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Old 4th May 2008, 15:12   #1
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Default Scorpio LX Crde Turbo 2.6 1200 Km Report

Observations after a hard driving trip to Ooty and back (770 Km all incl plus about 400 odd km in the city)

Long Distance Performance:
Engine: Brilliant feeling. First class pickup, Lovely feel on the long distance highway- effortless mile munching engine - lovely to hear the faint turbo whine while accelerating on the highway. (Didnt listen to much music while driving because I was too pleased with the Turbo Whine and Engine sound.)Very smooth.

Route:(BMIC Road, Mysore bypass, Nanjangud, Gundlupet, Bandipur,Masinagudi, Ooty) - Particularly bad and pot holed stretch from Nanjangud onwards to Bandipur). And Several bits and pieces of BMIC Road (notably the stretch where it is about to reach Banerghatta Road)were also deeply rutted and potholed, since the road is still not complete.

Driving Comfort: Fantastic, snug and secure when belted up in the front 2 seats. Had loaded the back fully with assorted paraphernalia plus golf bag etc etc. Also had placed 2 of my steel wheels in the boot space as ballast. Nitrogen filled tyres added to our comfort. Had done wheel balancing and alignment before starting out.
Scorpio handled all bad stretches with ease. High ground clearance helped a great deal, so didnt really slacken speed too much even over the bad stretches.

Hill Driving: Going up Sigur wasnt as much of an effort as it used to be in my Bolero, since this Crde Turbo engine easily takes the steep incline and frequent hairpin bends with relative ease in 2nd gear. Sometimes, when slowed down terribly by buses or other slower traffic it was necessary to drop down to 1st,gain a little momentum and then move along in 2nd. The compact proportions of the Scorpio and its good clicky and tight gearing makes for a very good hill driving experience, chucking the jeep around the bends and curves and powering out in 2nd or 3rd where necessary. No trouble at all - The SCORP Does NOT handle like a boat, as I had been led to believe. But please ensure that the rear is well loaded with ballast because this car is at its best when fully loaded.

The new improved rear suspension helped a lot in keeping all the luggage intact and in one place, unlike the Bolero's leaf springs which used to chuck things up and down a bit. Body roll in the hills was certainly not as pronounced as I had been led to expect. Even when I took 4 passengers inside and around the Nilgiris, driving at reasonable speeds in the hills (60-80kmph) at times, there was no problem. It is a real pleasure to drive the Scorpio on the good roads between Ooty, Coonoor, Kotagiri and back up from Kotagiri to Doddabetta and thus to Ooty.

Even on the bad stretches of rutted, muddy roads inside certain parts of Ooty and around the Nilgiris, we noticed the Scorpio handling everything without any protest. The only trouble was caused by some small piles of tar and small pieces of concrete jelly from the road works, which I was forced to go over - this caused some tar and pieces to get into the front wheels, near the ball joint and lower arm - some pieces had worked their way into the space between the wheel boss and the rim mounting, causing a squeaky noise each time we turned to the left. This eased off though, with a little driving around and going on bad roads, which must have caused the tar to fall off.

However on the return journey, on the smooth and beautifully surfaced Mysore Bangalore superhighway, at speeds past 130kmh, I did find a slight amount of steering vibration and negative feedback - I attributed this instinctively to my pushing the vehicle on bad terrain during the trip to have caused the Tyre Balancing and Alignment to have gone off kilter.

Fuel Economy: Did 380 km (including uphill etc and filled up 36odd Litres.
On the return, we had clocked 390Km (including a detour into Mysore etc) and filled up 37 odd litres today. Since I do not follow all the general suggestions about OPTIMUM SPEED of driving etc, I am quite happy with the average return of about 10 odd Kmpl. I prefer to enjoy my car, and testing its capabilities, but of course, within reason and within bounds of responsibility.

Work necessary after the round trip:
Tyre Balancing, Alignment and rotation - all 4 tyres in a simple X Rotation Pattern - (the 5th one will come into play after the first 5000km has been run.)
We noted this morning that all 4 tyres had become pretty un balanced and needed a complete job of re-weighting etc to bring them to normal.

I am sure this was largely because of the extremely bad stretch of road between Nanjangud and Bandipur and of course, the rutted track driving and bad broken stretches while commuting within Ooty and the Nilgiris.

We also noted that the alignment had gone off by +/- 3 points - where it is supposed to read 18 on each side, it read 15 on each side.

This was soon put right.

With the Nitrogen filled tyres, I am not feeling any difference in the tyre pressure yet, but will be checking and filling up with Nitrogen this week (since the chap is not open on Sundays) - will write separately about my findings on that.

And of course the poor Scorp badly needed a good bath, both inside and outside, so it felt nice to take it for a grooming session at Lalbagh Road to the Automatic Car Wash and Shampoo job there!
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Last edited by shankar.balan : 4th May 2008 at 15:19. Reason: small details added
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Old 5th May 2008, 15:17   #2
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nice to know that the scorpio handles better than you expected.
this forum does bash the scorpio quite a bit.
now to start keeping an eye out for the mhawk when it comes out on the 2nd hand market- I suppose in 2yrs time.

BTW- what is the stated ground clearance of the scorpio in the user manual?

what happens when the ballast comes off? does it make such a huge difference in ride and handling?

also,what happens to accleration and FE? is it worth the trade off to use ballast?the extra weight would also have contributed to the wheel alignment going out of whack.
finding out that the wheel alignment did redoing after the trip is a bit disappointing. i was expecting the scorpio to be tougher.
what speeds were you doing over the rutted/potholed roads?

Last edited by rippergeo : 5th May 2008 at 15:21.
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Old 5th May 2008, 16:36   #3
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Thanks for sharing this report here shankar.

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Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
finding out that the wheel alignment did redoing after the trip is a bit disappointing. i was expecting the scorpio to be tougher.
This part was bit surprising for me.
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Old 5th May 2008, 17:27   #4
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Nice to hear about the good handling in Scorpio.
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Old 6th May 2008, 07:08   #5
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i agree the forum bashes the dear old scorp a lot - I dont agree with those views, thats why I bought one, preferring it over the safari 2.2 dicor any day.

Incidentally I didnt place this here earlier but on my way down the hills when we stopped for photos, we saw a new black Safari Dicor 2.2 that appeared to have over heated and was standing halfway up Sigur on one of the hairpin bends with its bonnet open! I didnt want to compound the owners and other forum members misery by taking photos of his misfortune!

MHAWK is the new gen engine, which will soon (within the next year or max two), be made available in different variants at different prices because the 2.6 crde engine is pretty much in the last quarter of its product life cycle. Most of us will need to upgrade to the 2.2 in about 2 to 3 years time, once break even point on the loan for the current vehicle is reached.

To answer your queries:

1. Ground clearance stated and claimed by Scorp (normal scorp with normal stock tyres) - 180mm at the lowest point. I found this to be sufficient. (The getaway has an extra 5-10mm because it has bigger/ taller tyres). With the normal scorpio if you are driving over badly and deeply rutted roads, then as per my experience with Boleros and other jeep type vehicles, it is useful to place one wheel in the rut and the other on top of the centre raised bit of road, to ensure relatively smooth progress, without getting stuck. However, I would attempt this only in dry conditions or lightly slushy conditions because of the weight of the Scorp, which in its 2WD avatar is sure to get into trouble if this is attempted in deep slush conditions, to say nothing of sliding around while going through the slush.

2. I placed 2 of my steel wheels as ballast to weigh down the back a little since most of the time it is only me and my wife in the big Scorp. It definitely aids handling because this vehicle is at its best, when loaded. Im putting 2 more of the steel wheels in as ballast on my next trip. They can be laid flat in their boxes, under the boot space mat and all our luggage piled on top of them, to aid proper weight distribution. They do not roll about and cause irritation at the back, when it is done this way.

3.If you drive at relatively higher speeds over bad roads or rutted areas or potholed stretches, one can reasonably expect the alignment and balancing to go out of whack. In my case the alignment went only slightly out of whack - +/- 3 points, no more. But balancing went off because Im sure several of the weights fell off! I was doing 40 to 60kmh generally, while weaving about a bit, trying to avoid the potholes as much as possible, on those bad roads and coming down to a dead halt and then 10-20-30 only in case of really bad potholes which would have hurt my tyres badly.

4. Nitrogen filled tyres - I was told that the tyre pressure would last longer and I would not need to keep filling up - however I felt the steering to be a bit heavy so I went and topped up with air after coming back to town, since the nitrogen chap is not open on Sundays. Left front wheel had come down to 28, right front had gone to 34, Rear left had come to 30 and Rear right had come to 30. Therefore I have decided that I will continue filling only normal air instead of Nitrogen in my tyres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
nice to know that the scorpio handles better than you expected.
this forum does bash the scorpio quite a bit.
now to start keeping an eye out for the mhawk when it comes out on the 2nd hand market- I suppose in 2yrs time.

BTW- what is the stated ground clearance of the scorpio in the user manual?

what happens when the ballast comes off? does it make such a huge difference in ride and handling?

also,what happens to accleration and FE? is it worth the trade off to use ballast?the extra weight would also have contributed to the wheel alignment going out of whack.
finding out that the wheel alignment did redoing after the trip is a bit disappointing. i was expecting the scorpio to be tougher.
what speeds were you doing over the rutted/potholed roads?
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Old 7th May 2008, 10:20   #6
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Nice review, I was always concerned about the body roll of Scorpio as mentioned many times in this forum. I am using a Bolero for the past 8 years and I can say I am very happy to have one , almost zero maintenance cost and trouble free vehicle. If and when I upgrade, I am thinking of a Scorpio. I know for sure any day a Mahindra has to be better than Tata in terms of reliability as we use Mahindra Jeeps for the past 15 years or more and it hardly let us down. Since you also upgraded from a Bolero, that gives confidence.
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Old 7th May 2008, 17:20   #7
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glad you found this useful.
I always would prefer Mahindra over Tata for jeep type vehicles- any day of the week, month or year. Thats a personal choice because again like you, I ve been exposed to Mahindra jeeps for a long time.
I also was not at first keen to upgrade from Bolero because I was extremely happy with that jeep.
However, at last, I succumbed to the lure of better technology.
Now, before you actually upgrade, check with Mahindras whether you can get the new 2.2 MHawk in a cheaper variant
I saw on Team BHP today that apparently they have launched some cheaper variants of the Scorpio M HAWK - that will really be worth it.
If I had known I would also have waited a bit longer, but that would also have meant that I would have got less for my Old Bolero! Its a trade off really. Now that the Scorpio 2.6 crde looks like it is slowly going to get phased out in favour of the 2.2 Hawk, slowly the resale prices of the 2.6 also will drop. Thats the trouble!
cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
Nice review, I was always concerned about the body roll of Scorpio as mentioned many times in this forum. I am using a Bolero for the past 8 years and I can say I am very happy to have one , almost zero maintenance cost and trouble free vehicle. If and when I upgrade, I am thinking of a Scorpio. I know for sure any day a Mahindra has to be better than Tata in terms of reliability as we use Mahindra Jeeps for the past 15 years or more and it hardly let us down. Since you also upgraded from a Bolero, that gives confidence.
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Old 8th May 2008, 08:26   #8
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Congrats Shankar,

Its a great SUV. I really admire the capabilities of Scorpio.

Have fun and enjoy the monster...


cheers
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Old 8th May 2008, 08:52   #9
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Congrats on the Nice looking ride you have got there.
Its nice to hear good things about the Scorpio.
Enjoy and drive safe
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Old 8th May 2008, 12:40   #10
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Very nice account, Shankar.
Couldn't help wondering what this meant:
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
And of course the poor Scorp badly needed a good bath, both inside and outside,
For reference purposes, let me post a pic of my poor Scorpio while on the way from Kargil to Leh!
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Old 8th May 2008, 13:03   #11
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Nice report, Shankar and nice pics - your scorp looks really cool on those ghat roads. Of course, I would prefer the Scorp to look more like anupmathur's :-)

Anup, nice image; hope I can do this route sometime in this life!
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Old 8th May 2008, 13:52   #12
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Anupmathur..........Just wondering, does your scorpio ride on alloys with huge offsets?

My Bolero throws a lot of mud on itself all thanks to its alloys.
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Old 8th May 2008, 15:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammy70 View Post
Anup, nice image; hope I can do this route sometime in this life!
What's holding you back, Jammy? Oh oh, I know.
It's Jammy!
Get into your Santro and go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rough Square View Post
Anupmathur..........Just wondering, does your scorpio ride on alloys with huge offsets?
The alloys on my Scorpio do not have any significant offset. (see pic)
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Old 8th May 2008, 15:19   #14
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Anupji - Those look like OE alloys to me, am I right? And good thing you got the truck so dirty, you don't even have to blank out the number plates!!

P.S. Very nice pics, do I see the driver using a cellphone while crossing that harsh terrain?
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Old 8th May 2008, 15:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Those look like OE alloys to me, am I right? And good thing you got the truck so dirty, you don't even have to blank out the number plates!!

P.S. Very nice pics, do I see the driver using a cellphone while crossing that harsh terrain?
Thanks, Ishan. And you are right, those are the OE alloys. I'm using Pirelli Scorpion STR tyres in 'stock' size.
It is just another example of my commendable foresight that I got the truck dirty enough not to have to photoshop my numberplate, since I remembered that that is not 'allowed' at T-BHP!!

Alas, Here you went wrong, though I can't blame you for this one: Unclejee is using a toothpick; cannot live without them anymore!!

BTW, that is all no-signal area.

Last edited by anupmathur : 8th May 2008 at 15:30.
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