At first I tried to keep my mind rational. I went to explore and read about various medicines available in India, From different pharmacies. Here is a sneak peak at my Research-
Not selected due to being too crude. Not having well sealed AC cabin.
2. GV 4x4-
+ Highway Driveablity.
+ All time 4x4
+ Disc Brakes
- Not a proper 4x4. Just an Softroarder AWD. The capablities are not much better than XUV AWD. Infact due to poor torque, GV gets stuck where XUV AWD can often manage
- Bad FE
- Spares and relaiblity issues (Assuming vehicles will be quite old)
3. Gurkha 4x4
+ Bullet proof, Simple
+ Only true competition to Thar
- Impossible to find used in decent condition
- Poor service network
- Curde, just like Thar
- 5 Door, LWB Version misses out on 4wd LOW range (Confusing specs)
- Poor brand image and resale
- Dad owns Older 2wd version (2.6L, non Turbo, non CRDI). Dont like it.
4. Facelifted scorpio
+ Highway Manners and NVH
+ Great service network
+ Decent creature comforts
+ Decent FE and engine power
- Bouncy suspension, Limited articulation which means Limited 4x4 capability
- Mahindra Niggles
- Shoots Budget a Bit (S6 or S8)
- Less Interior space
- lacks LSD compared to Safari
5. Older scorpio-
1. Shorter overhangs giving better Approach & Departure Angles.
2. Slightly lighter than Safari giving Better BHP/Ton Ratio. Is that correct?
3. Eaton MLD is available for rear axle, costs 35k.
4. Mhawk engine is said to be better than Safari's older Dicor 2.2.
1. Suspension. I may go for a Lift kit & upgrades so that can be fixed. Budget is key.
2. Lack of LSD, can be compensated by MLD
3. Lack of space and Seat comfort
4. Is Scorpio plagued by same niggles as XUV?
6. Old fortuner MT- (2010)
+ Capable 4x4 machine
+ Proven reliablity
+ Resale Value
- Have one. Cannot use due to Family Restrictions. Not Buying again
- Costs a Bomb for Maintainance. Hell breaks loose if Something breaks or cracks. Not confidence inspiring for Risky maneuvers or learning
- Lacks LSD or Diff locks
7. Newer Gen (2015+) Fortuner 4x4
- Not fitting in budget
8. Safari TCIC 1.9
L- Not considered.
9. Safari 3.0L Dicor
+ Available cheaply
+ Had one in past. Loved it
- Finding decent & Well Maintained specimens is very difficult
- Very heavy vehicle
- Niggles may crop up in such older vehicles
10. Safari 2.2L Dicor
+ One of my Fav Vehicles. Esp pearl white
+ Available at decent Prices with Maintenance records
+ Proper 4x4 with low range. Rear Diff is LSD.
+ Powerful engine with decent FE
+ Proven Highway Cruiser. Comfort is better than Fortuner or XUV!
+ Decent space.
+ Tail Mounted Spare wheel- Not only looks macho but is easy to remove if Vehicle is Bogged/failed on Soft surface like Sand. Under-mounted spares are almost impossible to remove.
+ Mod friendly
- Heavy Vehicle, May get bogged down in Loose surfaces
- Lengthy & Bulky design. Poor Approach, Departure and Ramp Break-over angles. Need to be solved with a Lift Kit
- Some tata Niggles may crop up. But Dicor 2.2 is a mature version with Less niggles than 1.9L or 3.0L and has less electronics
compared to Storme 400.
- Misses out on Projector lamps of storme.
11. Safari Stome 400
+ Improved NVH, handling & Driving manners compared to earlier
+ Looks Good too
+ Small Improvements like Projector lamps
+ Carries most +ves of Dicor 2.2
- Spare wheel is underside
- May Not fit in budget. Well Maintained Machines are roughly 8L in VX 4x4
- Glossy and Chromed surfaces may gather more scratches. (I liked Grey Cladding in Older safaris)
- Heavy as usual
- Increased electronics could cause niggles
- Dated interiors and less features compared to Competition like XUV 500.
12. Pajero 2.8L 118HP (2nd gen)
+ Praised by mr Vipul & KKn
+ Proven off roader. Off roading capablity is actually better than Fortuner. (Chikmanglur paj vs fortuner video)
+ Brand value
- Finding Accident free and Clean specimens is a task
- Most used vehicles are quite old.
With the Government often inclined to Ban, Spank and Trouble Older diesels, Very old vehicle does not have much life left
- Newer Specimens do not fit in budget.
- Niggles and thin service network. Definitely a No-go for us Villagers. Need to travel almost 170KM+170KM for service. Breakdowns will be hell.
This all worked for a bit. I also had small entry of duster AWD for a meanwhile. But nothing really tickled my fancy. Somewhere in the corner of my heart, I knew where all this was going. The symptoms worsened day by day, And I could not get the 4x4 bug off me. I was Poisoned. I was done for. The Kind doctors at the forums suggested me a perfect Prescription-
1. A decent 4x4
2. Long wheel base & Comfortable seating/ Sealed cabin
3. 300 MG err. NM of Torque or more.
4. Having a Proper Transfercase with Low and High modes.
5. Rear LSD or MLD
This made the choice easy. The requirement that I had to have a low range- Transfercase means that it killed off any AWD imposters. The requirement of comfortable and well insulated cabin also terminated any affection towards Thar, jeeps and Gypsies.
This really left only a few contenders for my cure.
The ultra reliable Old Fortuner 4x4 MT
. Quite expensive. I couldn’t afford it.
The Bossy Old Ford endeavor 3.0 Hurricane
The Legendary Tata safari 3.0 or 2.2 with 4x4
Sources- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Safari My Pre-Owned Tata Safari 3.0 - Ownership Review Tata Safari LX TCIC 2,30,000 kms Review!
The Desi brainchild- Scorpio 2.6 or 2.2 CRDE with 4x4.
My inner child was screaming.
I am one of those people who has been a safari user since 20 years
. We had the first safari in town. It was a 1998 model Safari TCIC with 90BHP 1.9L Engine. An Image as rough estimate- (We didn't own cameras back then)
The vehicle was legendary when It came out. Turbocharged Engine. Power steering. Power windows. Double barreled headlights. Fog lights! But the best part? That Motorized antenna which used to operate at the touch of a button. We had her roughly 150,000 Kms. The only gripe was 90 BHP being so much an Hatchback-class engine, was way too underpowered for 2.5 tonne beast. For those can remember, Safari 1.9 TCIC was longer and heavier than current storme. The rearmost compartment had side facing seats. One bench seated two and other side seated one, with a strong ac vent as companion. This made the SUV and effective 8 seater. This long variant which we had was never seen much later than 90's. With safari being always a 7 seater from them on.
Somewhere in 2005, Tata ploughed in a 3.0L 2956CC 116 BHP truck engine from the 407! The Torque went up to 300 NM!. Sure, we missed the double barreled headlights, The longer last compartment and few knick knacks, but a more powerful engine in the Safari was a perfect recipe!
Before anyone knew, people saw us rushing towards the nearest metro city with a cheque book just like someone rushes to get tickets at usual Railway booking counter. My Safari 3.0L 4x2-
We also had this beast for about 160,000 Kms before it was traded in for Foruner 3.0 MT 4x4. A sad day that was. Almost in every journey with the fortuner, The discussion used to break out about how comfortable the Safari was. And how cheap was the Maintainance. We had upgraded to a vehicle thrice the cost! Still Safari was very much alive in corner of our hearts.
I guess Opening the threads as just a Bahana. My heart knew that inner child would win. So Yours truly once dared to buy this third Safari. Yes you heard it right, 3rd!. It has been 20 years since the fantasy started. And it was very much alive. It was time to fall in love again. It was time to buy a Safari 4x4!