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Old 14th April 2008, 21:45   #16
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Mitsubishi PAJERO 4X4 is the answer, all the way...its a very rugged and durable vehicle and will never let you down..it ll be just perfect for ur Himalayan tour purpose..
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Old 15th April 2008, 12:46   #17
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Have done all the sectors you mention (except Nepal) in a small 800 cc Matiz and none the worse for it. Nowadays use a Scorpio. If the car did everything, what skills does the driver have left!!!????
OK thats encouraging!

If there is any information (blog link?) on your drive routes, Kms, experiences etc that you can share, without too much effort, do let me know... Kesri
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Old 15th April 2008, 13:20   #18
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Don't miss a 4x4
If you were just doing a Manali-Leh route, a high GC vehicle would be good enough, but since you plan to cover a lot more, you will find slush, snow etc., where without a 4x4 you would need to turn back.

In luxury segment Safari 4x4 comes with a LSD, and so does the Grand Vitara.
Safari will be more fuel efficient, and sips diesel which is a much cheaper fuel.

Couple of days back I went to chansal pass in a tata indica. There were places where we had to get down and dig the snow with sticks and stones and then literally push the car across. Many other places where snow was melting we could barely coax the car through.

This is the month of April and ambient temperature was quite high(10 degree+) but still we found huge clumps of snow in shaded areas.

High mountain passes can get snowfall any time of the year, and when it rains the dirt tracks turn into slush paths.

The cheapest Safari 4x4 is around 9 ex showroom in Delhi.
In that price range you have scorpio 4x4 but it does not have LSD.

Don't know much about 4x4 system of bolero, but in Chansal pass area I saw a few 4x4 Bolero maxicab's used to ferry people in the interior villages.
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Old 15th April 2008, 13:26   #19
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Samurai:
You feel good, don't you.

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Today I had taken the vehicle to RTO for registration. They said it is the first GV in the district, probably so. Meanwhile one chap who heard the price from my agent (dealer appointee) starting foaming in the mouth. First he said the whole body must be fiber. Then he said what a waste, it surely won't fetch half the price at resale. Then he suddenly realized he was talking next to the owner and shut his trap. I just shrugged and told myself... Muggle!

I am sure the students will do so. The government managed to wrench that property back from the Manipal group I think.

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The 4WD is not a must, but it can help you have to get out of the road due to landslides, etc.

Recently while I was parking in a road under construction, I noticed that a couple of people at a shop were waving at me to stop. I noticed it too late and both front tyres dropped into a small ditch I hadn't seen. I got out and looked at it, then I just shrugged and went ahead with my shopping.

When I came back and got back into the GV, I noticed the same fellows giving a knowing smile that I won't be able to get out. They obviously thought I had a FWD vehicle. About 5 seconds later their smile vanished.

In such situations, 4WD helps. But if you drive carefully knowing the limitation of your vehicle, you can manage with 2WD. I have heard enough cases of Innovas and Zens making it to Leh.
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Old 15th April 2008, 15:19   #20
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OK thats encouraging!

If there is any information (blog link?) on your drive routes, Kms, experiences etc that you can share, without too much effort, do let me know... Kesri
Read the log books and see photos from my Ladakh 2003 trip in Matiz, see it crossing rivers:

H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKS Ladakh, Sep 2003

....and here is the Ladakh 2004 trip in a Matiz too. See the Matiz climbing on snow.


H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKS Ladakh,Oct 2004

...and here is a motorogue on the 2003 trip:
Motoring to Ladakh

and remember, the worst moments are not capttured on film

Last edited by hvkumar : 15th April 2008 at 15:33.
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Old 15th April 2008, 17:14   #21
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@kesari : A bolero is the answer to all your queries. Affordable, almost all mechanics in thsoe areas are used to it and it is rugged. Moreover you dont require a 4wd but if tis there it would help as you mentioned that you folks have almost no experience of hill driving.
@tsk sorry mate for not getting those videos up. The thing simply didnot upload with my connection speed. Anyway how was the trip? How far did you manage to go?
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Old 15th April 2008, 21:09   #22
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tsk saab, is baar bhi triplog not shared everywhere *wink*

@hvk/others: which hatch would do this job the best? or at max like <7l waali gaddis.

@tsk: Would a turbo indica have performed better?
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Old 15th April 2008, 21:29   #23
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On the assumption that you are looking for the most proficient vehicle, I'd say only the Gypsy (default 4X4) would do.
If ride and creature comforts are to be factored in, then Bolero or Scorpio, depending on the budget.
You would not be worrying about the vehicle all the time!
In ALL cases, please stay with 4X4!

Last edited by anupmathur : 15th April 2008 at 21:31.
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Old 15th April 2008, 21:33   #24
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@hvk/others: which hatch would do this job the best? or at max like <7l waali gaddis.

?
Why not the Swift petrol - powerful, spacious, rugged, taller clearance in its class? And of course the Ford Fusion (still around?)
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Old 15th April 2008, 21:53   #25
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And of course the Ford Fusion (still around?)
Yes. And with a diesel engine to boot!
Best 'car' for touring.
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Old 15th April 2008, 23:49   #26
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@anupsaab: the fusion costs a bomb to begin with,rest tbhp is full of Ford A.S.S gathaas. I read hvk saab's log and the amount of repairs his car needed would buy a normal man a new bike. To think of it, all I did was change my oil after the ride. And a good wash

@hvk saab: Why not the palio mjd/swiftd? i saw more diesel pumps. swift ki by default suspension is mashallah for back pain guys like me

btw, the amount of beating matiz took was due to:
a. your driving? didnt seem rash to me, but maybe you were in quite a tearing hurry to cross manali in 2 days
b. GM's bad quality? Again didn't seem so
c. Age. 2L km mein most people change four cars!
d. Road was exceptionally bad?

My case, I had butter smooth roads except fotu la top all the way jammu-leh. manali-leh was mostly lunar but i did it peacefully in three days. but still, nothing changed in bike.

Last edited by phamilyman : 15th April 2008 at 23:53.
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Old 16th April 2008, 13:03   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
@anupsaab: the fusion costs a bomb to begin with,rest tbhp is full of Ford A.S.S gathaas. I read hvk saab's log and the amount of repairs his car needed would buy a normal man a new bike. To think of it, all I did was change my oil after the ride. And a good wash

@hvk saab: Why not the palio mjd/swiftd? i saw more diesel pumps. swift ki by default suspension is mashallah for back pain guys like me

btw, the amount of beating matiz took was due to:
a. your driving? didnt seem rash to me, but maybe you were in quite a tearing hurry to cross manali in 2 days
b. GM's bad quality? Again didn't seem so
c. Age. 2L km mein most people change four cars!
d. Road was exceptionally bad?

My case, I had butter smooth roads except fotu la top all the way jammu-leh. manali-leh was mostly lunar but i did it peacefully in three days. but still, nothing changed in bike.
Palio a nice car, but body/model may be dated despite the new gen engine. Swift D a good car but may be a very expensive proposition and not worth running it on such difficult terrain.

2003 Ladakh trip was tough - descend from Rohtang till Tandi was all-mud driving. Roads were mostly dirt track after Jispa, except for some ttarred stretches in More Plains and afer Rumtse. Same in Ladakh Valley, en route Pang Kong via Chang La. But worstt beating was in Kargil-Drass-Zoji La which had to be doen in the middle of the night (tthose were the funny convoyy timings then) and there was no road - only rubble, huge boulders all over. And one could not drive slow because of the mad rush of other vehicles trying to overtake all the time in what was a 1-lane road with deep valley on one side and steep cliffs on the other with hardly any shoulder (or a crevasse shoulder). This exracted a heavy toll on my exhaust piping and wheel bearings. Moreover, a truck reversed into me on a slope near Gund and broke my front windshield. Brake pads wore out prematurely and they had to be totally replaced.

2004 was far better, although we had some serious problems - clutch plate breakdown on jalori Jot (tthanks to bad mechanics who omitted fitting oil seals on clutch plate properly), bad roads on Grampoo-Chanda Tal-Kunzum La-Kaza sector.

The Matiz sruts and lower arms are terrible, most of repairs have been on that - poor engineering byy Daewoo for Indian conditions. besides, I had iunnumerable problems with bent wheel rims (and consequenial tyre wear and wheel bearing repalcements) - used to chnage tyres twice every year at approx 30,000 kms (now in my SCorpio, I change afyer 70K).

My Leh drives were pretty sedate affairs (after Manali, till Manali it was a F1 drive), witth lots of stops for photography etc.
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Old 16th April 2008, 13:05   #28
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.....and I still think the Matiz was a great car to drive to Ladakh despite the problems that I mentioned.
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Old 16th April 2008, 13:41   #29
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IMO, The Gypsy is a very trouble free SUV for the himalyan region,light-easy to drive and rugged, with good service if at all you need one! then offcourse there is no end, you can even opt for the endeavour! In the car class Fusion is the option, its rugged, and better than the swift for that terrain of landslides etc.
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Old 16th April 2008, 14:10   #30
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Quote:
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Swift D a good car but may be a very expensive proposition and not worth running it on such difficult terrain.
@phamilyman
I've tried off roading in the swift D a few times.

its not much fun.
on a steep incline, turbo lag in the 2nd gear kills all the joy.
and when it finally kicks in at 2000rpm, the wheels spin and you lose all traction.

if the roads are smooth, but steep, the swift D will do well.
but if you are constantly braking for potholes, it will be difficult to keep the revs up in 2nd gear. Note-I'm useless at heel and toe

Pros
manageable overhangs
decent ground clearance for the wheel base in question
brilliant at hill descents in gear.


trust me- you need a 4WD for a good trip. you might be able to manage with a hatch, but you will not enjoy the trip because you'll be constantly worrying about the car.

Last edited by rippergeo : 16th April 2008 at 14:12.
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