You might have read elsewhere in this issue that the Creta emerged victorious in two categories at the prestigious CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE awards for 2016 - SUV of the Year and the all important Car of the Year. Well, I cannot agree more with the judges for I have now driven this car more extensively than anyone on the team - I had the chance to take this car from the highest motorable road in the world in Khardung la, to the tip of our nation in Kanyakumari. Throughout the journey, the Creta proved to be a worthy road trip tool braving everything that came its way - from bad roads and adulterated fuel to sweltering heat and ice-cold rain storms. In fact, it even coped with the slippery roads in Khardung La without all-wheel drive at its disposal.
During the fag end of our journey though, while casually driving through some village roads in Kerala, I hit a deep pothole with sharp edges. Sharp enough to make a small slit in the sidewall of the tyre and render it useless. We had a full-size spare to continue with the trip, but not having a stepney any more was a lot of unwanted anxiety for the remainder of the journey. Adding a tube to the damaged tyre could have been a stopgap solution, but sourcing a 17-incher for a 215-section tyre was next to impossible in the village region. The only option was to replace the tyre which would set you back by almost Rs12,000. So if you are planning to embark on a journey through rural India, keep a spare tube handy in the right spec, unless you want to test your luck repeatedly.
Date acquired: Sept'15
Total Mileage: 10,438km