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Old 1st March 2010, 11:30   #1
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Default Which 4x4 should I buy : Thinking out aloud. EDIT : Finalised on a white Gypsy!

A quick background:

IT professional, 29, Single and living/working in Mumbai
Drive a Ford Ikon 1.6 (Rocam petrol) 2003 model SXi
Ride an MT01, RD350, TZR250, RX135 5spd, Karizma and a Bullet 350

Typically spend weekends going for long rides. For me a decent ride is 500km. I usually do 1000km per day and frequently ride Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai corridor on my MT01 and Karizma.

No complaints about the Ford Ikon but there is a motivator for change

Why change things now?

1. My ford is TN registered and even though Mumbai cops haven't bothered me as long as insurance and PUC are in order, it is a reason for worry in case of Insurance claims and RTO issues.

2. The ford ikon was run in Chennai from 2003-2009 before making its way to me. It was in superb shape thanks to Chennai's reasonably good roads. The recent stint in Mumbai has really destroyed the car's suspension and it has started creaking and behaving oddly.

3. My brother in chennai is itching to drive and my dad is considering a new car for him soon

4. I have started yearning for a bigger vehicle but I am certain I don't want a car thanks to our crappy roads. I want a Jeep-style vehicle with massive ground clearance...something I can drive around without worrying about minor scrapes, bumps and our lunar landscape which BMC calls "Roadworks".


Thought process:

1. Cousin in Mumbai bought a Bolero and this seems to be ideal for me. Road presence, strong AC and cheap as chips to keep running. I didn't like the agricultural engine or the choppy ride quality on broken roads but the ride through potholes and kuchcha roads was fantastic. Sadly it got stolen and apparently Boleros are easy targets for the UP/Bihar politicians and thugs. With these issues in mind I decided to skip the Bolero.

2. Thoughts shifted to the Maruti Gypsy. I was initially worried it would be too small for my 6'3" frame. While the stock seat settings aren't terribly awful...I've heard that it is easy to move the seats back a bit. Plus I had a chance to drive KSMVtech's ex-military carbed version and I liked it a lot. I decided to book a new Gypsy (I prefer starting from scratch...even though there is super value in getting a used one). I loved the hassle-free motoring experience it offered and the 4x4 was a bug bonus. After this I spoke to a few owners and the lack of AC seemed to be a big problem. I'll speak to Vitesses if they'll fit an AC under warranty for me. If not - I'll have to re-consider the used option because without AC the summers and monsoons in mumbai will be impossible.

3. I happened on the "Gurkha...as good as it gets" thread and now I have one more option in hand. I was considering the Safari and M-Hawk but their road manners are awful considering the speeds they can do. I also don't have that kind of money in hand at the moment. The Gurkha seemed to be a good blend of brute force and refinement. As long as I am comfortable in the seat and have a strong A/C and power steering - I will be happy. Unfortunately the delivery lead-time is a bit long and they seem to be inclined to delivering unfinished products to the customer. Do they build these out of kits and are these vehicles built by college students during their lunch break? Hard to understand.


My needs are:

1. Simple mechanicals/electrics which will be reliable and offer decent performance. I want to be able to cruise between 110 and 130 kph on the highways.

2. 4x4 with 4L and crawling if available

3. AC

4. Power steering (if the vehicle demands it. The gypsy on the move is great but parking this vehicle is a nightmare and the turning radius is that of a small planet)

5. Waterproof - I don't want water coming into the vehicle from anywhere. This is unacceptable and the Mumbai monsoons are unforgiving!

6. Fuel economy - minimum 9 in the city for petrol and 7 for diesel

7. Ground-Clearance - I want to clear those infamous sleeping policemen with ease and at speed

8. Unfussy suspension - I don't want a repeat of the Ford Ikon suspension woes on Mumbai roads

9. Access to service/spares around India - I travel a LOT and often to remote places. In case of a breakdown I would like to have access to the spares. No point in a 4x4 that can go into the mountains if I can't find parts and a mechanic within reasonable distance.

I don't mind spending the first 2000kms sorting out the vehicle thoroughly as long as it gives me years of trouble-free service after that. But I want to be sure I am not chasing ghosts in the process...

SO WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE?

1. Maruti Gypsy King
2. Force Gurkha
3. Used Mitsu Pajero
4. Bolero 4x4 (ancient engine and long wheelbase is a downer)
5. MM-540 (is it possible to buy new?)


HELP!
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:44   #2
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Here you go:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...e-27-38-a.html

Only issue we dont know when and how much. Oh and get in line.
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:46   #3
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I vote for Pajero, will provide you very comfortable ride and has decent 4X4 capabilties.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:10   #4
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GS ferrari,
I could see your primary requirement is to buy a MUV/SUV and 4x4 comes your last requirement! Do consider soft roaders like Honda CRV, Captiva and Suzuki GV. They all have excellent road manners and can occasionally take bad roads with GV being best among them.

They will meet your requirements. May i know where do you intend to use 4wd low? You seem to be a highway guy!


MODS- Please consider moving this thread to which MUV/SUV thread 4x4 capability is not the primary requirement here.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:15   #5
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4x4 is not a requirement for me at the moment but I only want to consider vehicles that have this capability because I want to go on OTRs on weekends. It is not a part of my daily routine and therefore 4x4 comes behind some other essentials.

I will not consider vehicles that don't have 4x4.

I need 4L to tow a boat up through a sandy beach to the water and then back out from the water. I'll post a few pics in a bit...hang on.

I've got a Jeep CJ3B with a working 4WD transmission but the 4L in 1st doesn't quite do the job. I usually end up slotting it in reverse gear to make it through the beach sand. Hoping the Gurkha or Gypsy will fare better (the CJ3B is more of a collector's item than a work-horse for me)
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:21   #6
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Default 4x4

Go for the Thar, will meet all your needs with few upgrades like hardtop. This is the one of the best 4x4 on papers. Yet to be released in India, but you have two guys who drove and have given double thumbs up.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:34   #7
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gsferrari,

If you are looking at low maintenance issues, go for Gypsy King. After the offroading, you can straight away hit the highway with no snag. Gypsy parts are available and put a crawler ratio gear into t-case , you are a crawler. Differential lock is added advantage, which are after market. See Shahnawaz Khan's thread on his gypsy conversion.

If you are looking at low maintenance cost, then suggest go MM540/ Gurkha/ Bolero. But you need to do real search for good one with 4 WD.

Pajero is a good choice, but maintenance and cost of running is definitely will be more.

Mahindra Thar is not launched in India and the company is not planning for a while, as we got to know from interactions.

Last edited by dwaraka : 1st March 2010 at 12:37.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post

Mahindra Thar is not launched in India and the company is not planning for a while, as we got to know from interactions.
The vehicle is on assembly line and has been through homologation. Its just few months away from showroom. I believe it should be out in 3 to 4 months. M&M guys correct me if i am wrong.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayBerry View Post
Go for the Thar, will meet all your needs with few upgrades like hardtop. This is the one of the best 4x4 on papers. Yet to be released in India, but you have two guys who drove and have given double thumbs up.
It is and I've been hearing a lot about it from HV Kumar and his pals as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
If you are looking at low maintenance issues, go for Gypsy King. After the offroading, you can straight away hit the highway with no snag. Gypsy parts are available and put a crawler ratio gear into t-case , you are a crawler. Differential lock is added advantage, which are after market. See Shahnawaz Khan's thread on his gypsy conversion.

If you are looking at low maintenance cost, then suggest go MM540/ Gurkha/ Bolero. But you need to do real search for good one with 4 WD.

Pajero is a good choice, but maintenance and cost of running is definitely will be more.

Mahindra Thar is not launched in India and the company is not planning for a while, as we got to know from interactions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
The vehicle is on assembly line and has been through homologation. Its just few months away from showroom. I believe it should be out in 3 to 4 months. M&M guys correct me if i am wrong.
I don't expect I will be able to wait 3-4 months because I need a car for the summer/monsoons and it takes 4 weeks for a Gypsy and up to 8 weeks for a Gurkha. Whatever I decide has to be within this month.

I spoke to the Force MUV dealer in Vashi and he says a CRDI engine for the Gurkha is inevitable but it hasn't been announced yet. All the other vehicles are getting the upgrade. I guess there is a sign-up sheet going around for potential Gurkha customers and if the numbers are sufficient then Force will confirm the order.

While this is not the chief issue here, what kind of *** can I expect from Force? Are they present around the country like Maruti? Purely from *** is it fair to say that Maruti and Mahindra lead the game with Maruti having the edge?
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:03   #10
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gsferrari,

You really need to make up your mind about whether you want an offroading vehicle or a 4x4 cruiser which can occasionally take on slippery trails.

Frankly, you can't get both in a single vehicle, not in India. If it was possible, even in one vehicle, many of us here would have bought it by now. Yes, it can be built, but it ain't easy.

Unless you are specifically thinking about OTR events with Jeeps and Gypsies, even 4x4 Safari or Scorpio can fit your bill. Check this thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-e...-journeys.html
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:11   #11
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Some pics of my CJ3B: Picasa Web Albums - Gurushankar - Jeep Thrills

I am not able to edit previous posts - hence this new post.

As an added complication, the Gypsy in it's current form will go out of BS-IV compliance at the end of this month. I absolutely need to book one in the next few days if I want to register it in Mumbai. So if I decide to go the Suzuki way then I need to act fast.

In order to decide on the Gurkha I would need a test-drive and a closer look at it to see if I can live with it. PMed Doc.Mohan to see if I can meet up with him today if possible.

Pajero is a long-shot. A family friend is moving to a Fortuner so his 2003 1L plus Kmmodel Pajero is up for grabs. If I can get this for a good price (thinking 5-6L) then I will need one more input from Tbhp before I commit to him:

1. What kind of *** can I expect from Mitsubishi/HM in India
2. How good is their reach outside metros

I know that of the entire list only the Gypsy makes sense. If MUL will permit dealer fitted AC without voiding the warranty then I may have found the vehicle for me. Will speak to the dealer about this tomorrow.

I know there seems to be some back and forth going on here but I want to make sure I get the right vehicle for me...just like everybody else eh?
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:22   #12
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AC can be added to Gypsy without breaking warranty. It is a dealer fitment.

Gurkha is BS-III, you can't get it by this month, so forget it.
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Old 1st March 2010, 14:30   #13
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....

Is the MM540 available new from Mahindra? Haven't been able to reach the dealers here due to Holi - will try tomorrow.

Is there anyone in Mumbai with the MPFI Gypsy who would be willing to give me a test-drive? I live in Thane but I can meet you anywhere...preferably today.

EDIT: Looks like dealers are also monitoring TBHP? I just got a call from a dealer who says he can deliver the Gypsy in White hard-top to me in 15 days. I guess some customer of his wants to back-out. Dealer is in Bangalore so I am requesting a friend to go get things checked out.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 1st March 2010 at 20:26. Reason: Edited the post for cleanup as referenced post was deleted
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Old 1st March 2010, 21:39   #14
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UPDATE:

I have settled on a White Hard-Top Gypsy. The dealer was referenced by a friend and he's hooked me up. Now the wait begins and I just hope they don't spring a surprise with a new upgraded Gypsy come April 1st

I should have my new Gypsy in 3 week's time and now that I have fixed the vehicle - I'll rename the thread and get started with the modifications. On an immediate basis these are what come to mind:

Short Term Mods:
1. Dealer fitted A/C
2. Gear-Lock and Steering Lock
3. I'll be swapping out the tires straight-away. Going to research for suitable options that will improve traction during OTRs without compromising ride-quality (hopefully improving ride quality). Going tubeless as well.
4. HIDs or some other option for the headlamps
5. Cover the grilles on the bonnet in front of the wind-shield
6. TeamBHP stickers
7. Relocate the rear number-plate or just get a sticker installed
8. 3M sun-film
9. Decent stereo and front speakers
10. Louder horns
11. Car alarm with GPS tracker
12. Bull-bar - bloody rickshaws...

Long-term mods:
1. CF Leaves for the rear
2. Gas-Filled dampers all around
3. Fit aftermarket seats
4. Sensible stickering - to break all that white monotony
5. Rear-seat comfort mods
6. Rear speakers
7. Locking hubs on the front
8. Install my Motocomm vehicle camera
9. Install a mini air-compressor and puncture repair kit
10. Aftermarket Hella lamps

As you can see...pretty excited. Fingers crossed it all happens peacefully. In all my experience buying stuff for myself - there is always drama of some sort. Yes it adds to the excitement and I manage to raise my own and everybody else's BP as well...but I can live with a little less of that right now.

Here's to seeing the Mumbai OTR gang - coming soon to a weekend near you
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Old 1st March 2010, 23:17   #15
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Hi
I think you should wait, as Mahindra is coming out with a small SUV, it will be priced less than a Scorpio.
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