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On day two of the second edition of the Toyota River Drive we headed from Salem to Mysore via Yercaud. As we left Salem, we faced heavy traffic right from the morning. The Innova Crysta though was surprisingly easy to maneuver through the city thanks to the large ORVMs and peppy acceleration. We zoomed passed Salem and we headed towards the Yercaud loop road. It’s a 32km stretch of mountain road that leads to Yercaud and is known for the scenic views it offers of the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. The road quality in South India had been superb so far, and the same continued on our drive to Yercaud as well. It was a joyous drive as it took us through lush coffee plantations, quiet hamlets and forested hill slopes and inclines. There were 20 hair pin bends in just a small patch of road. Though, the Innova Crysta has plenty of torque instantly available and that took us through the steep inclines effortlessly.
After passing through Yercaud, we headed for another long drive to Mysore. At multiple points the road and the Kaveri river ran parallel and it was a delightful experience. Soon we passed through Mettur Dam, Tamil Nadu’s largest dam and one of the biggest reservoirs built on the Kaveri river. It provides irrigation and drinking water facilities to 12 districts in Tamil Nadu and is considered as a life and livelihood asset of the state. After crossing the dam, we crossed the border check post and entered Karnataka. And after that, for the first time in our road journey, the Innova Crysta went off-roading. It was a 4o km drive through the Malai Madeshwari wildlife sanctuary and the Innova Crysta’s soft suspension set-up came into play. Thanks to the sorted ride, the bad road didn’t rattle us too much. It’s a body on frame chassis and the MPV can not only cruise for hundreds of kilometers, but can also tackle some mild off-road beating. Adding to the comfort are ac vents for the second and the third row as well, with on/off switch and fan speed adjust for the rear passengers. While driving through the Malai Madeshwari forest reserve we even spotted some wild elephants!
So, after driving the Innova Crysta for 500km from our starting point we still have plenty of energy left in us, thanks to the plush ride and overall premium feel of the car! Stay tuned for more on the Toyota River Drive, Kaveri!