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Old 28th May 2009, 16:24   #16
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Hi Sudhir nice to see you here, though ever since I moved to Chennai I have not been contributing to India Nature watch even though I still look at all the photos hosted by you guys as my only solace in not visiting the wilderness of Nagarhole, Bandipur & Mudumalai.

Considering how serious you are on wildlife photography the best option for you in my opinion would be the Gypsy 4X4. It would be the ideal vehicle in terms of approacing the animals as close as possible without the sound disturbing them and would be comfortable in slushy conditions in the forests of Nilgiri Biosphere especially during the monsoon times.
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Old 28th May 2009, 16:41   #17
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Originally Posted by vasudhir View Post
Hi Folks,

I need some suggestions/advice/help on arriving at a decision on what to buy. Here's my situation:

I currently have a 2005 Ford Fusion Basic which I like a lot. I now have the option to go for a company leased vehicle. The max budget is around 10L ex-show room (Bangalore).

My requirements:
I normally drive around the country side for my bird photography around Bangalore. Not good roads. Fusion has been doing good here. I also drive to various Wildlife Parks around Mysore (Kabini, Nagarhole, Bandipur, BR Hills etc) and use the Jeep services of some resorts. I sometimes get permission to take my own vehicle inside the forest. But since I do not have any SUV, I cannot make use of that facility.

I need help in deciding what to buy:

Should I keep the Fusion and buy a Bolero 4x4 (if available) or any of the top end Bolero model ?

Or Sell my Fusion and go for a 10L range SUV ? If so, which one makes sense ? I need comfortable city driving experience (with family) as well as use it in the forests. Scorpio or Tata Safari or which one ?

Any help/advice on this matter appreciated.

Rgds,
Sudhir
I was also in the similar situation about 4 months ago, searching for a vehicle which suited me and my wife's need for effortless travelling through bad roads, jungles, trip to Leh, Ladakh etc. and after quite a bit of testing of the Safari, Scorpio and Bolero, decided to go for the Bolero VLX. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/suvs-m...lero-crde.html (Looking to buy a Mahindra Bolero CRDe)

Hence I'll vote for Bolero VLX 4X2.

But stated below Xenon would also be a good choice provided you can live with it in the city
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:13   #18
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Hi Vasudhir
The jungle trails of nagarhole,Kabini,K Gudi Bandipur etc can be easily tackled with a 2 wheel drive Safari or Scorpio. The challenge is during the monsoons when you tend to encounter slushy patches and the scratches that the vehicle suffers. I have managed to tackle the patches with my Safari 2.2. From a photography angle i suggest you get yourself a Gypsy. You have the option of converting it to a open top which you will need when shooting the canopy ( a leopard perhaps?). A Gypsy also makes a good second car in the city. All the best!
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:20   #19
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wow! Thanks for all the inputs folks. I am getting the quote for these vehicles and then decide:

1. Mahindra Scorpio VLX
2. Mahindra Scorpio Getaway.
3. Mahindra Bolero SLX
4. Mahindra Bolero VLX CRDe
5. Maruthi Gypsy (all versions including 4x4)
6. Tata Safari Dicor
7. Tata Xenon

Did I miss anything ?

Hopefully I should be placing an order soon.

Rgds,
Sudhir
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:30   #20
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Any idea on the cost of the GM Forester ?

Also, the maintenance will be taken up by the Leasing company and they will be bearing the cost of it (if this data helps)

Rgds,
Sudhir
Hmm. Leasing eh? Will they allow you to buy a used one? I saw a single owner 70k done come up for sale for 6.5L prior to negotiations. So they are pricey.

If leasing does not allow you to buy a new one - both the gypsy and the forrester are out. If you have money (you do) then my vote is for the forrester. If you are poor, then its the Gypsy.

If the lease does not allow you a used one, then a new gypsy (a hard fought purchase from MUL) is a fantastic buy because the new engine is brilliant (the swift petrol does duty here). Other than her - there is nothing else suitable for quiet, on the prowl, hard core all season wild life tracking and photography.

Focus your eye on exactly what you want your vehicle for (as opposed to the generous more car-per car suggestions here) - in this case wild life photography come rain or shine - and some of the best shots are during the monsoons. There is no point buying all purpose vehicles for use in specific environments and locales - like a Safari or a Scorpio - because frankly, they excel at nothing but general all purpose duty. Hope I made sense. If not, please excuse
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:32   #21
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Folks, The other things I would like to mention is the safety of the photography equipment which I will be carrying during the trip. I am not sure if it will be safe in a soft top Gypsy. That also needs to be considered.

Rgds,
Sudhir
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:37   #22
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Originally Posted by Sha View Post
For wildlife photography it's better to buy soft top gypsy, it gives more flexibility moving around inside the cabin of vehicle.

Since it is purely for wildlife photography go for the Gypsy. The vehicle is well with in your budget. hence you can keep your fusion too.
The following are the advantages-

1. It is super silent. Key for wild life photo graphy
2. Has got 4x4
3. Vehicle is 6 lakhs on road hence cheap
4. No maintenance issues
5. soft top provides you flexibility for photography

The next best option is fully loaded Bolero slx 4x4 as it comes with XD 3p engine which is super silent. The on road price in chennai is 7.43.

If you want an SUV only then either safari or Scorpio will do. Both have 4x4 as an option.

P.S- Do not make the mistake of taking a 4x2 SUV. Seemingly good roads turn slushy and slippery after a short spell of rain. And for photography some times you may have to even leave kutcha road. Please do not ignore 4x4!

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 28th May 2009 at 17:41.
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:39   #23
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Hmm. Leasing eh? Will they allow you to buy a used one? I saw a single owner 70k done come up for sale for 6.5L prior to negotiations. So they are pricey.

If leasing does not allow you to buy a new one - both the gypsy and the forrester are out. If you have money (you do) then my vote is for the forrester. If you are poor, then its the Gypsy.

If the lease does not allow you a used one, then a new gypsy (a hard fought purchase from MUL) is a fantastic buy because the new engine is brilliant (the swift petrol does duty here). Other than her - there is nothing else suitable for quiet, on the prowl, hard core all season wild life tracking and photography.

Focus your eye on exactly what you want your vehicle for (as opposed to the generous more car-per car suggestions here) - in this case wild life photography come rain or shine - and some of the best shots are during the monsoons. There is no point buying all purpose vehicles for use in specific environments and locales - like a Safari or a Scorpio - because frankly, they excel at nothing but general all purpose duty. Hope I made sense. If not, please excuse
hmmm...There are some valid points here. I am now more inclined towards keeping the Fusion and buying a Hard Top 4x4 Gypsy.

Nope, I already asked the leasing company. It has to be a brand new vehicle. I cannot go for a second hand one.

How is the Gypsy for a normal Bangalore Mysore highway drive ? Also, this will be for 3 years and I will have the option of a new vehicle after 3 yrs. So, the timeline I am looking at is just 3 yrs.

I hope the Gypsy will serve good for 3 yrs.

Rgds
Sudhir
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:44   #24
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I think gypsy is your best bet especially the soft top version. The problem with some of the other vehicles like Safari etc is that not only do they cost twice as much as the gypsy for the 4 Door version, they will be a pain to turn in some forest tracks when there is not enough space.

Gypsy is silent enough to get your close enough to animals without scaring them off. Secondly it is extremely capable on forest tracks. If you want a diesel consider the Mahindra Bolero Invader 4WD. Both these vehicles will fit your budget.
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:45   #25
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If you get a heavy SUV make sure its a 4x4. In a remote jungle if you are stuck with a 2WD, rescue will be difficult.
As for the gypsy, its an okay highway cruiser, however if its hot then no AC is a problem. Since its much below your 10L budget, you can get an AC from MASS for around 30K. This will prevent warranty issues.
Moreover you can go for soft top, and get hard top covering for front part of cabin. AC will be super chiller.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 28th May 2009 at 17:47.
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Old 28th May 2009, 18:07   #26
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Originally Posted by vasudhir View Post
hmmm...There are some valid points here. I am now more inclined towards keeping the Fusion and buying a Hard Top 4x4 Gypsy.

Nope, I already asked the leasing company. It has to be a brand new vehicle. I cannot go for a second hand one.

How is the Gypsy for a normal Bangalore Mysore highway drive ? Also, this will be for 3 years and I will have the option of a new vehicle after 3 yrs. So, the timeline I am looking at is just 3 yrs.

I hope the Gypsy will serve good for 3 yrs.

Rgds
Sudhir
You need to keep your camera equipment safe. Yet, you might need a vantage position from where you can see animals and shoot. So get a new hard top gypsy, chop off about 3 feet at the rear and you still have some space between the cargo bay and the front passenger cabin (2 seats) sandwiched with a hard top which will allow you to stow away gear. So not a deal breaker.

Now, as far as comfort is concerned, you will curse yourself. That said, you will enjoy the trip, rather than the drive. Remember, no PS and no AC in the factory version, so its a bare-boned vehicle.

Once you get the gypsy, I dare you to pop her after 3 years. Unless a better mountain goat comes along to serve your needs.
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Old 28th May 2009, 18:09   #27
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I know (not personally but have heard from MASS service folks ) of people who are into wild life photography for Discovery/National Geographic. They are from Bangalore and they go into the nearby jungles for 10-15 days at a stretch.

They use a Gypsy and I have seen that Gypsy. It has bucket seats in back also and they have been using it for several years now.

If you want, I can help you connect to them through the MASS folks. You can talk to them and get first hand advise on all matters.

Cheers,
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Old 28th May 2009, 18:27   #28
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I was browsing the internet and came across Mahindra Bolero Stinger. Looks great. Any feedback on that ?

Mahindra Bolero Stinger photo, features, customized concept | DWS Auto India

Rgds,
Sudhir
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Old 28th May 2009, 19:07   #29
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Originally Posted by vasudhir View Post
I was browsing the internet and came across Mahindra Bolero Stinger. Looks great. Any feedback on that ?

Mahindra Bolero Stinger photo, features, customized concept | DWS Auto India

Rgds,
Sudhir
As much as I know it is closer to 9 Lakhs and is specifically by order.
Check out www.mahindra-customisation.com
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Old 28th May 2009, 20:17   #30
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the bolero stinger is more of a lifestlye vehicle. why would you spend close to 10 lakhs on it when you can buy a scorpio/safari for the same money.

on strictly utilaritan basis, i would suggest you the bolero 4x4. but on the other hand, if you desire a bit more comfort, go for the scorpio 4x4.

mahindra will launch the scorpio 4x4 in the near future. the mHawk engine is super silent & a hoot to drive. being a mahindra, it will tackle the rough roads easily. and i think the VLX is out of your budget, go for the SLE or LX. if you are not interested in hardcore offroading, the 4x2 would be fine.
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