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Old 8th July 2019, 16:13   #1
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Default Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

At the outset, this is a post from the heart and not the mind. So it would seem illogical and absurd. Also I am an impulsive guy by nature and that describes me changing (and enjoying) 13 odd cars in 20 odd years. Can never be justified economics wise.

Background -

I drive an Audi A6 (12 months, 20k kms) and we have a Kodiaq (9 months, 10k kms). The Kodiaq is a family car, used by wife and kids. We also use it for highway drives, specially if we have to take our pet dog along with us. We just love the car. While its badged as a 4X4, its more a soft roader and honestly, I don't have the heart to do anything rough with the car. In the past I have owned a Pajero Sport AT and 2 Fiat Adventures and enjoyed all 3 of them thoroughly. I have owned a Linea Tjet, Abarth Punto and Palio as well. Each of the cars that I have owned has given me pure driving bliss. My only regret so far, never owned a true blue 4X4 (Pajero Sport was an AT)

The new desire -

As the story developed, we now have a driver since the kids get ferried up and down to school (14 kms each way) who drives the Kodiaq. That prompted me to think - if I need a driver to ferry kids to school in a Kodiaq, why not go in for another car - inexpensive to buy and use, and doesn't worry even if driven by a driver. Something that can munch miles and at the same time, can I buy something interesting, that I can indulge as well - atleast off and on - like weekends etc.

Some other parameters -

1. This will be my 3rd car. So I want to buy something that is illogical as a primary car, but is yet a fun to drive/can do crazy things. So instead of a 2 or 3 lacs super economical car (head thinking), I am feeling indulgent (heart thinking) to buy a fun or lifestyle car like a Thar or V Cross.

2. I can afford a downtime (if the car has to go to a garage) if parts etc are not immediately available.

3. I live in Chennai and so generally most dealers are available.

4. Ideally I don't want to splurge (or take a loan). And so anything less than 10 lacs would be perfect. Above this, the decision starts becoming very detrimental economically.

5. I am ok with both pre used or a new one. (I am very tempted with a new Thar around 11 lacs on road)

6. I am not into off roading. But I would love to really do something and need a good tool in hand

7. I would like something with which I can "play around" and personalize /individualise.

Options -


Considering the above, I have really shortlisted 2 options

a) Thar CRDE - Difference between a very good preowned (2017/2018 model) vs a new one is about 2 lacs. I can buy a pre owned and spend some money on personalizing the car.

b) Isuzu V Cross - I am really tempted after I checked the car inside out. Its offbeat, equips me to do a wide variety of things (offroading) and seems a lot lot more comfortable than a Thar.

c) Gurkha Extreme ? I read GTO's comment in a forum that buy it only if the Firodias are your relatives So the obvious answer seems to be its not an option. But is it indeed a writeoff, considering my particular circumstances and usage ? I suspect it will slot between the Thar and the V Cross in terms of comfort and running and maintenance).

The Dilemma -


A new Vcross costs around 20 on road and hence my budget goes out of the window. But I am tempted since it may allow me to travel comfortably over longer highway runs (staying in Chennai, one necessarily needs to drive long distance) to reach places where you would love doing 4X4 drives (western ghats for instance). I don't think I will break into a sweat driving a V Cross over longer highway runs, (though I am now used to the Automatics - Kodiaq and A6). Whether I will do such drives in a Thar ?? I really don't know for sure. Though its going to be a lot more fun when you are really in the 4X4 terrain.

The question to Bhpians is whether the Isuzu V Cross is significantly better and more enjoyable and versatile than a Thar - at double the cost. I am willing to spend (my heart talking again), but should I ?

Whether owning a V Cross will get me going out a lot more in 4X4 terrain, than a Thar. If the offroading capability of both is similar, the V Cross is a lot more comfortable and versatile. But is it good to plonk 20 lacs (plus plus, considering some accessories like the rear cover etc).

And the Gurkha Explorer ? An absolute underdog and out of the box. Not too many 2nd hand options around. But I would really want some honest feedback from the owners in this forum.

Finally - is there something that I am missing ?

Cheers
Vinay
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Old 8th July 2019, 16:33   #2
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Going by your post, the Mahindra Thar is solely built with the likes of you as the customer base. The Thar will perfectly fit your garage and you will fall in love with it.

Get a hard top, nice comfortable seats, power windows, a nice music system and get it remapped for you to never stop driving it in town.

On weekends, plonk in whatever you like in the back, drive out of town do some mudding and come back refreshed!
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Old 8th July 2019, 16:34   #3
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Hi Vinay

Some of the parameters are somewhere in line with mine as well. But, only that they are not equal.

You have an A6 - i have an old Civic
You have a Kodiaq - I have a Amaze CVT (for family)
You want a Thar or V Cross - i wanted something similar
Your budget is 10L, my budget was 5L
You have your driver for one - but, here, i only drive all

So, slightly stretching my budget, i bought a 2015 used Thar for my fun aspirations (a week ago)

Since you have other very capable machines, i would probably suggest a new Thar or a used V-Cross (if you find one at 10L) to satisfy yourself.

btw, you are in Chennai and me too.

Swami
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Old 8th July 2019, 16:46   #4
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

How about a Tata Xenon 4x4 or a Scorpio 4x4?

Or replace the A6 or the Kodiaq with the Jeep Trailhawk.
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Old 8th July 2019, 17:28   #5
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Almost in the same situation except the illogical requirement. Have 2 cars a 5GT with 90k and Civic with 120k in the odo and not inclined to sell both. Wanted an off-roader that can be a tourer as well. Mind and Heart both said V cross but wife said no. V cross is an excellent option if you are ok with leaf spring rear suspension. Still trying to get my wife to accept it even though I’m disappointed in the half baked facelift that’s now on sale.

But, for your illogical requirement, Gurkha is a perfect vehicle as it is a little more practical than a thar and equally or sometimes a better capable off-roader. For me it’s an overpriced vehicle and for a little more u get V cross and for a little less u get a thar. Again if being illogical, in need of an off-roader and have some extra money to spend I’d pick a Gurkha over Thar.

You don’t have to travel all the way to the hills for off-roading fun. Our own bhpian’s have events planned in the weekends around the city in the Farm, omr or the Palar river bed and few more places.

And another coincidence like swami69, I’m in Chennai too.
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Old 8th July 2019, 17:37   #6
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

With all due respect to Thar, the V-Cross is an absolute beast of a machine. There are images on the internet where it completely overshadows something like a Toyota Fortuner in terms of presence. The V-Cross will give you individuality like no other on Indian roads. Having said that, it will be somewhat beyond your budget and Thar is the best bet in terms of the pricing within which you want to buy. Thar has got massive rugged appeal though it may not have the humongous proportions of the V-Cross. Comfort is not something it is known for specially compared to the V-Cross. V-Cross can take you anywhere in the country in complete comfort and a decent amount of luxury and features. Not have much idea about the Gurkha so can't comment.
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Old 8th July 2019, 17:40   #7
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

If the car will be used for city driving - as in school trips, and also for the occasional off-road-ish trip, then the Thar. I would also suggest the V-Cross, used. A friend recently picked up a low usage 4 year for a nice discount - at approx 14 L.
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Old 8th July 2019, 17:46   #8
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Default re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinay_ss View Post
A new Vcross costs around 20 on road and hence my budget goes out of the window. But I am tempted since it may allow me to travel comfortably over longer highway runs (staying in Chennai, one necessarily needs to drive long distance) to reach places where you would love doing 4X4 drives (western ghats for instance). I don't think I will break into a sweat driving a V Cross over longer highway runs, (though I am now used to the Automatics - Kodiaq and A6). Whether I will do such drives in a Thar ?? I really don't know for sure. Though its going to be a lot more fun when you are really in the 4X4 terrain.

The question to Bhpians is whether the Isuzu V Cross is significantly better and more enjoyable and versatile than a Thar - at double the cost. I am willing to spend (my heart talking again), but should I ?
The v-cross is significantly better than the Thar in most respects. But the Thar has that raw Jeep kind of thing that you are looking for in a 3rd car. The Thar is the answer to your heart while v-cross will be more of an answer to your mind. If I were in your place, I would go with the Thar provided you keep it only for weekend fun. If you bring safety into the equation, specially highway drives, I would suggest to go for the v-cross.
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Old 9th July 2019, 13:59   #9
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Default Re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinay_ss View Post
At the outset, this is a post from the heart and not the mind.
such cars are always bought by the heart.

Quote:
As the story developed, we now have a driver since the kids get ferried up and down to school (14 kms each way) who drives the Kodiaq. That prompted me to think - if I need a driver to ferry kids to school in a Kodiaq, why not go in for another car - inexpensive to buy and use, and doesn't worry even if driven by a driver.
Just a tip = whatever 4x4 you buy, don't let the kids travel in it with the driver. Because the Kodiaq offers topnotch safety which your offroader may not.

Quote:
A new Vcross costs around 20 on road and hence my budget goes out of the window. But I am tempted since it may allow me to travel comfortably over longer highway runs
When you own multiple cars, you can afford to have a specific purpose for each car. For highway runs, you'd be crazy to pick the offroader over the A6 or Kodiaq. Hence, I wouldn't really put highway cruisability as a top priority for your next 4x4.

Quote:
Whether owning a V Cross will get me going out a lot more in 4X4 terrain, than a Thar. If the offroading capability of both is similar, the V Cross is a lot more comfortable and versatile.
I'd put the Thar's offroad capability above that of the V-Cross. It's also got loads of customisation options and will be easier to drive in the city (V-Cross is h-u-g-e). On the other hand, the V-Cross offers build quality that Mahindra can only dream about.

Quote:
And the Gurkha Explorer ? An absolute underdog and out of the box. Not too many 2nd hand options around. But I would really want some honest feedback from the owners in this forum.
Please avoid. You'll just be buying your way into trouble.

My suggestions to you:

1. Wait for the next-gen Thar. In case you don't like it, you can always buy the 1st-gen Thar (either old stock from a dealer or in the pre-owned market).

2. Wait for the V-Cross AT - link to thread.

If you don't want to wait, the Thar it should be. It's perfect for your requirements.
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Old 9th July 2019, 14:27   #10
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Default Re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Why dont you check out a pre-owned Duster AWD? Heard very good review about its capability.

Also the car is fairly good to live with - on-road and off-road.

You should get a excellent condition car for your budget.
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Old 9th July 2019, 14:34   #11
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Default Re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

I'd suggest you to consider a used Duster AWD. It won't be a pain to drive in the city, will be reasonably comfortable and practical for a beater as well as being capable for mild off roading. 14 Kms everyday in a bouncy Thar would be too much for the kids!

If you don't mind the price, you can also look at a used Fortuner 4x4 as an alternative since you get a bigger car and ofcourse, the peace of mind that comes with it. It will be a better car too if you're going to keep it for a long time since it's more popular and has better off road ability (for when you're ready for it)

Cheers!

Last edited by porsche_guy : 9th July 2019 at 14:39.
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Old 9th July 2019, 17:22   #12
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Default Re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

Thanks so much for the suggestions.

I have never liked the Duster for its looks and there is very little I can do on making it a "fun" car with some personalization. Pre owned Fortuner will still be way above budget and I don't prefer going too old with the cars.

Looks like I am leaning towards a Thar. A brand new one is 11 lacs on the road in Chennai. Pre owned are in the range of 8 to 9 lacs for a 2017 low mileage. Options of hard top, front facing rear seats etc are available in the market and that is appealing and saves me cost. After reading the posts and mulling over a bit on how I am going to use the 3rd car as well as considering the budget, the Vcross is slipping down in priority.

This is a cruel decision making process for sure ! Atleast the Gurkha is out of my mind..So its down to 2 and with a little application of mind, it seems Thar is the only real choice.

GTO - This is an impulsive moment and waiting for the newer version is going to be very painful And its another 6 months away !! I absolutely see where you are coming from on the safety of the kids with the driver. But are you saying the Thar is so bad on safety, that its unsafe to ferry kids to school and back ? This will be a non starter then :(
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Old 13th July 2019, 16:13   #13
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Default Re: Will it be a Thar or V-Cross or Gurkha...or none?

As an update, after sleeping over the decision for a couple of days (which neutralises the heart n impulse), I have started taking test drives of hatchbacks,being more practical for the usage. GTOs comments regarding safety of kids with a driver in any of these vehiclee, really made me take a pause.

Thanks in any case for all your comments. The Thar refuses to go away from my heart, so maybe it needs to wait for another day !

For now it's a new search on hatchbacks. Top contenders in budget I'm looking at are the Baleno diesel(4 star NCAP) and Swift ( but just 2 star NCAP is again a problem). Though just for city usage, i still feel so nervous about the test outcomes of the Swift.
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