princey

Is a SUV best for Indian Roads ?

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The way and condition our roads are in, particularly the State highways and Rural roads, driving a SUV makes more sense.

We see roads with craters which would swallow a car especially during and after monsoons which a SUV would plunge through.

The added advantage is that a SUV can bull its way through the dense urban crawl traffic.

Cars are no doubt more economical but a SUV has its own advantages mainly space and ride (Safari) , butch image and performance (Scorpio) , design and flair (CRV) , offroading (Montero).

But the question is , Is a SUV best for Indian road conditions and which is the ideal economical SUV for Indian roads ?

 

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I fully agree, but then there are off roaders which are capable of surviving bad road abuse and then there are pretender mall cruiser SUVs, the later is more the norm than the former.

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With our road conditions, including the metros, the SUVs are in their natural territory. If I had to choose from the ones available here, it would be the Mitsubishi Montero. Good to drive, diesel powered, relatively comfortable, nice handler for a two-tonner, host of features, good offroading ability.

FRG

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The Montero is one of the most capable SUV this side of a Landrover.

But the fact is Its not at all economical to own one for daily use.

I feel the Scorpio is still the best bet (better than a Safari).

Cheap, the best below 10 Lacs, Economical to run (Diesel, Maint cost).

Talking of which anyone any idea when the new scorpio with the 2.2 eagle engine is to be launched?

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I happened to travel through the states of Eastern UP and Bihar during the monsoon.

Can U believe the only three vehicles plying on the floodstricken roads were a Scorpio, Sumo/Safari and Tempo Traxx, and in that order.

 

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Mates, Please excuse the SCORPIO and the SAFARI because they are infact dreadful cars to drive. Whoever advocates that the ride, handling and performance of these two sluggish vehicles are good, that fella should check the dictionary for the meaning of these terms. Both of these are extraordinarily slow in acceleration, ie can be overtaken by cyclists. Heavier than elephants, because they have used ancient materials to build them. They both handle like a unicycle, surely land you in the hospital if you blink twice while you drive.

 

I am sick and tired of people falling in love with them, because they havent experienced anything else.

 

I totally agree that they are affordable and look alright. But a vehicle is much more than the way it looks.

 

As far as this discussion goes. My choice for an affordable "offroader" on indian roads, remains the Maruti Gypsy. Of course i wouldnt buy it becuase i would look out of place. If cash wasnt the criteria then i would surely buy the toyota landcruiser, i believe that there is no better SUV than it.

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Well, I agree that neither the Scorp and Safari can be compared to a car in deptt of performance/acceleration.

However why buy a vehicle only for performance alone?

I would say the Scorp and Safari both offer more than decent performance/acceleration compared to anything in the 35 Lac and beyond category.

If cash isnt the criteria then the best bet is Lexus LX570 and Landrover Sport and maybe the Porshe Caynne if Performance is all that U want

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The best value in the India market today is the older Pajero with the chassis, at Rs.19L, it cant be beat when it comes to value and is better than its newer unibody Montero cousin, at a recent off road meet, it was the only vehicle that could keep up with my Gurkha and only on certain climbs did it falter a bit but then Gurkha has way more clearance and diff locks front and rear. Dont even get me started on Scorpio, few of my relatives have it, recently did a trip from Kolkatta to Siliguri in a 1 and 1/2 year old Scorpio with 22K on clock, the front tires were gone in the inner groove area, the engine drinks oil, all deemed normal by the dealer, its well maintained and never taken off road, only driven inside Kolkatta within city limits and the a/c is never used, on our trip to Siliguri, roads were horrid, its a miracle the short travel suspension didnt break itself or my back, on way back check engine light came on, when taken to dealer it was discovered that the fuel heater relay and solenoid relay had gone bad, they also had to add shims to the front, the control arms are pressed mild steel job on Scorpio, not stamped or forged steel, not good at as evidenced by the tires.

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I really cant say about the Old Pajero but compared back to back with the new Endeavour, the latter appears to be better.

My cousin has a 2 and 1/2 yr old Scorpio but never has any probs when I took it on a 700 km trip into Western MP and Rajasthan and MP roads especially the interior ones are pathetic to say the least.

The only misgiving I felt was lack of power ( we were 4 bulky people).

I felt that its ability to travel on bad roads is its forte and service costs and spares affordable.

Where say, would U get decent affordable spares for the old Pajero when HM runs out of the kits its imported from Mitsubishi? 

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The point is Pajero wont need spares like Scorpio unless you get into an accident, your cousin is lucky, other Scorpio owners arent the engine is history by 70k and thats not a one off case, you cant compare the Endeavour to the Pajero, the Endeavour is a non performer off road compared to the Pajero, its not about power here, its about design and implementation, the Ranger chassis which the Endeavour is based on shows its limitation off road and we had quite a few opportunities to test it. 700km is peanuts, try 4000km in 4 days without a oil top up, now thats what my criteria for a performer, for bad roads, even the Bolero outperforms Scorpio, ask any taxi driver, recently one auto magazine in India recommended taking the Innova over Scorpio if facing bad roads.

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Well' date=' I agree that neither the Scorp and Safari can be compared to a car in deptt of performance/acceleration.

However why buy a vehicle only for performance alone?

I would say the Scorp and Safari both offer more than decent performance/acceleration compared to anything in the 35 Lac and beyond category.

If cash isnt the criteria then the best bet is Lexus LX570 and Landrover Sport and maybe the Porshe Caynne if Performance is all that U want
[/quote']

 

I am stunned.

 

Firstly because of you believe that Scorpio and Safari offer better performance / accelearation compared to the expensive cars. I am unable to digest this. Please name the cars, in that category, you believe are worse than Safari and Scorpio.

 

Your choice of SUVz seem nice

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Quite a few actually.

I suppose the petrol cars are out of the reckoning.

So lets see........

Indica/Indigo.

Logan.

Lancer.

Palio.

Fiesta(?!!)

and the Octavia but only because of poor ground clearance.

The rest will beat the Scorpio/Safari hollow but only in straight line acceleration.

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Please first things first.

I never said Im a Scorpio/Safari fan.

I own a 2005 Corolla H2 (K&N filter, Iridiun sparks and 205/70 Goodyears) which I feel the world about.

My contention is that a SUV is right for our road conditions and traffic chaos.

Try driving your 12 Lac beloved car on Delhi roads and see.

A SUV gets more respect and right of way

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Is a SUV best for Indian Roads?

The generalisation "Indian Roads" is slow-witted.

The roads in India, which is a large geographic region, vary in quality of the surface, width, congestion, etc.

 

An SUV cannot be best suited for every situation.

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Having driven virtually all over India back to back, I would take a genuine SUV designed for genuine off road capability over a car anyday, Indian highways still have a long way to go before they are ready for high performance cars. So I guess I will stick to my rank ugly Gurkha, Judo and Jonga smiley2.gifGurkha2007-09-17 13:50:15

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"Indian Roads"

Lets specify.

"Double laned all weather blacktop 70 Cl roads" - Metros (45%only)- Thick traffic congestion, vehs jostling for space, frustrated drivers, scratches and bumps, bloody murder.

"Expressways(3%)"- same as metros- Trucks in fast lane, incoming slowmoving tractors and cyclists on wrong lane, U name it, its there.

"State roads/ National highways(89%)"- Single lane allweather blacktop 40 Cl blacktop-Majority of so called "Indian Roads"- Poorly mainained biannually(especially in BIMARU states), potholed and conjested without maintained speedlimits.

The rest Rural roads-less said the better.

Ask me, my Dissertation was Transportation System of India

So still feel why a SUV makes more sense?

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One neednt go that far, just take a drive from Kolkatta to Darjeeling to find out the dismal state of roads in our country, thanks to the apathetic attitude of center toward north East and Bengal, its a veritable nightmare, make sure to take a Scorpio, it will remind you the meaning of why good suspension design in any vehicle is an art, just bolting a spring to a ancient chassis does not make for a good SUV. smiley2.gif

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True.

The suspension is the weakest link of the Scorpio.

even the famous Lotus couldnt do much.

I suppose its the short wheelbase to blame.

But forgiving that its a Ex package overall.

 

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Princey,

The reason is that Scorpio is a marketing gimmick using old Mahindra parts which were derived from good old Willys, even Lotus cant do miracle on them. Suspension is an art, take a look at the bottom of the Trax or better, the Gurkha and you will see that even in the 60s, the Germans got it right, even in severely damaged roads, you will never be lifted off the seats in it, the Torsion bar with dual wishbone, dual floating axle and full floating rear is still the hallmark of vehicles designed to do severe off roading, same goes for Jonga aka Nissan Patrol, it shares a very basic leaf spring design front and rear unlike the Traxs, it manages to do bad roads far better than Scorpio.

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Its not really true blue Indian, engine is derived from the Perkins which was modded by AVL, Hawthal Whiting UK did the overall design, the JEEP Station Wagon which it was originally based on was OK but nothing great.

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"Indian Roads"

Lets specify.

"Double laned all weather blacktop 70 Cl roads" - Metros (45%only)- Thick traffic congestion' date=' vehs jostling for space, frustrated drivers, scratches and bumps, bloody murder.

"Expressways(3%)"- same as metros- Trucks in fast lane, incoming slowmoving tractors and cyclists on wrong lane, U name it, its there.

"State roads/ National highways(89%)"- Single lane allweather blacktop 40 Cl blacktop-Majority of so called "Indian Roads"- Poorly mainained biannually(especially in BIMARU states), potholed and conjested without maintained speedlimits.

The rest Rural roads-less said the better.

Ask me, my Dissertation was Transportation System of India

So still feel why a SUV makes more sense?
[/quote']

 

This is exactly what i meant. The Statistics donot matter. For example, for someone, everyday travel could be crusing on a expressway, whereas for someone else it could be driving through conjested traffic trying to skip potholes, etc.

 

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