Travelling in India can be a joy or a pain, depends on how you travel. The broad transportation spectrum has the Royal Maharaja Express at one end while a cycle-rickshaw at the other. There’s everything for everyone. Over past few years, one thing that I’m sure you will agree would be that the conditions of the highways have improved considerably in India. Let’s keep the condition of city roads out of scope for this post. With just one Express Way few years back, the country boasts of a lot more currently. The vital highways – NH-8, NH-17, NH-4 – have been improved greatly over time. I’m fond of road trips and have traversed the length of India by road, longest being New Delhi to Bengaluru and Hyderabad to Noida.
Not only the roads, even the facilities have improved greatly. For instance the introduction of FASTag has surely made highway travel a huge hit. But with great roads and facilities we also need to have good vehicles. Not everyone has a car and the majority still travel by bus. apart from the state-run normal and luxury buses, India has witnessed a revolution in the luxury bus segment. All credits to Volvo for revolutionising how Indians travel and creating a market for long distance road travel. Who would have ever imagined that one could travel more than 1000 Kms on a bus ! What Volvo did, everybody wanted to enter the market and reap the benefits. and that’s when we had Scania and Mercedes rolling out their variants of luxury buses in India.
Being a frequent traveller by bus, I decided to compare Volvo and Scania buses in this post. Which among these is the best luxury bus in India. I haven’t included Mercedes in here since I haven’t been on one yet. Will probably have another post comparing all three.
Volvo vs Scania – Exteriors
Volvo offers their regular B7R 9000 series along side the longer variant B11R which is about 14mts. On the other hand Scania is offering the Scania Metro link. I won’t be digging much into the specification of these luxury bus in India for this post. Talking about the exteriors, the first thing that you would (should) notice is the height and width of both the buses. Scania has a narrower body when compared to Volvo. The Scania Metrolink also looks a little taller that its competitor. Also, the windows on the Volvo are quite larger as compared to Scania. Both the buses are mounted with a rear engine, so there isn’t much on the exterior bit from a passenger point of view. Notice the width of both the buses in the images below.
Volvo vs Scania – Interiors
The narrower body on the Scania does result in discomfort for the passenger. Due to that, the seat width is quite narrow as compared to the seats of the Volvo. Hence, if you are on a longer journey be ready to have a tough time. I had my first Scania ride last year while travelling from Hyderbad to Pune and trust me it wasn’t a pleasant experience. If you have a slightly tall/heavy built you will not be comfortable. Apart from that the AC vents and power outlets are found on both the buses. Further, the interiors vary from operator to operator and hence you might have a better opinion about some operator compared to other. Things like water bottle holders, curtains, infotainment system vary greatly and you might have a different opinion.
Ride Experience – Volvo vs Scania in India
I have taken numerous rides in the past few years on the Volvo but only a few rides on the Scania. Rides on Volvo are quite comfortable no matter whether it’s a straight road or ghat road. The Scania too provides a good ride experience, but the narrow width of the seats cause discomfort. One stark difference that I noticed between the Volvo and Scania is their suspension. The Volvo (if you have travelled) experiences a lot of vertical movement – thanks to the suspension – which while you are seated on your seat is fine otherwise it will surely blow you away. The Scania on the other hand experiences a lot less vertical movement as opposed to the Volvo and standing at the aisle should be smooth.
Final Verdict – Volvo vs Scania – Best Luxury Bus in India
Having travelled a lot by bus, I would definitely choose a Volvo over Scania any day. The only reason being the seat comfort. The seats of a semi-sleeper Volvo are way too comfortable than those on the Scania. Set aside my own view on the best luxury bus in India, the sheer number of Volvo buses running on the roads says it all. Though Scania and Mercedes have entered the luxury bus segment in India, trust me Volvo owns the segment and it will take quite some time for these entrants to make a mark. What do you feel ? If you have travelled on the Volvo or the Scania, how was your experience ? Mention in the comments below or tweet to me at @atulmaharaj