Unique Tales Of Two Urban Cities – Mumbai To Rajkot In Toyota Urban Cruiser


There are two things that the pandemic brought us close to. Personal mobility and road trips. Most public and air transport remained a dicey affair, be it because of regulations and most importantly, the safety of our loved ones. Both things were combined and taken into account together many times and now it seems to be an almost default way to move ahead to stay safe. As the pandemic subsides and we return to normalcy, the urge to do the same will continue but for more leisure purposes. At the end of the third wave in India with people vaccinated and ready to take on the epidemic people continued with precautions and continued with events, marriages, and get-togethers. We were invited to one in a small town called Rajkot, Gujarat for the same.

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With testing in place at both ends, we decided to be extra cautious and use personal transport for the job to reach the location. Our journey would start from Navi Mumbai and go to Rajkot and come back within 10 days. Toyota decided to say yes to our request to spend some time quality time with the Urban Cruiser on the trip after we were impressed with how good it was in our road test that we did a couple of months back.

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With the great reputation of the story and the car, my friends also believed in the idea and we got the car from Toyota. Re-checked everything possible with the car before starting our journey a day in advance which included checking the coolant, engine oil, air pressure, and loading the car with human hydrating liquids as we set off to the hottest state in the country while staying in one. For the first time, the temperatures in Mumbai also soared to 40 degrees mark in the late days of the month of March. Approaching Gujarat after starting at 4:15 am Sharp, we reached in Gujarat border area by 7:30 AM. A quick journey courtesy of lack of traffic and trucks surprisingly at the Mumbai-Mira Bhayandar junction area which is critical for quick progress every time you head to the Gujarat or further.

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8:30 AM and temperatures rose from a pleasant 25 degrees to 36 degrees within 45 minutes making 9 Am look like 2 PM! The Urban Cruiser’s AC kept us quite cool considering we had opted for sunblinds from our cars. A media car is devoid of personal items or any sun films making our everyday job harder in the summers like any other day in Automotive Journalism. All of those aspects faded away as 2 passengers out of three slept in at the back while I and the driver enjoy the freshly done roads as soon as crossed Navsari. The roads were widened to a large extent, marked, well-paved, barricaded, and super signboard coverage made our life so much easier. The joy of being on the road in those 3-4 hours before arriving into the hustle of Surat helped us relax, mentally.

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Reaching Rajkot was a surprise after all these years. Most of the roads are smooth and wide enough and since we entered the city in the afternoon where locals stay away from the heat and close their shops and wait for the heat to pass away till 4:30-5 PM so business and activities can resume in the cooler time of the day. Again, quick progress to Samadhiyala made us reach the destination by 4:30 PM making it one of the best, smoothest and quickest journeys we undertook despite two breaks. One for lunch and one for fuel.

We had time to kill from day 3 to day 5 before we headed to the destination of the actual event. Local places to visit were usually old government buildings while also enjoying every road which was very high on tree cover. A rare sight in our cities where huge trees are now a rare sight and memories of childhood thanks to Metro rail construction.

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Needless to say, people who love trying all types of cuisines, will enjoy Gujarati food the most. The delicate balance of sweet and sour curries to the other end of hard and soft snacks that the state is famous for makes for a delight every time we sat for a meal. The food on the day of events was even more heavenly as we gorged on it while enjoying the company of friends and family we only saw in video and voice calls over the last two years.

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While we enjoy the fuel being almost Rs. 15 less than Mumbai in Rajkot. We tanked up again as we began our journey. Fuelling up the third time we calculated that the fact that Urban Cruiser delivered 14 km/l was a bit less than we expected. We blamed the heat, the spirited driving, the generous use of A/C, and the people on board the car post the hogging of delicious food. Jokes apart, Toyota Urban Cruiser continued to impress with its straight-line stability, good refinement from the engine, and the solid way it dealt with a few bad roads that we came across from time to time. Reaching home at 6:30 PM after witnessing bare minimum traffic at the Mumbai-Mira Bhayandar junction was luck by our side yet again.

As the trip ended and we returned the car to Toyota over the weekend, we gathered our thoughts on how the journey was the smoothest and we never expected it to be this good. While everyone praised their luck, i made them realize that it was also the Urban Cruiser with a solid suspension setup, great boot and leg space that kept us comfortable while enjoying a healthy dose of performance and fuel economy that we got that kept our pockets relatively happy as well. The two unique tales of two different urban cities is what our journey ended up being about.

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Clearly, after that clarity, it has prompted me to plan something more ambitious trips in the future. We hope we can get the Urban Cruiser or a compact Toyota for the journey knowing, we are well covered from a brand that loves to serve its customers as much as they trust the brand with journeys like these.

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