I must thankyou as your post, helped some courage and inspiration to plan our LONG DRIVE TRIP - Pune - Delhi - Shimla & back.
An Exciting and Adventurous long drive experience with family on my Chevrolet Cruze.
Vehicle : Cruze 2010
Travel Itenary : Pune - Vapi - Vadodara - Himmatnagar - Udaipur - Delhi - Chandigarh - Shimla and ahead.
Journey Dates : December 20, 2013 to January 1, 2014 (11 Days)
Objective : Travel with family for Winter Vacations
Pre-planning of Journey -
It had been a month long planning that went in for taking an 11 days Winter vacation with family on my Cruze. I frequently visited google maps to
understand the best routes as well as read articles on sites like autocar.com, wheelocity.com, etc. to gain from others’ experience as it was going to be
a long drive.
It was important to get the vehicle ready with complete service and checkup for this humungous journey. I must thank the team at GM-Platinum who had been quite supportive in ensuring all relevant checkups were done during
Sharing my plan with friends and colleagues built up my excitement further. Also, the kids were talking day in and out about the journey and were all charged for the journey.
1st Lap - Pune - Vapi
Date : 20th December, 2013
Time Taken- 4.5 hours
Starting Time: 2130 hrs
Kms Run - 289 kms
Mileage – 15.9 km/liter
Got late from office, but kids were so excited that they didn’t wanted to wait for the morning, so ensured that we do start the journey on 20th with 3 hours late. The objective was to cover first lap upto midnight so that next day the rest of the journey could be continued to reach Jaipur or Delhi.
2nd Lap - Vapi - Delhi
Date – 21st December, 2013 !
Time Started – 0930 a.m.
Reaching time 07:00 a.m. Dec 22
Average Speed – 59 Kms/hour
Kms Run – 1324 kms
Mileage – 15.7 kms/litre
Learning about the long Jams at Ankaleshwar, we decided to take the Golden Bridge. It was a continuous drive till we touched National Expressway 1 (Vadodara -Ahmedabad).
The continuous connect on Google Maps navigation and covering the distance to the expected time as mentioned by the navigation was best experience.
The Roads across the NH -8 are beautiful.
There is definitely scope for great improvement to make it far better to reach
Global standards, where the not only the Road, but the Pavements too are wonderful to watch.
CAUTION: Considering my drive experience post fuel refill at Vapi, I would like to advise the travellers that VAPI is not the right place to get the fuel filled.
My experience on NH8 was fantastic with no jams till I took a turn to NH 76, just before Udaipur.
I got stuck on a single Road with snail run traffic for almost 10 Kms. ADVICE: Take alternative route which runs through Udaipur city and then take NH -76.to avoid traffic
A great Dinner experience on NH-76 at Mangalwad Chauraha in Rajasthan was a unique experience for kids They were excited as till then, they had only been exposed to restaurant dining. They relished Dalbhati Churma- all freshly cooked and served in desi style on a khat & phatta.
The dinner took us about 1.5 hours of halt but local Rajasthani style made it worth it! Post dinner, it was time for kids to sleep. My Chevy Cruze offers a fantastic feature of full Back Seat reclining and allowing boot space to be used as full bed sleep.
Thus, kids bed was made to let them sleep and my wife & I enjoyed a long drive on the chilly night towards our next destination-Jaipur.
As soon as we approached NH 79, on the Toll Gate, we started witnessing heavy fog with almost zero visibility at 2 meters. It is essential to not compromise on the road Safety. So, after halting for 2 minutes, we decided to follow a Truck which was being driven slowly and steadily. This was a unique experience - Although we were crawling @ speeds of 30-40kms/hr behind the truck, we were enjoying every bit of it. It was only after 30-35Kms that we witnessed better visibility and the cruise again zoomed to 100kms/hr.
NH76 and NH 79 were Safe and smooth.
ADVICE: Don’t drive too fast in these conditions as one might come across bigger animals killed on Roads . Also, there is possibility of low ground clearance.
As we started entering the city area of Jaipur, thought of taking a Hotel for stay, but the rooms were full being Christmas.We touched Jaipur at about 0200 hrs. This gave a kick to my wife and she was charged up that we carry on to Delhi as Jaipur-Delhi being just 4 hours away. . Kids were anyways sleeping.
But to get some freshness, I decided to take a power nap within the Car instead of continuing to avoid any mishap due to drowsiness. We reached Delhi at 7 AM. Chevy Cruze driving experience:
The drive from Vapi to Jaipur and Delhi was a great experience. Cruze performed to its expectations.
Drive Control - Very Good. Inspite of driving at max speed upto 140 kms on Expressway but Cruze’s handling and control is very good.
COMFORT - CRUZE features really eases your comfort. While the speeds can be increased and decreased, short exercising of the toe gets u back. and
the back seat provides a complete bed option, useful especially with kids. DRAWBACK
Air Conditioning - I have been complaining to even GM about this , but No respite. After continuous running, the Air conditioning stops working and creates
suffocation. Even on a winter night, with temperatures of 7-10 degrees, I
had to open windows time and again throughout my trip for getting fresh air. I consider i ! t as the WORST EXPERIENCE.
Total Kms Driven – 1569 kms.
Average Speed – 59.4 Kms./ hour
Mileage – 15.9 kms/litre
DELHI LOCAL SITE-SEEING AND MEETING
Dates – 22nd – 23rd December, 2013 !
For about 2 days driving within city in Delhi, Kids enjoyed local sight seeing – India Gate, Old Ford, Red Fort and Chadni Chowk. We were now ready for our next lap. We had to change our plan. Considering the suggestion,
instead of Manali, we took the drive for Shimla due to heavy Snow at Kullu Manali
3rd Lap - Delhi to Shimla (NH1)
We started on a foggy morning at about 0730 hrs. NH-1 offers fantastic road, better driving pleasure and traffic sense. Our vehicle was zooming at just about 80-100kms /hour. Zirakhpur was our destination to meet some friends and have lunch before heading towards Shimla highway.
We started for Shimla after some shopping and lunch @ 1630 hrs. The vehicle comfort on the hill-upside and control was phenomenal. With steady, safe and controlled driving on this highway, I reached my destination Shimla at 1930 hrs.
My Cruze offered some fantastic driving experience, specially kids enjoying Roof Open Outside drive to places like Kufri and Naldhera. I must say: A great product of GM - Cruze! Ice driving at Kufri - With sharp turns and road full of ice, the grip on road and Power let the vehicle zoom on ice roads as well. A difficult experience of great vehicle control.
Total Kms Run – 2276
Mileage – 15.6 Km/litre
With this we completed the first part of our expedition
A long Indian Road drive from West India to North India in my Chevy Cruze
4th Lap - Shimla -via Chandigarh to Delhi
Date: 27 December, 2013
After 3 nights at Shimla, we started our return journey with objective of meeting relatives and
visiting places on the way back.
Started in the morning at 1000 hrs. Having some fun and lunch at Timber Trail was our first target. We touched Timber trail at about 1300 hrs and had a nice time at This five star facility. Chandigarh was our next destination . We met some relatives to take their blessings and also old friends - spending time with their families. Chandigarh has nice places to visit like Sukhana Lake and Rock Garden. A short visit but we started the drive to Delhi at about 1900 hrs. Google Navigation indicated 4.27 hours to reach my destination in Delhi. Steady and safe driving on NH-1 let us reach the destination at exactly 2330 hrs.
DELHI LOCAL SITE SEEING – RAJGHAT,
NATIONAL SCIENCE CENTRE & RAIL MUSEUM.
Date: 28th December, 2013
An exciting Delhi darshan with Kids was the the target of the day - Rajghat, Natiinal Science Centre and Rail Museum. Started the day at 1100 hrs after full night sleep first destination was Rajghat. We got surprised with visit of the New Chief Minister of Delhi and other Assembly Members to Rajghat. A great No VIP experience, walked like AAM AADMI and left like Aam Aadmi, the only difference was Media behind them, not us. 5th Lap - Delhi – Jaipur
Date: 29th December, 2013
After two nights at Delhi, the journey further begin for travel to the pink city- Jaipur. Left Delhi at about 0900 hrs, and as usual drove safe and steady to reach Jaipur at about 1400 hrs.
Destinations visited - Hawa Mahal and City Palace Now, It was time for Local shopping.
The 3 women, closest to my heart, were on a street shopping spree till upto 2130 pm. We then drove to a hotel to take some rest. Next day was again for local site seeing at Jaipur. We covered Albert Hall, Jantar Mantar, Aamer Fort and Jaigarh Fort through tunnel from Aamer. 6th Lap - Jaipur - Udaipur via NH 79 and NH 76
Date: 30th December 2013
Started from Jaipur at 1630 hrs, decided to take halt near Chittorgarh on highway. But no hotel was seen on the highway and, therefore, we took the drive straight to Udaipur which was just 80 kms ahead. The Cruze was cruising and we reached Udaipur at about 2130 hrs and stayed there for the
night, before beginning the last lap to Pune.
! 7th Lap - Udaipur to Mumbai
Date: 31st December, 2013
Udaipur was not on our site seeing agenda as, we had visited Udaipur last year 2012 during Diwali vacations. This lap is the longest with 900 kms of travel and as per Google navigation should take 13 hours of continuous drive.
Started our journey at 0930 hrs from Udaipur. While crossing VAPI at about 1800 hours, I felt, lets enjoy the New Year at Mumbai in a Hotel than being on the Road.
We stayed back at Mumbai on 31st Night and brought in the new year together in style!
08th Lap - Mumbai – Pune
Date: 01st January, 2014
This was the last stretch but decided to really the test the vehicle on Speed Handling on Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
I must share – Cruze speeds upto 180 kms/hour with Great handling and control, but this had been only on straight roads.
Finally, I reached Pune at about 1430 hours after starting at about 1240 hrs with the following Cruze Performance on the dashboard.
Total Kms Run – 4276 kms
Mileage –15.9 kms/liter
Average Speeds – 59.4 Kms/hour.
MY OVERALL EXPERIENCE:
My overall experience with my Cruze is great.
Control – Very Good
Features – Good
Handling – Very Good
Speeds & Pickup – Very Good
Response – Very Good
Power – Very Good.
My Major concern is on Poor Air-conditioning consistency in Cruze. After continuous running of about 1.5 hours, irrespective of temperatures outside, the Cooling stops and suffocation starts. I don’t experience this problem during city drive on short routes and, therefore, the GM Service team is also not able to get me this issue resolved. I will surely take this up once again with the GM Service team.