Some months are busy, and then some months where we are literally scorched. Last month with the mercury at its peak and back-to-back First Drives. It was like a relay race with all the runners’ potential to become Norman Pritchard of the respective brands.
Marut XL6 running from Bangalore, Volkswagen Virtus from Amritsar, Jeep Meridian from Chandigarh, Honda City e:HEV retaking us to Bangalore, BMW F 850 GS & F 900 XR in Kerala and finally the race got cooled down in Mussoorie with 2022 Mercedes C- Class. This race was happening at a one-day interval, and it was peak summer when the best cameras tend to overheat; finally, we drove the Porsche Macan to the Mahabaleshwar Hills to further cool us down.
So we have a lot of automobile dopamine in the pages ahead, with Virtus making sedans sexy again, Honda City e:HEV showing us that hybrid is the bridge we have to drive towards when it comes to full electrification. The Government has to reduce taxes to make it more affordable. It burns a lot less fuel to go the same distance reducing carbon footprint without all the diabolic stories around lithium and clean energy usage in EVs. Mercedes C-Class, which has sold more than 37,000 cars so far, is also the car that has given Mercedes’ taste to many who have graduated to other vehicles in its fraternity and, to a great extent, given Mercedes a cult-like following in luxury cars in India. Mercedes-Benz India owns more than 50% market share in the luxury space in India, which speaks of the brand penetration and the C-Class in the guise of “baby S-class” has been wholly suited up with an overcoat of tech and luxury.
The Jeep Meridian has completely taken me by surprise, almost like a bouncer, which can catapult it to do offroading with a see-saw-like balancing act and can drive comfortably on the tarmac, catching all the uneven bumps, ironing it out and delivering a pliant ride quality. A lethal combination of a monocoque platform with independent suspensions and a 4WD option with a 5+2 Seat option. By the time this issue comes out, the price will be announced, which will decide its place under the sun, and it’s going to stress out with its 4×2 offering – Alcazar, Safari, XUV 700. And the fully loaded 4×4 variant can give Fortuner Legender, Gloster and Kodiaq a tough time. We have more riding and driving to do, and until the next month, keep wearing your seat belts and enjoy the summer vacation drives.