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Zahir 8th May 2009 23:43

Mumbai - Silvassa - Khanvel - Daman - Mumbai
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Have you ever driven a car that just puts a smile on your face? I just did! This past weekend, I made a family trip(5 ppl) to Silvassa and insisted we take 2 cars. This was my first run ever on the highway in my DDis and I was dying to see how good the car really is. I'm so glad we went with it!

As you can already tell, this is less of a travelogue and more of a celebration of the swift... and its justified. We left on Sunday, all the way from Cuffe Parade to Silvassa via the Mumbai-Ahemdabad Highway. To Silvassa, the road is amazing, about a 180 km in all but its a great road for those who enjoy driving. You can really open the car up. I'm not rash, I follow the lane rules and so was everyone else. Hesitant at first, I gently edged each gear forward working each beyond 3000rpm. At first the car refused to budge but after the 1st 50 kms, did the car come in to its own or what! The needle went and just kept going, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140... I was a little startled. The 1st time I did 140, the car contested but after that, its like it just wanted more.

The Engine :
Oh wow! Ok I'm glad I stuck to the set of run in rules I coined ( because it has worked on the engine like a charm. This is a great engine. I've seen faster cars, I've driven faster cars, but this car can certainly hold its own. Till now I'd touched maybe 120 tops but a few runs at high speeds and the engine has really opened up well. The car quite literally runs like its stolen. Touch 2000 rpm and its like a run away horse all the way upto 3.5-4000 rpm with no trouble. The car is fast. I made sure that each time I was overtaking, no matter what the gear, I was at 2000 rpm and the engine just did its magic each time I touched the accelarator. I have to admit, the open road and a few wannabe racers did make me test the metal of the car and it did quite brilliantly agaisnt much better engines(which I rather not name lest I offend someone having them knocking on my door to take them on :) ) I did meet this guy in a Verna VGTI, which I think is a pretty powerful car, really good driver, safe on turns and otherwise but we did have some fun. I was pretty shocked that the Swift was able to catch, overtake and overshoot the Verna pretty much every time I pushed it. I guess working every gear at the right time does really help. Infact, it literally feels much faster in the city now.

The Route/Road :
Like I said, going to Silvassa, the road is really a dream, the way back, it gets patchy as you approach Mumbai. In Silvassa, I was like a kid with a new toy, the hills of Khanvel down to the boating area is like driving through heaven, beautiful! Brilliant roads, combos of ups and downs mixed with turns just makes it a pleasure to drive on. It was possibly my most favorite part of the trip. The turbo makes the climbs seem like childs play. I would definitely recommend a trip down there.

The Place :
Well its hot! Not much to do in Silvassa-Khanvel. We ended up going boating which was just about OK! The lion safari was heart breaking, I felt horrible for the lioness(just one left!), being an animal lover, I was almost pissed off and realized I came down hard on the care takers as to how the other lions died. All you can do is just catch up on your sleep here. Daman, thats alcohol heaven! I enjoy my drink and everytime I go to Daman, it makes Mumbai seem more expensive. Daman has a great man made waterbody at MiraSol, worth checking out for sure. Our resort was bank opposite the beach so that was a pleasure.

The Mileage :
I was going pretty fast so I didn't really expect much. Total driving was about 700kms and I got an avg of about 16kmpl with 70% highway - 30% City and 85% Ac driving. I was secretly praying for more but I wasn't disappointed.

Other stuff :
The highway discipline was impressive. Everyone gives you way and just let every car faster than you pass. Tyres! They make all the difference. I was confident taking certain turns at a good 100+ with no problem, just make sure you shift outta 5th just before the turn and the traction really improves. Don't try overtaking on turns though, you will end up dead. Apart from one terrible crash where a stupid truck driver drove into the divider and toppled blocking traffic for 2 hrs on the way back and one truck ramming into another, nothing horrific to report.

Enjoy the pictures....

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Zahir 9th May 2009 00:23

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And finally, the car...
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nvldvr 20th December 2009 21:39

hi, planning to go to daman this xmas weekend. Went through your review. As you have mentioned, it was more about your experiences with your new car than about the place. Can you please elaborate a bit more on the place itself? where did u stay, and what to look forward to and do for about 2 days?

quickdraw 20th December 2009 22:16

Hey there!

I am from silvassa so have done this road millions of times on quite varied machinary. Trust me the real fun is on a supersport. In any case yes the safari is facing problems because it comes under central govt and the locals have no say. Moreso there are way better places to stay. Food/Price wise. There is much more to explore sadly not many people know about the hidden gems to be found in my humble hometown. I am thinking about posting a go-to guide soon!

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