Nowadays more and more Indians are going to tourist destinations inside the country for weekend trips and long vacation tours. The enhanced family incomes, better roads and the intention of spending better times with the family may be the reasons for this sudden spurt in the family travels. The type of the vehicle is very important while opting for such long distance travels. The hatchbacks and sedans lack in passenger space and cargo capacity. An SUV with a decent mileage is better for such a trip. There are many diesel SUVs with good fuel efficiencies suitable for long, highway trips.
The comfort and the safety of the passengers especially children should be of great importance in such trips. Ideally there should be an air conditioner, a music system, adjustable seats with ample leg room and central and child lock facilities. Safety airbags, adjustable headlights, fog lights and a mobile charging socket are required in the car. Modern cars provide most of these comfort and safety features.
There are SUVs with 5 seats capacity which are ideal for small families. The cars like Premier Rio, Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano are three SUVs with mileages of more than 20 kmpl with starting prices of Rupees 6.08, 7.7 and 9.5 lakh respectively. All the three are 5- seaters and have comfortable suspension systems and ground clearances. Another popular SUV, Ford EcoSport priced Rupees 7.37 to 9.71 lakh has sufficient features and a mileage of 22.7 kmpl.
Among the SUVs with 7 to 9 seating capacity the Mahindra & Mahindra has the sub-4 metre SUV the Quanto having 7 seats and priced between Rupees 6.43 and 7.90 lakh. The Quanto has airbags for the front passengers, a manual AC, a CD player and rear parking sensors and a mileage of 17.21 kmpl. The Mahindra Scorpio gives a mileage of 14 kmpl and is priced Rupees 7.60 to 12.70 lakh and is the most preferred car for long travels. The Mahindra XUV 500 and the Mahindra Rexton are also ideal for highway trips.
Tata Motors has the7- seater Safari Storme priced between Rupees 9.84 and 13.57 lakh. With a mileage of 14 kmpl and a ground clearance of 200 mm the Safari has safety airbags, a music system and Bluetooth connectivity for telephony. The Tata Sumo Gold is a tested highway SUV with 7 and 9 passenger options with a starting price of Rupees 5.71 lakh and mileages of 15.3 kmpl.
The Maruti Gypsy priced at Rupees 5.6 lakh is lacking in many comfort and safety features. Furthermore, there are costly SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe, Renault Koleos, Chevrolet Captiva and the Honda CRV, which are also suited for highway trips.