The best car for Kerala roads filled with potholes

I have been shopping around for the best car to buy. But before you recommend the Ford Figo or Volkswagen’s Jetta,  you need to know what I expect from my new car.

I have analyzed and categorized, and come up with 3 things my new car has to do, before I will even consider taking it out for a test drive. Here goes –

  1. My car should have the ability to fly over potholes – Anyone who has lived in Kerala knows that there are only 2 seasons in this State – rainy season and pothole season. The rainy season covers a period of 6 months, and the pothole season the rest of the 12 months. Yup, I know the months do not add up or make sense, but neither do the potholes…. So I need a car that can literally rise above crappy roads (and crappier politicians and road contractors) and fly over the potholes.
    1. If you think I am making a big fuss about such small holes, read the following statistic that I carefully made up – 89% of cars undergo an emotional trauma when heaving in and out of a pothole. The other 11% become so emotionally distraught that they have to be carted away by ambulances.
  2. Not only should my car fly over a pothole, it should also scan it from a distance, gauge its height, width and girth, and then smoothly take off without jerky or abrupt movements. And to facilitate that, I have already categorized the 4 potholes it is likely to encounter on Kerala roads.
    1. Pothole 1 aka Babies – These include potholes which are slowly emerging from the freshly tarred roads due to rain. The cracks are just beginning to appear, the stones are slowly getting scattered, and the hole can barely be felt by the car.
    2. Pothole 2 aka Teens – These potholes are a menace to cars. Wider than 1 meter, and deeper than 1 feet, these potholes surface unexpectedly on an otherwise smooth road. You and your family are coasting along, and this “Teen” pothole jolts you back to reality. And spills hot coffee and your mother’s “kaya varathathu” all over your lap
    3. Pothole 3 aka Grandpa – These potholes have hidden depths to them. You think it is only a 2 feet deep pothole, but when you fall neck-deep (okay, car roof deep), you realize these dangerous potholes are best avoided. (Or if you have my car, best hovered over). These potholes cover 3/4th of the road, and if you pay close attention, you may be able to avoid these crabby, mean-toothed holes.
    4. Pothole 4 aka Corpse – The mother of all holes, you can actually bury a corpse in these holes.  At least 6 feet deep, 10 feet wide, these potholes are spread across the width of the road and no amount of manuevering will help you avoid it. Your only option is to slowly slip into it and get it over with.
  3. Finally, my perfect car for Kerala roads should be environment friendly. As it hovers over the potholes, it should at least water the plants and trees that the thoughtful citizens (or “too -sozzled-for-words” drunkards) have planted in these holes to warn approaching traffic. It is the least I can do for the environment as I drive into my garage in an emotionally healthy car.

So if you know a car that will do all of the above, please send me an email immediately. Until then I am going to wince every time the Benz jumps into a pothole. And it is not even mine…..

You may also like


  1. My friend Anwar from Dubai sent me this comment. If you are interested in buying this car, let me know! Am planning to quit my current job and become a dealer for Citroen… Amazing, if it is true, that is!

    Citroën hydractive suspension can analyze the depth of the pothole/ hump and provide adequate damping before u actually negotiate those. They also allow you to adjust the road clearance, so you will drive safe during floods. Plus most attractive feature for Kerala roads, it can even run on three wheels!!! U want me to send a citroën from Dubai as they have still not come to india?

  2. Hi,

    I do Automotive analysis as a pastime. Just thought of correcting a misunderstanding here. There are a few cars sold already in India with the said features. For example the BMW 3 series currenlty sold in India has auto suspension and ride-height adjustment with sensors fitted in the chasis. Moreover many of the entry level SUVs even from Indian manufacturers like Tata, Mahindra have extraordinary ground clearances to tackle indian roads. SUVs from BMW, Audi and BENZ currently sold in India too have very good height adjustments. This could be the reason most of the politicos class in India use SUVs and remain least bothered about the maintenence of the roads. Please respond to me if you have any queries.

    Thanks, Rajesh

  3. Moolam thirunal Raja Ravi verma thamburan at East fort is auctioning his family used 2 seater “Appukuttan”, middle eastern bread 4th generation mustang, which can gauge the pits, potholes, police checkpost, toll gates, neighbour fence and any of your future requirements at ease. Its environment friendly as its consumption and byproduct is well known. i can’t think of best viable option given your list of requirements and
    nature of the state.