Home / Features / Travelogues – Take Me Down to the Paradise City

 

What do you do when you have a fun, luxurious sedan with a tank full of fuel? Drive down to Goa, of course! Here’s our account of the  classic Mumbai to Goa road trip in the manual-transmission variant of the new Toyota Yaris.

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Saurabh Botre

When I listen to the classic Guns N’ Roses hit “Paradise City”, my mind automatically wanders to the crashing waves and sandy beaches of Goa. Are there more picturesque, historic and serene holiday destinations in India? Absolutely. However, none can truly match the Portuguese-influenced state in terms of sheer attitude and fun. Goa has a charm that’s all of its own and going there never fails to clear my mind and rejuvenate my senses. Which is why, when the opportunity cropped up to drive Toyota’s latest sedan from Mumbai to Goa, I leapt at it.

I love driving on road trips ― the wide, open highways, the beautiful scenery, and the sense of adventure all get my juices flowing. However, I reserve a healthy disdain for traffic, so in order t o get to the highway quickly, and not get bogged down in the quagmire that is Mumbai’s famous bottlenecks, I high-tailed out of the city a good few hours before sunrise. I chose the NH 48 so that I could reach my destination double-quick and by the time the urge to pull over and grab breakfast rolled around, I was already bypassing Satara. The Yaris’ 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 107 PS and 140 Nm, more than enough to help you cover so serious a distance in rapid time and keep that smile plastered on your face as you drive along. This, combined with the fact that the Yaris is extremely stable at high speeds inspires confidence and allows you to keep up the pace on the open stretches. That feeling of driving goodness is further augmented by the fact that the cabin insulation is top notch – keeping the disturbing ambient sounds outside the car, where they belong.

The six-speed manual transmission is seamless and makes the drive that much more engaging. A quick bite later, it was back on the highway and despite facing a few pockets of traffic here and there and having to slow down considerably while driving through Belgaum, I soon arrived at the foot of the famous Chorla Ghat. If you like driving, then this series of bends is an absolute dream and in a car that handles as well as the Yaris, it’s such a blast to drive on. The suspension on the car is so well sorted, minimizing body roll and keeping it planted as you flick through the bends. The pelting rain and thick fog near the top of the hill may have put a bit of a damper on the
enthusiastic driving, but more than made up for it because of how beautiful and lush it made everything look and the almost surreal quality it lent to the environment.

 

About the author: Harket Suchde

 

Senior Correspondent at Car India Magazine, rock-n-roll kid, footy fanatic and gaming nut. You can hit me up on Twitter @thecrediblehark - I promise I'll respond...eventually.
P.S. I'm also on the ol' #gram as @theincrediblehark

 

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