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Old 15th November 2011, 15:40   #241
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
And I am on my own for an expedition vehicle for my needs. I have an accord as a daily driver. So do I save money and buy a gypsy and use the accord primarily, or do I buy a pajero and retire the accord to occasional use?

The story continues, but for now seems to be drifiting away from 4x4 in the immediate term. as and when there are developments, I will post. In the mean time, consider the topic as having gone dormant
I think that on the whole a BS-III Pajero is the best bet. Use the Accord when the occasion demands it, else leave the petrol guzzler in the garage.

The Gypsy is an excellent off roader, but not an expedition vehicle. In my opinion an Expedition Vehicle should
- Space, oodles of space
- Rugged and Reliable
- Hard Top
- AC & Heater
- Size to install another battery to run accessories
- Diesel Engine with turbo to take care of any environment. Availability of Petrol, especially in the hills (and in remote areas of Central India) is at the best iffy, as most commercial vehicles run on diesel.

Except Ruggedness Gypsy fails on all counts
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Old 15th November 2011, 15:57   #242
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
Pajero is the only one that remains in contention. All the others are out.

Its down to a pajero or a sedan.
I am wondering, whether you are confused to as you what you actually want.
From your posts, it seems you want an expedition vehicle which can handle trail driving in Ladakh like areas. While even 2WD high GC vehicles can do quite a bit, a 4WD is an added advantage.
but more than all that, to use a vehicle without worry in such terrains, you want something which has effective service backup.
As SS-Traveller said, a Montero will not have any service backup. Even if you get a great used piece, what will you do if a sensor fails?

So sticking to a manufacturer with active service and support in most regions of the country should be a major point when looking for an expedition vehicle.

Let me tell you my case.
I frequently go to far of places(which sometimes do not have mobile connectivity) with my wife.
On one such trip, the safari broke down. Thanks to tata network, they sent a guy with a bag full of sensors and spares by overnight bus from Solan(12 hour trip for him)

So we lost just a day, because Tata had presence in HP.

Now a counter example. I once recieved a call from a friend on behalf of his friend. That guy had taken his Civic to Kinnaur(not really remote you can say), and damanged the sump on a rock. Engine oil drained out.

Call to honda. Honda said "sorry" we do not have dealer in Hp. Get your car to chd and then we will talk.

While we lost just a day due to breakdown, this guy lost a few days, + spent a lot of money to truck his car.

So if you want to drive around delhi, any montero(good/bad condition) will do.

Otherwise look at a new vehicle. Excellent service support is a good idea, but with a new good quality vehicle(eg X-trail) you can forgo that, as normally these vehicles do not break down.

But with a used SUV, esp of dubious history is indeed a risk.

So all I can suggest is, look at a Fortuner, but if you must have something else, a sparingly used or brand new X-Trail actually makes a more prudent buy. Nissan service network is nothing to write home about, but a new or very recent X-Trail will be more reliable than a dubious Montero.
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Old 15th November 2011, 19:08   #243
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
I think that on the whole a BS-III Pajero is the best bet. Use the Accord when the occasion demands it, else leave the petrol guzzler in the garage.

The Gypsy is an excellent off roader, but not an expedition vehicle. In my opinion an Expedition Vehicle should
- Space, oodles of space
- Rugged and Reliable
- Hard Top
- AC & Heater
- Size to install another battery to run accessories
- Diesel Engine with turbo to take care of any environment. Availability of Petrol, especially in the hills (and in remote areas of Central India) is at the best iffy, as most commercial vehicles run on diesel.

Except Ruggedness Gypsy fails on all counts
I completely agree with you.

I guess what I meant was different from what I said. Its not whether the gypsy is an adequate expedition vehicle but whether its very low price is sufficient enticement to put up with all its considerable deficiencies or whether I spend the money on a pajero.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I am wondering, whether you are confused to as you what you actually want.
there was confusion between what I and what my father wanted to do and its been resolved by us separating what we each are looking for. He gets his luxury car and I'll get my 4x4.

Your story is compelling but here is the deal. The tata dealer was willing to come out on a 12 hour journey to help you. Had he said "bring your vehicle to our dealer in simla", you would have been in exactly the same situation as your civic driving friend. If you could have found a truck to get your vehicle to simla, you could have gotten it to chandigarh as well.

If its tata policy to help out stranded customers in remote areas, that a pretty impressive thing.
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Old 15th November 2011, 22:47   #244
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
Your story is compelling but here is the deal. The tata dealer was willing to come out on a 12 hour journey to help you. Had he said "bring your vehicle to our dealer in simla", you would have been in exactly the same situation as your civic driving friend. If you could have found a truck to get your vehicle to simla, you could have gotten it to chandigarh as well.

If its tata policy to help out stranded customers in remote areas, that a pretty impressive thing.
Actually not only TML, M&M also takes care of its customers in the far flung areas. Even though I dislike MUL, they also keep service avenues open in far flung areas through opening ASC's.

So you want an expedition vehicle in the Himalayas, your choices are only between TATA, M&M and MUL.

Rest all useless!
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Old 15th November 2011, 23:16   #245
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

so if a scorpio, safari or gypsy breaks down in the zanskar valley outside burdun gompa, I'll find that these three companies keep a service man with parts in kargil and he'll rush on a whole day's drive to help me out, if I am lucky enough to find a cell phone signal to make the call?

damn, thats impressive! wow.

Last edited by Harbir : 15th November 2011 at 23:17.
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Old 16th November 2011, 10:50   #246
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
so if a scorpio, safari or gypsy breaks down in the zanskar valley outside burdun gompa, I'll find that these three companies keep a service man with parts in kargil and he'll rush on a whole day's drive to help me out, if I am lucky enough to find a cell phone signal to make the call?

damn, thats impressive! wow.
One good thing about both the Gypsy and the Pajero, is that they have very few sensors which are critical for the vehicle's operation. As majority of problems crop up with electronics, the less there, are the more reliability.

Of course if you crack yours sump or differential casing, or break an axle you have a major problem. But with careful driving you can avoid these situations (but not sensor failure).

Both the Gypsy and the Pajero have excellent mechanicals, proven over years of off roading. The others may be good, but no where near these two vehicles.

So if you want a low cost 4x4 nothing beats a Gypsy, as long as you are comfortable with its ride and do not need to drive fast on highways. If you live near the hills and need minimum highway travel, Gypsy is a good choice. After all even if you gift it away at the end of a year, you will loose less than the depreciation (+ road tax) on a Pajero!
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Old 16th November 2011, 12:06   #247
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
so if a scorpio, safari or gypsy breaks down in the zanskar valley outside burdun gompa, I'll find that these three companies keep a service man with parts in kargil and he'll rush on a whole day's drive to help me out, if I am lucky enough to find a cell phone signal to make the call?

damn, thats impressive! wow.
Honestly, if you were to do expeditions counting on a service man to be sent on overnight journeys, you'll be relying too much on unreliable factors. Yes, they have been known to do all of this, but you can't count on it as a certainty they'll do it every time.

If you have vehicles that are used within a 100-200 KM range of where you are at, the odds are that you'll also find some form of support (may not be at the authorized service center level) without having to travel/be towed back to a major city. Shimla to Chandigarh may not look like much on paper, but being towed that distance is a pain and possibly a lot more expensive too.

It is also a factor of how much will you use this vehicle. A lot of people plan extensively for time out in the wilderness, but, realistically, only few of us can spend more than 10K KMS a year and not more than 30-days per annum doing it.

Another factor is how many people will travel with you. If you are going to be on your own or with just another person, space becomes a little bit less critical. It won't be comfortable, but doable even in a Gypsy/Thar.

Touring in the wilderness is primarily a mindset thing. You have to assume that things can/will go wrong and prepare the best you can for it and there is no guarantee that 10-people having done something before you ensures that you too can do it, the choice of platform is irrelevant.

There is no perfect expedition platform in India, you have to prioritize among comfort, reliability, fuel type and support (keeping cost out of the equation for now). Get that order sorted right and the answer will show up on its own is my best guess.
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Old 16th November 2011, 18:22   #248
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

I agree with most of that. The fact is, if you're looking to stay within reach of service shops for your brand, you're not on an expedition.

expeditions require:

1. very simple vehicles that have been well broken in to where initial faults have been worked out and the car has entered a stable plateau before troubles start to go up again

2. thorough knowledge of your vehicle and familiarity with wrenching so that you know what parts are most likely to fail and how to replace them yourself out on the trail with basic tools. If your vehicles is too complex, too unpredictable, or your knowledge, and skill to improvise in adequate, then you can't go on expeditions

3. Beyond 1 and 2, expeditions require a considerable degree of confidence, preparedness and even pleasure in dealing with potentially fatal breakdowns. If you don't have the confidence and the desire and the preparedness to live by your wits when your vehicle lets you down, you are not ready for expeditions.

Drives just far enough into the wilderness where a service man can reach you are hardly expeditions.

the best expedition vehicle in the world is the basic UN/military spec Mercedes Gelandwagen.like this http://siconat.com/300gd/300gd2.jpg (not like a G55 AMG)

of the vehicles available in India, the Pajero is easily the best.
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Old 16th November 2011, 21:45   #249
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Agree completely on what you have to say about expeditions. The Pajero is a favourite of mine, even over the Tfort. And it looks like you have made your pick there. If that is the case, congratulations.

My interest in the topic is not purely academic. Having explored the limits to where my hatchback can be taken to, I have been on the lookout for something much more simple and rugged. Budget was a significant concern for me, so the choices boiled down second-hand Gypsies, Scorpios/Safaris and the Thar. I'm not sure if I'll do expeditions on the lines that you are hinting at, but I would like to camp out and sustain myself around the vehicle for extended periods of time and the choice was eventually made for a Gypsy.

Just curious, where do you plan to have these expeditions? If it is the Himalayas, from now till May-June most of the higher reaches are very snowbound. It will be hard to do extended expeditions in such conditions. Would love to hear about the trips you have planned.

EDIT: Saw the first post about territories you want to cover. Can't be sure if those are expeditions unless more details are known.

Last edited by codelust : 16th November 2011 at 21:57.
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Old 16th November 2011, 22:22   #250
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

in the long run, my intention is to take a ferry to iran and then make my way over land to London. I have sent out feelers about a Chinese visa to find out whether I can be allowed to drive overland across the country. If yes, I intend to drive to Ulan bataar in mongolia and back.

the unfortunate reality of our country is that we are effectively an island, cut off from the land connection to the world and that limits our vision to where we can go domestically. But thats not good enough for me. but dreams wouldn't mean anything if you could achieve them before lunch monday next week.
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Old 31st December 2011, 18:59   #251
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Default Re: New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?

Decided to close out this thread with the conclusion. Interested parties will remember that there was talk of a used S class because of my dad's interest in a used S class.

I searched for used monteros and Used S Class cars but found that in virtually every instance the vehicles were heavily worn, with unbelievable mileage readings and we ended at a stale mate, with my dad unable to accept what was on offer but unclear what else he could settle for.

Things looked stalled till one day I showed him a road test in a magazine of the new A6 2.0TDi saying that it was good value. He got interested and wanted to know about other engines and got excited only when I mentioned the 3.0TDI. i test drove it, was impressed and my dad decided to buy. then I test drove a 3.0T and was just blown away relative to the diesel because what it gave up in instant torque response, it made up manifold with refinement, smoothness, quietness and phenomenal performance when given revs.

So, he bought an Audi A6 3.0T Quattro. And a phenomenal car it is.

And that means that the Montero is out.

But now I need a 4wd vehicle and would like a Pajero, but am not inclined at present to spend 20 plus lacs. Am wondering if I should buy a new Gypsy. Certainly a very primitive vehicle, hamstrung by a horrendous ride, heavy steering, and no A/C, but with all the 4wd capability I am likely to need in the near term and bullet proof reliability. Of course its a rough, crude vehicle, but have I become so soft that I can't drive such a basic vehicle for the virtues of reliable cheap capable fun open top four wheeling? Thats still to be determined, but that will be another story for another thread.

In the mean time I want to thank everyone for their participation and interest across 250 posts in the thread.

Thank you for your patience and for continued engagement across all the vacillation and delay.
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Old 21st April 2012, 07:42   #252
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Default My hunt for the right 4x4 is on again.

Interested parties will remember a long thread from the past about my hunt for a 4x4 for my father and myself to use. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...-you-pick.html (New Fortuner / Pajero versus Used '08 Montero. Which would you pick?)

It ended and was closed with no 4x4 purchase at all because in the end, my dad's desire for a really fast and really sophisticated luxury car led him into buying an Audi A6 3.0T Quattro, and the 4x4 was put off till a later time.

That time has now come. I will not take a loan so I have to arrange money to make the full payment. We already have 4 vehicles and the 4x4 will be purely for pleasure, and I am not rich enough to be able to hand over 22 lacs out of my assets for just a toy without feeling at least some worry. But if all goes well, I should have the deal done in 2 or 3 weeks. Fingers crossed.

Here are the contenders:

1. At the top of the list, and the most probable purchase, is the Pajero SFX. Since I am buying the vehicle specifically for the purpose of exploring ladakh and for traveling to parts of the country that have terrible roads, or no roads, the SFX's capabilities in bad conditions, including by far the most comfortable ride on rough and broken surfaces of any 4x4 short of the Discovery 4, and the most effortless progress in bad conditions. This is incredibly important to me anyway, but I have another reason. My wife has a spinal problem and cannot take a rough bouncy ride for very long. The pajero's soft ride will enable her to go with me on some of the milder adventures. I also like the pajero because you can get expedition type equipment for it, such as a 146 litre long range fuel tank.

On the down side, I am concerned (slightly) about the overtaking ability of the weak engine on mountain roads (I don't care about its low horsepower in any other circumstance). This matters because you often need to pass slow moving trucks and buses in the himalayas. I am pretty concerned about a great lack of legroom for the driver thanks to the seat not moving far enough. I have a history of my left leg cramping up painfully if kept bent into a tight angle, that may bother no one else. And I am also concerned about parts availability. With the vehicle going out of production soon, and HM being HM, I am quite worried about what will happen to the parts supply in say 4 years from now. And there is also the question of resale value of an out of production outdated vehicle.

I am also wondering how much of a discount I can expect. The sales people are acting like the vehicle's demise is not imminent because the Pajero Sport will not be ready to be built in this plant till next year (even though HM has said september), and they are not desperate to sell so not much scope apart from MAYBE free insurance for a year.

I am also torn about the color. The red tugs at me. When in the vehicle, I love seeing the expanse of red on that low bonnet. but the red and white also looks a bit trashy. The all white option looks plain but much more classy.

2. Toyota Fortuner. Unlike the SFX, which I lust for in a sick way, the fortuner actually does not have any emotional appeal for me at all. This vehicle is being considered as the sensible choice, as if it were an appliance to do the job (like a washing machine or a fridge). The fortuner has a superb engine, it has all the legroom I want, it will go almost anywhere an SFX will, the service network is much wider, parts won't be a problem, and resale values will remain strong.

But two things really turn me off. Off road, it jolts and bounds around, and has nothing even remotely approaching the Pajero SFX's beautiful ride or its sublime effortlessness in off road conditions. and the visibility out of the vehicle of the surface is poor thanks to a bonnet that is very high relative to the driver's eyes.

The Fortuner would be the choice if I were willing to compromise on my desire to have the Pajero's absolutely superb off road behaviour in return for all the sensible arguments in favor of the Fortuner.

But are they readily available? at most dealer's not, but one huge dealer in Delhi claimed they could get me one in 2 or 3 weeks tops.

3. Pajero Sport. This one is only a remote possibility. its a lot more pricey for now than either of the above two. The dealer I spoke with has a waiting list extending to september, which does't work for me because I plan to spend 4 weeks kashmir and ladakh around june/july. It is said to have a much better ride off road than the fortuner, but has the same problem of poor visibility out of the vehicle of the trail you're on. I like the interior more than the Fortuner's. Its off road credentials are unknown to me. I'll see if I can get a test drive in the next couple of weeks. Its not a very likely choice.

4. Jeep Wrangler. I drove a short wheel base Wrangler Sahara in the US for about 6 months and think very highly of this vehicle. The news that the latest generation wrangler is coming to India really makes me wonder whether I shouldn't wait till the vehicle arrives. I expect it will have the 245hp corporate FIAT 3.0L diesel thats intended for the Grand Cherokee. This vehicle's off road credentials are impeccable, and unlike the pajero, its not regarded as outdated, despite the fact that its ride, handling, ergonomics, etc are all indeed quite outdated. but its an open vehicle and in the long wheel base version with the top removed its an incredible way to have fun with a gang of people.

but who knows when its coming? is it imminent? 6 months? 12? 18? If its 6 months, should I wait? if its 18, can I buy a pajero and trade for a wrangler when it appears? Should I not do anything at all and just wait till Jeep releases some information on when the vehicle will hit the roads?

And then there is the question of price. I actually laughed when I saw all the news sites conjecturing a 15-20 lac price range. I expect it will be 30-35 lacs. If I believe that, and thats outside my budget, why even bother to think about waiting for it?

So thats where I am right now.

Last edited by Harbir : 21st April 2012 at 07:44.
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Old 21st April 2012, 08:46   #253
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Default Re: My hunt for the right 4x4 is on again.

The unsaid seems to be desire for a diesel vehicle.

IMHO I do not know if that should be really a BIG factor in purchase decision when the car is being used sparsely. Cost of spares and service leaves a bigger dent in pocket than all the savings on fuel.

From what you write choice seems to be neither of the three ;-) Each would be a compromise one way or the other.

Consider Outlander or, my personal fav, GV.
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Old 21st April 2012, 09:07   #254
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Default Re: My hunt for the right 4x4 is on again.

Diesel is not much of a must-have. Ruggedness, low range transfer box, and turbocharged engine to cope with high altitude are.

that rules out all soft-roaders, such as the outlander. I suppose I could consider the GV even though its normally aspirated. The absence of demo units for TD at maruti dealers doesn't give me much incentive to pursue this choice. the 66litre tank vs the pajero's 92 litre tank is a minus against it when you're venturing into a place where you may have to go as much as 1300km without seeing a fuel pump, reliant only on whats in the tank and what you can carry with you, as is the normally aspirated engine.
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Old 21st April 2012, 09:35   #255
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Default Re: My hunt for the right 4x4 is on again.

Are you considering used vehicles? A used pajero (decent condition and confirmed service history) would suit your requirements at present. You could sell it without any major depreciation heart ache, whenever you want to upgrade to a wrangler or any other exciting 4*4 launch.

Though outdated mechanically, Pajero suits your requirements very well. Tough/Butch/Dependable/Better off road abilities/Softer ride.
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