The monsoons are in full swing all across India but starting from September when the monsoon retreats, you get the best possible weather to travel. People living in the northern parts of India have it best with the perfect temperature. The climate is neither too hot nor too cold and you neither need the AC nor the heater in your car, which simply means it’s a great time to hit the road. Highway trips not only ensure you break free from the moribund city life they also help you create memories for a lifetime. In this instant-gratification and Instagram world that we live in, a long highway trip with your friends and family simply ensures a break from stress and recharging of one’s own soul. Here is a small list of the best cars under Rs 15 lakh for a highway journey.
Honda’s compact crossover is based on the Jazz hatchback and is the perfect size for the city and ideal for the highway too. The Honda WR-V is a compact crossover that excels in the city with its light controls and excellent visibility. However, you will be surprised by its high-speed capabilities as well. The 1.5-litre diesel engine offers 100bhp and delivers a very consistent 22-23kpl with the AC on. The best part is the attention to detail all across the cabin. You will especially appreciate the cupholder placed next to the AC vents on the driver’s side. This ensures that your beverage remains cold even on the hottest of hot summer day. The rear seats also offer very good space and can easily rival more expensive compact SUVs for sheer practicality as well as overall comfort. The WR-V is good value too with the one which offers a sunroof coming for around Rs 10 lakh.
The Harrier is a good looking and very roomy premium SUV. It is no secret that it is based on the Land Rover discovery sports platform, a much more expensive car. That’s reason enough to buy one. But the main reason is because of its exemplary ride comfort. The car feels as if it is riding on an air of clouds, the suspension is so good. Another big boon is the well-made interiors which offer plush materials and best in class build quality. The seats inside the cabin are also one of the best in the business offering jetliner like comfort and space and the JBL speakers are another big boon if you are on a long journey. In short, the Harrier is a class act and a car that should be on your shortlist if you are planning to buy an SUV.
The Swift has been our car of the year last year and not without reason. It is a hoot to drive no matter which fuel option you choose. The brilliant 1.2-litre petrol is very fuel-efficient with some buyers claiming figures in excess of 20kpl on the highway with the AC. The steering is sharp, and you can choose an automatic gearbox or even manual units. But the best reason to consider a Swift is for the sheer seat comfort, especially the front seats. The seats have the right amount of cushioning and feel very well padded all across. Being a Maruti also means that in case you ever get stuck somewhere in the middle of the road a Maruti workshop will only be a stone’s throw away.
The Ecosport was the first compact SUV to arrive in India and has legions of fans across the country. The Ecosport comes with a great touch screen infotainment system. The best in class ride and handling and the best in the class steering wheel. The diesel engine is a hoot to drive too and has petrol like refinement levels as well. The chassis remains easily one of the best on any car in India and the solid build is an added bonus as well. The touchscreen system with its SYNC 3 apps is also a cinch to operate and makes the overall journey an enjoyable experience. Overall, it is a great all-round package and one that easily deserves to be on your top list of compact SUVs.
Hyundai’s latest offering in the compact SUV space seems to have it all. Good looks, terrific features, refined engines and the best-in-class quality along with a big boot. Buyers will love its exterior design while occupants will enjoy the connected apps that this car has to offer via the Bluelink feature. The Bluelink app enables you many features, chief among which is the ability to start the car from outside, turn up the AC and even locate your car. Being a Hyundai also means that sales and after-sales support are taken care of and that you can easily live with the car with total peace of mind.