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Old 20th May 2013, 19:23   #286
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Wasnt this the case for the old one too? Or is it worse now?
Steeroid - the older one was better

Sudipto (Roy_libran) - You have improved the vehicle many folds than what it was when it was with me.
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Old 20th May 2013, 19:59   #287
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

Should get my TD in a couple of days, will check how bad it is.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 00:06   #288
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Should get my TD in a couple of days, will check how bad it is.
Took my TD yesterday and was one of the most disappointing experience in my life. I did't feel so bad even when I was not made the prom king, in high school. Anyways, I am compiling my very depressingly disappointing review which I will add to this thread shortly. I was so looking forward to selling my Thar DI and buying the Gurkha, but not any more.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 08:18   #289
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Took my TD yesterday and was one of the most disappointing experience in my life. I did't feel so bad even when I was not made the prom king, in high school. Anyways, I am compiling my very depressingly disappointing review which I will add to this thread shortly. I was so looking forward to selling my Thar DI and buying the Gurkha, but not any more.
Sounds like Deja Vu, coming from you.
Thought you were happily bedded in with the Thar DI, and wouldn't be taking a second glance at the Gurkha.
Look forward to your bouquet of brickbats.

Last edited by roy_libran : 22nd May 2013 at 08:25.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 09:24   #290
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Default 4x4Addicts Gurkha Review...

In 2008 I booked a Gurkha and was promised delivery in 3 months. I waited for four months and still there was no sign, so I decided to do up my MM540. After about 6 months the Gurkha came to the dealership and I sold even before registering it. When I heard the Gurkha was being relaunched with 100+ bhp engine, I was very excited. When I saw the pictures and heard that it had only 5 bhp more than the previous version, the initial excitement died, but I was still open to buying it and replacing the front with the old model classic looks.

As luck would have it, one of my friends who was close to booking a Thar arranged for a TD of the Gurkha and asked me to join him. A matt black Gurkha was brought to us and we both excitedly walked around, inspected the vehicle and jumped in. My friend too the driver seat and turned the
ignition to start it, poooooffff no go. car is not starting or turning over at all. seems like no current to starter motor. Anyways, we get out open the hood and check battery termials, knocked the battery a copule of times and came back in side, this time I tried to start it. Again no response for a couple of times, but eventually like a bullet it started and we moved on.

Interiors/Comfort/Ergonomics:
This vehicle is one of the most comfortable Indian off-roaders that I have sat it. For comfort it blows the pants of Scorpio 4x4 and also Thar. Seats are well bolstered. There are arm rests on the front seats, but driver side arm rests cannot be used unless you convert the transmission to an automatic as there is no way to change the gears with the driver armrest down. Ingress to rear seat is fairly spacious since the front passenger seat can be flipped forward. The rear bench is also quite spacious with enough legroom, but since it is placed high on the rear wheel arch, tall passengers should watch their head. However, the roof has moulded roof lining so even
if you bump you heard, you may still be able to go to work the next day. The third row jump seats where not there. Sales man said that it is no longer offered so not sure what the story is. Overall the interiors are extremely crude, but I have not complains about that since you don't expect a range rover when you buy a Gurkha so it was something that I am willing to ommit and live with. The dash looks like it was hacked up by a local tinker.

The AC was not effective at all and all of us kept sweating in the vehicle despite AC being on for over 10 minutes. Not sure if there was a problem with the unit or this is how it will be.

The boots for the gear and Transfer case lever have no clamp/clip and they come off very easily causing hot air to enter the cabin and further worsen the effetiveness of the already poor AC. I was wondering why there is no Thermo stat for the AC but looks like even if there was one, it
will remain in max cooling all the time.

The RPM Meter is placed at the center of the dash where the dash curves down toward the firewall so it cannot be sean easlily from driver seat. Moreover, it is unsafe to take your eyes away from the road to keep looking at the RPM Meter. Best to make a small enclosure and move the
meter above the dash to the right side and put off a volt meter in place of the RPM Meter. But I am glad they alteast throught of offering a RPM Meter even if it was just an after thought.

Ride & Handling:
This vehicle soaks up bad roads and makes it feel like a smooth road. Body roll is also controlled compared to Scorpio/Thar. For Ride & handling it beats the Thar DI & CRDe in my opinion.

Engine/Gearbox/T-case/Steering:


Engine is only 80bhp and I guess, one had to live with it. We could use more power, but given the short gearing it moves a bit before running out of steam. Engine is much much better than Thar DI engine, but Thar CRDe engine obviously is much better. The Transfer case shifted smoothly
and there are lights on dash for 4H and 4L which is nice.

The biggest disappointment to me was the gearbox. It was an absolute mess. I just couldn't engage first gear without using both hands and you have to really hunt to slot it into the right gear. I cannot understand how this is a mercedes derived gearbox. The same G18 gearbox come in the
Tata UV range and I didn't find this problem in my Tatamobile or Seirra/Estates that I have driven, but on the Gurkha it is absolutely horrendous.

To me two things that tottally spoiled my driving experience was the gear box and steering which I will come to later. Anybody who has used a modern gearbox or even the KMT90 from the MM550 will find this gearbox horrendous to use. I couldn't beleive that in this damn and age any manufacture can make a gearbox like this and that too licenced from Mercedes. Part of the reason I think is because the gearbox is way too
front and the lever starts out from the under the dash and had a 30 degree slope toward the driver kind of like the full forward lorry cabins, but in reverse.

The next biggest disappointment for me was the steering. The Steering is perpendicular to the floor like the old Leyland lorries. Nothing can be done about this since the steering box sits under driver side foot well. So, if you put a steering with conventional semi vertical positioning, you will need a U joint that can turn 90 degrees to take the shaft to the steering box. So unless the steering box is relocated to the front like in Mahindra & Tata range, nothing can be done to the steering wheel. The problem is that if you have the seats reclined only a person with very long hands or an Orang Utan can turn the steering comfortably. The steering wheel is also huge and you really have to sit up to get your hands around the wheel. If you have been driving Leyland full forward body lorries for a while, you will be at home in the Gurkha, but if you have driven modern or semi-modern vehicles, you will find it tough to adust in a Gurkha.

There where few other issues which I am hoping was just a one off with this vehicle. Besides the first time, my friend managed to stall the vehicle as he had to move from a signal in second gear. This was because first gear was not engaging after repeated attempts with both hands. After the vehicle stalled it just wouldn't start. Thankfully, we where both saved of the embarrassment of pushing a new vehicle, becasue there was no one behind us and after repeated attempts it started again. Secondly the there is no auxilliary fan for the condensor and the temp guage went to red after 15 minutes of city driving on a very hot day. We then pulled over
and let the vehicle cool before starting up again. When I was taking a few pictures under the vehicle it Noticed that the power steering house was bent at a 90 degree angle thereby pinching/restrticing flow of PS fluid. There is also a dianostic connected just on left of the steering wheel with a black cap on it. Soon as I just opened the cap, the connected fell inside
under the dash. So looks like someone forgot to screw it in.

Overall my decision to not buy the Gurkha was primarily because of the steering and gearbox. The gearbox may have been a one off issue and also because this vehicle had run only 100 kms or so. But steering I will really have to force myself to live with and nothing can be done about it. Maybe putting a smaller wheel may help as you won't have to reach out so much to change turn the wheel.

There where other general fit and finish issues which I am willing to ignore but a new vehicle not starting and overheating really troubled me. If you set aside the fit and finish, the vehicle is very badly put together and doesn't give me the confidence. Get this vehicle, if you are such a die hard Gurkha fan that you are willing to put up with a lot of flaws just to own this vehicle, otherwise get a Thar CRDe and get a hard top.

I am not a Thar CRDe fan and was looking forward to the Gurkha but now the tables are turned. I told the dealer that I will take another test drive after the vehicle has clocked 3000 plus kilometers to see if the gear box is any better. Even the steering I may eventually get used to, but how can you drive a vehilce where you cannot change gears without two hands !!!!


Since I did my Test drive in the city, I couldn't take it offroad, but I think the off-road capability of this vehicle has been discussed many times before so I won't question it. My review is for people who have to live with this vehicle as their daily drive. My final word to anyone dreaming about this vehicle is to take a proper test drive and then decide. For me, it is
Thumbs down as of now.... Sad that a vehicle with so much potential is in the hands of a company like Force Motors. I am still willing to take another test drive after dealer has had time to sort the other niggles before I completely write it off,
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Old 22nd May 2013, 09:53   #291
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

^ I too did not like the Steering position of the new Gurkha at all. The older Gurkha's steering position is way better and much more comfy. The steering slopes towards the driver and is more comfortable to hold. My regular driving position is to set the Driver seat fully backwards and sit in a sprawling fashion. The steering or Gear position doesn't bug me at all, in my Gurkha. But, on the new one, it did!

About the gearbox - Please can you check the gearbox slotting with the clutch pressed to the full extent. Initially, I also used to struggle with my gear throws, then I realized that the Clutch has an inch more of travel left, than what I was pressing it to, and since then, the GB slots in smoothly and perfectly. I agree, this is not good ergonomics, but it works for me. When you TD again, please check this up. My wife was also having enormous changes with the Gear Shifts, when she was learning to drive the Gurkha, but after I pointed this out, she has become a lot more comfortable. Of course, she sets her driver seat full forward.

Regarding the AC - Most older Gurkha owners retrofitted twin fans in front of the condensor. Easy and cheap mod. I did not check, and am very very surprised that Force is not supplying this themselves. They seemed to have had a similar problem and experience, even on the Force One, and they have since, changed the Condensor Design, and resolved this issue. I am hoping they would wake up and change the condensor on the Gurkha as well, soon. This mod, apart from keeping the engine cool, also improves the air conditioning performance hugely.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 10:23   #292
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

I am not a 4x4 guy. But gurkha videos are something which are getting me really really interested in this sport.

Gurkha test drive reviews remind me of my test drive of the Tata Xenon. Had a similar level of disappointment with the car which I was planning to purchase from a used car dealer when i was looking for a good used car in the 5-6 lakhs bracket (Non Hatchback)

Finally got a Civic for about the same price
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Old 22nd May 2013, 18:37   #293
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Regarding the AC - Most older Gurkha owners retrofitted twin fans in front of the condensor. Easy and cheap mod. I did not check, and am very very surprised that Force is not supplying this themselves. They seemed to have had a similar problem and experience, even on the Force One, and they have since, changed the Condensor Design, and resolved this issue. I am hoping they would wake up and change the condensor on the Gurkha as well, soon. This mod, apart from keeping the engine cool, also improves the air conditioning performance hugely.
So, it may be a good buy, after the obvious flaws are ironed out.This brings me to the question as to why do companies seem to be in such a hurry to launch a half-baked product. Clamps for gearbox and transfer case cover seem pretty common-sense. Probably we need someone from Force to inform us as to why they have not done so, due to CMVR issues.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 19:59   #294
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Default

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Originally Posted by lurker View Post

So, it may be a good buy, after the obvious flaws are ironed out.This brings me to the question as to why do companies seem to be in such a hurry to launch a half-baked product. Clamps for gearbox and transfer case cover seem pretty common-sense. Probably we need someone from Force to inform us as to why they have not done so, due to CMVR issues.
Ironed out, you say?
Nyet! Not gonna happen. This is Force! It is Gurkha's extreme bane / bad luck that it had to be built by a company like FM. They have known of all these feedback points for ages now, and what do they do, give this only a push up bra!
They have a gem of an engine; no not the OM611, but the OM617 derivative (TD3250FTI). The mounts are the same, the engine bay has space and the engine, if tuned properly can easily be tuned over 160 horses. They have already exported this version, so why could they not have chosen this as the configuration to release here? The current engine is not bad, but the 617' would have put Gurkha in a different league.
They even took away the PTO!
But even the misdemeanors of FM cannot undo it's fundamental underpinnings, and that is what still makes a Gurkha a phenomenal vehicle to own, for that price.
However, you need to make peace with a lot of gremlins before you can come to love it. Takes a somewhat different frame of mind and for a different ownership experience.

Last edited by roy_libran : 22nd May 2013 at 20:02.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 20:23   #295
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs



A nice review about the Gurkha! I am going to TD one this week and will post the review soon
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Old 24th May 2013, 11:59   #296
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

Just came across this video on youtube while searching for Gurkha. Must say, I am quite impressed the way it pulled out the Pajero.

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Old 24th May 2013, 13:36   #297
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

Really crude and shoddy, truely the RPM meter seems to be an afterthought. Best to stay away from this Gurkha. Unfortunately for the off road community, poor sales of this model will only discourage other and this company Bajaj Tempo from launching other improved variants.
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Old 25th May 2013, 17:40   #298
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Took my TD yesterday and was one of the most disappointing experience in my life. I did't feel so bad even when I was not made the prom king, in high school. Anyways, I am compiling my very depressingly disappointing review which I will add to this thread shortly. I was so looking forward to selling my Thar DI and buying the Gurkha, but not any more.
Your test -drive report is very technical and informative.
You have accurately pointed out the problems, technical niggles and the fit and finish issues which plague the Gurkha .
The steering-wheel issue is the latest addition to the list of the problems, although it could be sorted out .
Your decision of not selling your Thar is also justified, since ,overall the Thar would score more marks than the Gurkha.


Although I would not sell my Gurkha and buy a Thar dI instead.
The reason being, I have spent enough time,money and energy in ironing out all possible niggles and technical issues. ( from changing seats , ECU remaps , air-fillters, sound-proofing , PUFF bushes , self locking bolts and what not )
I do not now have any vehicle ,in the Indian Market, which at the price I have purchased, could do all that the Gurkha does and have !
Its now part of my psyche and identity.

Last edited by mohan : 25th May 2013 at 17:56.
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Old 25th May 2013, 19:46   #299
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

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I do not now have any vehicle ,in the Indian Market, which at the price I have purchased, could do all that the Gurkha does and have !
Very true doc. If only Force Motors had someone like Mr. Behram who really knew what the customer wants and took the initiative to just improve the product a little more, it will be a great vehicle without any real competition. I would say that it is 80% there, just needs another 20% effort by Force Motors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
About the gearbox - Please can you check the gearbox slotting with the clutch pressed to the full extent. Initially, I also used to struggle with my gear throws, then I realized that the Clutch has an inch more of travel left,
I noticed that about the clutch as well. At the level we normally think the clutch pedal is fully depressed, is not the full clutch and it had a few inches to go. However, in my case this didn't help either.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 25th May 2013 at 20:00.
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Old 25th May 2013, 20:07   #300
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Default Re: Force Gurkha on sale again. Launched @ 6.25 Lakhs

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Very true doc. If only Force Motors had someone like Mr. Behram who really knew what the customer wants and took the initiative to just improve the product
That despite a painstakingly created ppt presentation I had submitted to the R&D people who had come to meet the Gurkha owners 6 months ago . The presentation had the summary of all the problems and thier solutions compiled from all friends across India.
What a waste of time it was for all of us !!
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