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Old 30th November 2017, 13:32   #1
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Default My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Dear Friends,

I took delivery of a brand new Maruti Gypsy on 24.11.2017. Please let me tell you a bit about the background story.

Introduction

I am a 31 year old doctor from God's own country. I like to drive (or live to drive) and it is the single most important aspect of my life. Every month I will take at least one day off from hospital work and go for a drive. Usually I start by 3-4 A.M in the morning and drive to some scenic place in Kerala or Tamilnadu. At the end of the day I usually drive 600-800 km including return journey. This routine will repeat every month and I have been to most of the beautiful places in South India. Most of the people call me crazy because they can't understand the fun or purpose of solo travel. For me travelling solo is the best rejuvenation for me. Driving alone to beautiful places and enjoying the natural beauty of mother earth is a soul searching thing for me. My wife knows about my passion for driving and she is very supportive also.

Initially a humble Maruti Ritz (2010 model) was my companion for solo trips. Later in 2015 I bought the car which encourages you to make your own road ( remember the Safari advertisement)-- TATA SAFARI 2.2 VX 4WD 2008 model-- It was indeed a dream come true moment for me. I was in the look out for a 4WD Safari for 6 months and 99% of Tata Safari's available in Kerala for sale were 2WD. Finally after months of searching saw an ad in olx for a mineral red colour Tata Safari dicor 4wd and contacted the dealer. The dealer informed me that owner of the vehicle is a genuine car lover who has maintained this SUV extremely well. Only synthetic oil has gone into the engine, complete service history from TASS available, most of the critical components like brake pads, clutch, suspension bearings/ball joints/shocks, timing belt, water pump were replaced as preventive maintenance (my kind of guy). Checked the service history details from TASS and it correlated with the dealers claim.The only problem was the Odometer reading of 128000 km. I know 99.9% of the people on this forum will never touch a 128k run Safari even with a barge pole. But I didn't want to miss out on this car. After searching for last 6 months and checking multiple vehicles (all of them were 2WD) this was the onlycar I liked.

The vehicle was in Trivandrum (200km away from my workplace/home). Conducted a preliminary enquiry about the owner and the vehicle in my friends circle. Many people knew the seller personally and they all said he is a gentleman and an extremely passionate car lover. Finally called up the owner (he was a young chap in early 30's and a NRI businessman). We had a very nice 45 minute chat over the phone. He said the only reason for selling the car is because of his health problem.He had a slipped vertebral disc in the neck and suffering from severe neck pain while driving. He has done many things to get over it (changed the entire front suspension of the car recently) but nothing was helpful.He was advised by the Orthopedics surgeon to buy a low slung comfortable car with less body roll to minimise stress on the neck. So he bought a Mercedes Benz E class 6 months ago and Safari is rarely used after that.

Decision has been made to check the vehicle in person after this conversation but hectic work schedule prevented me from doing that for the next 2-3 days. So I asked my best friend to go and check the car thoroughly (I know it might sound stupid but he is way more knowledgeable about cars than me). He did that in a very systematic manner and messaged me back in one line " buy it before someone else does" .Called the owner immediately and we cut a deal within a couple minutes.

About the price; let me be honest, I overpaid a little (may be 10%) but finally I got what I was dreaming about all these years



My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-img20171130wa0022.jpg



The Tata Safari Experience:

I bought a Tata Safari in November 2015 (7 year old ,128000km on the odometer) even without seeing the vehicle in flesh before transferring the full amount. How stupid is that ? But all of us do crazy things sometimes, right?

My Safari has taken me to many places in South India. I used it to conquer many off road trails during my solo drives. I am lucky to live in an area where an off road trail is just 10-20 km away. My brother in law has large cardamon plantation estate in Kumily where 4WD is essential and we had great fun exploring in and around the property. So i had plenty of opportunity to use the 4wd and I have learnt a lot about off roading during my time with Safari. My truck has taken me to Kattothimedu (near Santhampara in Idukki), Satram near Kumily, Multiple off road places in Munnar and Vagamon, Ulupunni and numerous other scenic locations. (people from kerala might know some of these places).The list goes on and I had completed 35000km in 14 months time (of these 20000 km on road trips alone). It was a wonderful experience and I loved every bit of it.

Sharing some pictures of my truck (all these photos are taken with mobile camera)
My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-img20171130wa0011.jpg
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Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by GTO : 1st December 2017 at 16:32. Reason: Removing dead attachment links
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Old 30th November 2017, 14:36   #2
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The end of a love affair

After one year my work schedule and family commitments forced me to travel daily between home and hospital. So each day I was driving 110 km in my truck (out of which 50% is in peak traffic) for work. Now a few things started to annoy me;

1. Fuel bill (Safari gives 10 kmpl at best). My diesel expense was in five digit numbers every month and it was not something I liked.

2. Reliability concern : No, I don't expect tata safari to be super reliable like Fortuner or Pajero but 163000 on Odometer is not a very reassuring thing when you do frequent solo trips. I was worried about a potential breakdown in near future at a remote place .May be I was paranoid but my family also expressed their concern about me driving around in such a high mileage vehicle.

3. I started to feel pain in my neck/shoulder/hand after driving for about 30-40 kilometers. Gradually it became worse that I started taking medication to control pain.

Finally the pain has become intolerable and I took an MRI scan if the neck.I was shocked to see the result. I have got cervical vertebral disc bulge (exact same thing happened to the previous owner ). My friend who is a Neuro-surgeon examined me in detail and concluded that I have got right hand weakness also due to nerve compression. He advised me to try neck strengthening exercises/physiotherapy and medications. Most importantly change the car because high driving position of safari is causing severe stress on my neck muscles ( we have to flex our neck in a high seating position SUV while driving to concentrate on the road).


I was shattered and clueless about what to do. It was a Heart Vs Health situation and I was not planning to sacrifice my health. Finally made up my mind to sell off the Safari. But who will buy a 163000Km driven Safari?


Meanwhile search for a replacement was ongoing. Drove every car under 15 lakh rupees and i was considering only hatchback/sedans with low seating position. Finally decided to go with elite i20 diesel Asta (option) variant in March 2017. I liked the styling, comfort, refinement, interiors and safety(6 airbags) features on offer.

Sold off my beloved Tata Safari with a heavy heart. May be I was extremely lucky because I never had any problem with my truck during 14 months of ownership. No mechanical failure, no breakdown and it was surprisingly an uneventful ownership experience. Off course TASS is terrible but I was taking my car to a FNG who has done a good job of maintaining my ride.


Selling price ; let me say this -- Owning the vehicle for 14 months/driving it for 35000km and innumerable on and off road expeditions did cost me 30% of the purchase price. Fair enough for me.

the new addition

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-img20171130wa0003.jpg
My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-img20171130wa0001.jpg
My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-img20171130wa0018.jpg

Last edited by DrANTO : 1st December 2017 at 01:36.
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Old 30th November 2017, 16:55   #3
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Four wheel drive dilemma

After experiencing the advantages of a 4WD vehicle and being used to the abuse friendly nature of the SUV's, I felt miserable immediately after selling the Safari. Elite i20 is a great car and I slowly started to enjoy the comfort offered by Hyundai's product. Soon my daily driving of 110 kilometers begin to feel like fun again. I was in love with light steering, slick gear shift, smooth clutch, excellent fuel efficiency of the car. Even my solo trips became more and more relaxing and I never had to worry about a breakdown. Just fill her up with diesel,check the air and fluid levels, I am ready to go anywhere. But something was missing. Something which can be done only by a true SUV.

By the time I sold off my Safari I fell in love with the concept of overlanding (frankly speaking, I don't know whether I can call the stuff I do as overlanding). I want to drive to places where the journey is more enjoyable than the destination. I do not wish to participate in OTR'S or competitive off roading. Simply speaking I wanted a four wheel drive vehicle to satisfy my craving for adventure.

Meanwhile with the help of Physiotherapy and neck muscle strengthening exercises, my neck pain has gone completely. I felt better and healthy in a few months time. Occasionally I drive my friend's Toyota Fortuner and even after driving for 20-30 km I did not feel any pain. I cursed myself for selling my 4WD vehicle( considering the pittance i got as resale value). I should have kept the Safari for at least a few months. But fate is something we can not change. I have made up my mind to buy a 4WD vehicle as early as possible.

This time I knew what I want. My requirements were clear

1.Reliability

2.Preferably short wheel base : Did not consider Pajero/Safari/Scorpio etc.. I know the limitations of a long wheel base vehicle after using Safari. The sheer size and weight of the vehicle is a negative point for my intended purpose.

3.The vehicle will not serve as my daily drive (I have i20/Ritz for that). It will be my weekend joyride/touring vehicle

4. Fuel efficiency is not a big deal (expected usage 500-800km only per month).

5.Easy maintenance : I do not have the band width to visit garages and search for spare parts on a working day. (means no Jeep's for me).

6. Maximum budget 10 lakhs

The only vehicles which were shortlisted for consideration

1. Brand new Gypsy
2. Mahindra Thar (new or used)
3. Bolero 4WD (new or used)


After reading Distinguished Bhpian Blackpearl's wonderful travelogues I thought about procuring a Bolero LX 4WD. But Mahindra dealer was adamant that LX is meant for government service only. No used Bolero LX also in used car market. My Brother in law has Bolero Di (albeit 2WD) and he was not very enthusiastic about another Bolero

Mahindra Thar is the quintessential off road fun vehicle with a cult following especially in Kerala. Everyday I see 3-4 vehicles and I have driven it for a considerable distance during last 2-3 years. I liked the styling,( nothing can beat a Thar in that department), creature comforts (A/C,power steering) and the off road capability of Thar. But Mahindra Service experience (known from Bolero servicing) and feedback from 2-3 friends who owns the Thar were not very encouraging. Niggles, rusting issues , soft top leakage and numerous issues reported in our forum were quite disappointing.

Then one day my brother in law asked me

"Why don't we buy a new gypsy before they pull the plug off and stop its production"


This made me think seriously about gypsy. One of my relatives has a 1997 Gypsy (bought new) and still runs like a dream. No niggles/breakdown or any of the troubles reported with Thar. So I decided to evaluate Gypsy from a buyers perspective.


Advantages for Gypsy over Thar (strictly my opinion):

1. Japanese reliability : I have more faith Maruti Suzuki compared to M&M

2. Excellent MASS

3. Simple robust vehicle and maintenance costs are peanuts

4. Exclusivity (compared to Thar).

5. 3 lakhs cheaper on road compared to Thar.

6. Company fitted hardtop variant available

7. No need to worry about NGT ban (being petrol)


Negatives:


1.No A/C: can be fitted after market

2.No power steering : probability of neck pain recurring in future is high

3.Spartan interiors : NO tachometer/no digital odometer.

4.Horrible ride quality

5. Tyres : Hard as hell being non-radial MRF's


Discussions with my brother in law (who is a fellow off roading enthusiast and amateur wild life photographer) went on for a few days and finally we decided to go ahead with Gypsy.

Till this time all the planning and discussions were going on between me and my brother only.My wife had no clue about what was going on. Since I have bought a new car just 6 months ago, I thought it will be difficult to convince her to buy something which is more of a toy than an actual need. Presented my intention to buy the Gypsy in a casual way to wife during a chit-chat.The response from her surprised me

" If you want to buy a 4WD vehicle, please do it while you are healthy and young. We can afford it now.I don't want you to look back after a few years and regret about not buying the Gypsy when you had the chance. Just go ahead and buy it now"


So that is it. Decision was made and now the wait begins.

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000011.jpg

Last edited by DrANTO : 1st December 2017 at 13:42.
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Old 30th November 2017, 17:17   #4
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Default re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

The Dinosaur

I bought a vehicle which has been around for 3 decades without any significant changes to exterior or interior. Nobody (except some lunatics like me) will buy a spartan vehicle like Gypsy in 2017 because of the availability of newer and better options. But that is the thing about Gypsy; an amazing little vehicle with unquestionable off road pedigree and charmingly simple.

Booking experience

Booked my vehicle on the first week of November at Indus Motors Kottayam by paying 10000 rupees as advance. As usual they were clueless about the booking procedure for gypsy. But after a delay of 2-3 days they accepted the booking. Luckily for me Gypsy production was going on at that time and after five days they dispatched my car from the factory. The vehicle reached dealers yard on 21.11.2017 and temporary registration was done on 23.11.2017. Took delivery of the vehicle in 24.11.2017.Overall experience from the Dealership was above average.

Price

Ex-showroom price : 6,74,244
Road tax : 54040
Insurance : 16000 (done from outside and saved 12000/-)
temporary registration : 1150

On road price in Kerala for Hard top variant : 7,45,000/-

No freebies or discounts except front rubber mats and 10L of petrol

Initial observations

The Good points:

1.Looks nice (I know it is subjective but still..)

2.Engine is smooth and refined.

3.Very light clutch.

4.Acres of space in the back with seats folded.

5.Huge glass area at the back means airy cabin and reversing a lot easier.

6.Horn is good and fairly loud


The not-so-good points :


1.Gears are difficult to slot. (may be i20 has spoiled me).

2.Ride quality at the front is just manageable (I am maintaining 20 psi at front and 26 psi at rear as tyre pressure)

3.No new car smell inside gypsy (disappointed)

4.Steering is manageable while the vehicle is in motion (not too hard ) but I feel the need for PS at parking speeds/stationery situations(very hard)

5.Doors are very light and flimsy. Not cool Maruti.

6.Large turning radius for such a small car.


The bad points


1.Horrible ride quality at the back.

2.Poor brakes. (Similar to old Mahindra Jeep's).

3.No safety features. Only the seat belt and a prayer can save your soul in case of an accident.

4.Zero (I mean absolutely ZERO) storage space inside the cabin. No cup or bottle holder. 12V point is also missing.

5.Huge panel gaps especially near the tailgate.


Ergonomics


1.Seating position : Good visibility all around but the seat height not very high compared to other SUV's or Jeep's. It is more or less same with Cross over vehicles like Ecosport or Creta.

2. Steering wheel size is on the smaller side but it is comfortable to hold.

3. Position of indicator/headlight/wiper stalks are spot on and in typical Maruti fashion (similar to old Maruti 800)

4. Gear lever is tall and placed close to the dashboard.

5. Four wheel drive selection manual gear is small and cute. It is placed close to the hand brake.

6.Only right side OVRM is present and it is completely useless with very poor field of vision


Interior and Features


Nothing to write in this section actually ;it is as basic as it gets. We get a dashboard, lockable glove box,seats, cabin light and sun visors. Interior of the gypsy is the only thing which makes me wonder whether it is worth the money.


Driving impressions:


I have driven the car only 400 km till now. I will take my gypsy off road this weekend and share details here.

On-road experience: Gypsy is powered by the familiar 1298 cc petrol engine which was used in Esteem and first generation swift. It is a good engine with sufficient low end torque (better than the VVT K12 engine). Even though it is a fairly refined motor at idle, it is not as quiet as Maruti or Hyundai's latest VTVT/VVT petrol engines. I haven't revved the engine beyond a point since I am in running in period.

Gear shift are short throw but gear box is notchy. I don't know whether it is like that in all gypsies. Sometimes it is hard to engage 5th gear and reverse. (again my reference point is elite i20 which has a slick short throw gear box). On the other hand clutch is super light and very easy to operate.

Brakes are very poor. I have to apply a great deal of pressure to stop the vehicle. I have driven a Mahindra Major recently and now I think it has got better brakes.

Handling is okay. There is a fair bit of body roll.We should always remember the fact that these things were not designed to be driven fast or cut lanes at 100kmph.

Ride comfort:

Gypsy has all around leaf spring suspension.Ride quality is OK at the front. The seats are soft but they are small in size. There is virtually no side bolstering or under thigh support. I am yet to take the gypsy out for a long drive to comment on the comfort offered by the seats in long journeys. As expected ride quality at the back is very bad. Each and every imperfection on the road is felt inside the vehicle. Since I am not planning to sit at the back, I am not concerned about it. Gypsy will be used only as a 2 seater vehicle.

Tires are non-radial MRF make. Hard as a rock is an understatement for these tires. Maruti should have at least given radial tires.

Fuel efficiency : I haven't checked it yet but i think I am getting around 10-12 kmpl (will update later)


Future Plans/Modifications

I wish to keep the gypsy in stock condition. I don't want to do any modifications which will compromise the reliability and simplicity of my car. Planning to change the tires to Yokohama Geolander AT in stock size though. Also looking to change outside rear view mirrors to something more functional ( gypsy has only right OVRM as standard and they are useless).



After driving the gypsy for the first time, my wife stared at me in disbelief and commented "I can't imagine you paid 7.5 lakhs for this.Our humble Alto K10 feels very luxurious compared to this and it cost only half amount of money". Well, I simply showed her the 4WD gear lever and said " Alto K10 hasn't got this and it makes all the difference"
Attached Thumbnails
My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000009.jpg  

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My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000019.jpg  

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000028.jpg  

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000121.jpg  

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000124.jpg  

My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King-20171128photo00000123.jpg  


Last edited by DrANTO : 1st December 2017 at 11:55.
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Old 1st December 2017, 16:36   #5
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st December 2017, 16:55   #6
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Bravo Dr. Anto.

I can imagine how tough a decision it must have been to push the button on a car that can easily pass of as museum material (no offense intended )

Now, for everything that has remained constant for decades, the Dino is one looker. Absolutely damn cool, I must say!

For wishful thinking's sake, I believe a complete refactoring inside-out (Jimny for reference) would have the sales charts springing a surprise.

Anyway, congratulations and happy off-roading!!

Last edited by pannags : 1st December 2017 at 16:57.
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:05   #7
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

DrAnto superb and congrats on your purchase. Gypsy is really a king in its segment. Wishing you many more happy miles with your Dinosaur.
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:08   #8
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Congratulations on your recent purchase of the Gypsy. It is a very good vehicle off road, but the agony to get it to the places where it excels is to be endured. Take care of health as the vehicle will not offer any cushioning effect from the off road regions. You seem not to have considered the Duster AWD, probably due to its price being above 10 lakhs. It provides decent off road capability but with a very pleasant drive. Wish you lots of wonderful off road drives and do write about your adventures.
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:18   #9
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Must congratulate you on an honestly written "unboxing" reivew of the 2017 Gypsy! Must be an eye opener for those who would consider this product from Maruti in the near future. The 'Good Points' seem few and the 'Not So Good' and 'Bad' seem to be a long list. Did you do a TD before purchase or was it an 'impulsive' decision? Did you not look around for a used Gypsy: that must have been a fraction of the price of what you paid for the new one. I hope you've retained the Elite i20 as your daily ride. All the best and keep us posted regards your 'Dino'!
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:28   #10
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Quote:
Originally Posted by pannags View Post
Bravo Dr. Anto.

I can imagine how tough a decision it must have been to push the button on a car that can easily pass of as museum material (no offense intended )
Yes. It was a tough decision to take knowing the fact that you are going to live with such an outdated product. But some how I like the vehicle and believe that it will serve its intended purpose for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
Take care of health as the vehicle will not offer any cushioning effect from the off road regions. You seem not to have considered the Duster AWD, probably due to its price being above 10 lakhs.
Thanks for the kind words brother. You are right. I didn't consider Duster AWD for two reasons

1. Budget constraint : 16 lakhs on road for a weekend fun vehicle is too much for me (I was not keen on buying a used Duster)

2. Even though it is a very capable vehicle and ride quality is excellent, I don't have the confidence to take a Duster to some of the places that I frequently visit. For example Kolukkumalai in Munnar; There is a fat chance that suspension has to overhauled after such an off road expedition. I wanted something which is abuse friendly and cost me peanuts to repair.
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:38   #11
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Well, I have driven my Duster AWD to Kolukkumalai and stayed in the estate overnight last year. The vehicle performed very well and I have been to various other places where the roads are really bad; the estate roads of Meghmalai really challenged the Duster last month. Of course, you really have to drive very slow and plan your traverse, otherwise it is easy to damage the underbody and suspension. So far so good with the Duster.
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:42   #12
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrANTO View Post
[I like to drive (or live to drive) and it is the single most important aspect of my life.
Always had a soft corner for this vehicle! However I was a little surprised that you picked the Gypsy after your encounter with a disc bulge issue, since the gypsy isn't known for its on road ride quality. I would suggest you include the core back strengthening exercises to your routine as well And don't ignore any niggling back pains, I speak from experience,only difference being that I had a lower back issue that I kept ignoring until it was time to spent quality time inside the MRI machine
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Old 1st December 2017, 17:49   #13
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
Well, I have driven my Duster AWD to Kolukkumalai
I must commend you on that; those roads just a collection of boulders. That was the worst experience we had on our family vacation to Munnar. I was suggested this place by the manager of a resort where we stayed in Munnar. It was one helluva ride in SWB Jeep (not ours/neither did I drive) and my daughter who was very small picked the right moment to a bout of gastroenteritis. All in all was a nightmare to and fro Kolukkumalai.
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Old 1st December 2017, 18:02   #14
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Congratulations on the extremely unconventional purchase, DrANTO. I can picture your family's horror on experiencing the kick (I refrain from calling it a ride) in the brand new Gypsy. The way you've penned down your purchase decisions emphasizes how clear your priorities were! I wish you miles of fun on this little "Dino". Please take care of your health, and drive safely, because as fun as it is, the Gypsy offers the most raw driving experience there ever was, and with no safety kit on board!

TRIVIA: The Gypsy is probably the only car in Maruti's stable to come with the older "M" logo instead of the newer "S" from Suzuki. Adds to its exclusivity, I believe!
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Old 1st December 2017, 18:13   #15
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Default Re: My Dinosaur: Brand new 2017 Maruti Gypsy King

Congratulations on the Gypsy!! very few people have the guts to buy Gypsy even though most would like to own one (including me)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrANTO View Post
The Dinosaur
Our humble Alto K10 feels very luxurious compared to this and it cost only half amount of money
Few simple changes inside the cabin can make the Gypsy much more luxurious..something like a nice black seat cover, black steering wrap, a hand rest etc. Those doesn't cost a bomb, but will get away from the bare bones look.

Last edited by arjithin : 1st December 2017 at 18:23.
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