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Old 15th February 2013, 11:21   #1
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Default Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Due to my new job, I travel every week between Hyderabad and Bangalore. Currently I use the intercity volvo bus service which takes roughly 10 hours over-night and the pickup and drop points are less than 5 kms from my house in both the locations. This is pretty convenient but I would like to check the option of self drive with the gurus in this forum. The budget will be less than 20 lakhs on road at Hyderabad.

As a background, I currently own a Scorpio MHAWK (2009) which it is pretty good on highways and I get around 13 kms of mileage. The road is excellent between these 2 cities and well maintained 4 lane throughout the distance.

Some expectation are that the car will provide a better mileage than my Scorpio and will be able to cruise effortlessly without to much of noise and strain. It should also have good highway manners and relatively less stress on driver. I am open to both sedan and car options. All suggestions are welcome including my current option (which will be music to my ears).

Last edited by noopster : 22nd February 2013 at 17:13. Reason: No high speed references please
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:34   #2
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Default re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

With Scorpio in hand, if I were to be you, I wouldn't be looking for second car at 20L range. Would choose to commute in Volvo and sometimes in Scorpio for change.

However, if I have that 20L money to throw on depreciating asset, I would choose, Laura or used BMW 320d.
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:43   #3
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Default re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

@Sudipta, I agree with @2500cc. The distance is 500 km one-way. I dont see it as a good idea to drive every weekend. Even if you were to do so,

1. Start early on friday evening. But you'd possibly be rushed to complete work. After that you'd hit the evening traffic, and spend 2 hours getting out of BLR. And then drive at night. You'll possibly reach HYD around 2 am.

2 If you actually do #1 above, when will you start from HYD to BLR ? Is it convenient enough to do the drivign & then get back to life (office / home) each work weel / weekend ?

With the convenient options for Volvo's, it would make so much more sense to use that & cut down on risk, fatigue & expenses, week-in & week-out.
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:43   #4
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Default re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

To commute long distances at those speeds you will need a vehicle with good high speed dynamics, and with low body roll. You should leave out SUVs like the Storme, XUV.

Look at the Laura Elegance DSG, many features like touch screen, steering controls, bluetooth, power seat with memory have just been added. It will give you 15+kmpl on highways and can cruise at 140kmph all day. The wind noise is well controlled too.

Another option is the Yeti, this is a great choice if an auto is not needed. It has slightly higher clearance, and if you can live with the quirky looks it is a great machine. But then again I would recommend an auto, especially the DSG which is a brilliant piece of engineering.

The third option would be the Jetta. It lacks some features, but is a good package overall.

Do take a test drive of these 3. I have only suggested euro cars because I believe Jap and Korean cars still have a long way to go to match the dynamics of the European cars.

Last edited by noopster : 22nd February 2013 at 17:14. Reason: Removed speed reference from OP
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Old 15th February 2013, 12:23   #5
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Default re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
With Scorpio in hand, if I were to be you, I wouldn't be looking for second car at 20L range. Would choose to commute in Volvo and sometimes in Scorpio for change.

However, if I have that 20L money to throw on depreciating asset, I would choose, Laura or used BMW 320d.
Thanks for your input 2500cc, and you are not the only one for this idea. Also regarding the money, it is more of a limit and not the availability as any other figure will be really absurd for me. As mentioned in my earlier post I would love to spend nothing given that my current condition is one of the best options which covers most of my requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@Sudipta, I agree with @2500cc. The distance is 500 km one-way. I dont see it as a good idea to drive every weekend. Even if you were to do so,

1. Start early on friday evening. But you'd possibly be rushed to complete work. After that you'd hit the evening traffic, and spend 2 hours getting out of BLR. And then drive at night. You'll possibly reach HYD around 2 am.

2 If you actually do #1 above, when will you start from HYD to BLR ? Is it convenient enough to do the drivign & then get back to life (office / home) each work weel / weekend ?

With the convenient options for Volvo's, it would make so much more sense to use that & cut down on risk, fatigue & expenses, week-in & week-out.
I can't agree more with you condor, in the volvo process, I save money, time and stress to the maximum if I let go the sleeping in the bus factor for 2 nights every week.

Even if I am to drive, the timing should as mentioned by you like out of BLR office at ITPL by 2:00 pm every Friday and reach HYD home around 10:00 pm and start back on Monday morning latest by 6:00 am and be at BLR 2:00 pm. I will have to try this option a few times in my Scorpio to check if this is feasible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
To commute long distances at 140kmph at those speeds
Look at the Laura Elegance DSG, many features like touch screen, steering controls, bluetooth, power seat with memory have just been added. It will give you 15+kmpl on highways and can cruise at 140kmph all day. The wind noise is well controlled too.

(...)
Do take a test drive of these 3. I have only suggested euro cars because I believe Jap and Korean cars still have a long way to go to match the dynamics of the European cars.
Thanks a lot Akshay for you valuable feedback. Any thoughts on the reliability issue (short term/Long term) with the european options? Do you think they are up to the mark on this against the Japs?

Last edited by noopster : 22nd February 2013 at 17:15. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 15th February 2013, 13:21   #6
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Default re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipta View Post
Thanks a lot Akshay for you valuable feedback. Any thoughts on the reliability issue (short term/Long term) with the european options? Do you think they are up to the mark on this against the Japs?
Like I've mentioned in other places, Japs are more abuse friendly. But if it is self driven, with good driving practices (putting the DSG into N at signals, etc) the Euros will be reliable and age much better than Japs.

Since you will be self driving I think Euros will be much better, since you also get the added driving pleasure.

Believe me, if you do get something like a Laura or Yeti, you will be looking forward to your weekly drive if the roads are good.
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Old 15th February 2013, 14:29   #7
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Default Re: Car for intercity weekly

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipta View Post
Even if I am to drive, the timing should as mentioned by you like out of BLR office at ITPL by 2:00 pm every Friday and reach HYD home around 10:00 pm and start back on Monday morning latest by 6:00 am and be at BLR 2:00 pm. I will have to try this option a few times in my Scorpio to check if this is feasible.
Well I don't do 500 kms up and down every week, but I do it atleast once a month , sometimes twice. My trips are Bangalore - Belgaum and I can give you some insights on what its like to drive up and down Vs. going by bus/ train.

In a year typically I will drive my Laura about 6 times a year and take the bus the remaining times.

You just can't beat the convenience of an overnight Volvo bus. As a frequent traveller you will learn to sleep in these buses the moment you fall into the reclining seat . THe next morning you will be very fresh and it will not affect your work at all. Since the bus is at night you don't waste any time. I don't drive at night and prefer to start early mornings. Bangalore Belgaum takes about 5 ~ 5/12 hrs if I go non stop flat out. With a breakfast break and some sensible driving it takes about 6 hrs. So if I start at 5 AM, I reach my destination by 11 AM. I go straight to my office. But for the next two hours my productivity is really low as the strain of driving so long takes its toll. The feeling of tiredness remains for the rest of the day.

So you may ask me why do I take my car at all if the bus is more convenient? We are the "Live to Drive" class aren't we? . The drive is my way of getting some relaxation for my senses. I simply enjoy it and feel rejuvenated by it. As Akshay put it, I look forward to the drive. But if I had to do every week then my ratio would be 3 trips by bus and one trip by car. It is not easy to drive 500 kms up and down every week and you will feel very fatigued. More so if you do it in a Scorpio. A good handling Euro sedan will be much more relaxing and fatigue free.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 15th February 2013 at 14:32.
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Old 15th February 2013, 14:49   #8
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Why don't you get yourself a nice sports bike instead

On a serious note - The Chevy Cruze should also be in consideration here.
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Old 15th February 2013, 14:50   #9
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

If I were you, I would be sticking to the Volvo option and not risk a 1200km drive every weekend. Trust me, however good the roads are, you will ultimately feel tired. Your brain is working at close to full processing capacity at triple digit speeds and there is no way that you can combine a full days work with a 7-8 hr high speed drive every weekend.

By the way, if convenience is your problem, then I would suggest you to try the various sleeper bus options available between BLR-HYD. They are quite comfortable, if not as much as a train journey.
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Old 15th February 2013, 15:41   #10
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipta View Post
will be able to cruise at 140 kmph without to much of noise and strain. It should also have good highway manners and relatively less stress on driver. I am open to both sedan and car options. All suggestions are welcome including my current option (which will be music to my ears).
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipta View Post
Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer.


Sir,
For such travel, I would humbly suggest trains. Volvos are maniacs and have a higher chance of accidents than trains. But volvos are still more preferable than self-drive ANYDAY for such roads.

Let's be clear - you have a high speed overnight commute. When self-drive is costlier, requires more effort/concentration - I would suggest trains.

else of course prasadam at the nearby temple every week to get gods on your side

Last edited by Technocrat : 16th February 2013 at 03:39. Reason: Only 2 smileys per post allowed, thanks
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Old 15th February 2013, 15:44   #11
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

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Sir,
For such travel, I would humbly suggest trains. Volvos are maniacs and have a higher chance of accidents than trains. But volvos are still more preferable than self-drive ANYDAY for such roads.

Let's be clear - you have a high speed overnight commute. When self-drive is costlier, requires more effort/concentration - I would suggest trains.

else of course prasadam at the nearby temple every week to get gods on your side
You really need to see the quality of the road that connects Hyderabad with Bangalore.

I would rate this as the safest highway I have ever used.
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Old 15th February 2013, 15:55   #12
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Sudipta, Firstly congrats on your new job. However, based on our last conversation, you plan to re-locate back to Hyderabad in a year

Even if the roads are fantastic, I would never recommend you to do self-drive 1200kms every weekend. It's simply NOT a good idea

I would recommend the following :-

1. Too early to splurge on a new car. Take it slow

2. Drive 1 weekend and 3 weekends take the overnight volvo

3. Try to cut-down your frequency to fortnightly. I know its not easy but, travelling every weekend means you will not able to afford full concentration to your work and on other hand your family will be continously worried when your on the road. Not worth it dude!

Having said that, I am game for a ride on our identical Bullet Chrome 500 cc atleast once to Bangalore on that fabulous highway

Think hard and take a wise decision !!!
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Old 15th February 2013, 16:08   #13
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
You just can't beat the convenience of an overnight Volvo bus. As a frequent traveller you will learn to sleep in these buses the moment you fall into the reclining seat . THe next morning you will be very fresh and it will not affect your work at all. Since the bus is at night you don't waste any time.
Thanks a lot Santosh for the wise words, I have actually fallen into the routine of dosing off the moment I pushback my seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Why don't you get yourself a nice sports bike instead

On a serious note - The Chevy Cruze should also be in consideration here.
@ iceman7, I also had the stupid idea for sometime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post

By the way, if convenience is your problem, then I would suggest you to try the various sleeper bus options available between BLR-HYD. They are quite comfortable, if not as much as a train journey.
Thanks Racer_ash, fortunately I fit the size of the semisleeper pretty well and can have a sound sleep for most of the distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post


Sir,
For such travel, I would humbly suggest trains. Volvos are maniacs and have a higher chance of accidents than trains. But volvos are still more preferable than self-drive ANYDAY for such roads.

Let's be clear - you have a high speed overnight commute. When self-drive is costlier, requires more effort/concentration - I would suggest trains.

else of course prasadam at the nearby temple every week to get gods on your side
Train is a big problem, 2 hours in each city to the station by local transport, 12 hours between the stations and then the ticket challenge. I will end up loosing almost half of the weekend in the process. Also I must agree that due to the road conditions and good multiaxle volvo service, this looks much more lucrative. Cost wise the toll itself will be 500+ where the bus fare is 900.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
You really need to see the quality of the road that connects Hyderabad with Bangalore.

I would rate this as the safest highway I have ever used.
I cannot agree more on the quality of the roads, it is really very nice.
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Old 15th February 2013, 16:36   #14
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

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I would rate this as the safest highway I have ever used.
I am sorry but there is no such thing as the "safest highway", especially in India. It is an oxymoron, almost. Quality [good, I mean] of roads does not equate to [better] safety.

Sudipta, please use the bus or the train as many members have suggested. The mental stress during the drive coupled with the necessity to concentrate on work soon after / before the drive is not worth it. Maybe drive once a month.

Last edited by Kaumad : 15th February 2013 at 16:37.
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Old 15th February 2013, 17:36   #15
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Default Re: Buy a Car or Use the Bus? Weekly 500 kms Intercity Drive

I won't suggest either a train or a bus as I am simply not comfortable with the idea of any. I would rather drive myself than put my life in hands of someone else. Trains? I don't wish to speak much.

Once you begin driving & develop a knack of it, you shall stick to 90kmph cruising speed & complete the distance with just one stop.

to driving as far as I am concerned. Maybe on days, you are unwell or don't wish to drive (happens to best of enthusiasts) you may take the alternate.

In your place, I would see if I can spot a sparingly used XC 60 or maybe an X-Trail. A Yeti is good as well. I am really unsure of the road conditions, but a higher perch I believe is less taxing.

Thanks & do enjoy your driving & the new Car

Last edited by noopster : 22nd February 2013 at 17:20. Reason: Removing references to high speed
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