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    Thread: Trip to UP || Zoomcar Patna || TUV300

    1. #1
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      rksingh1's Avatar
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      Trip to UP || Zoomcar Patna || TUV300

      I had a wedding to attend in Ballia, UP (at a place called Lalgunj to be precise) on 8th March and I was expected to be there with whole family. Train journeys were out as they take anywhere close to 30-35hrs one way. Driving all the way was ruled out again due to time constraint.

      Finally, I decided to fly either to Patna or Gorakhpur and then rent a car. I was pleasantly surprised to see availability of Zoomcar in Patna which saved me from succumbing to planning pressure. Plus, we had a direct flight from BLR to Patna which was a great savior. So, after all deliberations, Patna was closed to be the landing destination.

      XUV wasn?t in their fleet and I needed a big car for us plus our humongous wedding luggage. Ladies of my house have a habit of carrying the whole house when they go out for such functions. Options for big car were limited to Scorpio, Creta and TUV300. After thinking for about 10 seconds, I booked Creta (2 weeks in advance), even though I knew I?ll be given its crappy 1.4L variant. Its 400L boot space seemed good enough. Or at least, I hoped it to be good enough. I still had no clue how many bags I?ll be travelling with. It was booked from 5th March noon till 10th March 11am.

      Just a day before of my flight, I got a call from Zoomcar saying Creta isn?t available due to <some-BS-excuse> and will I be fine taking a TUV300? It was either TUV or Scorpio. I said yes to TUV but later regretted as I wasn?t sure if TUV had enough boot space to hold all my luggage. 384L of TUV boot space was comparable to that of Creta but then ? it all still had to fit in. I cursed myself for not going with Scorpio ? but then, it was too late. I prepared everyone at home that luggage could be an issue and they shouldn?t carry lot of stuff. They listened to my request and at the end, we had 3 large bags, 1 cabin trolley and 3 hand baggage along with a camera bag and laptop bag. So much for my request. Huh!!!!

      Patna is a mid-size airport, govt operated and chaotically managed. Washrooms are poor ? we were just thankful that they were there. I left family at the airport and took an auto to RPS more, the Zoomcar place. (there wasn?t any airport delivery facility). I was greeted by typical Patna styled people who had gutka and pan in their mouth. The car was inspected ? it didn?t have jack and the toolkit plus the left side RVM was cracked. Car quality was acceptable with minor scratches here and there. I took the car and drove to airport. All this took me approx. an hour. Fitting all the luggage in the car was a challenge ? but to my surprise, I somehow did manage to snug fit everything in.
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      It was 1:30pm already. From here, I had to go to Chhapra, 70km away, to pick my sister and then to my mamaji place 30km from Chhapra. Took the Sonepur bridge and I was away from the city in quick time. While the road condition was acceptable, it was all single, non-highway roads. Village traffic always present. Which meant you can barely cross 70-80kmph. Since it was a zoomcar, I couldn?t cross 80kmph anyway. It was almost 4:30pm when I reached my mamaji place.

      Next day was a nearby sightseeing trip. This is the moment where Creta to TUV became a blessing in disguise. For the sightseeing, we stuffed in 10people in that TUV which included 4 kids. It wasn?t a comfortable situation, but at least it was possible. Last row jump seats came in very handy. Couldn?t have done that in Creta. That sightseeing trip was mostly to temples nearby. Some nice temples, but nothing great worth talking about.
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      Next day, 7th March, we left from Mamaji place for Lalgunj, Bua ji house where wedding ceremonies were on. When we approached Chhapra, we found ourselves in a massive traffic jam. I spoke to locals and apparently it could take up to 2hrs. Behind me there was a Scorpio who was going in the same direction ? he asked me to follow him and we could bypass the traffic. I did. After traversing for 20 mins through roads that didn?t exist in Google Maps, I found myself on a main road. What a relief it was. From there, we crossed Manjhi bridge and entered UP. There was a drastic change is road conditions. Surprisingly, the roads of UP were terrible compared to that of Bihar. While the roads were wide enough, the craters on road killed any hope of driving pleasure. This Chhapra Ballia route seemed way too busy with loads of truck traffic which were not that much on Patna-Chhapra route.

      Roads of UP and Bihar are ruled by Mahindra and Tata. Transport is on Mahindra jeep, Sumo and Bolero. Scorpio and Safari are the kings of the road ? majority of pvt vehicles are Scorpio. Even KUV is popular here and so is Mahindra bike. Tiago, Manza, Indica were a common sight too. Knowing the condition of the roads, I wasn?t surprised at all. People mostly buy entry level variant and use white long towels as seat covers.
      Not much to describe of a wedding in village, it went as it should. Then on 10th morning, I started 6am for my drive to Patna ? route was again the same, via Chhapra. Total of 110km. Took me 3:45hrs to cover that, no breaks.

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      Let me jump to my experience of driving TUV300, which was a totally unexpected experience. It was T6+ variant.

      What I liked

      • That three-pot engine is so damn quiet. The engine noise in cabin so nicely filtered that at times, it felt quieter than my XUV. My sister from US kept saying that many times for TUV, I don?t remember her saying this even once for XUV.
      • Super smooth engine ? I used to upshift at 2000-2300rpm. Never felt any vibrations or any engine discomfort. Pushing it till 3000rpm was effortless/noiseless.
      • Despite of 80kmph limitation from Zoomcar, the power delivery was great. When I drove Hexa, I always left short on power, not with this. Needed quick pushes for overtaking on single roads and it never disappointed me.
      • Didn?t notice any difference in suspension, seemed to be same as that of XUV ? was acceptable to me.
      • AC ran at more than 50% all the time and at times 100% too, no impact on drivability.
      • Last row jump seats are great for quick trip with people or for stowing luggage after folding.
      • Great sitting position ? almost same as XUV, felt totally comfortable with the view of the roads and dimensions of the car.
      • Nice steering feedback. Moved and swayed with precision ? that helped me have good control of the car in many tight spots.


      What I didn?t like
      • Poor music system ? some decent speakers would have been nice.
      • Body roll was expected, and it was present. Never gave me confidence in cornering.
      • Crappy mileage ? drove for 365km and spent 37L of fuel. That?s less than 10kmpl. I knew I am driving on some real bad roads ? but this mileage was certainly below expectations. I was hoping in the range of 13kmpl.

    2. #2

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      abhi_tjet's Avatar
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      Some beautiful countryside pictures there. TUV300 was in its natural habitat, cant say the same if it was Creta.

    3. #3

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      Nice pics rksingh1 and a nice short travelogue. TUV300 certainly surprised and I'm certainly shocked that you could fit so many people in the small vehicle with the cut off rear. The TUV300 Plus would have certainly been more comfortable.
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    4. #4

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      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      Ladies of my house have a habit of carrying the whole house when they go out for such functions
      It's common everywhere, my wife carries two big suitcases for a 2-night trip. LOL!!
      Thanking you
      Deb
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