Volvo B7R - Rajasthan Tourism
Volvo B7R - Rajasthan Tourism

#1 Volvo vs Scania – Best Luxury bus in India ?

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. And that’s why a Volvo vs Scania comparison a must. 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.

Volvo B7R - Rajasthan Tourism
Volvo B7R – Rajasthan Tourism

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 revolutionizing 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 traveler by bus, I decided to compare Volvo vs 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.

Scania Metrolink, SRS Travels. Courtesy: Biswajit SVM Chaser
Scania Metrolink, SRS Travels. Courtesy: Biswajit SVM Chaser
Volvo B7R, KSRTC. Courtesy: Wikipedia
Volvo B7R, KSRTC. Courtesy: Wikipedia

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.

Scania Metrolink Interiors. Courtesy: TeamBHP
Scania Metrolink Interiors. Courtesy: TeamBHP
Volvo Interiors. Courtesy: AsianTravelHouse
Volvo Interiors. Courtesy: AsianTravelHouse

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. One of the major considerations in Volvo vs Scania debate.

Storm Ahead ! Dark Skies near Kolhapur. Atulmaharaj
Volvo B11R – Storm Ahead ! Dark Skies near Kolhapur. Atulmaharaj

Price of Volvo vs Scania Bus Price

Everything boils down to the price of both Volvo and Scania buses. The best luxury bus in India cannot be too expensive also. And more over, both these companies from what I’ve learnt have some decent road side service by Scania and amazing service by Volvo. Coming to the prices of Volvo vs Scania buses, here they are. The Scania bus price is about 70-80 Lakh while the Volvo Bus price is around 90 Lakh.

Final Verdict – Volvo vs Scania – Best Luxury Bus in India

Having traveled 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

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for Socialmaharaj.com :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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16 comments

  1. While I have travelled both and are both acceptable to me, (I have also travelled a lot in the Tata and Ashoke Leyland low need State Buses, which have no ac and probably no power steering, good suspension etc). The interesting thing about travelling by these modern “luxury” buses is the air quality inside the bus.
    We once took a fully air conditioned such luxury’s bus to Goa. Since the windows are sealed, the air inside keeps recirculating. In the overnight journey, at night people started removing their shoes to sleep. The whole bus was full of smelly socks stink. It was nauseating, with no escape. Then the bus helper, knowing this to be a standard everyday practice, sprayed a cheap “air freshened fragrance” inside the bus. That smell, mixed with socks’ stink, made the air worse. By morning it was getting horrible. Early morning we were woken up by loud farts and the atmosphere was once again full of stink, human odour and fart smells. My partner actually puked. The bus people know this. So there was a puke bag already in place. I could have puked too but somehow controlled.
    Then I learnt that in India, if you want to travel an overnight journey, prefer a non ac bus where I can open the windows for fresh highway air.
    Volvos and Sanias are otherwise good for a 4-6 hour road journey where people remove their shoes.

    • That’s a terrible experience. And as for the fragrance they use, I totally agree it isn’t the best one. Luckily I haven’t had any such event on any of my long journeys. Except for rain. I’ve seen many of these buses (volvo) open the rooftop hatches for the fresh air to come in. I feel that also depends on the route you’re traveling on and the road. But your viewpoint is definitely valid and a genuine concern for these buses.

  2. This is a good post to which I can relate to personally being a frequent roadie..and on these buses too.
    I had a similar conversation with a driver during a scania ride and he was telling me about the economy part though both are guzzlers, the drivability of both the vehicles and the repairing and servicing part.

    I guess Scania is cheaper than Volvo for the variant under consideration.
    I have to tried to take my students to the Bangalore facility near to Hoskote but that has not materiaized, would be really keen to see the state of the art manufacturing hub here.

    • Thanks Sunitaji, being in Bengaluru, one cannot miss out on traveling on these buses. I didn’t know about the Hoskote facility, would love to visit it some time (if allowed)

  3. scania twin axle from moradabad to lucknow was like train travel and acceleration was like car

    • Oops, guess you didn’t have a good experience. How is the road that side ? I haven’t traveled much in that area except for a couple of Delhi-Lucknow Volvo UPSRTC trips.

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