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Old 4th November 2020, 19:44   #31
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
Wow!
Could you also please share some interior pics?
Thank you RedTerrano! Yes, am just compiling the same!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Is this the first ownership review of the Gurkha in our forum ? At least, I think so. Lovely to read. Excellent pictures as well. Some of those made me a bit jealous
I believe you have provided a very balanced and just view of the beast. Given the mod potential, i am sure many in the forum will love to see what you keep doing with this.
Thank you jkrishnakj! I think it is the first for a 2.6 in a very long time.

Some of those pics have made it to the official Force Gurkha Page
I am delighted to see the excitement and will certainly keep updating it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nsbhagwat View Post
Trojan, thanks for sharing your insights on a vehicle about which we know almost nothing.

The dealer apathy, is it because you were talking directly with the company and the dealer was feeling neglected?

Very good photos there. Which camera kit do you use?

Can you please post the following?

1. pricing breakdown
2. Interior photos
3. Engine specs
4. Mod potential specially the interior
Thank you nsbhagwat! Yes, during my research I found absolutely useless information on the net, and thats where I decided to put all my points, and hopefully it would help someone sometime!

Dealer should be happy that the company is taking interest in Sales and getting them a ready customer. It was the customer who was neglected time and again by them, and I had to reach out to Force every single time.

Kit is various - Drone, GoPro, Nikon, OnePlus!

1 - I will skip the money part.
2 - Coming soon!
3 - 2.6ltr, 85bhp, 250Nm, Low Range Transfer Case with Front & Rear Locking Differentials
4 - Need to be innovate, plenty of options, will share along with interior pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
10k+ kms in five months.

Everytime I see a Gurkha, end up wondering how the company manages to do it?
Though I believe the Gurkha is still more usable and utilitarian, with the new Thar, the difference has grown vastly. Don't think that the next gen Gurkha could close the gap as much as how the previous gen could.

The 2000rpm @100km/h was a revelation, imagined it to be a roaring mess at cruising speeds.

Guess this has to be the cheapest model with two locking differentials in India, next would be the Wrangler or the erstwhile Prado. (Know zilch about offroading, correct me if am wrong)
Thank you Dicky! Each Gurkha on the road is some gearhead who won the heart over mind battle! We bought it purely for our roadtrips and thats what we have been doing, 4000kms out of the 10500 are off-road.

The older Thar was still a consideration for me, the new one - No.
It doesn't make sense to spend that kind of money to get an ABS top 4 seater vehicle without any boot space. Not for practical requirements at least.
Yes, no other vehicle even comes close to its factory ready off-road prowess at this price range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
Glad to read about a rare vehicle. I thought Airbags were mandatory in India? Does your vehicle come with airbags? If not, why and how could the company get away with it when even Maruti had to put an airbag into the Alto and Eeco?
Also, it is refreshing to see an old school back to basics SUV. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Cessna182, happy to see that handle, I have trained on the Cessna 152A. Nope no airbags, no ABS, no ABD, no whatever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey1986 View Post
I truly believe that it is one of the most underrated vehicle available in our country for adventure enthusiasts.
Thank you Mickey1986, yes it redefines the word underrated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikarthik View Post
We would be able to see the SRS symbol on steering wheel is he posts inside pics.
Thank you Saikarthik, but don't need to wait for the same, it does not have airbags!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Whatever said Gurkha does tingle your feelings awake... everytime you see one!
Thank you Jaggu! I used to be in that boat, now I am in this
It takes some time to understand the power delivery and then it makes you wonder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.2TSI7DSG View Post
The pics with the kids on the roof melted my heart & made me think about buying one (when i have kids).
Lovely car, passionate review... You should sell this to Force. I am sure that people will start buying it if they see your pics & reviews!
Hahaha thank you so much 1.2TSI7DSG, hopefully this will help other potential buyers get some real world idea about this vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
How is the ride, is it bouncy and lot of body roll, as one would expect on such a high SUV on a highway?

How do you really manage without music on such long drives? And now with the new Thar launched, it would be great to see a comparo from an owners perspective. Any chance you planning to TD the new Thar?
Thank you justwheels! The ride is excellent, of course one has to remember its an absolute UV, its not made for corners but for craters.
Passion apart but if the vehicle was not comfortable we would not have been able to do it, I could not do the same on the Scorpio.
We keep and use our Boat bluetooth speaker behind the gear lever, songs and phone calls - both requirements are met!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miel View Post
Thank you for a lovely first-hand review of a highly underestimated vehicle!
Any reason why you haven't spiced-up the looks with some macho alloys? Just a thought.
Thank you Miel, with the same dynamics maybe but there were none available, or it would have been my choice too, in fact the one with 5 doors 4x4 and 2.2 engine.
No more money left, all spent on the road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vj_torqueaddict View Post
Such amazing pictures and review!
May be once the Corona thing is sorted , I might just visit your forest camp, Bear valley. I saw few videos on Youtube and I loved it. Shared the same with my wife too.!
Thank you vj_torqueaddict! That's awesome! Let me know whenever you do wish to visit! I will happily plan your entire trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadAtlas View Post
Force is so engrossed on the commercial market, it is losing a golden share on the passenger counterpart.
For their benefit, they are ruling their segment, there is no competitor to the Traveler

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive.click View Post
I am not looking at the grab handles but looking at the leopard so close !!

I am not sure about Force Gurkha but I am sure to visit your Bear Valley Camp and Panna. Nice updates on Force Gurkha as well.
Thank you drive.click!! Am glad you noticed Drop me a PM whenever you plan, will share all details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diwakarmuthu View Post
Very practical review. I loved it.
Can you share some internal pictures and the hack you mentioned about converting your rear seats to a makeshift bed?
Would the OM11 611 BS 6 version come with 140 horses?
Thank you diwakarmuthu! Internal pics coming soon!
From what I know, the BS6 doesn't come with the 2.2 engine. But I would not be too worried about the power figures, it has more than enough grunt to take anyone places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
Hi Sal,
Looking forward to some pics of the interior, dashboard and engine bay. It looks even smaller in length than a Gypsy. I was wondering how you managed two kids and baggage in the back.
Looking forward even more to a test drive when we next meet in Goa!!
Loved the sea shore picture
Thank you Karl! All details will be shared personally, pics coming soon!
Hehehe yea even we were surprised the way it swallowed our luggage and kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drive Head View Post
I admire the Gurkha but was not aware of the driving dynamics to be so good.
I would love to own one someday. May be Gurkha or the new Thar.
Thank you DriveHead! I am happy to have given an outlook and option from the crowd favorite! But do test drive it irrespective of the decision!

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
Eagerly waiting for more off-road excursions and overlanding fun.
Thank you megazoid! Will certainly do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aghate View Post
Awesome photos btw, especially the water wading and the ones with kids on the roof!
Thank you so much aghate! Yep, we took the leap and landed safely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaghavEvoX View Post
I hope some potential customers will at least take a test drive after reading your review.
Thank you RaghavEvoX, yes true, there is hardly anything available about this, hopefully this will help a few!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OctYFAN View Post
The stock steel rims are good but look tiny on a vehicle of this size.
Thank you OctYFAN! Would have loved to... Vitamin M needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
A fantastic read this thread. Rated it well deserved 5 stars. I like the Gurkha for what it is. I always found it to be a mechanically superior machine compared to the 1st Gen THAR. The Gurkha towers over anything else on the street like few other cars can.
Thank you Reinhard, similar thoughts, but believe me its not too bad and the interiors (or lack of it) grow on you. It actually makes a lovely platform to customize it the way we want to A-La-Carte!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
If this write-up were to be posted outside of TBHP, I would have considered it to be a paid promotion, but in here, this is real experience and I would not be surprised to see more people put more thought into buying the Gurkha.
One question - how is the seat belt setup for rear passengers (side seats) ?
Thank you mmxlyorider! hahahaa... Yes I paid a lot of money for this review, honestly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
I guess the key takeaway from the review is that when the following are followed, then there's a higher level of satisfaction.
1. Clarity on one's own requirements.
2. Open-mind to objectively evaluate options.
3. Have reasonable and realistic expectations from the vehicle.
4. Patience to handle surprises/shocks.
Thank you kiku007! That is my favorite Leopard, thought its best to share on my favorite forum too...little discretely! Yep, you have surmised it well, we were totally clear on what we wanted and what we were getting into, all points bang on, thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Awesome write up. I absolutely love the Gurkha, even more so than the brand new Thar.
Thank you extreme_torque! Yes it is one of the rare affordable off-road ready/overland ready vehicles sold here. I think the BS6 has ironed most corners, but lets see what it brings to the arena.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swarnava.ch View Post
Is that enough to compete today with the new Thar ?
What are your views ?
Thank you Swarnava! Lets see what the new model brings! At present, with just Airbags and ABS it will hit the ball outside the stadium because it offers a proper hard top, snorkel, diff-locks and a bulletproof engine! The rest all can be easily customized as per taste, at least that's what I feel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilharis View Post
In the midst of THAR buzz, this is some fresh air. Great review dear!

Never knew that a GHURKHA was this good. The 2.6 engine is mentioned everywhere for being underpowered below 90ps. But here I am glad to read about the dynamics and highway performance of the GHURKHA.

And the photos are actually excellent. I am begging for more please!!
Thank you Kamilharis! Wow thanks a lot! There are options, people should see and wait before they put in their hard earned money!

More will follow, the best is always yet to come!
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Old 4th November 2020, 20:02   #32
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Wow! What a grand review ! Loved every bit of it. Last year when I was planning to buy an SUV I was impressed by Gurkha and was very very keen to go for it. Only let down for me was the side facing seats. Thinking about the comfort in long road trips with family I decided against it and went for Hexa. Had this review been there last year perhaps it would have been a different story in my garage.
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Old 4th November 2020, 23:23   #33
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

That was one of a review!
A clear insight on how it's like to own a Gurkha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
Everytime I see a Gurkha, end up wondering how the company manages to do it?
As if the company has huge fleet orders or armed forces orders for a highly capable vehicle and as a side business, with zero interest or pushing, they let civilians buy it.
Force works as if it's a tractor company I guess. Just have a look at the hardware tractors get these days: Planetary gears, 4X4, double clutch, multispeed PTO and what not!

Same here, the Gurkha has all the hardware thrown in a single variant and the company saved itself of the mess of different variants. The hardware which is already available with them that they use in Toofan/Cruiser for export markets like Nepal.

And in the people mover segment in BS6 era, with no Scorpio m2DiCR, Bolero plus, Sumo, Used Taveras, Used 1st Gen Innovas; their Force Toofan BS6 is gonna rule the roost.

Last edited by H Karter : 4th November 2020 at 23:25. Reason: Appreciate review
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Old 6th November 2020, 12:53   #34
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

I have not been able to get this review out of my mind. It's like a song that's stuck in the brain. I am very very tempted by the Gurkha now. The name also appeals to me as I grew up in Cantonments across the country.

I also looked up Bear Camp - lovely place. If not this winter, then definitely coming next year. I hope you welcome pets (dog in this case).
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Old 6th November 2020, 14:44   #35
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Excellent review there sir. I thought Thar was macho. This guy looks like Thar's big daddy

There is some unbreakable feel about these high cc low power engines, another example being the old Innova which with 100 bhp could put lighter and higher power to weight ratio cars to shame with full load! They are generally running relatively lower compression levels and and a result lower stress on the engine components. You could throw in any quality fuel and also the components would have more Factor of safety left before giving up compared to a fully juiced 140bhp engine for the same cc. For off-roading, low compression "feels" best.
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Old 6th November 2020, 21:21   #36
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Many congratulations on your tank. Beautiful and only of its kind review. When I tail a force traveller van I used to wonder how this 2.6 - 90hp is giving a run for my MJD. No doubt it's a wonder mill. On paper figures are misleading from actual it looks like. I see here in TN many Force cruiser jeeps from North touring interior TN towns with a village squeezed in. Such is the prowess of this engine. Can you give a comparison between Vcross and your Gurkha on On and off road driveability?

Last edited by KPR : 6th November 2020 at 21:23.
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Old 6th November 2020, 21:37   #37
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Congrats on your beast. What a review !
The video in the end is awesome,have never ventured into places like this before. Drive safe
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Old 7th November 2020, 16:37   #38
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

At the onset thank you so much everyone, the response has been overwhelming to say the least, and I am falling short of time to respond, since there were multiple queries regarding the interiors, let me first give you all a glimpse of the same, will respond to all soon after!

The first glance of the cabin and it feels utterly basic and devoid of everything.

What it has:

1. Enough and more grab handles for co-passenger, rear passenger and driver. A total of 4 handles can be seen in this picture and all of them have tremendous usage value.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-grab-handles.jpeg

2. Decent lockable glove box for storage

3. Center console which has a few cubby holes and a large bottle holder

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-center-console.jpeg

4. Pockets in the seat back

5. Deep pockets on the front doors - useful only for maps, wiping cloth and other narrow articles

6. View of the rear from the front seat, can see the long grab handle down the center and also 2 grab handles for assistance in climbing up.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-view-rear-front.jpeg

7. Bottle Jack behind passenger seat

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-bottle-jack.jpeg

8. Headlight Levelling switch and Hazard Lights, don't know why but I was surprised to see the headlight levelling switch - for some reason I wasn't expecting it

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-hazard-switch-headlight-leveling.jpeg

9. Fog Light switch and a dummy switch

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-foglight-switch-ac.jpeg

10. Rearview mirror and visibility, due to the height of the vehicle, one has to be extremely careful while reversing, the visibility is good though comparatively lets say with the Aria (will mention reason)

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-rearview.jpeg

11. Steering wheel - nice and chunky and is of decent size

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-steering.jpeg



The interiors actually grow on you and frankly speaking except the music system, there is nothing else that we have actually felt a critical need for, in fact I don't think what else does any other manufacturer provide.
Yes maybe soft touch dashboards and the likes, the softer aspects - but with the nature of the vehicle the rugged character goes with it.

Maybe a black shade for the interiors would have looked far better than the current dark gray - keeping everything else the same.

But there we have it, we had to improvise on how to make the cabin fit our requirements.

Accessories

1. Music System - we travel with a large portable waterproof speaker from Boat, this provides us with music and also answer calls

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-boat-waterproof-speaker.jpeg

The available space is such that if we do fit a touchscreen there, it will be of no use and one will have to take eyes off the road to operate the same.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-music-system-space.jpeg

2. We use Here Maps for navigation and needed a sturdy mobile holder which could withstand off-road conditions. After many failed attempts finally came across this one from Bergmann and must say it has passed with flying colors, over 3000kms of off-road and another 2000kms on the highway and it stays rock solid like Day 1.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-bergman-mobile-holder.jpeg

3. Bergmann Typhoon Air Compressor, this has been quietly performing over 4yrs now, no issues - absolutely fantastic. Add to that a puncture kit - which I have not used till date.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-compressor.jpeg

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-puncture-kit.jpeg

4. Wooden beads for seats, really a necessity if you are spending a lot of time on the road. This keeps the circulation going and also prevents sweating.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-wooden-beads.jpeg

5. Noodle mats over the regular mats.

As you can see the dashboard is flat and hence possible to add something if one is able to overcome the textured disability - this prevents any suction cup from working well.

Most Satisfying Item
Everyone loves a clean car, especially after a long drive and if you are constantly on the road then even more important.

The mud flaps together with the extended floor board prevent any muck or slush from reaching the body, all of that stays totally out of the way and cleaning is relatively easier.

This is the state of the car after a 3000kms and 1 month run through forests, highways, 4 states and plenty of cow dung - nothing on the body at all. And no, beyond using the wiper, I have not wiped the car not even once.

Before washing

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-whatsapp-image-20201107-14.25.27-1.jpeg

During the wash

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-whatsapp-image-20201107-14.25.27-3.jpeg

After the wash

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-front-view.jpeg

Even the rear windshield stays clear of all mud, sludge and everything, this would have been a huge problem, as it does not have a rear wiper.

In the the Aria and the Scorpio, the rear wiper has to work a lot and after a long drive the usable visible area narrows down to just the wiper area

How do we travel with all the luggage?

The Space available in the rear is huge it is not quite apparent but it swallows luggage easily.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-rear-space.jpeg

I am trying to look for the picture where we have converted in into a bed, but at the moment let me try to explain. The next time I will capture a video of how everything fits and share it for everyone as a travel tip but for now here goes.

- In the center, we place our large Coleman Icebox,
Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-coleman-icebox.jpeg

- We use unconventional luggage too, like my Himalayan waterproof Saddle bags, which fit perfectly behind the front seats,

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-saddle-bag.jpeg

- the center area which is open, is blocked by placing a cabin luggage in standing position, that is supported by the Coleman icebox on one side and the saddle bags on the other 2 sides - doesn't move an inch and provides a welcome supporting wall for the mattress.

- behind the Coleman box, we place another cabin luggage flat on the floor and then a gadget box over it. Placed it above the Coleman for size reference.

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-gadget-box.jpeg

- Shoes are put under the rear seats, there is an image for reference, and so are all long items like my Manfrotto tripod, these remain safe and secure and without any movement or pressure from any side

Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4-shoes.jpeg

With all of the above put in place, it creates a fantastic flat space above, where we place the custom mattress and that gives the kids much needed space and comfort, we place pillows around and then its a kids bedroom.

- A can of drinking water (10ltrs) is placed right at the end for easy access

- Foodstuff and snacks are kept with my wife in the passenger seat footwell. The legroom is wonderful and one can recline and really stretch their legs


I am thinking of adding a Tablet maybe for navigation and music purposes, the large screen will be a boon, but still need to think of a way to keep it in place - suggestions welcome!


Hope this helps all travelers, packing needs to be done right to ensure a fuss free travel experience and at the same time carry all relevant stuff along.

Cheers!

Last edited by Trojan : 7th November 2020 at 16:44. Reason: Added line
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Old 9th November 2020, 11:14   #39
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile_Breaker View Post
Wow! What a grand review !
Only let down for me was the side facing seats.
Had this review been there last year perhaps it would have been a different story in my garage.
Thank you Mile_Breaker! We had intially planned to go for the 5 Door variant where you have a proper middle row and then the 3rd row. An absolute touring monster, but unfortunately there were none available and we had to make do with the side facing seats. Did you buy the Hexa AWD? Fret not, coming from my Aria experience, unless you are planning to do some real hard core off-roading, it can take all roads very easily and even off-road quite a bit and all of this in style.


Quote:
Originally Posted by H Karter View Post
Force works as if it's a tractor company I guess. Just have a look at the hardware tractors get these days: Planetary gears, 4X4, double clutch, multispeed PTO and what not!

Same here, the Gurkha has all the hardware thrown in a single variant and the company saved itself of the mess of different variants. The hardware which is already available with them that they use in Toofan/Cruiser for export markets like Nepal.
Thank you H Karter, yes you got that right and that is their USP, the only manufacturer which is making these hardware available for mass market.
Ours is a very confused market, we ogle and stare for hours at Youtube videos and Vlogs of overlanders traveling in old Defenders, loving every bit of the repair and experience it offers, but when you have something closer back home, we use a different yardstick to measure it.
With a just few changes to the interior, this can give many a car a run for its money, simply because its indestructible and will outlast many a thing on the road.
There is a very clear reason why highway drivers prefer Force Trax and Toofan, its good, costs less on maintenance and lasts a lifetime.

BS6 has only made things easier for Force!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaced Out View Post
I have not been able to get this review out of my mind. It's like a song that's stuck in the brain.

I also looked up Bear Camp - lovely place. If not this winter, then definitely coming next year. I hope you welcome pets (dog in this case).
Thank you so much Spaced Out! You should certainly try the new Gurkha whenever it gets launched and you are welcome anytime

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjun Bharadwaj View Post
Excellent review there sir. I thought Thar was macho. This guy looks like Thar's big daddy

There is some unbreakable feel about these high cc low power engines, For off-roading, low compression "feels" best.
Oh yeah Arun Bharadwaj it is certainly the big daddy of them all, I just wonder what will happen to its stance once it gets black alloys and some beefy tyres!
Yep, the torque on this engine is crazy and somehow these old workhorses work even better under full load. Karnataka and TN seem to have purchased 60% of Trax and Toofans on the road and yet every single one of them gave a glance at this different looking Trax! Its all about that 'feeling' thank you so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KPR View Post
Many congratulations on your tank. Beautiful and only of its kind review.On paper figures are misleading from actual it looks like. I see here in TN many Force cruiser jeeps from North touring interior TN towns with a village squeezed in. Can you give a comparison between Vcross and your Gurkha on On and off road driveability?
Thank you KPR I am out of Emojis! Yes, paper figures don't mean much in the real word, both my Scorpio 120bhp (2wd) and Aria 140bhp (AWD) can't cross a slushy patch which the Gurkha 85bhp can cross in 2WD.
How the power is delivered plays a lot more part rather than how much power is delivered.

The Vcross is also a potent vehicle and will do most things that the Gurkha can, the only challenge is its length and extra long wheelbase. In tricky terrains these can be challenging, on the highway I would rate them equally, as the rear seat comfort is lacking in the Vcross and one can't drive very fast if you have passengers seated there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hareshjethwani View Post
Congrats on your beast. What a review !
The video in the end is awesome,have never ventured into places like this before. Drive safe
Thank you hareshjethwani! Glad you enjoyed the video, will put in a few more, our country has many such unexplored areas with such beauty that we are always in a shortage of time to cover it.


Cheers,
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Old 9th November 2020, 14:04   #40
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Default Re: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6 - Service & Support

What a wonderful insight in to this unknown BEAST! Kudos for the excellent photographs. The sort of treads you follow as evident from the pictures suitably justifies your selection.
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Old 10th November 2020, 03:31   #41
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan View Post
...let me first give you all a glimpse of the same...
I was eagerly awaiting your update! Thanks for the same. You did take quite a leap of faith in going for this "unknown" brand and vehicle.

How would you describe the comfort levels for passengers in the rear, both in your version and the 5-door one (if you have an opinion about the latter)?

What about the long-term reliability of this vehicle?

Aren't you concerned about the lack of safety features in the vehicle, considering you might spend quite a bit of time in with on the highway?

I am on the lookout for a study, reliable, spacious 7-seater vehicle to replace my Tata Safari. The Safari has taken us places through all kinds of terrain and weather conditions is absolute comfort and without issues. I'm finding it tough to pick up a replacement and wondering if this might fit the bill.

Considering that you have the Aira, the Scorpio and now the Gurkha (discounting the Swift), which one would be your choice for long distance trips into the hinterlands of out country. I go in search of medieval temples, which often leads me to dusty and remote towns and villages. I need a vehicle that has good ground clearance, spacious, comfortable, makes me feel secure, relatively inexpensive to maintain, is reliable and costs less than Rs. 20L.

Thank you.
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Old 11th November 2020, 12:03   #42
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

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Originally Posted by sportymonk View Post
What a wonderful insight in to this unknown BEAST! Kudos for the excellent photographs. The sort of treads you follow as evident from the pictures suitably justifies your selection.
Thank you Sportymonk! Yes, we knew we needed a vehicle which could not only take us to such places but also survive with little to no attention being given to it!

A few months back, I had compiled a few of our drives and experiences into a short video - hope you like it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dearchichi View Post
Thanks for the same. You did take quite a leap of faith in going for this "unknown" brand and vehicle.

How would you describe the comfort levels for passengers in the rear, both in your version and the 5-door one (if you have an opinion about the latter)?

What about the long-term reliability of this vehicle?

Aren't you concerned about the lack of safety features in the vehicle, considering you might spend quite a bit of time in with on the highway?

I am on the lookout for a study, reliable, spacious 7-seater vehicle to replace my Tata Safari.

Considering that you have the Aira, the Scorpio and now the Gurkha (discounting the Swift), which one would be your choice for long distance trips into the hinterlands of out country.

I need a vehicle that has good ground clearance, spacious, comfortable, makes me feel secure, relatively inexpensive to maintain, is reliable and costs less than Rs. 20L.

Thank you.
Thank you dearchichi I will list down our own experiences which helped us finalize the vehicle, hope it helps!

Force is not an unknown company, they have been manufacturing Diesel engines under license from Mercedes Benz since donkeys years (1982), and that is the same engine (OM616) which is found in the Gurkha and the Trax-Toofan series and as such is known for its reliability and longevity.
Force is also the Title sponsor for the RFC (Rainforest Challenge) and has proven itself at the prestigious event a few times.

Regarding rear seat comfort, at the moment our kids are small so a bed type arrangement works, but as they grow older, this will have to make way for forward facing rear seats, that will be a necessity! But still, the underpinnings are such that the cabin is comfortable and we travel with relative ease and our minimum drive time/distance is on an average 900-1000kms.

The 5 door one will be certainly be much better due to the large seat in the middle row and still a humongous 3rd row. Space is not an issue by a fair margin!

Safety - well what to say about this, I feel it is a relative subject. Our drive times warrant us to be extra careful and the type of travel we indulge in slow & steady helps us stay cautious.
Of course traveling on Indian highways is not easy and we have had our own share of experiences on each and every drive, irrespective of the vehicle.
It all finally boils down to what is available in the market vis-a-vis your requirement!
How critical is your requirement? I feel no vehicle is going to tick all the boxes for anyone, you have to look at the larger picture and be objective about the same too.

Within your Control
Not within your control


Speed and safety is in our hands as we are the ones driving! How we choose to drive is purely our prerogative.
Whereas, reliability of the vehicle, fragility and quality of the parts and susceptibility to damage all remain out of control and one is at the mercy of the manufacturer.
This was our thought process and it comes from past experiences.

Aria is loaded to the gills on paper - but how much of it transfers onto the real world purely from a usage point of view is a different story.
More the electrical gadgetry, more the probability of issues cropping up and guess what if you travel to remote areas, none will touch the vehicle - you will be stranded!

Ground Clearance - the longer wheelbase limits it
Intercooler placed way too low
Electrical issues at random - power windows have been changed 6 times in total, all 4 windows one at a time and 2 of them twice, all of them happened during our drives.
- No Proper low range, AWD is feel good factor
Tires - AT tires at these specifications - tough luck, further you always have the fear of moving from company specs lest something goes wrong and you lose warranty!
Huge limitations!

So such a vehicle with 7 Airbags and all gadgets put in was still not able to provide what is most needed when we venture out into the unknown for +5000kms with kids - Confidence

Hence for us in our search of our next vehicle we followed the below

Confidence > Reliability > Safety > Interior Luxury

Regarding your requirement - how much off-roading are you going to be doing?
If bad roads and the occasional mud tracks and pothole and crater strewn highways is all that your vehicle is going to experience then maybe you don't need a 4WD, a rugged 2WD will do just fine.
If you are planning to be on the road for long and occasionally find yourself touring the length and breadth of the country, then you need 2 things
- a reliable vehicle which does not need to be babied every 1000-2000kms
- space for luggage, one has to be comfortable over longer periods and this is where it plays a huge part.

My suggestion would be
Force Gurkha 5 Door (it comes in both 2WD and 4WD) whenever it launches, this will take you places, in comfort and with confidence, with the new BS6 the interiors will also be sorted. And plus you get space, loads of it and the Defender look

Mahindra Scorpio - from the Mahindra stable, this is a proven workhorse and is fairly rugged with a lovely engine and sufficient ground clearance.

But if your need is a 4wd for touring, then its pretty simple Gurkha 5 Door it is.

Here is another video which I compiled of our experiences and why we chose the Gurkha and this is our Overlanding vehicle.

We had previously thought that only when we enter forested areas will we take the Gurkha and other times we would take the Aria, but that has changed now and soon we will be looking for a buyer.



Hope you like it!
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Old 9th April 2021, 00:34   #43
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

What a lovely car, experience, and photography... thanks for sharing all this, our family doesn't travel nearly as much as you seem to, but would like to do some epic trips some day. I always liked the Gurkha (/Trax) but never really budgeted for a new one (perhaps a mistake in retrospect); And second-hand, any of any of its siblings (nevermind the Gurkha itself) are very very rare up here (and just about everywhere, in 4x4 at least).

Thanks too for contributing re: my own quest for a vehicle on the Marshal thread... your review particularly against the backdrop of the Scorpio / Aria is most helpful.

Being that I'm unlikely to find a good used 5-door Force anytime soon, will probably go ahead with a 3rd-gen Scorpio 4wd... but meanwhile will keep an eye out for what I suppose is the closest thing for me to a true Indian dream machine.

On that note, what I hate about the Scorpio is that funnily serious fellow's unrelenting, loud insistence through the sound system every time I turn the key that this is supposed to be "[my] dream vehicle" (not even close - and boy, is that tacky)... Gosh, between that and the "MicroHybrid" system as being about the most ridiculous misnomer in the automotive world (and for which they should probably be sued), it makes me want to just keep the Marshal till I can find/afford whichever 5-dr 4x4 Force. No-frills is just fine by me. And minimalism / understatement can be a beautiful thing.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 9th April 2021 at 00:45.
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Old 9th April 2021, 11:56   #44
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
What a lovely car, experience, and photography... thanks for sharing all this, And second-hand, any of any of its siblings (nevermind the Gurkha itself) are very very rare up here (and just about everywhere, in 4x4 at least).

that this is supposed to be "[my] dream vehicle" (not even close - and boy, is that tacky)... Gosh, between that and the "MicroHybrid" system as being about the most ridiculous misnomer in the automotive world

No-frills is just fine by me. And minimalism / understatement can be a beautiful thing.

-Eric
Hey Eric, thank you so much for coming here! I hear you, the Gurkha is a rare piece.
It was always an aspirational product and the company doesn't do much towards changing that too.

Scorpio and its tunes, I have an older version but the song is the same!

As days are passing it is getting surprisingly difficult to replace vehicles in spite of the immensely useless diversity available in the market.
Your requirement is a niche one which can only be satisfied by personalization on a minimum set need of a 4x4 with transfer case.

1 - Scorpio Getaway
2 - Bolero 4wd (remove last row)
3 - Bolero Camper (too cramped though)
4 - Tata Yodha (you will have to convince the dealer though, they are not interested in selling)
5 - Force

No 3 & 4 needs some tweaking to get a White Number plate and 5 needs to be searched (I will look around too)
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Old 9th April 2021, 14:10   #45
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Default Re: Review: Life with a Force Gurkha 2.6L 4x4

I would like to add the Isuzu V Cross to the above list.

Isuzu makes very good engines and the rest of the car is relatively bulletproof. Not to mention that it can easily take on any modifications that a user might require.

Would love to know if anyone disagrees.
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