Autoliebhaber

Small Offroader

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No car is typically meant for Off-Roading, infact it's built enough to tackle with the minor of the Road potholes only.

But if you still think the Rough & Tough car, then its the Indica eV2 only, which can tackle best of the Road undulations.

Rest all are delicate Injection moulds. 

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There are two that come to mind; Premier Rio and Skoda Yeti and both are as different as chalk and cheese. For a 'pucca' offroader I'd suggest a Mahindra Thar. Maruti Gypsy is also the one but thats a petrol.

Durango Dude2011-03-28 01:51:00

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M&M has the widest range of budget off-roaders to choose from and they also offer customised vehicle for your specific requirement.

www.mahindra-customisation.com/index.htm

Mahindra has THAR , Invader, Bolero, Scorpio which can be considered for offroad driving.

THAR would be the best option.

Tata Safari is also nice option but new Safari is expected any time so better to wait.

Maruti Gypsy also can be considered as it is proven since long time with best possible A.S.S.   

If you go for higher range you can check-out Mitsubishi Pajero , Maruti Grand Vitara, Ford Endeavour,  Toyota Fortuner.

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@rrr1604: You got me wrong, I wouldn't even in my wildest dreams suggest a Rio to anyone. I said these are the choices that "come to mind". I think autoliebhaber would be better off with a rustic Mahindra; my suggestion would be wait for the Mini Xylo; that must suit you to a tee.

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ok and i know that going for a premier which has not even got his company popularised and going for mahindra would be good but the premier rio is a good car under 6 lakhs...

And mahindra has cars for every budget,that everybody knows

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Considering very specific requirement of  ' small ' offroader THAR, GYPSY, Bolero , Invader can be considered.

Out of the above best option would be to go for Bolero which gives advantage of comforts such as AC, Power Steering, Power Windows etc...along with offroad capabilities.

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Practically it is the Gypsy' date=' "Nothing can beat a Gypsy offroad, perhaps a Arjun battle tank"[/quote']

Exactly what I too want to say here.

@Mikee:You are now a days reading the AC mag. too much..copied the same linesmiley36.gif

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@Mikee:You are now a days reading the AC mag. too much..copied the same linesmiley36.gif

@TSiVipul: yes of course i copied it, but then it's "the ugly truth" and no one can deny it!!! Many here may still not know this, An Ambassador has the most comfortable rear seats, Autocar know's this very well, but some lines are too small for others to highlight!!

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Maruti 800 was a good car' date=' no doubt. [/quote']

Maruti 800 is still a good car,

Nevertheless I wonder how much it can accomplish with its sub 1L engine.
and there is nothing like a sub 1L engine story here!! I too drive a M 800 Uniq, in ooty a hill station and the roads to some villages here are pathetic and with those roads my M 800 has a good capacity off road, yes i agree that it may not have too many bits, but for the money we pay M 800 is far better than anyother hatchback!

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@Mikee:

When it comes to the rear seat of Ambassador,I think it beats my Innova too.And its a fact that is mentioned in th AC mag. too.

When it comes to offroading capabilities of M800,I totally agree with you,it can take offroading better than any other hatchback...its my experience too.And if its trapped anywhere then you need only 4 people to pick it up and take it out..isn't it a perfect piece of man and machine co-ordination???smiley36.gif

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Ground clearance figures as below can be helpful :

Ground Clearance :

170mm : Indica , Swift , Ritz , Maruti 800 ,A-Star , Fiat Punto, Palio Stile

168mm : Ford Figo, VW Polo

165mm : Indica Vista, Wagon R and Zen Estilo

158mm-160mm approx : Alto, Skoda Fabia and Nissan Micra.

So Tata Indica and almost all Maruti hatchbacks except Alto are best to select from.

Only one thing is most important to consider is cost of spares because whatever the ground clearance is if something is damaged from the bottom cost of repair / replacements sometime are very high and problematic.

For eg. I had a bad experience in Fiat UNO Diesel as it hit a sharp rock from bottom and oil sump got damaged and it created lots of trouble when it damaged and also it was a costly affair to repair the same and funny part is UNO was offering 180mm ground clearance. 

Even the mufflers / silencers are prone to get damaged from bottom in Indica. I am not aware about problems in Maruti cars.

As per my experience Petrol hatchbacks (small off-roaders) are better than diesel , I am not sure but it may be because of the weight of engine is less in petrol than in diesel which may be having effect of vehicle's driving dynamics when on off-road.  

Figures as mentioned above are for reference only and in real it may be different.

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Overall 158-160mm Ground Clearance is more than sufficient for India, as no Maruti Suzuki car touches the Ground even with this much clearance, tad easily.

And Maruti Suzuki 800 is the king of Roads which were actually 'No Roads' at that time & its mechanicals are one of the Simplest & toughest.

 

 

For eg. I had a bad experience in Fiat UNO Diesel as it hit a sharp rock from bottom and oil sump got damaged and it created lots of trouble when it damaged and also it was a costly affair to repair the same and funny part is UNO was offering 180mm ground clearance. 

 

Gearbox was the lowest part of the Fiat Uno, with its clearance from ground being mere 120mm. Fiat & many auto mags have mentioned the same thing too.

But was partially acceptable as it lies exactly between the front wheels, so No trouble at crossing speedbrakers but Actual mess while crossing uneven potholes, short bumps & boulders.  

 

-Similar type of problem is happening with the Polo TDi too these days, as its Oil sump & lower portion of its front bumper are the Ground kissers at most occassions.
dr_nishu2011-03-31 19:53:31

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And to add another point to this (I am not branding the M 800 but I narrate my experience)

I usually drive on the estate roads in ooty here, normally roads without Tar but with hard mud and rocks. I drive on the same routes everyday, sometimes with my family too on a M800, the maximum i would have experienced was my mud flap rubbing the rocks or the ground, but to my surprise once i had a guest at my place, and we went out in his Indica (three adults), when climbing a small hill, trying to negotiate a rocky bump, it unfortunately hit the under body and the gear shift got stuck in 1st gear, could not position it to neutral also. Then had to call another mechanic and did some tricks to rectify it!

I found this many times with Indica, So from my personal experience M 800 is good at GC.

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Hey guys I remember reading an Autocar issue in which a Nano has touched worlds highest motorable road in Khardung La . so I am not suggesting you to buy a Nano but if Nano can do it many other car will be able to do it (no offence meant to any Nano owner).

Btw why you only want to go for an hatchback, some hatchbacks can handle a little soft roading but if you want to do hard core off roading than you should stay away from hatch back and get yourself a Mahindra Major you could even buy an used one and make it as per your specification.

And since the hatchbacks are designed keeping road condition in mind not offroad condition, they will give you a big pain in both short term and long term use.

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