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Old 6th May 2019, 19:17   #61
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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Going by this logic would you ever need a 4x4 vehicle unless you engage in offroad sports?
I am a "Bad Roader" as opposed to an off-roader. I own two Thars at the moment. I make do with them. So do a lot of other people.
We routinely ply the poor roads of the mountains as a life style of getting into nature or for career necessity or both. The majority of sellers in India offer at least some semblance of 4X4 vehicle. They do so because they make a profit with them.

Maruti makes fine value-for-money vehicles but their marketing dept has made some very peculiar decisions. Many of their offerings compete with each other in the market. And then there's occasional strange failures like the S-Cross. Seems to me they should have known better than to peddle that thing here.

The Jimny would not sell here? Well, I don't know how many units they would have to sell here or what their cost line is for making Jimnys here. But the previous Jimnys have sold pretty decently all over Asia for decades. I expect there would be interest in it just like there is in most places.

Not too long ago I spent 2.5 months in Nepal where there are Jimnys. I was very impressed with them. I would expect them to sell decently in India just as they have sold decently over much of the world.

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Old 6th May 2019, 19:20   #62
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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We shouldn't assume that everybody is going to go to Ladakh or Spiti in the driest months where water crossings are without water. Even the humble Malling nala can be a problem to 2wd vehicles and vehicles get stuck there also.
.
.
.

It is for those few hundred meters or just 5-10 meters where one can either test their vehicle's suspension or rock crawl out of there like a boss.
Thanks for this post. This is exactly what I thought about owning a 4x4.
After using my XUV500 for my drives in India, I had decided my next car would be a 4x4. So after 5 years of my 2wd XUV, I invested in an Ford Endeavour 4x4. My friends always questioned me about my purchase and said for the Himalayas and places like Ladakh /Spiti you dont need a 4wd and it can be comfortably done even in a Maruti. But my thinking was exactly as yours. The 4x4 is for that day when its required and to clear the obstacles easily. Using the right product for the right job is another way of putting it.

Last edited by aah78 : 6th May 2019 at 21:32. Reason: Please quote only relevant portions of posts. Thanks!
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Old 8th May 2019, 13:52   #63
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

Agreed, fine 69, Why else do I always drive a 4X4, even in the plains of South Bengal ? Because I believe you can never predict when you may need it.
I have needed it in parts of Calcutta, dug up roads turned soggy by rain -- any other vehicle would need to hire a few bystanders to get them out of the rut.
I have needed it to cross over small trees/ broken branches felled by storms, lying across the road. A 4X2 car would have to take a detour.
I have needed it on narrow village roads in the rainy season, when, to pass an oncoming truck, you have to take at least two wheels off the road, into the soggy shoulder where they start sinking immediately.

What I meant when saying that in snow & ice conditions, 4WD alone may not suffice -- you can see many You Tube videos of even Gypsies sliding around in Manali, Shimla etc in heavy snowfall. But the armed forces manage to go where they want to, have to, whether in HP, Kashmir, Arunachal, or Sikkim, because at the first hint of losing traction, they put on snow chains. Because, if there is hard ice under the snow, even the most aggressive tread patterns find it difficult to get a grip. Same in mud and soft sand. In the latter two, diff locks are also essential.

But even if you do not have chains or diff locks, 4WD does give you an edge, 10X if you prefer. And again, in this, the on demand 4X4 has an edge over AWD, as already discussed by others. Now that the Gypsy production has ceased, and soon parts will be all the more difficult to find, wonder what other low cost 4X4 vehicle can we find to replace it ? Both the Thar and the Force Gurkha somehow do not appeal to me !
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Old 8th May 2019, 15:38   #64
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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But even if you do not have chains or diff locks, 4WD does give you an edge, 10X if you prefer. And again, in this, the on demand 4X4 has an edge over AWD, as already discussed by others.
Why does the on-demand/part-time 4wd have an edge over AWD?
I drive a Bolero 4x4 and Thar, both part time 4wds with no electronic aids. While they are very rugged and take rocky/harsh terrains or extreme inclines (due to 4 low) better than the monocoque AWDs in the market, I find Duster AWD to be more capable in slush, mud, sand and snow as it has electronic aids that help a lot.
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Old 9th May 2019, 16:29   #65
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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what do we have?
- Mahindra Thar (Di & CRDe).
- Maruti Gypsy (Now discontinued but a few still available with dealers)
- Mahindra Bolero (only high roof variant and that too quite a challenge to get the dealer to sell you one).
- Mahindra Bolero Camper (with yellow board).
- Mahindra Scorpio.
- Mahindra Getaway.
- Isuzu V-Cross.
- Isuzu D-Max single cab 4x4 (with yellow board).
- Renault Duster AWD.
- Force Gurkha
- Tata Hexa.
- Jeep Compass
Well, by no means is this a small line-up, especially for a country where a significant % of the population is still struggling to make ends meet and the first "upgrade" to a car for most translates into a small, maintenance-free, feature-laden, family-friendly and most importantly, fuel-efficient 4-wheeler. Let me remind you that the TBHP community, while quite large in itself, is still a VERY small % of the car owner/buyer population of our country, and even within this, the 4x4 enthusiast community, even smaller!! A significant % of visits to 4x4 vehicle/excursion pages that you see are from people who like to read about 4x4 stuff but given a chance (and money), would probably buy a "regular" car instead. So, I'd say it is a flawed approach to go by these numbers. Pick any car that is available in both 2WD and 4WD/AWD variants and see the split of sales!! So, net-net, while we are not exactly spoiled for choice on this front, we have enough options for now to satiate the needs of this niche (albeit growing) consumer segment. It is a hard reality that we as a culture/economy are just not there yet, to warrant a barrage of 4WD offerings which would make a business case for manufacturers. Just my 2 cents...

BTW, you missed the Safari Storme 4x4

Last edited by cool_dube : 9th May 2019 at 16:40.
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Old 10th May 2019, 14:52   #66
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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I find Duster AWD to be more capable in slush, mud, sand and snow as it has electronic aids that help a lot.
What about weight difference and high revving engine of duster?
Why gypsies are always better than Jeep in scenarios mentioned by you?
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Old 10th May 2019, 21:18   #67
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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What about weight difference and high revving engine of duster?
Why gypsies are always better than Jeep in scenarios mentioned by you?
Gypsy is better in sand and slush due to less weight than Jeeps. But Gypsy has its own set of issues in the hills like high turning radius, low torque etc. What I feel is that a person with less experience will perform better with Duster AWD in tricky conditions compared to the old school jeeps and gypsies, but that is just my opinion.
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Old 10th May 2019, 21:32   #68
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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a person with less experience will perform better with Duster AWD in tricky conditions compared to the old school jeeps and gypsies, but that is just my opinion.
For sure. I would also expect a typical mainstream duster owner to never venture out on purpose to areas where typical gypsy and jeep owners would go try and have some fun. A tricky situation for a duster might be just normal duty for a jeep or a gypsy owner. Guess its all perspective.

I would still bet everything on a fully manual low range 4wd gypsy or jeep over the duster for tricky terrain. Guess you would too, with your lovely thar.
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Old 12th May 2019, 03:58   #69
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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I would still bet everything on a fully manual low range 4wd gypsy or jeep over the duster for tricky terrain. Guess you would too, with your lovely thar.
Of course , my requirements will not be fulfilled by the Duster or the Jeep Compass. That's why I bought the Thar in-spite of owning the rugged Bolero 4x4!
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Old 13th May 2019, 10:38   #70
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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Gypsy is better in sand and slush due to less weight than Jeeps. But Gypsy has its own set of issues in the hills like high turning radius, low torque etc.
Are you sure? Gypsies are called mountain goat for a reason

Anyways, 4WD cant be replaced by AWD. And AFAIK other than AWD and low ratio of first gear, Duster doesnt have any other assistance. Please correct me.
Above experience is not hearsay but i own Gypsies since last 17-18 years and used duster AWD extensively for few weeks for offroad.
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Old 13th May 2019, 12:04   #71
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

Car ownership itself is pretty low in our country, yes we have lots of traffic jams but that probably does not count. A car owner is a minority, a 4X4 enthusiast is even more so. Living down south and also being a traveller down south, I get to see a lot of 4X4 despite living in Bangalore.

Lets forget 4WD for a moment and think of offroad capability as a whole, will someone buy a vehicle for its offroad capability irrespective of 4WD?

Vitara Brezza Vs Bolero 2WD - Same price, same overall size, I dont have to tell you which one would you rather drive up the Mandalpatti trail during a Jeep strike.
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Old 13th May 2019, 14:28   #72
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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Pick any car that is available in both 2WD and 4WD/AWD variants and see the split of sales!! So, net-net, while we are not exactly spoiled for choice on this front, we have enough options for now to satiate the needs of this niche (albeit growing) consumer segment. It is a hard reality that we as a culture/economy are just not there yet, to warrant a barrage of 4WD offerings which would make a business case for manufacturers. Just my 2 cents...
Login to OLX and search for Fortuner.

You'd realize that most Fortuners from 2009 to 2011 would be 4WD but the moment you filter the year from 2012 onwards you'd have one 4WD for 15-20 other 4x2 Fortuners.

Toyota launched the Fortuner in 4x4 variant because that was the right thing to do, I mean why else would you buy a car like Fortuner. Come 2012 and they realized that the market out here is not for 4x4 but large SUVs with snob value.

Endeavour 3.2 comes with 4WD but if there was a 4x2 variant it'd clearly outsell the 4x4 variant, just like the Fortuner since 2012.

I'd say it again, we have enough for every 4x4 enthusiast today. What people also forget is that, lets say in a country like Australia, people are actually building (or getting it built) their favorite 4x4 instead of buying one off the shelf. I mean look at Shauna's Dirty 30!



What we need is a bigger & better 4x4 off-road aftermarket. But then again, if there is demand, supply will follow!
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Old 13th May 2019, 23:17   #73
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

Gypsies are called mountain goats because there are no mules (in 4X4 land) in India ! Though a Gypsy user myself, I hate that toy SUV. Suzuki makes only toy cars, and was chosen to fulfil the Maruti dream because of that, with the M800 Alto, and the Omni/van. The biggest they made was the Grand Vitara, I think, still small by international standards.

The only pluses in the Gypsy are the old fashioned on demand 4WD, low weight, and being the last buildable car in India, probably. You can build a body on it ( used to come in pickup version for that, earlier), modify it in various ways like lift, add diff locks, and whatnot.
I also love the round glass headlamps (universal 7 inch), flat windscreen and rear window (in HT), and their old fashioned rubber gaskets. These mean that long after other parts are unavailable, you can still manage !
And for diehard petrolheads like me, it is the only gasoline powered SUV in India.

Too many cons -- like BlackPearl says, the huge turning radius and low torque are big ones. Even the power in the MPFI King -- 80 BHP -- seems low. I found the 45 BHP MG410 more spirited ! If really loaded with 8 persons (official seating capacity), their personal luggage, camping and recovery gear, I think this goat would 'bleat to death'!
And despite being an old-style off-roader, it cannot tow, does not have any power take-offs.
Instruments and other features are almost as primitive as my 1965 Jonga ! Only the HL adjuster and the intermittent wiper setting are actual improvements ! And of course the seat adjustments !!

Ideally, I would prefer something like the 4WD Bolero (believe no more in the making since BS 4 ?) with factory-fitted steel bumpers fit for winches, and ROUND GLASS headlamps (even the American JEEP had to come back to these from rectangular ones due to popular demand). Everything else could be added aftermarket, if sufficient numbers sold.

And finally, why should the Jimny not sell, after Gypsy has been withdrawn ? I myself would buy it, if slightly wider and long wheelbase, with the 1600cc engine. Too much of a toy otherwise.

Last edited by SnakemanJohny : 13th May 2019 at 23:24. Reason: Missed a word
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Old 14th May 2019, 11:53   #74
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

I would have loved to buy the Force Gurkha Extreme as a 4x4 vehicle that is not just for weekend excursions, but as a daily driver as well.
Living in NCR, I am left with either the Isuzu or the Safari.
The Force Gurkha is an awesome vehicle, but the creature comforts are non existent. Something I personally have no issues with. As a family man, it's a strict no no.

I guess all of us 4x4 lovers can just rant and discuss. Automakers- please take notice. There are threads here discussing a demand.
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Old 14th May 2019, 14:26   #75
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Default Re: Why are 4x4 enthusiasts given step-motherly treatment in India?

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Pick any car that is available in both 2WD and 4WD/AWD variants and see the split of sales!! So, net-net, while we are not exactly spoiled for choice on this front, we have enough options for now to satiate the needs of this niche (albeit growing) consumer segment. It is a hard reality that we as a culture/economy are just not there yet, to warrant a barrage of 4WD offerings which would make a business case for manufacturers.
I don't think any of us know where the cost/profit line is for each manufacturer,
nor for each potential model with 4X4 added. That seems to be at the heart of the discussion here.
But I don't think a lot of manufacturers know that either, particularly Maruti.

Yes, there are a number of 4X4 offerings. But they are mostly very flawed offerings regarding 4X4 off-roading and bad-roading.

By the way, just a couple of days ago I checked with Mahindra. At least here in H.P., the government spec Bolero with 4X4, PS and BSIV M2DICR 75hp motor is available if booked with a deposit. The same is true of the Thar Di with
the MDI320tc BSiii motor. Both can still be booked with money up front as of 4 days ago. You may well get incorrect info on this from dealers. I did. Many don't know and/or are too lazy or cheap to call Nashik but I found one sales guy willing to call and find out for sure.

If I were to buy a Gov. Bolero or a Thar Di, I would first and foremost change out the OEM differentials to 4:88s or even 5:38s diff ratio....
You are going to have to modify these to make them tolerable 4X4 vehicles, especially in the mountains up here. You would have to plop down big bucks to buy the vehicle and then plop down even more $$$ to make it...mountain ready, for example. Definitely irritating, time consuming, and a little risky.

Last edited by DirtyDan : 14th May 2019 at 14:33.
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