legs. We reached Vadodara from Ahmedabad in 40mins flat thanks to the National Expressway 1. Brilliant road with very less traffic. It was easy to maintain 160kph with short burst of 190kph. Lot of fun. But don't try this at home and always drive within the speed limit.

 

In the Safari you can maintain 120kph quite easily. In the trip, it was mostly around 100-120kph. You only need to be careful of the longer braking distances. The difference between the two trips wasn't much, because we decided to rest more than usual since we knew we would make up time thanks to the X3.

 

Driving other saloons should be faster than the Safari. But I always suggest that one should drive at a speed with which he/she is comfortable with. Indian highways are full of unseen dangers. So if in doubt don't go flat out.

 

@balachandra: Yes the journey is always more fun than the destination.

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2009-03-10 19:48:48

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FRG, brave of you to be traveling on such long distances with just one more person  & no back up vehicle!

Btw, I occasionally drive at speeds of ~ 180kmph, but definately not a good thing to do!

Somehow, I feel  Safari would be more comfy for such long trips instead of a saloon.

 

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Yeah high speeds are seldom good. I prefer the Safari's higher seating which lets me judge traffic better. Useful especially on undivided highways. Vehicles are generally reliable. So all the Tata haters smiley2.gif, Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai done without any hiccups.

 

FRG

 

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Oh, caught me right! Though Im not a Tata hater at all, but have heard lots of horror stories about them leaving passengers stranded in the middle of roads many a times!

So, I was a bit concerned about you trusting/relying on Safari big time!

 

Also, the high seating must be helpful in warding of those high beem's during night driving.

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Yeah but the Safari's headlights need a serious upgrade, the 55W bulbs can't overpower most oncoming high beams. And buying one of the last batches of the 3.0 has paid off, Tata had sorted out most troubles since its launch. The 2.2 is still having its labour pains.

 

High seating is quite a boon. I drove a 3-series upto Nasik some days back along with a Xylo. And to tell you the truth, the Xylo is a faster vehicle on that road than even the 325i. You get to see so much more oncoming traffic thanks to the high seat. On this trip when driving the Xylo I had to conciously make an effort to keep behind the bimmer.

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2009-03-11 18:56:53

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 High seating is quite a boon. I drove a 3-series upto Nasik some days back along with a Xylo. And to tell you the truth' date=' the Xylo is a faster vehicle on that road than even the 325i. You get to see so much more oncoming traffic thanks to the high seat. On this trip when driving the Xylo I had to conciously make an effort to keep behind the bimmer.

 FRG
[/quote']

Wow thats something good that the Xylo delivers.But while driving it I found the braking to be a little less responsive.It takes on the rough roads with ease.

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Handling is top heavy and braking composure isn't the best either. But there's only so much you can do with a Scorpio platform. Having said that, the Xylo excels in most other areas and comes across as a very practical alternative to the Innova.

 

FRG 

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Those words for the Xylo really mean big for the vehicle, I was also interested in knowing more. We shall surely continue on Xylo in some other thread!

 

Yes DD, lucky  indeed! Btw, I saw FRG enjoying behind the wheels of a bimmer in Whatcar, which I bought yesterday!

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Those words for the Xylo really mean big for the vehicle' date=' I was also interested in knowing more. We shall surely continue on Xylo in some other thread!

 

Yes DD, lucky  indeed! Btw, I saw FRG enjoying behind the wheels of a bimmer in Whatcar, which I bought yesterday!
[/quote']

 

What u bought yesterday?

a bimmer or a whatcar issue.

lolz,,, just kidding

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 What u bought yesterday?a bimmer or a whatcar issue.lolz

 

As FRG said "I wish I could"! This stands true for me, but he sure can if he wishes!

Btw, his ambitions are higher!! Keep on guessing!!smiley2.gif

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As promised, the X3 Delhi-Mumbai drive with pictures.

 

Part I

 

7.00am

I'm at the wrong terminal at the Mumbai airport thanks to confusion between Kingfisher and Kingfisher Red. Both airlines are printed as Kingfisher, so you really don't know which one you are flying unless you've booked the ticket yourself. Now, we may have a nice airport, but the connectivity between the terminals is nothing to write home about. Either you take a long walk along the road or hire a cab or a rickshaw to the other terminal and most of the times, the cabbies will refuse since it invites cop trouble for god only knows what reason.

 

Luckily I find another passenger who is at the wrong terminal, we both catch a rickshaw and head to the correct terminal where I meet up with my co-driver. The flight was uneventful and we caught some much needed sleep. We land in Delhi on time and the weather was pleasant at 15 degrees. Hop into a cab and reach the offices of BMW in Gurgaon. There we pick up a spanking new white BMW X3 Diesel.

 

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Wide open roads - A fast car makes it even more fun 

 

12.00pm

We ease out of the parking lot and on to the Jaipur highway. There itself we are greeted by pesky pedestrians and errant motorcyclists. Carefully making our way out of the city, we hit the open road. Thanks to the cool air, we open the panoramic sunroof to let some of the weather in. On the outskirts of Gurgaon there is a Mcdonalds (I didn't stop here during the Safari drive, feeling hungry on a long drive isn't the best feeling). We pack up some supplies for the long drive ahead and settle into a good rythm.

 

1.00pm

Just as we are about to start munching, we notice cars slowing down and people running. An accident had just happened, a trailer had jumped the divider and come into the path of an 800 which was travelling less than a minute ahead of us. The 800 had no time to brake and hit the trailer perpendicular. We feared the worst. But the driver was an extremely lucky man, he hobbled out of the mangled car and was being treated by passers by.

 

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Accidents like these were a common sight on this trip 

 

But wait there was another truck involved. It was the truck that caused the trailer to swerve. This tanker had hit something and the cabin was completely smashed. It was a gruesome sight, the lifeless body of the driver was wedged in the wreckage. People were trying to pry open the cabin to get him out. But I think it was too late for him. May his soul rest in peace. We could do nothing but helplessly watch. We left after a while, but it had us shaken and we drove slower than usual and away from the divider. The food bought was wasted since we didn't feel like eating anymore.

 

2.00pm

We had seen numerous small accidents mostly involving trucks all along the road in Haryana. But things seemed to be better as we crossed over into Rajasthan. The roads are brilliant all the way and lot of pretty scenery all along the way. I was waiting for Hotel Highway King which was prominently advertised all along the highway at least 40kms in advance. At the hotel, there was a coffee day outlet at which we always stop. Also, if anybody is interested, there is a reebok factory outlet as well. We reached this place around 3.00pm. We enjoy some snacks and the pleasant weather and hit the road again. In Rajasthan you have to watch out for tourist taxis. Some of them are quite reckless. We pass Jaipur soon. Our aim was to stop over at Udaipur for the night and make the dash for Mumbai the next day.

 

4.00pm

We are making quite good progress thanks to the brilliant roads. Traffic also had thinned out. But limited to 2500rpm, we were doing about 120kph which by the way is mor than enough. Always look ahead and merrily blow the horn. You never know when an animal or even a human decides to step out of the bushes. Also another piece of advice, stay in the right lane only when overtaking and keep yourself away from the divider.

 

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The BMW X3 was an absolute pleasure. As miles rolled by, our smiles only got bigger.

 

When encountering turns try to stay in the outside lane (If it is right hand turn, stick to the left lane) This gives you a wider field of view and gives you ample warning for people driving up in the wrong direction. Believe me because of this we missed quite a few collisions. All the wrong side buggers have this affinity for the dividers. So beware.

 

8.00pm

The roads till now had been great and going by the previous drives, nothing would change till Vadodara in Gujarat. We fill up around 30kms outside Udaipur. We had covered 644.2kms and filled in 71.99 litres of regular diesel. The X3 managed 8.94kpl. We hit Udaipur around 9pm and start searching for a hotel. We find one - Paras Mahal hotel. A little expensive but good. It had a good parking facility. We have our dinner and retire for the night.

 

Will post the next day's drive and the pictures after lunch.

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2009-03-14 07:50:22

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Part II

8.00am

We wake up to a lovely morning in Udaipur. Have our breakfast and check out. The hotel was kind enough to get the Bimmer washed. We exit the hotel premises at 9.30am. We had thought about leaving earlier to beat the traffic, but just overslept. The traffic wasn't that bad. I'm behind the wheel again. We make good progress and manage three digit speeds for most of the day.

 

The GQ is full of good scenery, we stop every now and then to take in the sights and some photographs. The weather was nice, and the sunroof was open. That large sunroof is one of the best things I like about the X3 apart from the driving experience ofcourse.

 

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The sights and sounds of the entire country can be found on these brilliant roads.

 

1.00pm

We hit Ahmedabad around this time. And guess what the X3 has completed its first 1000kms. Now we can stretch her legs and what a place to do it on. We are on the National Expressway 1. Brilliant piece of tarmac. No concrete like the Pune expressway. Not much traffic either. We are able to maintain 160kph easily. We also hit 190kph at some points. Thanks to the turn of speed, we hit Vadodara in 40mins flat.

 

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The Railway Staff College at Vadodara.

 

We had arrived much before the anticipated time. This gave us time to visit my parents in Vadodara for lunch. We turn off the highway into Vadodara city and are home within half an hour. After a hearty lunch and some chai. We head back out for our last leg. I knew traffic between Vadodara and Surat would be bad so we always kept a lookout for points where we could exit the highway to avoid traffic. Soon enough we are crawling. We lost a lot of time on this stretch. While we are stuck in traffic, we make a lot of friends thanks mostly to the BMW and not our smiles. smiley2.gif. A state transport bus driver actually walks up to us to ask us about the car. We were given right of way at most places thanks to some fine gentlemen.

 

7.30pm

We are outside Surat still crawling. There is a bridge which always gets jammed thanks to impatient drivers and truckers. As soon as we get a chance we follow the traffic onto the opposite side of the road and get off into a village. Through the villatge we bypass the bridge and the traffic which hasn't been moving for hours probably. The roads were atrocious and the Bimmer's X drive system came in handy at many places. Finally at 8.30pm we cross Surat and the roads get better somewhat.

 

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The wide open roads ended once we crossed Vadodara.

 

However, this stretch isn't as good as it used to be. The road surface has deteriorated and the road markings are not present in many places. Not the best places to drive at night. My co-driver had been driving since the jam and continues to drive till Mumbai. As we get closer to Mumbai, the traffic starts mounting. Even at 12.00am in the night, there is a que of vehicles vying for space.

 

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Heroic overtaking is quite a common sight.

 

12.30am

We hit Mumbai at 12.30am and are happy to be back. The roads are empty and we get in without too many hassles. I drop off my co-driver at Sion and head off to south Mumbai and reach home at 1.15am. I put her in 'P' and give her a pat on the back for this brilliant drive. The X3 is by far the most practical BMW for India. It has the ground clearance, the ride is softer than most Bimmers and it doesn't have runflat tyres. Its so much fun when you don't have to worry about potholes and speedbreakers. That I had fun on this drive would be quite an understatement.

 

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This drive was made memorable thanks to the good roads and also to the star of the show - BMW X3 diesel. The diesel engine is brilliant. It is an eager performer and will not hurt your pocket either. Like I said the most appropriate BMW for our country

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2009-03-13 11:47:01

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To me X3 looks better than X5..

And yes the route between Surat and Mumbai has deteriorated due to heavy rains other wise when new it was next to expressways where you can drive at mostly 3digits..

A Piece of Advice- Next time when you do same strech go via Bharuch and Ankleshwar between Surat and Vadodara, this will save your lot of time because the highway is jammed most of time so its better to go through these towns..After crossing Bharuch you will come through an ancient bridge namely Golden bridge which is a km long and too thin but you can manage, this bridge is parallel to the bridge on the main highway which is usually jammed..

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