The Suzuki Family must have been thrilled when they designed the Escudo series. I have sure witnessed the evolution of the Vitara series. The Catholic missionaries used it to access the remotest places and our village being one of these for many years had only few vehicles reach it. I first sighted the Vitara with the Priest at the Koromaiti Catholic Church in Chekalini in my childhood. The next vehicle I remember is the Land Rover 110 that my uncle Peter drove for the Administration Police. Then ofcourse the Leyland Bus “Mbukinya”. Later in my teenage many vehicles braved the challenged and we saw many including the shy but stout Nissan Saloon B10.
When my wife wanted an SUV we had few choices that did fit her budget. Her eyes were not the ordinary Toyota RAV4. As much as I tried to convince her with the sturdy features of the RAV4 she remained adamant about her choice. So I sought other options. I knew she did not want the usual ride and so I went for extra-ordinary. Without her approval I got the Mercedes Kompressor E200 thinking that its colour the goldish sheen or as they called it “cubanite silver” would allure her from her SUV perched choice. She was impressed but not moved. For peace’s sake we had to explore. So we went through many photos on the internet of SUVs. On her short-list there stood the Chery Tigo, Grand Cherokee Jeep, ML 320 and the Suzuki Escudo. All of them were shades of blue. She made her choice more complicated by demanding that the one we settle on must have a sunroof, sporty seats like the ones in rally cars, terrain assist, rear camera and 2Litre engine. This struck the ML320 out on the engine capacity and the Jeep for the sporty seats. The Tigo and Escudo had all the features she wanted. They had 2Litre petrol engines, sporty seats and more.
That settled we had to find the dealers of these vehicle brands for pricing. Many dealers later, we discovered that although we had a picture of the two SUV we had settled on, in real few if none of the dealers could get it in her choice colour. The very creative dealers suggested customizing at exorbitant costs. The search almost ended in a compromise but she would not have it. She believed blindly in faith that her desire would move God to avail it not only in her choice colour but within her price range.
Once again her prayers were answered and this firmed my faith. She got the Salmon grade edition of the Suzuki Escudo not only in her colour and price range but with extras she wanted. Sporty seats and interior, sun-roof, 4wheel drive options, heated seats, parking assist rear view camera and a chrome finishing both in the interior dials on dashboard and exterior. The Escudo drives smoothly, has a generous quick pick and gracious braking. The ability to change drive options on the move is amazing. With an average of 160 Torque, 19Km & 25Km per litre (town & highway respectively)and 160+ horse power the Escudo Salmon grade is a sure Petrol Station skipper. And wow for a guy who has only driven silver shades the blue surely dresses the car well. Its stable navigation of corners and off road glide make it a good choice SUV drive.
By Lunani Joseph
Photos courtesy of: BEST CARS: US News