princey

Is a SUV best for Indian Roads ?

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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. These statistics donot matter.

For example, someones daily travel could be crusing on the expressway, whereas for someone else it could be driving through traffic and skipping potholes. Another example, some people live in states that have better road conditions than other, etc. etc.

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Gurkha

Do you suppose the Scorpio will make up for mothe than its flaws' date=' when the new Scorpio with the Eagle 2.2L engine is launched?

Any ideas when?
[/quote']

Depends on the pedigree of the engine, if its derived from Runnot ( Renault ) stables, I seriously doubt it, point is Tata and Mahindra find their vehicles selling with their marketing hype and gimmicks, the max number of failed cars I saw in my 8000km round trip from HP to TN and back was Indica, Indigo and few Safaris, the Scorpio taxi that followed us drank oil regularly and developed starting problems, not to mention the front tires were gone, typical Mahindra trademark and yet people here lap up these vehicles. For Tata or Mahindra to build a good vehicle, their philosophies have to change, and they will only change when they will suffer sales setbacks, dont see that happening.

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Went to buy a coconut farm near Monnar in TN, got sick and tired of factories creeping up all over HP so the move, drove 4000Km from HP to Pollachi TN, also hired a brand new Scorpio taxi to take my dogs and my wife, the vehicle followed us, we drove the Gurkha, Rajasthan even though searingly hot was a breeze to drive, the Scorpio wouldnt start next day after our halt at Ajmer, had to be taken to a dealer, heater wire had come off, also filter was leaking, Scorpio needed top up every day, Gurkha none, Gurkha was fully loaded to the hilt, all my precious electronics were in it.

 

Udaipur was nice and curvy except for under powered overloaded trucks crawling and hogging the roads, Drive in Mumbai was through rain, not pleasant, trucks hogged both the lane, no discipline, wont let us pass through, lots of jams, stopped over at Thane, next day headed out for famous Mumbai-Pune expressway, on way Thane was nightmare, too many potholes, also confusing route, couple of blockades and typical *****ic police misguiding you, reaching the hills and via Pune equal nightmare, slow trucks blocking you uphill.

 

Made it to the expressway, looked good even to a person who has been in US for 22 years of his life, however, there were facets of the drive not too good, buses and trucks hogging lanes, there were stray cattle and occasional villagers crossing over but with way less frequency, Gujarat-Vadodra was slightly better, stayed at Bellgaum, then Karnataka nightmare began, part of highways still under construction, no signs, suddenly you are facing a container truck in front with nowhere to go, without any intimidation, roads would become one way, night driving worse, whats worse everywhere but particularly in south was the cuts in highways, villagers would cross without looking leading to perilous conditions, guys on mopeds would come right at you from wrong side hogging the right lane and woe begone to anyone, especially a vehicle with north India number plate is to hit them even though due to no fault of the vehicle driver.

 

Bangalore in rain was a nightmare, city is totally out of control, traffic and layout wise, no directions, took us an hour to get out and find Hosur road, asked a 3 wheeler guy and he quoted Rs.500 to take us to Hosur road which was only 2 blocks away, needless to say we refused and tried our luck. Bangalore-Coimbatore was ok except for narrow roads in certain stretches and not so flat either. Reached Pollachi on 5th day, had planned 4 days but Scorpio gave out and had to be fixed in Ajmer. In a month, the plantation plan fizzled away as I was stuck in the jaws of thieves, Pollachi and Coimbatore itself was quite an experience, beautiful place but hostile to North Indians and even my foreigner wife had to face the wraith for not speaking Tamil in Pollachi shops.

 

Plantation plan fizzled out as I realized I was in hands of cheats, decided not to face any more hostility as one day my absentee landlord turned up and promptly declared North Indians out, in the meantime, I also got ill severely, was in coma for few days, that was it, decided to drive back, it was July and in the thick of monsoons, faced severe rains in Gujarat, due to dogs, none of the hotels in Ahmadabad would allow us even when offered double the rate, had to sleep in our cars next to a Punjabi Dhaba, Oye Chak De Phatte, Punjab to the rescue, headed out and on the Gujarat expressway, got caught in flash floods, Gurkha made it through but the Tavera taxi we had hired from Coimbatore didnt.

 

We had to wait for the floods to recede, on the way back, got caught in severe fog in Mumbai Pune, tunnels are not well lighted, people panic and go faster in fog foolishly. Realized Bridgestone DD are no good in water, vehicle hydroplaned and spun three times and it was sheer providence that saved us. One of the reasons I only use Yokohama Geolandar on both my Jonga, Gurkha and Judo. Never thought I would say this, but the happiest moment for us was when we saw the sign Rajasthan in the highway, felt like home, never again would I venture out to south, thats a promise.

 

All through the trip, I would like to thank Mr. Ambani personally for his Reliance Dhaba concept, we got clean bathroom, ladies can go there with dignity instead of embarrassing themselves on the side of the road. Food was OK till Mumbai and then its good for those who are used to south Indian fare but still, you got cold soda and juice as well as other refreshments, did put Reliance gas in some places but stuck to Turbojet whenever we passed in between cities. Came back and had replaced the oil in Gurkha, had the alignment checked and there was only slight adjustment needed after all the drive back and forth. There you have it, sorry if its too long.
FuelRunGod2007-09-19 23:25:51

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Excellent.

This was a most informing post.

I drove from Ooty-Coimbatore-Kochi-Alleppy-Travindrum-Kanyakumari-Maduri-Rameshwaram-Banglore-Mysore-Ooty.

Relaxed 14 day trip with various halts in a Tavera.

Had little problems with the locals, found them absolutely friendly and hospitable. Didnt have any problems when we lost the way also, always found someone helpful.

Please do inform a bit more about the Gurkha.

Characterstics-Interiors-AC performance-Mileage-On road driving experiances-Night driving-Accessories fitted.

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Mates, Talking about SUVs, what about the Toyota Fortuner?

 

Ive been waiting for it forever, i guess i will have to get a Innova instead.

 

I was going to be launched since 2005, does anyone know if it will come to India at all?

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Mates' date=' Talking about SUVs, what about the Toyota Fortuner?

?

Ive been waiting for it forever, i guess i will have to get a Innova instead.

?

I was going to be launched since 2005, does anyone know if it will come to India at all?
[/quote']

You aint the only one waiting, having driven it extensively in Philippines, both on and off road, I am eagerly waiting for it with folded hands, hopefully the Lords at Toyota Japan are heeding my prayers, soon I will do a Yagna right in front of their factory if need be, same goes for the OM611 CRDI Judo, waiting with baited breath.

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The frontuner is a fantastic veh.

Lets hope it comes to India SOOOOOON.

But Toyota is in the process of launching the new Corolla, its bread and butter model in India.

So probably end 2008 would seem more likely.

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Excellent.

This was a most informing post.

I drove from Ooty-Coimbatore-Kochi-Alleppy-Travindrum-Kanyakumari-Maduri-Rameshwaram-Banglore-Mysore-Ooty.

Relaxed 14 day trip with various halts in a Tavera.

Had little problems with the locals' date=' found them absolutely friendly and hospitable. Didnt have any problems when we lost the way also, always found someone helpful.

Please do inform a bit more about the Gurkha.

Characterstics-Interiors-AC performance-Mileage-On road driving experiances-Night driving-Accessories fitted.
[/quote']

You wont have problems with the locals since your visit there was for short duration, make it long and stay and you will see the hostility, of course Karnataka and Kerala has far less than TN.

The Gurkha I have was slated for Germany and has no a/c, the new models have a/c I am told. I have posted its specs and performance at http://www.autocarindia.com/new/autocar_forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=164

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SUVs are good when you need a good ground clearance.

For bad roads you need a good suspension and only decent ground clerance

 

OR do you use a chainsaw instead of a can opener

 

SUVs cant ride as well as saloon cars or hatchbacks

they are nowhere near as agile and heavy and ponderous

have you forgotten about traffic

 

SUVs are good for nothing - only the ego

 

for off road use get a real off roader - Gypsy, Jeep, LR

 

 

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Anything with bigger tire will go over bumps better, cars are designed for smooth roads, thats only present in fewer numbers than needed, the SUV is spacious, comfortable and you can go long distances with ease, a Vehicle like Innova is a far better option for an average Indian family travelling over the highways than say a Civic. Do agree on the parking issues inside cities, in that case, gimme a Maruti 800 anyday over anything else.

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A SUV provides comfort provided it is a Softroader.

Handles bad roads better than cars.

Best for large families.

Comfortable cruiser over long distances.

Diesel option better.

Practical for our roads.

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No doubt, an SUV/MPV is the most practical vehicle under Indian road & traffic conditions. Lets forget about the phoren ones as they are priced way beyond the budget of the masses & as someone rightly put it, they are more a lifestyle (ego) statement & would come under the "mall cruiser" variety. For most of us its the locally made SUVs/MPVs.

 

Ive lived for years in UP & travelled extensively in the Himalayas. Very happy with a 4x4 Armada Grand under most conditions. But gotta agree, nothing like the Gypsy King for the Himalayas. Ive gone thru two in a span of 10 years. The width is just ideal for narrow mountain dirt tracks.

 

I now live in Thane & commute to Mumbai daily for work, with the occasional weekend trip into the ghats. I drive a 4x4 Scorpio & am very happy. The high driving stance makes for "very relaxed" bumper to bumper Mumbai traffic. Throw me ur worst potholes BMC/TMC!!!!

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After getting a negative feedback about the Scorpio from Gurkha, its nice to hear something positive.

Could you give us a review about your experiances with the Scorpio.

Pros and Cons.

 

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Neither the Ford Endeavour, not the Pajero sold here are Mall cruisiers by any standards, both can be taken off road and with proper tires, they are serious off roaders, only the Gurkha beats then due to higher ground clearance and diff locks front and rear.

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Hi mates,

I too agree that in our present road conditions the new generation cars get chickened out despite their fantastic packages.  Well, they werent built for military use in the first place!  They were built for ideal smooth surfaced roads or at least basic tarmac.  The torrential monsoons and our ever-lazy maintenance system has brought out a network of roads which is more like a set of a horror thriller!  As was rightly said, they literally "swallow" our delicate cars or sometimes even buses for that matter!

 

SUVs are built mainly to go off-road and now in India there is only a thin line between whats classified as "off-road" and "on-road".  Barring a handful of expressways and good highways, the majority of the roads have an average speed of 20-40 k.  The new generations beauties are capable of 140-170k,  which could only be termed as breakneck and "break-the-neighbours neck" on our bad roads.

 

The Scorpio and Safari are MUVs in the true sense rather than SUVs.  They lack the sophistication and refinement of the likes of the Montero and Cayenne.  They are but doing good at what they are intended for in Indian standards.  Even in a highly competitive market like the UK, the Safari has a loyal fan following(surprisingly non-desi) for its simplicity and practicality.  It is rightly called "the poor mans Pajero".   

 

In India road maintenance is still a game of politics and contractors.  Until we have at least near ideal road conditions, off-roaders or soft roaders are a better bet. 

 

Jitz

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I fully agree about the Safari and the Scorpio.

They are both MUVs in the real sense masquerading as SUVs.

But at their price points, thats just about the best u can get.

Both are improving as such, but the cost factor will tend to go up too.

As of now they are the best majority of Indian class SUVs, u can get for the overall package they offer at the price.

And they are the vehicles ideally suited for our Indian roads.

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The Scorpio and Safari are MUVs in the true sense rather than SUVs.  They lack the sophistication and refinement of the likes of the Montero and Cayenne.  They are but doing good at what they are intended for in Indian standards.  Even in a highly competitive market like the UK, the Safari has a loyal fan following(surprisingly non-desi) for its simplicity and practicality.  It is rightly called "the poor mans Pajero".   

 

In India road maintenance is still a game of politics and contractors.  Until we have at least near ideal road conditions, off-roaders or soft roaders are a better bet. 

 

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Neither the Ford Endeavour, not the Pajero sold here are Mall cruisiers by any standards, both can be taken off road and with proper tires, they are serious off roaders, only the Gurkha beats then due to higher ground clearance and diff locks front and rear.

Its really a 4X4 to buy. Join for more fun.................and who admire this vehicle

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The Safari and Scorpio are homegrown SUVs and have run for a number of years on our roads.

Both have been upgraded and improved over time and have become better.

They are the best SUVs that can be bought in the sub 10Lac category.

They are cheap to maintain and run and provide value for money to owners where their popularity lies.

As far as buying a premium SUVs concerned, skys the limit where Lexus-BMW-MB-VW-Porshe rule.

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