As one of Mumbai’s premier menswear and lifestyle bloggers, my weekends are often packed to the gills with activities, shoots, interviews, events and parties. There is never a minute to breathe. So when the guys at Ford called me and asked me to test drive their new Ford EcoSport and tag it along with all weekend, I couldn’t have been happier. Now before I begin, let me get things clear, for I do not want to deceive my readers. I am not an automobile journalist/blogger, so I probably won’t be able to give you the same technical insights as, say a car magazine. However, in my opinion, driving around the Ford EcoSport, through the city of Mumbai is reflective of a certain lifestyle. And I hope that through my blogpost, this lifestyle come through. I invite you to join me on my weekend through the city of Mumbai, with my Ford EcoSport.
Before I start, let me give you a quick intro on the car itself. The Ford EcoSport is a quintessentially urban car. This SUV blends perfectly into the city streets as it is a wee bit smaller than your regular bulky SUV. I also found it to be unbelievably quiet – both in terms of the engine and the way it shuts out the city sounds outside. Impressive! It is also very fuel efficient thanks to its specially designed EcoBoost petrol engine, which gives a reasonably good mileage.
I began my Saturday morning driving the Ford EcoSport all the way to the colonial heart of Mumbai, Horniman Circle, where I was to meet and interview the world’s most renowned shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, for a story that I was writing for Robb Report India.
On the way back to the suburbs, I decided to head to the suburbs using the long Eastern Freeway flyover. My friend, Shampa Roy, a leading hospitality and luxury consultant in the city, asked me to let her test drive the car and give us a woman’s perspective. It was the first time she was driving an automatic car. She fared excellently, drove us all the way from Fort to Malad and then back to Bandra with effortless ease. In fact, she just did not want to stop driving. In her words, “driving an SUV through the city of Mumbai is an empowering and liberating experience.”
I then proceeded to my favourite mall in the city, Palladium, at Lower Parel, where I was scheduled for a suit fitting at The Collective. I was to meet an Italian suitmaker from the house of Hardy Amies in London, in order to get my suit ready for the upcoming festive season. Driving into the crowded parking lot of the mall was a breeze and I was surprised to find that climbing up the steep parking lot ramps was a breeze thanks to the automatic Hill Launch Assist, which holds the break for a few seconds after I took my foot off. I spent some time browsing through the stores at Palladium, my favourites being Calvin Klein Jeans, FCUK, Kiehl’s, Jack and Jones and Zara.
I drove back to Bandra where I always stop for a Starbucks Coffee in the evening. Parking in the narrow lanes of Bandra was rendered easier thanks to the parking assist visual and sound indicators.
Later that evening, it was time to head to the salon and indulge in some grooming because I was to attend a high-profile fashion event at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Colaba. I headed to Lakme Absolute Salon in Bandra, where my hair was styled in a jiffy and I was all set to take on the evening.
I decided to drive my Ford EcoSport all the way from Bandra to Marine Drive to experience the beautiful sights of Mumbai by night. And what better way to do this than to try out the fantastic audio system of the car. I found that the car has a highly sensitive and anticipatory entertainment panel. I was able to sync my iPhone to the system and play music all through the night. Wondering what music I was listening to? Some smooth jazz and covers by Michael Buble, which was perfect for a midnight drive in the city. I then drove into the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where I had to spent about an hour at a fashion event.
The next day, Sunday morning, was family time. I had to pack in my entire family into the car and drive all the way to Malad’s Infinity Mall, where the family needed some time shopping.
Following that, it was lunchtime at Zaffran, my favourite Indian restaurant at Infinity Mall, shopping for a few wardrobe staples – white shirts, brown loafers and boxers and it was time to drive back to Bandra.
We drove to Indigo Deli for a dinner of soup and pasta, drove down Carter Road for a quick Cappuccino at Costa Coffee and that was it…the weekend was over.
Thanks Ford India for my weekend wheels. For me, this is the ideal urban car, with all the luxuries that a city boy needs. My favourite feature? The automatic gears and the wireless music system. I cannot wait to test it on longer roads in the countryside. Stay tuned for more. Stay stylish, folks!