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Old 21st February 2012, 09:55   #151
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Default The Force One experience

I would not like to bore with stories of why I wanted to replace my 2002 Alto VX , which has done less than 50k km and is reliable as hell. So, cutting to the chase, there I was, standing in front of the Force One dealership in Kochi, Poomkudy motors, with the whole jing-bang (biwi plus two warriors) to have a 'dekho' of the Force One. I had not told them where I was going to take them, except for the fact that we were going to see a new car.

Wifey's first words... "It is sooo big".

My younger son (all of six years) asks.."Is it a Ferrari?"

My elder son is furiously jabbing into his tablet, and before we can enter the showroom, proclaims "Dad, the reviews of this car are not good."

Having reached this far, I was not going to turn back, so, breathing in deeply, we entered the showroom.

A robust-blue coloured car was occupying the show-lights, along with a stripped down chassis by its side. Another family was eagerly peering into the engine bay, and a singular customer service rep was eloquently reeling off statistics of the car.

The front office (if car showrooms have one) was occupied by a young lady. Sensing our hesitation, she promptly jumped up and ushered us in. We couldn't wait for the rep to be free to attend to us, so straight away walked up to the car.

The car IS handsome, without any doubts. I, for one, am not easily enamoured by kitchy car designs. I prefer a car to be unpretentious and shout out loud what it is all about. The Force One does it admirably.

Without much ado, we opened the passenger door and peeped in. My warriors straight away jumped in and, typically as they do in the Alto, started quibbling about window seats. Memsaab too got in to check out the interior space and legroom. It definitely has oodles and oodles of space. The leather fabric was a light beige colour, and along with the similarly coloured roof, gave an airy feel to the cabin. But I had a feel that the clean part may not last long, probably contributed to my boys' behaviour in the car (The sales rep later mention that there is a option, probably a local arrangement, to change the interiors of the car to the colours of our choice).

We moved on to the fifth door, and there no dearth of space here too. That's the thing about this car, there is oodles and oodles of space; whether you are in the driver seat, front passenger seat, second row, third row - there is space everywhere, and kingsize. I am about 5'7", 'well-built' and do feel a comfortably tight fit in the Alto. But in the Force, well, I was moving the seat a notch forward to get a comfortable driving position.

The Sales rep, Sajith soon joined us. Well-informed and comfortable, he unhurriedly accosted us through the nuances of the car. I have been following the car on various forums as well as FB, and my doubts regarding panel gaps and shoddy paint work were set aside. Yes, quality control seems to be an issue for certain plastic parts. If Force motors can sort this out, they have a winner on their hands.

On with the car. We squatted on every seat in every possible configuration. 60:40 split, all down, all up, fully front fully back. Another factor in favour of the One is that the second and third row also recline. Also, with the third row up, there is still space for a couple of mid-sized suitcases. With the third row put away, (that is, folded down and away to the side), it is a different story altogether. The space that opens up is large enough to put in just about anything you can think off. I only the second row went all the way down, then it would have turned the One into a caravan.

The Ground clearance is a healthy 205 mm. Getting in and out is not too much of a chore, though wifey remarked that, when dressed for formal occasions, she may have to hitch her saree a bit to get in. IMO, her doubts would be unfounded. I have sat in a new Safari LX, and, I think THAT is a little on the higher side, leaning towards 'uncomfortable'. In fact one has to use the side stepper to comfortably get in. That could cause as issue if one has senior citizens as passengers. The One gets brushed aluminium side steppers, and they really look good.

In the driver's seat, the driving position is very comfortable. The wheel is adequately sized, leather wrapped and comes with cruise control buttons and audio controls. Quality is again a issue here, I don't know if these buttons would stand the test of time. Don't get me wrong, they are by no matter flimsy. Its just that they could have been a little better.

The doors are well-weighted. They shut with a good sounding-thud. Not a firm thud like German cars, but certainly not tinny like Japanese cars. Power switches are there on every door. The rear doors have puddle lamps with a red shade on them, the lamps are fitted inside the doors, facing the inside of the cabin. I am not sure if they would actually do their job of showing the ground beneath the passenger door when opened.

All light switches and other switches are within easy reach. The music system is a 2 DIN JVC with a CD slot. It also has a 3.5 mm slot for MP3, USB, bluetooth, FM radio. The radio antenna is embedded. There are two rotary dials for the AC - the larger one for the front blowers and the smaller one for the aft blowers. I am not too keen on climate control. Other than snob value, I think, the regular setup should be good enough to cool down the cabin. Would definitely need to check this out during the test drive.

The colour of the showroom car was a striking blue. A certain head turner. Wifey straight away wrote off black (too difficult to maintain), though I felt it would add to its 'bad boy' image. We did not consider the other colours. So it would either be the blue or the white.

The car is outfitted with a nice set of roof rails. I literally climbed on to the roof to have a look. There are 2 adjustable transverse racks also provided. But would have to take a call regarding actually using that to carry luggage.

The sales rep brought out certain remarkable facts, which are unconfirmed though. Maybe sales babble. As per him, the agency was selling 28 to 30 cars a month. Since launch, they have sold approx 30 cars in Cochin itself, though I have not seen a single one on road, and I am a man-about-town!! The next thing he mentioned, which really amazed me. is that the 4X4 version is expected by only the end of the year. Really? Somebody, please confirm this. He also said that the car, in this version, was capable of taking on any terrain, so the 4X4 would be an overkill. In fact, as per him, majority of their customers resided in the interiors of Kerala. And , I can tell you, one does need a 4X4 there. The next thing that he added was that the company plans to added another 50 outlets throughout the country in a years time.

All in all, we were quite impressed with the package. One may say that, at this price point, the XUV 5OO is more capable but I am skeptical of Mahindra *** handling the electricals. There are already some horror stories floating around on this issue.

So next, we tied up for a test drive. The vehicle was out, it seems, and the sales rep promised to get back to me ASAP for the test drive. Let me add here that I had requested a number of times for a test drive on the Force One website, but am still to get a response

All in all, it was a good experience at the showroom, much better than what I expected it to be. In fact, as we were leaving there was actually quite a crowd gathering around for a look-see. It added on to the curiosity and anxiousness to undertake the test drive.

Fast forward two days,I get a call around 5 pm from the sales rep. "Sir, would you be available for a test drive today?"

"Of course". "Then I am leaving the showroom now, and will be at your apartment complex in 30 minutes", he said.

"Sure, looking forward". I was actually jumping with joy and hyperventilating. I am actually going to do the TD.

I informed the wifey so she could join me. Now, the showroom is about 6 to 7 km from my place. And, in peak traffic, I expected him in no less than 45 min to an hour.

By the powers of Grayskull, in the 20th minute, he calls me that he has entered the apartment complex. WOW!!! Full marks.

I rounded up the entire family (wife pus two warriors) for the TD. Everyone was given a task.

For my better half - " You'll be in the centre row. Concentrate on the cooling effects of aft blowers".

For my elder son - " You'll be in the third row. Check out for space, comfort and cooling effect of the AC".

For the younger devil - " You'll generally float around and be of nuisance value. Engage the sales rep. I don't want him breathing down my neck, distracting me from following my check list".

The demo car came in white. A real beaut. It seems, she had just been driven from out-of-town. Though dusty, probably in a macho way, she was really pulling at my heart strings.

Now I stay in an apartment complex of about 100 houses. Almost every house has a car, maybe some have two. So give or take, a total of about 100 cars in all. About 50 cars were still parked in. A few SUVs like the Endeavour and the Safari, MUV like the Xylo, and a few premium sedans. But the presence of the One was so overwhelming, that she just blew everyone's breath away.

Before the car could halt near me there was already a huge gathering, forming the reception party. The kids were already screaming "Uncle ka naya caar aa gaya{Uncle's got his new car}!"

After the usual introductions, Sajit (the sales rep), got me into the front passenger seat initially. He wanted me to get familiar with the controls before handing them over to me.

As soon as one turns on the key, the front panel lights up like a Christmas tree. I don't know what the various indications were, but , in time, would get used to them. Once started, there was hardly any diesel clatter, probably because the engine was warmed up. No vibrations on the gear stick, no rough sounds from the engine bay. The car was smooth to the pick-up. So, off we went.

The TD was very smooth. The AC is very effective, in all rows. The instrument cluster has a display panel with gear indicator, instantaneous mileage, distance-to empty and some more figures. The display panel is clear and easy too read. There is a blue Force logo that remains permanently in the panel.

The gear shift was smooth - five forward and one rear. For the reverse, one has to typically lift a clasp then shift into place, probably a safety feature. The gear throw is adequate, though for shifting into reverse, it is a slight stretch. There is absolutely no stick shake, unless one intentionally tries to shift to the 4th or 5th gear below 20 kmph. For city driving, the gear ratios are well-adjusted - I was doing 20 kmph in 3rd gear. The pickup is really smooth. I could not notice any turbo-lag. I have driven quite a few diesel cars, and this has been definitely the smoothest.

We drove for about 45 min - a mix of city, highway and a bit of dirt track as well. The car really impresses, especially on the dirt road. Where my Alto sets up a roller-coaster ride when on that stretch, the One just glided over. Got positive feedback from both second and third row passengers. The AC is effective, despite a large glass area.

The ICE was good, though I did not push it too much. The car has reverse sensors fitted, it provided info within the display panel in the instrument cluster. Force motors could have done better and included a reverse camera as well. Though the sensor accuracy seems good, but the placement of the display may be an hindrance, since the driver has to peer in though the steering wheel to see the same. Audio warning in terms of a beeping sound has been provided, which increases in pitch as the distance reduces. That's a definite plus, for a vehicle of this size.

A few people had remarked earlier that, in this car, the centering of the steering wheel was not taking place. I did not see that happening in this car. In fact, IMO, the steering felt well planted. Though it is adjustable only in rake and is collapsible in case of an accident, FM may take a call to include the reach adjustment in the 4X4 model.

Brakes-good control, and no squishy feeling. In fact, I took the car up to about 130 kmph on the highway, and never once lost confidence in the stopping power of the vehicle.

So, all positives and no negatives? Well, not quite.

The only thing that lets this car down are the plastics. For someone who would be paying upwards of 12 lakhs for this vehicle, I think, he deserves more. The demo car had done about 4500 km. The leather seats , especially the front ones were dirty, the third row seats were misaligned, in fact it took 5 minutes for the sales rep to set it into place. At times, the steering was mildly pulling to one side, hardly noticeable, but I brought it to the notice of the rep. His response was not very convincing. The driver side door took more than a couple of tries to get rid of the 'door open' alarm.And this was a car that was hardly six months old.

So, this is it, folks. I have not yet signed on the dotted line, still contemplating. I am looking forward to the 4X4, and hope that FM can address all issues that creep into this model.

Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed putting my thoughts on the keyboard.

Last edited by 220kmph : 23rd February 2012 at 13:36. Reason: Adding on more masala
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Old 27th February 2012, 18:14   #152
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Recently i was filling fuel in my vehicle and while waiting this black Force One rolls up behind. I got quite excited and so did a few others. So in no time the driver had a more than a couple of people wanting to ask him about the car.

Driver response to the basic question posed (How is the car?): "Its quite good, very spacious and fairly effortless to drive even in traffic"

The second and most obvious question was Kitna deti hai? Frankly the response totally blew me away. He was getting 13.5kmpl and even showed me the MID. Now i have a Vento TDi and i get around 12-14kmpl on the MID so for me this was totally mind blowing considering the bulk and size of this beast.

I asked him if he faced any issues with the car, he mentioned a few electricals were giving him trouble but they were all taken care in the first service and that now he had no complaints. He also mentioned how much the first service cost him in consumables, I dont remember the actual amount but i remember it not being much (in the range of a couple of thousands max)

For me this bought me one step closer to making a decision in favour of the F1.

I dont know how many will agree with me but the interiors of the F1 4x4 displayed at the Auto Expo in the aluminium finish was much better than the fake wood finish. Also i wont buy a car without ABS atleast, no airbags is fine (preferred if they are present) but ABS is a must for me.
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:39   #153
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review



A good video.
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Old 18th April 2012, 16:34   #154
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Default Advice solicited: Force Motors SUV

Recently saw the FORCE Motors SUV. Looks are good and the fully loaded model comes with well almost the full load and the price is also attractive at around 11.00lacs ex showroom Ahmedabad. Need advice from team on the technicals and overall buy. Thanks
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Old 17th May 2012, 11:40   #155
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

My close friend who was planning to buy an Innova took a look at the Force One and he is totally floored. He and his dad is impressed by its size, space and rugged looks. But the only thing that worries them both is the lack of ABS. The SA told them it has a different brake system which is as good as the ABS and its called LCRV. I googled it and all the docs has to say is, though its good, its far inferior to the ABS. I am helping them do some research and in CarDekho they say Force plans to bring a model with ABS this year. Is there any truth in this? Would it be wise for them to wait for ABS-ed Force One?

Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 17th May 2012 at 11:41. Reason: typo
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Old 17th May 2012, 12:05   #156
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
The SA told them it has a different brake system which is as good as the ABS and its called LCRV.
LCRV is the same as LSPV or Load Sensing & Proportioning Valve which adjusts the brake pressure on the rear brakes based on the vehicle load. It exists in different names and forms on most/all SUVs/MUVs and is no comparison to ABS at all which is a far superior technology light years ahead.
What the SA told your friend was only a marketing gimmick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Is there any truth in this? Would it be wise for them to wait for ABS-ed Force One?
Force Motors will launch an ABS equipped, probably 4wd equipped variant of the F-1 this year and is definitely worth the wait.
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Old 17th May 2012, 12:16   #157
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

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It exists in different names and forms on most/all SUVs/MUVs and is no comparison to ABS at all which is a far superior technology light years ahead.
.
Thanks for the quick reply devdath. Definitely helpful. Slightly OT, so I guess the Sumos, Boleros and the non-ABSed Innovas and Scorpios already come with LCRV/LSPV ?
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Old 17th May 2012, 22:11   #158
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Thanks for the quick reply devdath. Definitely helpful. Slightly OT, so I guess the Sumos, Boleros and the non-ABSed Innovas and Scorpios already come with LCRV/LSPV ?
Yup, you are correct, add the Safari to that list too.
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Old 5th June 2012, 20:22   #159
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

I spotted at least 4 different Force One SUVs in and around Cochin last week. Was surprised to see so many in just 5 days.

One thing is for sure, the vehicle is HUGE and got big presence. Not easy to not spot one on the road.
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Old 5th June 2012, 20:58   #160
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Coincidentally enough in Bangalore, I also spotted 2 F1s on 2 separate occasions. Dusty and driven by chauffeurs. Elderly looks but great presence.

Also noted that the DRLs are excellent and not the cheap looking bluish ones on the MM XUV 500.
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Old 11th June 2012, 14:31   #161
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

I noticed a fully loaded Force One on inner ring road. It appeared to have all three rows populated. Outside EGL it slowed down for the speed breaker and after that, to me it felt as though, it was straining a lot. The conclusion deduced by the thick black smoke coming out. I followed and the vehicle might have gone upto about 60-70, stayed behind him throughout just to check, and all the while the black smoke was coming. I was wondering if the driver was red lining before shifting to get back to speed.

It was interesting to see it on the road -my first force one with private plates.
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Old 17th June 2012, 14:45   #162
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Anyone has any first hand experience with force one? Would like to hear any ownership experience.
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:52   #163
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Anyone has any first hand experience with force one? Would like to hear any ownership experience.
I don't think anybody on this forum has bought one yet. Not surprising that it doesn't offer much for 11 Lakhs ex-showroom without basic safety features like Air Bags and ABS.
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Old 18th June 2012, 12:36   #164
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Seen a couple of them on the roads near my home. It looks about the size of an X Trail. Quite flat and does not seem as top heavy as the Scorpio or Safari for example.
But as you say, for 11 lacs it doesnt really give all that much to the consumer - pretty bare bones and pure cosmetics really.
I think they are missing the bus here because the Indian consumer is certainly much more evolved now than he was perhaps 5 years ago!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 18th June 2012 at 12:37.
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Old 18th June 2012, 12:38   #165
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
I don't think anybody on this forum has bought one yet. Not surprising that it doesn't offer much for 11 Lakhs ex-showroom without basic safety features like Air Bags and ABS.
The company are doing customers and themselves a disservice by not launching the vehicle with these must-have features. I know at least 3 people (including self) who would seriously consider getting this beast with at least ABS on it. A Mercedes engine, Lotus-tuned suspension and butch SUV looks at that price is quite the value proposition!
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