It is that hot time of the year again when people are fighting through every day in the busy metro lifestyle looking for a relaxing chilly weekend getaway, and what’s better than driving out for a few days to the land of pinewoods and snow.
Thankfully Delhi is located at such location from where hills are not very far away, and the current summer heat only makes it easy for us to make weekend plans for some cold hill stations or similar places that can give us a short break from the daily chaotic life cycle.
A few days back I got a chance to take our long-termer Renault Kwid Climber to a similar long drive and the destination I chose for this trip was Barog in Himachal Pradesh. Since it is present at a perfect distance from Delhi which is close to 340kms, and also it is located at about just 1.5 hours drive into the hills, naturally makes it a refreshing destination. Barog is just a small village located at 30 minutes of distance from Dharampur, yet it is hidden away from mainstream tourists and hence preserves all the natural beauty one can think of.
Since starting up early is always the best thing to do, I made sure to brim up the car before departing at 6 AM. The car allows close to 28L of fuel at once, and that along with its highway efficiency to 18kmpl gives a decent range of close to 450 kilometers. Since having a fair amount of experience of driving the Kwid in the city, I am aware of how easy and friendly the car proves to be in everyday driving. But highways are always trickier, and constant change of altitude only makes it tougher not just for the person sitting behind steering wheel but also for the car itself.
From Delhi it took close to 5 hours to hit Chandigarh, and not for once did I turned the speed of AC blower on more than two, proving that the air-conditioning in the Kwid is all that you need from a small car. Also, the throw of air is decent not just for the front but also for the rear occupants as none of the people sitting at the back ever complained. Also, its 7-inch touch-based system with navigation kept everyone entertained with its easy to use format which is simple and unique.
What also makes the Kwid a complete car for the average Indian family is that fact that the seats are plush with all the sufficient comfort one could ask from a car of its size. The rear seats are good for two full-size adults but may be bit of a squeeze for three, though I never got a chance to sit on the back but since nobody complained of comfort, I assume the rear seats are as good as the front ones.
Kwid feels light and easy in the city but when it comes to the highway this lightness may sometimes give you a sense of getting less feedback from the steering wheel at high speeds, or in short words, you may feel like missing the confidence when driving on highway speeds.
As soon as hitting Himalayan Express Way, it only takes an hour and few more minutes to reach Barog, since it is one of the earliest villages in the hill when driving from Chandigarh. And we made it to our hotel by 1 PM.
Since the hills were already cold there wasn’t any need of the air-conditioning so I rolled down the windows and turned off the AC only to see a significant power bump in the way the car was climbing the switchbacks of the hills. The size of the car allowed me to drive it around the miniature roads designed only for two or three wheelers, and it was that time of the trip I was thanking my boss who got me this car, as an SUV might have gotten stuck where the Kwid rode in glory.
Overall Kwid Climber proved to be a fantastic car for my highway trip up to the hills with utmost fuel economy, comfort, and convenience of its small size.