Arjun_M

Open-top, 4X4, back seats face front

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One vehicle I'd like to own is this wishlist. I'd like one with an open-top, with the removable top being either soft or hard. I'd also like 4X4, and I've been looking forward to driving one. Since I don't wish to own too many vehicles, I want one which also serves as a vehicle for family and friends (and groceries)- so I'd like to get one with seats that face forward. I'd also like some power in that engine- like the CRDe or a good petrol engine- but I'm not optimistic of the DI. One vehicle which satisfies my needs is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but that's not something we get here.

The Mahindra Inspira is one which comes closest, although not the best 'family' vehicle, but it's little value for money. Too expensive, and too much time to wait. It is also rather underpowered, and I've heard of many 'restored' jeeps that do better for a lot less- and I'll need a lot of advice from people next to me at the dealer if I go to those places.

The Maruti Gypsy is cheaper, comes to me faster, is relatively a stock vehicle, and satisfies most conditions in this list- but the seats face the sides. Besides, I don't know the correct (or optimal) method to eventually get my own Gypsy- buying one is difficult, it seems. Some people say the seats can be adjusted or replaced at the back.

I'm not keen on the Bolero Stinger mod- it's only a sun-roof. There were photos of an open-top Stinger, but it has some hideous design features. I've heard of the Thar, which is a stock vehicle, but I've heard it's got a weaker engine and even they don't have the seats as I want them.

Maybe it's the mod shop for me- that I take a Bolero with a powerful engine and 4X4- and have the top modded. Some folks suggest against getting a Bolero, for my size, and suggest going in for the Scorpio instead- but that's expensive and not quite something to have modded to the extent of an open top. I'm not too keen on touching the Sumo or Safari. I don't need to mod the Gypsy, but I want better back seats.

But I'm not keen on waiting (or collecting money) for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. To the custom department, then?

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You have considered almost all vehicles and nothing is left. 

Among all Thar is the best option available because you want soft-top.

Considering your very very specific choice and requirement it's better to contact  Mahindra Customisation Studio and they will offer appropriate vehicle 

www.mahindra-customisation.com

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Customization Studio

Unit No.9, Steel - Made Industrial Estate

Near Marol Fire Brigade, Marol

Andheri

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Thanks, Tejas. I thought of the Thar, but the Gypsy seems a better option- it's spoken of as a better quality vehicle. If I can get a new Thar instantly, with no waiting time, I'll think of it

I had spoken to the Maruti dealer near my residence, and the sales representative said there's no option with the back seats, but if Maruti gives me one, I'll be satisfied.

The Gurkha isn't a very popular vehicle, and I have my suspicions about the quality- will it be better than the more popular Bolero and Sumo? And how's the after-sales support and spares availability? The Invader is a more familiar vehicle, but it takes time to be delivered- and more time to have customised- so I wait a little too long. The basic Invader does not have the front cab open, unless the Inspira mod is performed. The Inspira would be the ideal ride, but for the cumulative price, waiting time and value for money and waiting- and it fails on these.

Will Mahindra Customisation do a mod job similar to the Inspira on a regular 7-seater CRDe Bolero? An open-top Stinger? That will be ideal. The same mod on a 4X4 Scorpio will also be a good option, but to get this vehicle of my choice, the best option in a budget in quick time would be to modify a pre-owned vehicle.

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Gypsy is always a better option but is bit too old as against that Thar is latest offering from M&M so overall you get latest vehicle if you opt for Thar.

Mahindra customisation will be a costilier option but you will get what you want.

If you choose to get Mod-job done on Pre-owned vehicle I feel you should opt for Maruti Gypsy through Maruti's Authorised pre-owned showroom.

I am surprised why the dealer said no for changing seating option ? You should contact Maruti through their website and I am sure they will respond to your specific requirements.

Have you checked Mahindra Classic ? This is also good option if you find one.

classic1.jpg

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The Thar, if some discussions are to be believed, has quality issues. If it's sufficiently refined and there's no waiting time, it's a strong contender. The Gypsy is made-to-order, and has its pedigree, so I'd trust it more.

Mahindra Customisation seems to have its fair share of pre-defined concepts. Will they create something extra, that's not advertised? I'm not sure. Besides, their site isn't very user-friendly.

The sales staff at the Maruti Dealer in Chembur have little or no experience, so no knowledge of the Gypsy. I'll try the Maruti site and ask them. I'd like to know the place and procedure for getting that job done on the Gypsy- Sai Service appears to be a famous pre-owned showroom.

Classic is a decent choice, but value for money is a concern. Will I get a Classic at a budget price? And can I tune it for better performance? If I'm buying an out-of-production vehicle, I'll need it real cheap, so that there's money I can save on modification. I'd prefer the cheapest road-worthy Classic, not something coming for over four lakhs, but not a sub-lakh lemon. What about those vehicles from the famous custom shops from Dabawali/Mayapuri?

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Since you are in Mumbai you can check at following for M&M Classic and Gypsy respectively. 

(1) For Mahindra Classic : Andheri Link Road near Audi (Andheri West) Showroom. Very specifically it is outside hotel "blue-waters" near dentist clinic there is a roadside garage who always has one or two Classics parked outside the garage and he does mod jobs of jeeps as per specific requirements.  You may find a good deal there of Classic.

(2) For Pre-Owned Gypsy : On the same linking road there is Vitessee garage near Mercedes showroom (Landmark - Fun republic Multiplex , opp Laxmi Ind Estate)  where you can check with workshop manager for pre-owned Gypsy as well as changing of seating configuration of Gypsy etc....

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I read more on the Gurkha, and while it's a tough nut off the road, it's not useful otherwise, and not a fun vehicle to take around. The price is also too high, for a base variant. I'm not keen on something that's only a second or third vehicle.

The Maruti Gypsy site has a problem, so I can't get across to them from there. I'd like a phone number.

I spoke to the Mahindra Customisation contact people, who emailed the brochures for Thar concepts- notably the soft-top and open-top. No new Bolero/Scorpio options. I don't mind the Thar, but like Durango Dude said, not quite one for the family, but surely one for Aarey Road- that expensive stretch of dreadful tarmac is Jeep territory. They didn't email me the profiles of Bolero Inspira and Bolero Stinger V3. I figured a Bolero or Scorpio would be more comfortable, more refined and more easily available- if it's to M/C, I don't want to wait longer than 60 days!

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When opting for regular 4x4 the driving experience on normal roads will not be as soothing and enjoyable as in hatchbacks / sedans.

I feel due to time constraint and your very specific choice nothing is better than pre-owned Gypsy with some mod job to change in seating configuration.

Atleast Gypsy is reliable and it's from Maruti so you can take it anywhere and you will be able to get parts and service support.

It would be out of topic but check-out Premier Rio, it's a good vehicle considering your choice within budget of 6L.

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Here's a Gypsy mod I'd like to have done. It's on the like-platform Suzuki Samurai, but it's got the seats fixed, and two more doors. If I can get a good mod job that can add those doors, it will be better. I don't need the massive wheels.

samurailimo001.jpg

Or what I originally had in mind, for a Jeep- the JK Unlimited design. Stock vehicle, no mods.

154_0604_01z+2007_jeep_wrangler_jk_unlim

I'd like to know what's an ideal quotation on each, since you suggested the two Andheri-based workshops. Where to get the base vehicle, the mod job, what to check- someone who's had a mod job done can advise. The Mahindra Thar Adventure concept, suggested by M/C, is too expensive, so I need to look elsewhere. I'm also open to buying a Mahindra Classic, but would prefer the seats at the back changed as also a performance upgrade, and I'm not keen on paying a Bolero price for it, since it's old and out of production.

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Here's a Gypsy located in Kerala. I am not sure if it is sold, but it's a soft-top (cab doesn't appear open) and the seats are also adjusted. The only thing left is that extra pair of doors for the back seats. And possibly opening the top.

1269539144_82928915_2-Maruti-Gypsy-for-s

What's an ideal price? I spoke to one dealer yesterday, who promised the whole works (mods and registration included) in a little less than a small car price, and a few friends, who asked about it, said it's too expensive. One said that it's cheaper to get one from a contact in the services!

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Arjun, it seems you are bit confused whether to go for mod job or not.

What I feel is that you just but any 4x4 that suits your requirement as well as budget without any modifications so that you will not have to spend extra and also the warranty / guarantee as well as OE will remain intact (if you buy from authorised source).

Any MOD job major / minor will effect overall dynamics of the vehicle. It's better to keep vehicle intact in original condition to get the best out of it.

The addition of the doors in the back side in either Gypsy or Classic or any other 4 x 4 is not really advisable because they tend to loose as the time passes and it's not a small or simple modification job.

Don't go by the false promises of the garage guys because they end up doing very shabby job which is not satisfactory. If you are quite serious get the mod job done than get it done through some professional or atleast through authorised service center.

Best of luck ! 

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If someone can give me an idea that doesn't call for a mod job, I'll take it. There is none beyond the Gurkha, which isn't a good all-round vehicle, and is suited only for off-road fun, and doesn't appear to be complete value for money.

The next best thing is the Inspira, but that's essentially a mod job and not a stock vehicle, and takes a really long time to finish- unless the M/C people have no problems working on a pre-owned vehicle, which seems the only way to get it done quick. The underpowered engine is another major drawback.

I'm not taking it just to any nondescript garage to get that job done- I'll take it only to someone tried, tested and trusted- without those hangups of course. I wouldn't want to add side doors to the Classic- I don't see the need for them- but the Gypsy is a LWB, so I felt it would be a good idea- so that I don't have to keep folding the seats.

Otherwise, I'll have to get the top of the Bolero removed and re-worked so that it fits as a removable accessory (like that of the Jeep Wrangler in the image) and have bull bars running beside the windows and through the top. The third Stinger variant on the M/C site has actually done that, but the side doors seem to have been done away with altogether for this seating arrangement.

The experts here know what's best for the task, so I'll leave it to them to suggest mod shops whose mods actually last.

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