Ownership Review: Force One

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First Impressions.   After a long wait for TATA Safari Storme, I finally decided to go in for Force One SUV on 21 May 2012. Overall a good value

for money package, the vehicle looks smarter in flesh as compared to the

photos. It has an imposing presence with overall attractive looks. The vehicle

has a striking resemblance with Ford Endeavour when seen from distance. First

Indian vehicle to get the DRLs, these add to the attractive front fascia of the

vehicle.  The fit and finish however,

definitely needs to be better for a vehicle which costs 12L OTR. My car, for

example, has uneven panel gaps on both sides of tail gate, with left side of

tail gate almost touching the side wall and the right side showing a wide gap

of almost an inch. The contours of the headlight units do not match with the

contours of the body shell. The sealed (right) headlight unit had some sort of

stains on its projector lens, which I showed to my dealers. They did offer to

change the unit, but the new unit also had the same problems. The paint work is

fairly good and well complimented with chrome work. Both ORVMs are electrically

adjustable, though have to be manually folded. Vehicle comes with all 5 Alloy

wheels, which are of very good quality and add to the masculine looks of the

vehicle. These are nicely mated with 235/70 R16 Apollo tyres, which add to the

ride quality.

Interiors.  Interiors are extremely spacious, with best

leg space in the segment in all the three rows. Even the third row, can

comfortably seat two adults. Then there is space behind the third row to

accommodate decent amount of luggage for long journeys. Steering wheel is

comfortably placed with audio and cruise controls mounted on the steering wheel

itself. The car comes with dual ac with independent vents for each row, and

dual controls on the front central console. Ac is quite effective for a large cabin

of this size, though blower noise is slightly on the higher side. Instrument

cluster is a decent job, with a host of lights, indications and readouts. The

car comes with a 2 DIN JVC KW-XR816 audio system and four speakers. The audio

system is fairly good and has an integrated bluetooth for pairing with mobiles

or other bluetooth enabled devices. The speakers however, are of manageable

quality and may be replaced with better units later on. There are a total of

three 12V sockets in the car, two on the front console and one for the middle

seat passengers. One of the front sockets houses a cigarette lighter and other

has been left vacant for using 12 V appliances such as mobile charger etc.

There are two ash trays/ small stowage units, one on the front console and

other next to the central seat charging point. Check all these before delivery,

my vehicle has been delivered without the front ash tray/stowage unit and the

sales as well as the servicing team of the dealer have been unsuccessful to

solve the mystery of the missing panel ever since. The door lock pods are the vertical kind

and could have been better, since all four pods are of different length, even

after tightening them properly (definitely a no no for a vehicle of this class). All

three rows have independent ceiling lamps, with the rear two lamps having an

option of activation through door switch. Puddle lamps on all four doors with

red lights, which I personally feel, would have been more effective if they

were normal white lamps, or even L.E.Ds. Gear shift throw is rather long and so

is the clutch lever travel. A dead pedal has been provided, which is a nice

feature for long journeys, where you could take the foot off the clutch pedal.

Engine Performance,

Fuel Economy and Gearbox. Engine performance and ride quality are two

extremely strong points of this car and were definitely my reason fo selecting

this SUV, even fully knowing that the ASS network would not be as strong as

TATA and M&M. As I mentioned earlier, I must admit that I was more inclined towards TATA Safari

earlier and had been awaiting launch of Safari Storme for quite some time. I

have driven Safari Dicor 2.2 VTT also but this car definitely has much better

engine response and extremely well controlled NVH levels. The overall economy

that I have been able to muster through city and highway drives is a healthy 12

Kmph, and I'm sure it would improve further as I have only clocked about 1900

kms so far. Gearbox mates well with the engine and vehicle accelerates

effortlessly to three digit speeds. At the same time, city handling is also

quite convenient, with especially third gear providing decent range from 20

Kmph to more than 65 Kms or maybe even more (I've been a little conservative in

order to allow a healthy run-in for the vehicle). The gear lever though, as I

already mentioned has very long throws, and gear shifting doesn't give a very

well planted feeling. First gear in my car would bounce back on its own, as car

used to roll forward. The situation has improved a bit after first servicing,

and I am hopeful that gears would give a better feel as the gearbox settles-in

and both car and I get better used to each other.

 Ride Quality &

Handling.  Ride quality is once again a strong point of

this vehicle with very smooth ride and good handling on all sorts of roads and

a little bit of offroading that I have subjected the vehicle to, so far. Body

roll is probably the least in the class, and ride comfort for the passengers of

all three rows, one of the best. Suspension does a good job of gobbling

imperfections and surface irregularities of Indian roads. I was a bit

apprehensive about lack of ABS/EBFD for a vehicle of such large dimensions,

owing to its inertia at higher speeds, but I am pleasantly surprised by the

effectiveness of the LCRV system, and the confident stance the vehicle

maintains during breaking at high speeds. I have faced issues with power

steering, however, which tends to become hard after prolonged drive as the day

temperatures rise beyond 45 deg C. I had to take the vehicle back to dealer two

days after delivery for this problem, and then twice again after that. They

have flushed the power steering fluid twice and refilled it. The response is

slightly better, but the problem is not entirely gone. There is no leak in the

system either. The company definitely needs to look into this aspect, and maybe

need to switch over to a better fluid (they are currently using Valvoline) or

re-route the oil lines in engine compartment. I would request fellow F1 owners also to give me feedback on this aspect. 

Final Words.  It is definitely a good package with

potential to capture better market share, provided the company remains vigilant

in ensuring that all the checks and balances, that have been formulated are

followed in complete sincerity. This does not appear to be happening as of now.

My vehicle was handed over to me with 54 Kms on odo, and sales guy explaining

to me regarding how each vehicle is extensively driven to weed out all problems

before final delivery of the vehicle. That, however, did not appear to be the

case as after I took the charge of the vehicle, I had to return twice to the

dealers for various problems, which definitely would have been noticed and

rectified, if the PDI would have carried out with even 30% sincerity. Still,

the vehicle has been delivered with missing bits which I am desperately trying

to obtain now. The people at the company need to listen to the market and need

to open communication and feedback channels with their customers and potential

customers, if they are serious about their product. Any link for this is

missing from the Force One site as of now.

Areas of improvement. Fit and finish, Need

for providing more

options for colour of interiors, quality control, better servicing network,

Need to establish a consumer feedback system for product improvement, Need to better educate sales and servicing team as

they tend to consider very customer as naive and at teams give ridiculous

inputs, which only lowers the confidence of an informed customer.

ProsVery Spacious, Excellent Engine Response, Good Ride Quality, Very Low NVH Levels, All 5 Alloys.

ConsFit and Finish of Exteriors and Interiors, Practically non-existent PDI, Uneven Panel Gaps

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 The situation has improved a bit after first servicing, and I am hopeful that gears would give a better feel as the gearbox settles-in and both car and I get better used to each other.



Many Congratulations on owning a beast


First Service below 2k, did i read it right ? , could you share its complete servicing schedule as in the service booklet.

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   Thanx librankur. You read it right. The first servicing for Force One is between 500 to 1000 Kms and thereafter at 9000-10000 Km or 6 months, whichever is earlier. The vehicle comes with 1,00,000 Kms/ 3 yrs of warranty. Remaining servicing schedules are as given below:-

  3rd service: 19000-20000 Km/360 days

  4th service:  29000-30000 Km/540 days

  5th service:  39000-40000 Km/720 days (Paid)

  6th service:  49000-50000 Km/900 days (Paid)

  7th service:  59000-60000 Km/1080 days (Paid)

  8th service:  69000-70000 Km and so forth..

Hope I have answered your query..

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This is really a full size SUV and the size for price ratio is very good but I found the dashboard dull and also they could atleast offer ABS as optional . My dad loved the size of the SUV and on the test drive in rough road the ride was pretty good (may be due to long wheelbase).


But as you rightly said the panel gap issue should not be there in a 12 lakhs rupee SUV . Force needs to market this SUV more in towns and smaller cities were people will be awed by its space and value than aggressice marketing in the big cities.
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Lack of safety package, VERY BAD fit and finish of interior, very low seats not comfortable for even medium sized person, lack of adequate thigh support are few issues which I have observed during first look of vehicle. Test drive was not available at that time, hence I could not comment on that. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Thanx Guys.. OTR was 11.97L in Chandigarh. Metallic Grey is my favourite color and it harmonises nicely with abundance of chrome on the vehicle, although white also looked pretty graceful. Presently none of the vehicles in this segment offer a complete package. Weighing Pros and Cons, I found Force One to be quite a balanced product delivering good value for money, so far till my requirements were concerned.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A few questions ,

Are those the AC vents on top the grab bars placed over the doors in one of your interior views

What is that piece of equipment on the top right hand corner of your wind screen , again inside view

Did you get seat covers and entertainment system with the vehicle.

Nice pics and even nicer colour

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Hello librankur,

Thanx for your interest.. and keen observation I must admit.

Those are indeed a/c vents over grab handles, both center and rear seat rows have independent a/c vents, which are fed by rear blower. The item on the top right corner of the windscreen is holder for my MapmyIndia navigator (not supplied with car). Car seat covers and audio system with four speakers, were part of the package.

Glad to know that you also like the colour.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello KayJay - I have been keenly following this vehicle on various forums. Some of the posts on facebook has been a little scary - but i presume they are only those with issues with thier vehicle. Wanted to hear from you on how has your ownership experience been so far. Specifically looking for issues, repeated issues and the maintenance costs so far. Advance thanks.....

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Thanx for your post kan_ranga. I haven't had any issues so far. Only the left sun shade lock gave way, if u could count that as an issue.. Not very happy with the quality of plastics as mentioned earlier also, definitely should have been better in a vehicle of this class, especially at this price tag. But then, engine and suspension are two major strengths of this vehicle, not to forget acres of space inside too. Handling even in city drive is a pleasure, which is definitely a plus for the vehicle. Only maintenance cost so far has been on change of oils etc during first servicing. I'm nearing the six month timeline, so will give an update after the second servicing again, which I plan during next week..

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  • 3 months later...

hye KayJay. its long since you wrote. I am planning to buy Force one when its 4X4 launches. My only concern is how is its ride quality. My friends have scorpio , safaris. but I really hate their " ding dong " ride quality. It always gives me feeling as I am driving a boat on water. How was your experience owing this beast. regarding mileage/ease of driving/cost of ownership/ any niggling issue keeps which keep coming up/ how many workshop visit you do other than normal scheduled service. Looking forward for your replies. I need to dependable 4x4 with acres of space. & it should be technically sound. Force one fits on my bill very well. waiting for you reply.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Scottzinne,

Regarding ride quality, I can confidently say that you would love it, as compared to any of the Mahindra vehicles. I think you should go for a test ride yourself to assess it. For me, the test ride was the main factor which helped me to decide in favor of this vehicle. I've driven the vehicle only for about 9000 Kms so far, but I'm happy with the performance and comfort during long rides. For me, the nearest dealer is about 250 Kms away, but thankfully I haven't felt the need to visit the dealership or workshop except for periodic servicing. I also must add that gear shifting is tad on the heavier side initially, till the vehicle has warmed up. Thereafter, it's pretty smooth. 4X4 would definitely have a more improved feature set, as I find even the current model very responsive, even during off roading.

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Long time.

Happy to see you back again,as you are the only one that i know that owns a force one.

Two service down , tell us how much the services costed you?

250kms to the nearest service station , this gives me the creeps, so 1000kms out of the 9000kms were done just to get the vehicle serviced twice.

Mahindras rocky ride is legendary , i am happy you get a planted one.

Do write back more often .

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When i bought my linea nearsest service station was 360 kms. but didn't faced any issues. As getting car for service is like a weankend break for me ( at that times in 2009 ). Any ways thanks KAYJAY. looking forward for 4x4 launch. but Force motors is testing my patience. first it was roumered to be laucnhed by 2012 end. than feb 2013. But still no clues when finally it will land.

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