Originally Posted by Shubhendra
Use Jeep trailer for such applications. Its useful in a sense that you can separate that extra loading bay when not needed. Unlike pickups in which you always carry loading bay irrespective of your usage. I have been using 3 different type of trailers for my different use and I am happy.
In my family growing up, we always had one, later in college we built one from the back half of a 1950's Ford pickup, dragged it halfway across the U.S. Everything you said is right.
And believe me brother, if the roads I intended to be driving on looked anything like the one in your pic, I'd have considered it more seriously. Just not going to work up here or in MZ. Not easily anyway.
Originally Posted by Arjun.hb
Won’t a Bolero Camper/Scorpio getaway or Tata Yodha Crew cab with rear overhang chopped off make a ideal replacement?
chopping would be unnecessary as we don't do hardcore offroad. But you're on the right track... :-)
Originally Posted by Shubhendra
If you can get an old Scorpio CRDe 4x4, nothing like it. It has enough torque at idle to pull the vehicle, and its a pretty reliable vehicle with minimal maintenance.
Have heard that - and that in some ways it represented a good compromise between the old pre-CRD 2.6Turbo and the later mHawks, in terms of simplicity, ruggedness, FE, and off-idle thrust.
Originally Posted by condor
The Scorpio should be a good bet for you. I would suggest this over the Getaway too, based on a brief experience with similar pick-ups.
I hadn't seen these posts till just now... but the first three, at least, could serve as a kind of confirmation, while the last is partially so, and would depend on target uses.
I guess I shouldn't keep everyone in suspense any longer:
A local bhpian up here had sent me a link for the online listing for this one about a month ago. It was a local-registered car, but the asking price was frankly exorbitant. There are only a few of these around locally -one has a commercial registration and another is from out-of-state, only one I know of is a local white-plate, and that's new enough that it probably won't be for sale for awhile. I had been driving past this listed one it four times daily taking my kids to and from school, so figured I'd test-drive it anyway.
Behind the wheel, I can say it really did feel "comfortable" - in the sense of feeling familiar and natural to sit in and drive, like something I wouldn't have to adjust myself too much to - so yes, "worthy successor" did come to mind. Seller claimed that other people were looking at it, that someone was coming from Shimla next day for it, etc, etc - asked how much I could give then and there. The figure I had in mind wasn't acceptable to him, his reduced one was likewise not palatable to me, so left it there and kept entertaining the thought of finding a nice 9 year-old NCR Duster or Terrano for 2-2.5L. Looked at a couple of those up here, too - drove 2015 models of each - first a one-owner Terrano that rattled a bit upon startup and had a "heater/coil" warning lamp glowing and a bad clutch and plenty of scrapes and small dents to go with its 1L km's. Other one I really liked, seemed almost like new mechanically and in terms of driving - a base non-ABS model Duster - but when I checked at the local Renault ASC, found out it apparently had 1L km's more than the odometer indicated...
... meaning an astonishing 170k+. So didn't move forward with that. A few people have told me that the K9K 1.5DCi is great till it starts going bad (that could be a long time, of course), and that after that, it doesn't respond well to repairs / rebuilds. Also seen in the threads and heard from mechanics that parts supply can (surprisingly) be an issue.
If it had ultimately seemed reasonable to try and live out my dreams I'd have probably opted for the combination of a somewhat modded / updated old Mahindra Utiliti 4x4 crewcab (for the classic CJ-esque appeal and rugged simplicity and of course for carrying manure and bricks and saplings and stuff) - AND a 4x4 Yeti for everything else!
But finding and modding a Utiliti to our tastes was going to take time, if it could ever happen at all. And the Yeti - thrilling, capable, balanced and supremely pleasurable to drive as I found it to be (and while it's becoming eminently affordable besides) - is just too electronic-laden and complex in its systems to be picking up as a ten-year-old, especially when contemplating long tours in remote places, and particularly
if & when we end up based in the Northeast, where Skoda basically doesn't exist. End of the day, I'm at a stage where I'm trying to simplify in life, and owning (/parking /insuring /maintaining) two cars, including a rebuilder and/or anything exotic was just not going to simplify anything.
I wanted something that gave better mileage than the Marshal, but started considering/calculating, and finding that in light of the relatively modest distance we cover in a typical year, the better FE of an additional car was very unlikely to translate into net savings, against the added expense(s). Granted, we take a once-in-five-years long tour somewhere in the mainland and, well, driving the Getaway is going to cost twice as much to run that distance as an Ertiga - and that is NOT an insignificant figure over the course of 5,000+km's - but hey, such trips are rare and can be considered luxuries in themselves. These are things we plan and save for, things we want to make the most of and remember fondly: And to us, making the most of them and keeping things memorable means reducing limitations - so exploring little forest trails and lakefronts and beaches and etc... where no sedan is going to cut it, and even some AWD's (for lack of ground clearance) might struggle.
We like the Marshal so much that it had seemed better to supplement it rather than replace it - but I got feeling as though a Storme or Scorp would be redundant. And if we got another, more efficient vehicle like a Duster with simply a luggage area, then between the two, we still wouldn't have anything that we could easily throw six bicycles (I rent them out) or wood stove (used to make/sell them) or dirty stuff (firewood seasonally, farm work forthcoming) or other big loads in...
Kept wondering what compromise we could most easily live with - the difficulties in parking and securing luggage that a crewcab pickup is going to involve, or the lack of ability to carry such loads that any other vehicle would present (though I do remember one reviewer abroad commenting that he regularly loaded a half-ton of firewood in the back of his Yeti, which handled it well).
Had borrowed a friend's slightly modded Bolero Camper here about a year ago and people said it suited me (image-wise, I suppose?), even the wife drove it and felt it was ok. But somehow it seemed too rough and rude - no A/C, fair amount of gear whine from that WWII design T-18 transfer case (Marshal better in that way with the Borg-Warner fitted), and enough vibes from the Turbo DI (that also being worse than the Marshal's NA DI) that along with the noise, the owner himself complained and ultimately sold it. He himself was interested in finding a Getaway.
So all vehicles represent compromises, but in the past week or so had finally come back to the somewhat idealistic "one car solution" I'd looked for earlier. And these crewcab pickups seemed about the only real all-rounders. In the metros people might consider them highly impractical, but out here about every family that can afford one has a Camper - or V-Cross. If Camper was out for crudeness and the Isuzu for budget, then there was only the Getaway and Xenon, the latter of which I've heard a number of unfavorable comments (owner and non-owner) about. A couple people recently told me the Getaways are getting hard to find and commanding higher prices lately. I kept seeing them turn up in Rajasthan for sale, but goodness, Udaipur is fifty-hours' drive from here, and then there are the formalities / costs / risks of buying out of state.
Long story short, over the course of a month, the other prospective buyers never picked up this local Getaway, and I kept driving past wondering if the seller was more or less indifferent and had just listed it figuring he'd sell only if he could get an unreasonably high price.
Then, a few days ago the same Bhpian who had tipped me off to this one a month ago had gone ahead (without intimating me) and for my sake offered the seller about a third less than his price. Seller countered with a number much lower than the lowest he said he'd take a month ago. Friend told me, I drove past it another day or two, then called him. It sounded like he'd just that very day sold it (unbelievable!), but he said he'd have to confirm and get back to me. Heard nothing. So I texted him saying I'd pay cash for it that very day if it didn't work out with the other buyer. He said agian that he'd confirm.
And by afternoon called and told me I could come look at it again. By this time the car was sitting outside a local mechanic's shop awaiting a few repairs.
I drove it again, with the wife along this time, and finally offered 50k less than what I had a month earlier. He countered, saying he was going to have to spend money on these repairs... My offer was right around book value actually, so I said, "Take the car, go home and relax, and I'll give you the amount I offered in full tomorrow morning, will take the car as-is and let the repairs be my responsibility".
And it was done.
I guess this may demand a new thread, then.
Marshal is still with us, and we still like it. More than like, maybe. My nine-year-old says that when he turns 18, he wants to upgrade it and drive it. Lots of good memories in this one and gonna be hard to let go of, and I'm not sure we have to - it's all paid for, runs great, and doesn't require much to keep it going. But who needs two large 4x4's? Definitely a lot of redundancy there. Thinking all this through.
Marshal trumps the newcomer in terms of the closed luggage space, turning radius, ease of maintenance (even roadside), and I guess articulation and breakover/departure angles - and right, the classic Jeep appeal...
...but that said, the Scorpio is an obvious upgrade in every other way, much more power for effortless climbing / cruising for a change, and actually very comfy and I daresay "luxurious" to our minds. Ride quality is surprisingly soft, the cabin is quiet and rigid (we can speak to one another between first/second rows in a normal tone of voice now!), and we've got a lot of firsts here as the new family car: keyless entry, four shoulder belts, tilt steering, power windows, steering (obviously), mirrors, headlamp trim, rear defogger, A/C, etc - and to top it off, a Pioneer touchscreen bluetooth head unit, and even some auxiliary lighting.
End of the day I would have been hard-pressed to find a closed-body Scorpio 4wd of same age with 1L km's done, for the price I got this one. The CRDe power delivery is absolutely good - as noted in the quote above it'll idle away in gear from starts with no throttle input, yet once in it, you can feel some thrust coming on as low as 1500rpm in the lower gears, and at around 1700-1800 it gets properly strong. The pickup final-drive ratio might be a little lower than the SUV version, as well - it feels pretty responsive and can idle along in high-range at 10kmph.
Very satisfied with the purchase, almost had to keep pinching myself, thinking I might sadly awake from a dream... it is in truth a real answer to prayer and something we waited patiently a long time for.
Took possession yesterday afternoon, and already started work on it - the axle seal being a top priority. Sad to say, some hack had earlier beat the hell out of the axle shaft right in the seal area... so I'll need to visit a lathe shop... and these seals / bearings are not as easy to remove as the Marshal's full-floaters are...
It was turning much sharper to the right side than to the left (inept alignment technicians I'm sure - the kind who take the steering wheel off to re-set it straight, instead of getting the tie-rods adjusted right with steering on-center).
Aftermarket rims are offset way to far to the outside, so need to do something about that. Tyres are quite bald, and these came with a kind of oddball 245-75-16 size (currently 265-70-16, which is wider than is necessary / generally helpful).
Ah, well - here we go...