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Old 23rd May 2008, 16:57   #196
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Please PM me if you want to get an idea of what the Major can become.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 18th June 2008, 17:52   #197
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Test drove a Mahindra Major yesterday and the following observations.

The engine seemed fairly robust and torquey, could do with a little more grunt especially in offroad application, but should be adequate. It was a lot less noisier compared to older diesel Jeeps you see around.

The tyres were radials so the ride quality was surprisingly smooth.

The fit and finish was at best okay from farm implement standards. Don't expect it to have the Scorpio finish in paint or otherwise. Surprised there were no squeaks.

As someone earlier pointed out getting in and out from the driver's seat is too uncomfortable. The seat is too close up to the steering. They should have had atleast an additional 4 inch travel fore and aft.

Gear shift was much smoother, more like a modern gearbox. Felt quite nice on something so basic(I kind of liked the crisp change on the old 3 speed Jeeps though, you felt the gears meshing)

The biggest let down on this car is the steering. They simply need to can it and get a better unit. The directional stability thanks to this atrocious steering is to say the least suicidal at speed nearing 60+. I almost veered into the kerb while overtaking. Imagine my scare as this was a brand new car! You definitely need something more weighted. Its too flawed.

Overall the Major is a decent buy for offroading if having a diesel is essential.

As I didn't do any offroading in the Major I cannot comment on its abilities but assuming they have only improved on what earlier was on offer from Mahindra it should be a capable offroader.

The Gypsy has obvious advantages over the Major and I would personally be more comfortable with the Gypsy. Feels more car like, better seating and steering. Not to mention more refined mechanicals. Its offroad abilities are well proven so its a clear winner considering they are similarly priced. Gypsy is about 50k more I think.

So as an offroading device would the Major have a market? Definitely. If diesel is a criteria this is the best value for money package. Not everyone would have the time, patience and knowledge to effectively buy a cheaper used Jeep and do it up. Its easier to buy the Major! You get a new vehicle for 2 lacs more assuming you finish your oldie at 3.5 which is tough. And it never is as reliable as a new vehicle.

Last edited by DKG : 18th June 2008 at 17:53.
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Old 18th June 2008, 18:31   #198
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Quote:
You get a new vehicle for 2 lacs more assuming you finish your oldie at 3.5 which is tough.
3.5 lakhs for vehicle + spruce up?
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Old 18th June 2008, 18:38   #199
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3.5 lakhs for vehicle + spruce up?
Ok, so how much will it cost for an old MM540 4WD/CJ/CL + spruce up?
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Old 18th June 2008, 19:16   #200
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That's a good TD report. Good to know gear shift has improved. This one has TC engine right, could you feel the turbo lag?

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The biggest let down on this car is the steering. They simply need to can it and get a better unit. The directional stability thanks to this atrocious steering is to say the least suicidal at speed nearing 60+. I almost veered into the kerb while overtaking. Imagine my scare as this was a brand new car! You definitely need something more weighted. Its too flawed.
Wait till you take Gurkha beyond 60, the power steering on Gurkha is not speed sensitive, it is scary. But then, Jeep steering was always vague. Unless you have prior experience in driving Jeeps and found this even worse, I won't be surprised.
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Old 18th June 2008, 19:28   #201
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Ok, so how much will it cost for an old MM540 4WD/CJ/CL + spruce up?
There's a MM550 for sale in Chennai for 1.3 lakhs.
Add another 1 lakh at most for overhauling everything.
Add 75k for a 5spd gearbox,if u need the extra cog.
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Old 18th June 2008, 22:42   #202
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3.5 lakhs for vehicle + spruce up?
No I meant an oldie spruced up would cost you 3.5 as opposed to 5.5 for the new Major

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That's a good TD report. Good to know gear shift has improved. This one has TC engine right, could you feel the turbo lag?

Wait till you take Gurkha beyond 60, the power steering on Gurkha is not speed sensitive, it is scary. But then, Jeep steering was always vague. Unless you have prior experience in driving Jeeps and found this even worse, I won't be surprised.
The steering remains as vague as the old Jeeps felt. They were always pathetic and did little to inspire confidence. Considering the car has improved on all other fronts Mahindra could have improved steering too. BTW I forgot to mention the brakes are fantastic. Very reassuring bite. With whacky traffic in India you need good brakes.

No I didn't notice any turbo lag. The car felt smooth in acceleration. Its really an enjoyable ride. Again this is in context of what old Jeeps used to feel.

I had test driven the Gurkha just a week earlier. Agreed the steering is nothing much to write home about but definitely not as vague as the Major. Again all this becomes critical for highway driving. To me that's an important factor as I don't have offroading sites in my backyard and would have to travel a minimum of 70+ kms to access some fun places. So how the machine fares on highways is as important as how it performs offroad. which is also why brakes and steering are also important in my assessment of an offroader

PS I always use the new generation Wranglers as a bench mark in assessing short chassis Jeeps. Even above 120 kmph the Wranglers were dead stable. So Mahindra definitely can endow their Major with better steering should they desire to

Last edited by DKG : 18th June 2008 at 22:47.
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Old 18th June 2008, 23:05   #203
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I read this entire thread with great interest and was amused at the banter between members either defending the Jeep or Landrovers. In all fairness to both points of view I feel something critical in Jeep or Landrover ownership was being missed out.

Human decisions as we all know are not always rational. As any advertiser knows there's a healthy dose of the emotional quotient. Whether its Jeep or Landrover one needs to understand they form an integral part of automotive history. And all that history is tied in closely to human endeavours and tales. Invariably a deep rooted bond has developed between people and these brands and often one's choice in motoring is affected more by emotional considerations rather than pure logic or rationale.

So its really not about whether Mahindra (Jeep pedigree) is ok or trash or Landrovers are scrap or divinity. These are both legendary brands. Notice I call them brands as they represent a lot more to people than just machinery. The same goes for Royal Enfields and Harley Davidson.

I grew up in awe of Harleys and believe me when I say this, the first time I rode a softail custom I was horrified at how agricultural that contraption was. It felt like I was riding a Krishi tiller engine!! But have I rubbished Harley in my mind? No way. I love the bike for its sound, the look, and above all the carefree spirit it embodies. I will treat myself to a Softail Deluxe as and when its launched in India as many others will continue to love their Jeeps, Mahindras and Landrovers.

So please appreciate that if Sir Alec loves his LR's Arka loves his Jeeps or GTO his Classic. There is a real bond here which cannot be weighed in terms of what is better and what is not. All these cars are meeting some need within these people and that makes them all valuable.

I always tell people about the story of the McLaren F1 car. Most would agree this is and will remain the greatest super car ever built. But the company had difficulty completing its planned production run and had to fold up. At the same time this car was launched the F50 was announced in celebration of 50 years of Ferrari and a run of 349 cars was announced. You had to be invited by Ferrari to buy the car. Not anyone with cash could buy an F50. They were all sold out before the first car rolled out. So what's the catch? Its the emotional quotient. No other supercar evokes the kind of emotional response Ferrari does. Maclaren and Honda (for their NSX) learnt that the hard way

So lets all be a little bit sensitive to the emotional bond we all share with our steeds and while a healthy debate on technical issues is great education there are other factors which can't easily be explained why people love their Mahindras or Enfields

Enjoy

Last edited by DKG : 18th June 2008 at 23:08.
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Old 19th June 2008, 03:22   #204
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I disagree. I think you do a dogmatist and the world a great service by holding up the mirror and showing them themselves. Where a contradiction exists you need to point it out. The truth may hurt but not as bad as the delusion.

And, one can like a machine but not necessarily be so involved with it that it clouds your judgment about bald facts. For example, you like Harleys, as do I, but you know that certain models, certain years, are just not good quality.

Also, when one points out defects in one brand it does not mean that they give full endorsement or any endorsement to another brand.
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Old 19th June 2008, 09:31   #205
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Products tend to be as individual/flawed as humans who build them. Are we talking of an ideal offroader? If you understand automotive technology there is a fundamental problem designers face. The optimisation of one performance parameter compromises the other. For example if performance handling is to be optimised comfort gets compromised. More torque requires higher displacement leading to higher fuel consumption. Heard the statement ' No replacement for displacement'? More ground clearance means poorer centre of gravity etc

So cars will always remain 'quirky' on account of what the designer intends to maximise by way of his package's offering. You may feel that constitutes fundamental flaws. It just might be some parameter which the manufacturer is juggling to ensure he offers a mix that is saleable.

Tata's and Mahindra are successful Indian companies and they obviously are catering to a majority in order to survive. If that majority demands functionality at a price they are delivering it. Its pointless to rubbish them saying the cars are fundamentally flawed etc. I doubt there is any car on the market which doesn't throw up its flaws. So what's the point? If the ideal offroader does not exist perhaps its not viable to build one otherwise they would have built it by now. Don't you think?

Last edited by DKG : 19th June 2008 at 09:34.
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Old 19th June 2008, 10:39   #206
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If you understand automotive technology there is a fundamental problem designers face. The optimisation of one performance parameter compromises the other....

If the ideal offroader does not exist perhaps its not viable to build one otherwise they would have built it by now. Don't you think?
"Don't you think?" ...sometimes, with mixed effectness judging by results.

The flaws that gall me are the ones that fall within the parameters of the what the designer/manufacturer has set for himself or are otherwise reasonable. Engines that chronically overheat and self-destruct from the day they are purchased and driven out of the dealer showroom are a case in point. This lack of quality transcends whatever the purpose of the vehical might be. When someone is so attached to their purchase that they will not recognize the myriad manufacturer call backs, publically available
well documented statistical and empirical proof, well, then, I feel it is kinder to keep shoving it under their nose for a good snort. That is all I am saying.

By the way, some say the humvee, U.S. Army, is the ultimate. I have spent much time in them. They are too wide, they are loud and will give you a god-awful headache in about 2 hours or less, and bullets go right thru them like sh*t thru a goose. (This last may not be a major concern for most off-roaders) You can, as you say, pick just about anything apart.

Oh yeah, a humvee will also run like a raped ape!
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Old 19th June 2008, 10:47   #207
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DirtyDan I'd have to agree with you on all the points you just made. I thought it was some quirkiness on account of vehicle design that some people found objectionable. Engine failures etc is obviously soemthing no one can gloss over. Is that really such a big problem on Mahindra's?, or is it LR's you are referring to?

BTW I too was never enamoured by the Humvee and often wondered could they not have made something less over the top? Its ridiculously wide and crude as you rightly pointed out

"humvee taking off like a raped ape" has to go into the hall of fame of automotive journalism. Man you have some sense of humour!

Last edited by DKG : 19th June 2008 at 11:02.
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Old 19th June 2008, 23:29   #208
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You may be right..will have to check..The vehicles I've seen with Timing belts are: Fiat Range[Uno, Palio], Maruti range of vehicles, Hyundai range of vehicles, Ford, GM etc..

Today, Timing belts are proved the world over to be better than timing chain and gear drives even with respect to reliability. Hence all these new vehicles come with Timing belts which also make the diesels more silent.
The multijet has a chain driven camshaft.
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Old 12th July 2008, 08:05   #209
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I am intrested to buy a Mahindra Major 4x4 as my second jeep, After a Bolero 2wd, can someone please tell me how much a Brand new Major 4x4 will cost me ? Please help, and it would br nice if someone knows a link from where i can get the exact amount of the vehical


Mods note: Post edited. The reason what you've given to buy Mahindra Major is banned in this country.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 14th July 2008 at 09:45.
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Old 12th July 2008, 09:00   #210
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can someone please tell me how much a Brand new Major 4x4 will cost me ?
Rs 5.5 lacs onroad from Mahindra dealer (Hyderabad price).

BTW In what part of India is hunting allowed? I was under the impression its banned?

Last edited by DKG : 12th July 2008 at 09:01.
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