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Old 19th October 2011, 18:24   #1
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Post Force One: Test Drive & Review

First forgive me, for this will be a longish post.

Background.

My car : Innova
Year : 2006
Kms : 1,32,000 kms
Looking to change? : Yes
Looking at : Xylo, Aria, XUV 500, Force One
Budget : 12L - 13L
Purpose : Move family or occasional office staff comfortably on highways.

Had registered for a test drive in Chennai at their only showroom MPC Force on the Force One website about a month ago. I was getting calls now and then updating me that the 'showroom is getting ready' 'the showroom is ready and the display vehicle is there' 'the chassis with engine is on display' 'TD vehicle has arrived' so on and so forth. Just could not get myself to travel all the way to Ambattur from Adyar (a good 45 mins journey through city traffic on a day with normal traffic). In the meanwhile XUV Five Double Oh (or is it double ho?) was launched and I was blown away by it and completely forgot the Force One.

Now, fast-forward to last Sunday, I was in the ICICI bank with my wife, when I got a call from MPC again, asking me if I could make it. I was surprised they work on Sundays. And so, I was at the MPC showroom at around 2.30. Just as I parked and was getting out of my car outside the showroom another gentleman in a i10 came and almost ran in front of me. I was like wow, there is going to be a stampede inside like fellow Tbhpian were talking about in Mahindra showroom, NO, there were only 3 people in the showroom other the MPC staff, 1. me 2. my wife 3. the i10 guy. I was like . I wasted a sunday afternoon to look at a car that no one is interested in??? Anyways, the i10 guy dint take long, just looked at the car and dint even listen to the salesgirl explaining the features to him, he kept asking 'Sir illaya?' (Is Sir not there?). He left and so It was just the Force one, me and my wife, along with the salesgirl, hehehe.

The car is huge. I dont mean Innova big or Aria big, it is Endevour big. Has acres and acres of space. First row, space. Second row, space. Third row, space. And after this there double the luggage space of Innova. The salesgirl was well informed I must say. I had done lot of googling and oogling and was very well aware of the features, but listened anyways. She was a complete and through. Then showed us the chassis with all the bells and the whistles. Again, she was through, was very clever in highlighting about the Daimler engine and Lotus tuned suspension. Wasted no time. TD started. At this point I must update about the location of the showroom, it is very close to the Chennai (Tambaram-Redhills) By-pass.

The car was imposing. It was huge and my Innova looked punny standing next to the Force One. Got into the car. The first thing you notice is the dash board. Looks outdated. Looks more or less like my old Qualis dash, regarding the wood finish, less said the better. But the fit and finish is good. The controls are simple and easy to understand, no complicated gadgets here. A/c vents are not stunners but do their job well. The car cools in matter of a minute and for such a big car that is good. The dails are neat, chrome wrapped to give a upmarket feel. The light and the wiper stalks are chunky and feel upmarket. Steering wheel is almost like that of a F1 race truck (if there is one). It has audio controls, mobile phone controls, cruise control and what not. And yeah, horn too. General Visibility is good, I could not find anything glaring into my eyes. Blind spots was taken careoff well, it is essential in a car of this size, blindspots are minimal. OVRMs do a good job. Pedals are well positioned and the what impressed me the most is the dead pedal. It was not a half heart attempt, but a full fledged pedal that accommodated my size 11 shoes quite well.

Start the car and the engine growls and settles down smoothly. Couple of tweeks to the underseat nobs for height, thigh and lumbar support, I get my comfortable settings. Gears are bit notchy, but I am so used to the butter smooth Qualis gears that initially even Innova's gears felt hard for me, after a couple of mins I get used the gears. The sales girl insists that I drive in some potholes to test the suspension and laugh it out and say I have better methods of testing the suspension. I read somewhere in this thread that UK companies are short of funds so they rent out their name for anyone for some money and so even a call over phone to their technicians will be branded as "Lotus tuned suspension". I dont know how far this is true, but the suspension is good and whoever has tuned it, be it Lotus or Force themselves, they have done a great job.

So, after some rounds inside the Ambattur Industrial Estate roads, it was time to hit the highway. This is where the car/engine/suspension comes into its own. I pushed the engine and it responded beautiful. The power is amazing, it may seem exaggerated to me because I have been driving a Innova around of last 3 years. The DRLs are very useful in highways, I dont understand why, but cars and trucks and even SETC buses were giving way once they notice the car in their rear view mirror. The car just pulls away from the traffic, I just loved it. The next few words uttered by the sales girl was music ' Pls test the top speed Sir' she said. And the car flew. I was hitting 140 kmph with ease and the car handled very maturely. It braked well too, once was moving at about 130 kmph and a truck going at 42 kmph decided to over a truck going at 41 kmph and swerved into my lane suddenly. I braked hard and the car dint loose its composure and the wheels dint lock either. My wife was surprised that I was doing high speeds and she was comfortable with that. All in all did about 40-50 kms on the highway and was really satisfied with the car. Bodyroll was to minimal. Did some antics at 100 kmph and the car handled quite well and took my abuse silently.

While driving tried the progressive cruise control, this was the first experience for me with cruise control and I was more than happy to take my foot off the pedal. The steering control of audio responded well and music quality was so so, nothing great. But the salesgirl in the meanwhile showed the bluetooth mobile functioning to my wife.

The salegirl kept asking me every 5 mins 'are you happy with the car?' 'are you happy with the engine' 'are you happy with the suspension' to all these questions I said 'yes' and I was not being polite. I was genuinely happy with the car. Now after doing a round of Ambattur to Porur then Porur to Redhills and finally Rehills to Ambattur, we returned to the showroom. Asked her about exchange scheme to which she answered in positive and We left after she promised to send a person for estimate.

What you’ll like:
• Engine
• Road presence and command
• Space ... Space.. Space
• Visibility
• Mature ride quality. Bodyroll is very low.
• High stance and comfortable seating positions even for the last benchers
• Suspension, eats up bad roads with hunger

What you won’t:
• Minimal equipment level
• Crappy music quality
• Almost no safety features like ABS or Airbags.
• Outdated dashboard
• Unknown after-sales service experience

Will I go the Force One? Maybe yes. I have TDed the XUV 500 also, with high expectation and to be frank I was disappointed with the space. XUV500 is basically a 5 seater, even a shopping bag full of household groceries cant be accommodated in the rear. XUV500's gearing too is very hard. But with Force Once I went in with almost no expectation and came out a happy man. Only sore point being is that they are a unproven company and I dont want to be their test driver.

(*Sorry no Pics, dint take the camera.)

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2011 at 12:55. Reason: Strictly no public discussion on Moderator activity
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Old 19th October 2011, 19:15   #2
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 20th October 2011 at 17:17.
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Old 19th October 2011, 19:15   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Good crisp report, Archish . Just one question...was this a proper demo vehicle or an unregistered one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archish View Post
First forgive me, for this will be a longish post.
...
Forgiven, BUT...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Archish View Post
...(*Sorry no Pics, dint take the camera.)
we cannot forgive you for this unpardonable offence, of not taking the camera along .

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 19th October 2011 at 19:18.
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Old 19th October 2011, 19:36   #4
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

The zigwheels review also talks of excellent space in the Force One, including the 3rd row.

Force One : Road Test Page - 1| Zigwheels.com
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Old 19th October 2011, 19:46   #5
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

@ Coolclouds : I have TDed both. And for my requirements Force One is a sure winner. But, that is only me. Different people have different requirements.

@Bluethunder: I dint expect myself to write a review. I will surely try to make it this weekend and get pics.
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Old 19th October 2011, 19:54   #6
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Quote:
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It braked well too, once was moving at about 130 kmph and a truck going at 42 kmph decided to over a truck going at 41 kmph and swerved into my lane suddenly.
This was awesome....

BTW, what's the top speed?
Any news if an ABS+Airbags version expected?

I have read about space, space and space, but how about seat height? Is it comfortable or people in 2nd and 3rd row have to sit with their knees pointing to the sky?

And most important: How hard is the clutch pedal? How many months before the driver's left knee gives up?

BTW, you met a sales girl who knew about the car, the engine and the suspension. Wow...you have brought along some real good luck with you when you were born...

Thank you for a crisp report.
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Old 19th October 2011, 20:04   #7
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

I simply cannot forgive you for not taking a camera along.

Pictures would have been so awesome along with your very GOOD review.

Are there any discounts on the price. The website shows around 10,90,000 for Hyderabad.

Last edited by bblost : 19th October 2011 at 20:11.
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Old 20th October 2011, 10:56   #8
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I simply cannot forgive you for not taking a camera along.

Pictures would have been so awesome along with your very GOOD review.

Are there any discounts on the price. The website shows around 10,90,000 for Hyderabad.
Sorry about the pics again, mate. As I said I dint expect myself to write a review. Will surely try to make it to their showroom this weekend and would add pics. Regarding discounts, I dont think so they offer, but, I have feeling they might offer if someone pushes the 'right' buttons.



Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
This was awesome....

BTW, what's the top speed?
Any news if an ABS+Airbags version expected?

I have read about space, space and space, but how about seat height? Is it comfortable or people in 2nd and 3rd row have to sit with their knees pointing to the sky?

And most important: How hard is the clutch pedal? How many months before the driver's left knee gives up?

BTW, you met a sales girl who knew about the car, the engine and the suspension. Wow...you have brought along some real good luck with you when you were born...

Thank you for a crisp report.
I really dont know what the is the top speed. I made it up to 140 kmph with ease, the traffic on the highway dint allow me to go faster and I was not really pushing the car and the engine had lots of more juice left. I guess 160 kmph can be done. The ABS and Airbag was supposedly to be launched in the middle of 2012, but i guess that would depend on how the market reacts to the current Force One model.

Seats. I am 6.2" and i sat in all three rows. I had enough under thigh support and my knees where not pointing to the sky. In fact the 3 row has a well for footing and is more comfortable than the 2nd row.

clutch was not hard. Infact something funny happened. I am not used to dead pedal after driving Toyotas for a long time. When i got into the TD car, I was pressing the dead pedal thinking that it was the clutch and I was like 'Man, the clutch is hard' then only my foolishness dawned upon me. I dont think so drivers knee would give up unless, maybe the driver is about 80 yrs old.

I have been lucky with girls all my life man, nothing surprising . Hope my wife doesn't read this!!!

Last edited by Archish : 20th October 2011 at 10:58.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:39   #9
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

A review we wanted since we now have a XUV500 ownership thread. Thanks!

Also your review helps coz

-you are a MUV owner, a Toyota Innova at that
-and you also drove the XUV500

If you have been in a Safari/Scorpio too, how much would you are rate the overall quality of the interiors and exterior ?

Also, about engine performance (lag, in gear, feel) with respect to Safari/Scorpio/XUV?
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:48   #10
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Thank you for your review. I am not a particular fan of its looks though, nor of its interiors. The XUV has totally taken the game ahead in that matter.
If lots of space (compared to XUV 5OO) is your only requirement, I think your 12-13L would be better spent on the upcoming Merlin. Atleast the A.S.S. is a known devil and you will get ABS/Airbags as an option.
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:13   #11
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Quote:
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Thank you for your review. I am not a particular fan of its looks though, nor of its interiors. The XUV has totally taken the game ahead in that matter.
If lots of space (compared to XUV 5OO) is your only requirement, I think your 12-13L would be better spent on the upcoming Merlin. Atleast the A.S.S. is a known devil and you will get ABS/Airbags as an option.
I agree with Sajo there.
In fact, I'd recommend stretching a bit further and opting for the ARIA. From an Innova, thats the logical upgrade. Its a unique vehicle and road presence & respect it gets out there is also worth a mention. Given the booking status of the XUV 5OhOh, its bound to be a car as widely seen as the Scorpio. Thanks to the poor sales, Aria is still rare and a sure head turner...
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:42   #12
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Yipee! I've been rooting for the Force One (much to the chagrin of my friends ). I've told them it (the 4wd version) might just be the VFM answer to everyone's prayers looking for a 7 seater SUV that will climb rocks and traverse highways in comfort, yet one won't have to spend 20 lakhs to buy it. You have put up an excellent review, which just confirms my belief.

Looking forward to my own TD now. Will carry a camera and post some pics in this very thread, if you don't mind
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:47   #13
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Quote:
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I agree with Sajo there.
In fact, I'd recommend stretching a bit further and opting for the ARIA. From an Innova, thats the logical upgrade.
I am seriously considering Aria. But the problem is the budget. I wont be able to stretch it at any rate. But, I am yet to TD it. Lets see, maybe I might change after TDing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
If you have been in a Safari/Scorpio too, how much would you are rate the overall quality of the interiors and exterior ?

Also, about engine performance (lag, in gear, feel) with respect to Safari/Scorpio/XUV?
I have been in Safari and Scorpio too. Infact I have driven my friend's Safari on many long drives. Interiors wise its about 10% below par. Exterior look wise Force One is much ahead. The Exterior may look outdated in the pics we see, but in reality the car looks really good and it has super road presence. Paint job and the general finish of the product is very good. I wouldn't compare it with Scorpio, because, I dont like Scorpio personally, so I would be obviously biased.

Engine wise its better than Safari, the response and the power we get is tremendous. In Safari, one has to really push the car on the highways, but Force One does not need that, a tap on the accelerator and it goes. Handling is also much better, driving a Safari is like driving a boat, i never had the guts to push it beyond 100, but Force handles much better and bodyroll is surprisingly low for a car of this size. Gear, both are on par, both are notchy. Again, I wouldn't compare it with Scorpio, I have never driven one. Just traveled in Scorpio couple of times.

Last edited by Archish : 20th October 2011 at 12:49.
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:58   #14
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Ah, if you've driven the 2.2 VTT Safari and found the performance of the engine not too satisfactory, I believe ARIA is out of your garage then. With the same engine, I don't see you liking it either !
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Old 20th October 2011, 13:07   #15
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

It is so sad that the pictures are missing. There are pictures in the web site of Cardeko. But the real look and the promotion looks are different. Seems it has 2200cc engine and the FE is 17kml. Seems a 17kml is great for a SUV of 6 or seven seater.
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