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Old 11th February 2009, 20:31   #1
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Default Force Trax Toofan Test Drive

Hi All,

This is my test drive report of a Trax Toofan from Force Motors. And it is my first test drive report here on Team-BHP

I am considering purchasing a Trax Gama, but the dealer didn't have one available so he provided a Trax Toofan instead for a test drive saying it is the same engine and transmission - which is not entirely true as I wanted the Gama with the 75bhp BS-III engine while the Toofan provided had a 60bhp BS-II engine. The Toofan didn't have power steering or AC either. But I took the test drive anyway.

The Toofan looks like a stretched Gama, definitely seems out of proportion. But oodles of space inside. Can easily carry 15 people without much discomfort. Seating position is quite high, great view of the road. Interior feels airy and spacious, but it is truly spartan. The plastic bits feel cheap and the fabric already looks old. I guess they make this vehicle to a price point. The dash has just three dials - speed, fuel and engine temp. The driver assured that the Gama comes with better quality materials, but I have my doubts.

Engine started without much fuss or noise. Gear shift did vibrate a bit at start-up but settled down quickly. Shifting into 1st was smooth, but the throw was very long for my comfort. And the vehicle moves at barely 10 kmph in first. Apparently first is not to be used unless you are starting upwards on a steep incline.

So I shifted to 2nd, which was thankfully much closer to me - the distance between 1st & reverse and the rest of the gears is surprisingly large. In 2nd the vehicle started moving, I quickly shifted to 3rd and it hesitated a bit (I think I shifted a bit early) but started pulling as I floored the accelerator pedal. It pulls quite well for a vehicle this size, but acceleration was lethargic. I timed the 0 to 60 run on an empty stretch and it took a lazy 22 secs. But the driver argued that I am not familiar with the vehicle and that he could do it at least 5 sec sooner - unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test his claim, so I will stick to my 22 sec.

Steering was light & manageable when moving above 30 or so. But at slower speeds, you could feel the weight and at sharp turns it was really heavy. I tried a couple of u-turns and decided that I cannot live without PS in this machine. I've had my share of driving jeeps, ambassadors and maruti 800s, and I am (or was) quite used to steering without power assistance. And the steering in the Toofan was definitely lighter than a Mahindra Major in a straight line, but during sharp turns the weight of the vehicle starts showing.

The ride was good - definitely better than a Sumo Victa or a Bolero. It soaked up small bumps and potholes with ease. But it made the back seats feel the bigger obstacles on the road. The driver said it is because of the long wheel-base of the Toofan and that the Gama is much more composed. Could be true. So while ride quality is good, it was not to my expectations. Maybe Gama will fare better, or maybe I am expecting too much because of the all the positive comments on Gama. One nice thing is that there is very little body roll even a vehicle this big. Granted I never crossed 70 (it being a new vehicle and all), but from what I saw, it remained fairly composed even when I threw it across lanes and went around a traffic island a couple of times.

I think I could buy the Gama with the more powerful BS-III engine and with AC & PS as options, if it is priced sensibly. However I am yet to get a quote on that from the dealer And, in case anyone is wondering, the Toofan I test drove costs Rs 5.4L ex-showroom (according to the driver).

I liked - the simplicity, go-anywhere stance, huge ground clearance, ride & handling.

I didn't like - the bare minimum interiors, the long-throw of the gear shift lever, the disproportionate look and the lethargic acceleration.

Attached are a few photos I snapped.

Cheers
Teja
Attached Thumbnails
Force Trax Toofan Test Drive-toofan01s.jpg  

Force Trax Toofan Test Drive-toofan08s.jpg  

Attached Images
       
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Old 11th February 2009, 21:05   #2
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Thanks for the good review and the pics , H3LIOS !

This seems to be the same as the Cruiser ? I cant make out any shock-absorbers in the rear axle ???

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 11th February 2009 at 21:06.
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Old 11th February 2009, 21:22   #3
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Acceleration had to be lethargic given that it has a 60 bhp diesel under the hood and dimension which would rival a minibus.
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Old 11th February 2009, 21:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
Thanks for the good review and the pics , H3LIOS !

This seems to be the same as the Cruiser ? I cant make out any shock-absorbers in the rear axle ???
cant you see the leaf springs ?
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Old 11th February 2009, 21:30   #5
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of course, I can see the leaf springs, sir, what I said I cant seem to see were the shock-absorbers.
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Old 11th February 2009, 21:55   #6
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Usually with leaf springs, shock absorbers are there. When the leaf spring moves while absorbing the energy, it will have an oscillating movement till it comes back to its original stable form. To reduce this oscillating movement, shock absorbers are attached so that the leaf spring can come to a stable form faster.

If I am wrong here, please do correct me. I was also shocked by this lack of shock absorbers.
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Old 12th February 2009, 12:42   #7
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Wow! That things looks as long as a minibus. Is the Toofan the same as the Cruiser. See a lot of those doing mass people carrying duty all over the place in rural India.

BTW - about the comment of the ride quality being compromised by a longer wheel base - I'm not so sure about that. Don't really think the shorter wheel base gamma will be more comfortable unless they have used a softer suspension setup.

I also see that the Toofan has the hand brake lever on the right like in the Ambassador. Does any other vehicle still have it there?

Last edited by Strangerintown : 12th February 2009 at 12:44.
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Old 12th February 2009, 12:51   #8
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Since I have test driven the Gama with my wife seated in the rear seat, I can tell you it is really good. Since you are looking for a family transport, I suggest you get the Gama BSIII with PS and AC.

Gama with 2750mm wheel base can hardly be called short wheel base. It is a long wheel base, while toofan is actually extra long wheel base vehicle for tourist sector.
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Old 12th February 2009, 12:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
Thanks for the good review and the pics , H3LIOS !

This seems to be the same as the Cruiser ? I cant make out any shock-absorbers in the rear axle ???
look closely it is just beside the bump stop I like this vehicle , has awsome proportions , will be a good expedition vehicle with lots of space. In 4wd and diff lock plus p/s this is closest to defender available in india. Defender has lesser rear over hang though!

GAMA is a sensible option if one wants a no- non sense vehicle. I drove a Cruiser classic some years back it could top at 95 kmph. Dont know about the latest iteration. GAMA with 5 speed and 75 hp engine may do better speeds.
As they used to advertise it is turly a "rough road master"!!!
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Old 12th February 2009, 13:09   #10
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If I am not wrong, Trax comes with OM616 Mercedez engine, which is one of the best work horse in the erstwhile era of Diesel engines.

take care and drive safely
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Old 12th February 2009, 13:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkavthekar View Post
If I am not wrong, Trax comes with OM616 Mercedez engine.
Wish that was true. The OM-616 was discontinued quite some years back due to non-compliance with BS-II emissions regulations. It is not available anymore. The current TD2650 is BS-II complaint but puts out only 60bhp compared to the 90bhp of the OM-616.

Force does offer a slightly powerful (75 bhp) BS-III compliant engine (TD2650-FTI). Apparently that is available only on order and I am unable to even get a quote for it till now.

Btw, does anybody know if the TD2650 engine is derived from the OM-616 like the TD2400, or is it a totally different engine?

Thanks
Teja
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Old 12th February 2009, 22:09   #12
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Hi Teja,

Please update us if you are able to get a quote for BSIII, PS, AC, 4WD. I am interested in this combination as well.
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Old 12th February 2009, 22:15   #13
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interesting.
how about investing in this instead of a stretch Limo with major modifications of course.
it will probably run a lot cheaper.
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:07   #14
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Hi friends...

pls find attached pdf for trax models available... features available ... engine options available & also transmissions available... only OM611 with G32 gearbox is not updated its available only for defence vehicles.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf trax-specs.pdf (36.9 KB, 1169 views)
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:10   #15
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Do check cruiser as Toofan seems to be manufactured on old chassis while a new chassis has been commonised for Pick Up as well as Cruiser wherein Extra Wheel goes into chassis mounting & not door mounting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by H3LIOS View Post
Hi All,

This is my test drive report of a Trax Toofan from Force Motors. And it is my first test drive report here on Team-BHP

I am considering purchasing a Trax Gama, but the dealer didn't have one available so he provided a Trax Toofan instead for a test drive saying it is the same engine and transmission - which is not entirely true as I wanted the Gama with the 75bhp BS-III engine while the Toofan provided had a 60bhp BS-II engine. The Toofan didn't have power steering or AC either. But I took the test drive anyway.

The Toofan looks like a stretched Gama, definitely seems out of proportion. But oodles of space inside. Can easily carry 15 people without much discomfort. Seating position is quite high, great view of the road. Interior feels airy and spacious, but it is truly spartan. The plastic bits feel cheap and the fabric already looks old. I guess they make this vehicle to a price point. The dash has just three dials - speed, fuel and engine temp. The driver assured that the Gama comes with better quality materials, but I have my doubts.

Engine started without much fuss or noise. Gear shift did vibrate a bit at start-up but settled down quickly. Shifting into 1st was smooth, but the throw was very long for my comfort. And the vehicle moves at barely 10 kmph in first. Apparently first is not to be used unless you are starting upwards on a steep incline.

So I shifted to 2nd, which was thankfully much closer to me - the distance between 1st & reverse and the rest of the gears is surprisingly large. In 2nd the vehicle started moving, I quickly shifted to 3rd and it hesitated a bit (I think I shifted a bit early) but started pulling as I floored the accelerator pedal. It pulls quite well for a vehicle this size, but acceleration was lethargic. I timed the 0 to 60 run on an empty stretch and it took a lazy 22 secs. But the driver argued that I am not familiar with the vehicle and that he could do it at least 5 sec sooner - unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test his claim, so I will stick to my 22 sec.

Steering was light & manageable when moving above 30 or so. But at slower speeds, you could feel the weight and at sharp turns it was really heavy. I tried a couple of u-turns and decided that I cannot live without PS in this machine. I've had my share of driving jeeps, ambassadors and maruti 800s, and I am (or was) quite used to steering without power assistance. And the steering in the Toofan was definitely lighter than a Mahindra Major in a straight line, but during sharp turns the weight of the vehicle starts showing.

The ride was good - definitely better than a Sumo Victa or a Bolero. It soaked up small bumps and potholes with ease. But it made the back seats feel the bigger obstacles on the road. The driver said it is because of the long wheel-base of the Toofan and that the Gama is much more composed. Could be true. So while ride quality is good, it was not to my expectations. Maybe Gama will fare better, or maybe I am expecting too much because of the all the positive comments on Gama. One nice thing is that there is very little body roll even a vehicle this big. Granted I never crossed 70 (it being a new vehicle and all), but from what I saw, it remained fairly composed even when I threw it across lanes and went around a traffic island a couple of times.

I think I could buy the Gama with the more powerful BS-III engine and with AC & PS as options, if it is priced sensibly. However I am yet to get a quote on that from the dealer And, in case anyone is wondering, the Toofan I test drove costs Rs 5.4L ex-showroom (according to the driver).

I liked - the simplicity, go-anywhere stance, huge ground clearance, ride & handling.

I didn't like - the bare minimum interiors, the long-throw of the gear shift lever, the disproportionate look and the lethargic acceleration.

Attached are a few photos I snapped.

Cheers
Teja
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