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Old 12th November 2006, 13:08   #1
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Default My search for a 4WD tourer... HELP!!!

I own a ’99 M800 5-spd MPFI in excellent condition which I am using for city-driving, and was looking out for a Gypsy King type vehicle which I wanted to use for my touring.

I did get a second-hand ’98 Gypsy King (carb) from a friend who left for Poland since and the car is lying with me currently. But after a checkup from the mechanic I decided against buying the car for my use since the guy was asking for 2 lakhs and my mech advised me to not pay more than 1.3l for the car. So though the car is still with me till Feb atleast, I cant use it for touring or offroading.

On a recent bike-ride to Badami and Hampi, I met a photographer dude who does some serious touring in his Bolero XLS and he spent the better part of the day selling me the Bolero idea, telling me about the VFM equation (Value for money), about how its not a police jeep (my usual taunt reserved for the Bolero), about how it had plenty of lockable space for all my photographic eqpt (which the Gypsy doesn’t) etc etc. I actually drove his car for 50 odd kms and was surprised to see just how smooth and comfortable the Bolero was. And the 12kpl FE figure! Ofcourse the owner had spent close to 60K over 18 months doing up the interiors(padded/carpeted roof, mini-fridge under one seat in the rear dicky etc). Well I certainly was hooked!!

What I am looking for:
A cabin-class touring car with basic creature comforts like AC, bucket seats in front etc. Demister/Heater would be nice!! A reasonably up-to-date interior. Good FE since it is meant for long-hauling. An open platform would be a good addition since I can carry a whole lot of knick-knacks like a bi-cycle or my tents though this is not compulsory: A large dicky and a decent overhead carrier would also do the trick!! I also own an Enfield and have been doing most of my touring on that, so I am used to lower reliability etc. But I need something sturdy and something that I can work on myself to an extent. I am no auto-pro, but I can do basic servicing of my bikes and m800 myself and hope to be able to do that with my touring-car as well: So simple systems.

And 4WD is absolutely essential. I need a car I can take ANYWHERE. Well virtually! I shouldn’t have to turn back at Spangmik because the road to Chushul is 4WD only! Last but not the least: Monthly EMI must not exceed 14K.

Accordingly I spent the better part of yesterday checking out 3 different cars: Bolero (SLX and Sportz models), Scorpio (DX and SLX) and Tata TL 4x4. I wanted to check the Safari DICOR as well but they didn’t have a ready piece available at the time.


My view:
Bolero Sportz: Non BS3 (apparently). Not an option for Pune registration.
Bolero SLX: Top-end model. Tacky interiors for the price (~610K). Superb AC: IMO its better than the Scorpios! Engine NVH takes getting used to but once warmed up I think it behaved quite ok. Considering I am paying 4L less than the scorpio I know the refinement is gonna be less. But still I think the SLX is overpriced at 6.1L on road. The larger XL at 5.82L seemed like better value!! A price point of 5.5L odd or atleast an upgraded dashboard and seats and I would put down my cheque there and then!!

One major problem with Bolero models is that they don’t come with 4WD or so I m told. The staff tells me a kit is available but only for the Invader and they need to check if it can be fitted on to the other models. The staff actively de-sells the 4WD option warning customers that “we cant take responsibility” and “4WD kit has lots of problems” etc. They also de-sell the Sportz which is what I was initially looking at! As I said before reliable 4WD is absolutely essential for me.

Scorpio SLX/DX: I was looking at the 8str option since that seemed more flexible to my needs. Interiors definitely look more plush: but its all very plasticky. And the quality of the construction was disappointing to say the least. The dashboard glove compartment lid would not fit properly and kept flopping out until it was rammed into place! This on a showroom piece! AC is ok but Boleros i think was better. With the CRDE, Engine NVH was definity better than the Bolero. But I didn’t get to drive the car and so it was just started inside the showroom, so cant comment on the handling, driveability etc. Overall comfort is definitely great. 4WD is available only for the DX model for 90K extra. Strange ‘cos the SLX and DX have only cabin changes! So what stops them from offering 4WD on the SLX? Infact except for the tacky dashboard, it seemed like “my car”! Cost wise: Scorpio DX 2WD-876K, Scorpio DX with 4WD-981K, Scorpio SLX 2WD- 931K.

Wait time for Mahindra car: 6 to 8 weeks!! Also I believe the cars are DRIVEN down to Pune from Nashik and there are quite a few complaints about receiving somewhat damaged cars ex-showroom. There was a guy called Adhav at the godown in Phursungi who was quite tolerant of my rapid-fire technical questioning and gave me a detailed model by model analysis on what suited my requirements best! I think Mahindra should be putting someone like him in the showroom rather than the know-nothing Ganya-Pakya types currently in their Camp showroom!

Tata TL 4WD: A TL and a stock 207DI were parked next to each other so I got to compare the 2 closely. All the bit about upgraded interiors and exteriors is bulla. Interiors are almost similar to the 207DI, with a bit of knick-nacks thrown in. Exterior is EXACTLY the same, except for underbody protection for engine and fuel tank. The rear platform has 2 bench seats each capable of seating 3 people. The rear portion is covered with a tacky bar covered with a soft top.
The hottie-pie we see on the brochure is basically an after market bumper and crashguard and twinbullbar for the platform costing ~7K total and 3 piece footrest kit costing another 8K. The manufacturer is Mtech/Mtek or something. No doubt this car has potential.

Dashboard is tacky and plasticky but definitely sturdier and better built than the Bolero and Scorpio. Opened up the engine compartment and liked what I saw. Front seat comfort is ok really. Has adjustable steering wheel, with power assist. However the accelerator pedal is some distance away from the brake pedal and at an angle. Not sure why, and this takes some getting used to.

The rear seat is a dissapointment, especially if someone tall is sitting on the front seats. The seating position on the rear seat is odd: my knee is slightly higher than my waist!! Not very comfortable for a longer ride.

The rear platform is apparently 5.5’x5.5’! So its huge!! I think one thing that can be done is to stretch the rear cabin by an additional foot so as to get a proper cabin class seating in the rear seats and a shorter platform: even 4ft long platform is more than adequate!! But that would require C-pillar mods correct? How feasible and how expensive?

Unlike the Mahindra Scorpio guys, the Tata people let me drive the car and I was impressed. Roll is minimal. Initial pickup was disappointing, but ofcourse I am comparing it to my Gypsy which I am used to. But once I revved higher or mebbe the engine warmed up it really kinda picked up. Mebbe it was the turbo kicking in? Impressed again!! Gear shift was a little hard, but the sales guy told me it was becoz the car was new!! Woteva!

The TL price is 546K for the 4x2 Crew Cab version and 4WD version on road is 677K. There is another model shown in the price listings: “TL 483 4WD Crew-Cab FIJI FACELIFT” with on road of a whopping 8L plus. The sales staff hurriedly covered up and told me the TL 4WD CC is the better option!! So Is there a version with an upgraded interior? Atleast I would like to check it!!

Overall I liked the TL the best and with the after market accessories thrown in it looks like good value. However it is still a truck and the rear cabin is a dissapointment. Not quite sure of which one to for at this point!!

Looking at the Safari DICOR next: Looking fwd to advice from the pros here…

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 12th November 2006 at 19:49.
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Old 5th April 2010, 10:37   #2
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Hi...
Did you make a choice yet. I am also very interested in TL4x4, having seen nothing promising coming out of M&M.
Cheers..
Roy
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Old 5th April 2010, 11:15   #3
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@cougar: Mahindra Dealers gave you the wrong information. Bolero DI is available with 4x4 but it is very basic with no AC, PS. However, on the positive side, it is the high roof version which has some more interior space that the standard Bolero. Given the BSIV norms, not sure if you can register in the City. But if you want a no nonsense runabout the Basic 4x4 Bolero with the DI engine will meet your needs.

Scorpio 4x4 is available only in the SLX trim and not DX trim. Price you quoted is correct. However it doesn't make sense as the VLX 4x4 is only 60K more and you get ABS and other slew of goodies with it. My suggestion is to go for the Bolero 4x4 (basic version) or the TL if you like pick up trucks.
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Old 5th April 2010, 11:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
@cougar: Mahindra Dealers gave you the wrong information. Bolero DI is available with 4x4 but it is very basic with no AC, PS. However, on the positive side, it is the high roof version which has some more interior space that the standard Bolero. Given the BSIV norms, not sure if you can register in the City. But if you want a no nonsense runabout the Basic 4x4 Bolero with the DI engine will meet your needs.

Scorpio 4x4 is available only in the SLX trim and not DX trim. Price you quoted is correct. However it doesn't make sense as the VLX 4x4 is only 60K more and you get ABS and other slew of goodies with it. My suggestion is to go for the Bolero 4x4 (basic version) or the TL if you like pick up trucks.
Addict, this thread's about 4 years old!
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Old 5th April 2010, 11:55   #5
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@Red Liner: But, isn't the topic as relevant today, and one that has not been successfully answered yet by any product from any manufacturer.
The Bolero is far from being refined enough and so is the TL. The Scorpio and Safari do not answer these needs at all. And Force are too unreliable. So, the debate is still open...
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Old 6th April 2010, 10:42   #6
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Yep, i too have the same question. Which 4wd tourer?
All these days i thought a gypsy would fit the bill, now i am begining to favour the bolero (due to more creature comforts and a diesel head).

I am considering going for Bolero GLX/SLX 4wd or have to wait for Storm 4wd (whenever that is available)
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Old 30th May 2010, 10:21   #7
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I have the similar requirement for a 4WD tourer.
I took a quick test ride of Scorpio VLX yesterday. It was okay, may be I was expecting a lot from it.

clutch was really hard on that vehicle, sales advisor said thats because of the test drive vehicle.
gear shift was not smooth (may be I dont know if thats how it is on scorp or an SUV, I may be comapring that with my palio).

ride on speedbreakers and bad roads was like sitting on elephant (this is surely because I drive a car and is much more planted while driving). It felt comfortable on normal driving situations.

I was surprised to see 13.39L on-road price for 4WD VLX. I somewhere read its 1.6L cheaper than the top end version (similar featured 4wd) of Safari.
I saw the road tax column it was something 2L+, welcome to Karnataka!

Can someone please confirm the OTR for 4WD VLX in Bangalore? any discounts being offered these days? Can I expect prices to go down by diwali or next year since M&M coming up with their new SUV?
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Old 30th May 2010, 11:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
I have the similar requirement for a 4WD tourer.
I took a quick test ride of Scorpio VLX yesterday.
Ketan, I think it is a good idea to wait for Tata Aria which is expected soon (June/July). This segment is going to see lots of action, with Skoda Yeti coming soon. Followed by Mahindra's model based on W201.
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Old 30th May 2010, 19:04   #9
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@ketan:

I think he gave you the price of the 4WD AT VLX. Mine was about 11.6 Laks OTR in Kerala so I think Karnataka should be about 4 percent more.

Regarding the clutch and gears, I have no issues. The clutch is surprisingly soft on my vehicle and gears are smooth.

The Safari is definitely more spacious and comfortable than the Scorpio.

They have already adjusted the VLX price from the initial launch so I don't think they will lower it significantly with the Global SUV launch, but you can always wait for a year or so and find out to be sure.
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Old 31st May 2010, 01:17   #10
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@4x4addict
Thank you friend, I will go thru the price list again and confirm that with the delaer here. It should be ~12.06 if I add 4% to your OTR. Was there a price hike after you bought your vehicle? I remember you got yours around Feb 2010.
Because, there is a big diff between 12.06 and 13.39 - I dont think AT will add that much to the OTR.

About the clutch, it may be that specific vehicle, after the test ride, I got onto my Palio since I had to leave immediately, my clutch felt amzingly light / I almost bashed it to its last postion since I was yet to come back to a car from the truck and gear shift was smooth like makhhan!

I know Safari has got better looks + lot more space + great comfort. However, its going to be difficult for me to live with those niggles, fixing those small issues. I read Scorp has better refined engine and its been improving consistently. So, I will go with that (I will also be missing high GC in other vehicles compared to Scorp) in case I go for it in the future..
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Old 6th January 2011, 18:50   #11
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Default Re: My search for a 4WD tourer... HELP!!!

I have been looking a tourer for some time now, and rightfully stated we still do not have a good choice within 10L.

compromises I can live with :
1. not a every day car.
2. lower speed (i drive around 80 Km/hr)
3. bad image etc.

It must have
1. Reliability
2. Drivable anywhere on roads and off roads
3. Should be as safe as possible (ABS and EBD are good and airbags I don not think my budget would allow)
4. within 10L

I came across a few posts on Tata TL and I think I am impressed with it. I am in no hurry at the moment. This would be a long keep for me and hence I am looking and looking.

Second hand Endeavor, Pajero does make sense, but there upkeep is very expensive and In Bangalore a decent one cost way above 10L, which is keeping me from trying them.
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Old 8th January 2011, 07:27   #12
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Default Re: My search for a 4WD tourer... HELP!!!

I read in a regional language magazine that Nissan NV200 is expected in March 2010, priced at 7-10 Lakhs.

Note from Mod : Old thread, whose topic has been better covered in newer discussions. Closing

Last edited by GTO : 9th January 2011 at 11:51. Reason: Adding thread closure note
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