Moving is a painful exercise, but it forced me to wade through the sea of nonsense – primarily knick-knacks and gear – that I had accumulated over the years as an auto professional. Despite my initial resistance, I eventually started filtering the must-haves from the must-nots and after much heavy-hearted siphoning, my pool of must-haves could have easily been confused by my wife as the recipe for a motorcycle garage sale.
In preparation for the relocation, I had sought help from our long-term Hyundai Creta stationed at the Mumbai office. While picking it up, I was once again pleasantly taken aback by its reassuring and robust air. This might be an urban SUV, but it does stand above the jumped-up hatchback brigade. As I wiggled through the city, I was glad that the SUV-ness extends to more than just its looks, a point highlighted at the Vashi toll naka. Sitting a head above almost everything else on the road does help relieve the stress of driving remarkably. The urban SUV capabilities are really well executed too, because its light clutch and refined engine makes driving in stop-go traffic all the more easier. The Creta rolled over Mumbai’s patchwork roads effortlessly and sailed over the new flyovers – the city’s only saving grace – one after the other as we weaved our way out of the city and headed towards Pune.
The second we hit the expressway, I switched into home stretch mode and even though traffic is quite heavy nowadays, driving on the expressway is easy and relaxing. The six-speed gearbox coupled with the engine’s straightforward power delivery helped me breeze through traffic on the expressway. The Creta’s quiet cabin and fuel-sipping nature makes it feel like a very long-legged companion. Its suspension is surely one of the best tuned set-ups from Hyundai, but as I drove over uneven concrete, I knew that Hyundai has to get the finer details in wheel control ironed out too. The only other errant bit was the sun visor, which rotated freely in its socket. Hmph! As night fell, one other thing that became clear was that the headlamps just weren’t illuminating the road ahead as brightly as you would expect from a car of this class.
Next morning, as I heaved boxes, bags, boots, ovens and small furnishings towards the Creta, I wondered how many round trips this would take. Boot flipped open and the rear bench folded down, the Creta was ready for the challenge. The wide opening doors and the inviting space within the cabin made it easy to load some of the furniture and pack in much of my stuff. Tyres, unassembled furniture, helmets, leftovers rolled up in bedsheets and lots more, all found their place into the Creta’s boot. I must have saved on one trip for sure. Offloading the luggage was just as easy, and then it seemed like the hard part was, of course, heading back to Mumbai to hand over the Creta back to office.