Force Toofan: A 'Lite' Test Drive Review.


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DISCLAIMER: This is my first Test Review on TAI, first anywhere infact, so kindly bear with me, my language and if you feel disconnected anywhere, my apologies. Writing isn’t my kinda thing, but then love for automobiles does make you go outta way :P.

About me:

Well you might be wondering what this has got to do with this review. Well I personally feel it does. So here it goes.

I’ve always been a different kinda guy, weird you may say. I have always had a thing for stuff that usually isn’t the first choice of many. For instance, most of my mobiles were Motorola. While most of the people considered it as crude, Spartan n even useless, I have always liked it. I’ve used LG, Samsung too, before the launch of their ‘good’ phones. I made my dad buy a Indica V2 Petrol. Most of the people I know, had no idea that indica had a petrol variant. 8 years n still own it/Love it. Chose a Unicorn when Bajaj just launched the Pulsar with alloys n blah blah. And the list goes on.

To put in a simple sentence. I’m more of a ‘Why not that?’ kinda guy. That said let me get back to the topic.

What we need:

We are on a lookout for a people/luggage carrier.

1. Its for private use. Hence will be registered with a white board.
2. Will have to carry 8 people or more and/or luggage.
3. Since it will be used on rural/ no road areas, GC/Suspension is a priorty
4. As running will be medium/high, good FE was on the priority list too.
5. AC wasn’t a requirement, but if it came with a package, then y not.
6. Decent space for people to be comfortable.
7. Looks isn’t on the list.


What I short listed:

1. Tata Venture: Has really comfy seating for 7/8 ppl. Small on exterior dimension. Proven engine(well sort of, though not niggle free). Interiors though not a priorty, it did have good interiors for its class.

2. Bolero/XL: Highest selling ‘SUV’ (they say). Supposedly rugged. Sheer number of them on road. Proven product.


3. Force Gama/Toofan: Well this is where being ‘me’ comes into play. I stay closely by to a inter state route where lately so many Toofan/Cruiser have started plying. 20+ ppl(min) in a seating capacity of 12/14. The engine seems to pull just fine. Tempo traveler for its size uses same engine and TT has been our choice of travel for all family outings. Its comfy n pulls well. Heard lot bout the ‘merc derived’ engine n how its stress free n how it delivers good FE too. While most wouldn even think of considering this behemoth I went ahead n Test drove it.

Test Drive(finally!!):

Well as stated above, I started enquiring bout the above mentioned vehicles. First off was the Force Toofan/Gama as I had not been in one till date. It was more of curiosity. So I started.

First off I googled for a Force showroom in mysore. Got the number of Raj Sales and service. Called them up and asked the directions to the place. The person on the other Side Mr.Khaleem, was very kind and gave me proper details n direction. So I fixed an appointment for 5:30.

At 5:40pm, I reached the place. It didn’t look like a showroom. Well, not the ones that have kept up with time. It reminded me of early 90s showrooms. Nothing fancy. A honest simple structure. Well you cant expect anything else from a CV showroom.

So I went in and met Mr.Khaleem, He was under the impression that I had come down to book the vehicle. Then I explained to him that I was interested in seeing the vehicle first before deciding. He then informed me that there are no vehicles for TD or display as the customers they cater to come there only to book. No one demands a TD. He then checked with the company and informed me that one vehicle that was booked, is in transit and will arrive next week. He then gave me the brochure and approx price. He had to search a bit around to get the price for a white board vehicle. But then he did give me a price quote.

The Toofan(11+D) costs around 8.06lks OTR mysore for basic version without even PS. The Gama(9+D) costs 8.56 OTR mysore with AC/PS. Its approx same if u consider 44k for AC/PS. He said Gama comes under luxury class( I couldn’t stop laughing) that’s why it attracts additional excise duty. Anyways I took the price quotation and left.

Exactly after a week, yesterday, Mr. Khaleem Called me and said a customer Toofan has come and I can have a look. So I finished my work early and rushed to see it. I reached the showroom. He removed the Toofan which was parked between two TTs. I couldn’t help but notice that both toofan and TT measured similar in length.

So I got into the vehicle and my first impression was, atleast it has a dashboard(well sort off). Closed the door and it just refused to shut in place. After 4 tries it finally shut close. I asked him to take me to a less conjusted road as I wasn’t very sure if id be comfortable with the length. The ’89 Tatamobile/207 I used, was very comfy. Both driving wise and comfort wise too. So even with the vehicle fully loaded I never broke into sweat. But this one felt like I was driving a TT itself. All these impression were from the passenger seat. So after driving the vehicle for 2 kms or so, he finally gave me the vehicle. Some things I noticed were, he was finding it difficult to slot the vehicle in gears. It always make loud noise. Second is, while he shifted to passenger seat. He kept his leg in the brake till I got in. cuz he couldn’t engage the hand brake when door was closed.
So I got in, the driving position was nice and high. I tried to buckle the belt, but couldnt find the buckle. It was somehere below the seat. Anyways I slotted into first. It took me three tries to get the gear in place. Compared to the 207 this lever had lot more plays, so slotting first time wasn’t easy.
So I slowly accelerated. The vehicle picked up slowly(60 HP, what else would u expect?), But it was better than I expected. So its size it was decent. Although the seat was adjusted too much in front for my comfort, I found the position to be right once I started driving. The Steering was neutral, not too hard, neither too free. One thing I realized quickly was, with its power n size, I needed proper planning before I overtook, sply on a highway with speeding trucks/buses.

A bus while overtaking almost threw me off the road. Left tyre went off road n the steering felt as if it wasn’t connected to the wheels at all. After a 2kms of driving. I reached back. I asked him as to why the steering felt useless, he politely explained me the problem. It seems that drivers while driving down the vehicles from Pitamphur (all force vehicles are driven down), over inflate the tryres by upto 25lbs more tha prescribed. Also the alignment, camber, tow wasn’t adjusted. So the problem. I agreed with him cuz when my astra PS unit was replaced till the alignment was done, I couldn drive the car, although it was only a km distance.

Interiors:

Well there is nothing to say bout it. Cuz its almost invisible. The seats offer decent comfort for a people mover. Seats are very wide. Front has a 2+1 layout, mid row can seat 4 medium sized adults people. The rear has a 3+3 side facing seats with ok kinda leg space.

What works in its favour :

1. Seating capacity with decent comfort
2. Superb GC.
3. Good handling for its class.
4. Good ride on load. Suspension wont bottom out.
5. Reliable Engine. (3,00,00 kms warranty)
6. FE of 12-14kmpl

What doesn’t:

1. Difficult to maneuver and park in city.
2. Absolutely no creature comforts.
3. Doors don’t shut easily. The vehicle has read door lock broken.
4. Spartan feels modern in comparison.
5. Price too high for wat u get.
6. GB has too long throws. 4th(right front) hits the leg.

Verdict:

n I still like the vehicle. But would i buy a new one??? definately NO!! may be a used JUDO/GAMA for a decent price. Its too crude for that price. u can get a base model scoprio/xylo for approx similar price with more features. also, its too huge. A venture TD is also planned soon. i spoke to a few of them who changed from bolero XL to toofan. They said XL is not good. this was better. so its out of equation for now.

Here are few pics.
F

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Legs space(im 5'10) with seats placed fairly in front.



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The TD 2650 BSIII, 2.6L, 60HP@3200rpm, 158Nm@2000-2200rpm
20120315_182952.jpg
 
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Akash

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Excellent review buddy. To be honest, i have never driven this vehicle.

This thing is quite popular among the contractors here in Jharkhand. They use this or the Gama for ferrying their workers from one site to the other.

Now since, you are considering it for your use, i would say, better stay from this. I would say a Venture is much better buy than this. It has loads of space, and looks stylish too. Please go through our Official Road test report for more details of the Tata Venture.
 
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Kind of different review.
practically i like cars of these type very much! jeep kind of!

Throughout the ages force do produce superb engine and almost starting from exterior looks , everything have genes of merc!

Present day TT suspension /ac/ engine is so fine , that was so absent in few years ago.


For your use , either venture or bolero or sumo suits more.

Sumo is similar priced like venture with ac and you can carry 8 people with luggage rack fixed on roof.

I have not seen venture with luggage rack , but interior is so good for that price - feel of premium luxury car/van inside plus the tried and tested indigo engine with rear wheel drive unlike the winger which is front wheel drive.
 
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Good write up.

Price is on the higher side for what the UV offers. A strict no for personal use. The long side facing seat will be uncomfortable. I think even a van would have more creature comforts.
 

350Z

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Great review and it’s sure one of a kind (First on internet?). You have explained the pros and cons of this ‘truck’ nicely. From the looks, it does not appear pleasing but then I think it serves the purpose well for what it is really meant. Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi is using this vehicle for ambulance purposes too. For the personal usage – Just don’t look anywhere close to it. You will find much decent cars around which at least offer better comfort, features and design for the amount spent.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Once I drove this thing for a trip., its pain to drive machine and its give no comfort or confident. steering seems to changed from the old gama/goorkha. BTW great review buddy. :)
 
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Good review buddy, how about ride quality at back seats? also the last row seats are side facing which is not good for long traveling, venture has all front facing seats right?
 

Vishwas

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Great review and it’s sure one of a kind (First on internet?).
Drive Safe,
350Z
This is the first time i am reading the TD report!

Pradzz Thanks a lot for giving out such a nice detailed review, i like to drive this one and the driver's seating position looks great.

Ask the dealer if the model which you asked for that PS can be fitted as an aftermarket fitment.Think it may serve your purpose well.

Venture looks fine for you and the GC doesn't really matter as that Van has 14" Tyres and positioned highly

The rear has a 3+3 side facing seats with ok kinda leg space.
not recommended for long distance trips.

Good review buddy, how about ride quality at back seats?
You get a good body massage in those seats, because it uses leaf-springs,

venture has all front facing seats right?
Yes it has front facing seats in all the rows, And all the seats in the rear have considerable legroom
 
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That was a nice review...

Is that a typo error ?? Engine warranty 30000 kms or 3lacs?

Trust me on bad roads this vehicle goes fast with speed.

I have seen so many Toofans going speed on bad roads, while returning from Pandarpur, during my Shirdi trip.

I was going slow at such places.
 
Thread Starter #13
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Excellent review buddy. To be honest, i have never driven this vehicle.

This thing is quite popular among the contractors here in Jharkhand. They use this or the Gama for ferrying their workers from one site to the other.

Now since, you are considering it for your use, i would say, better stay from this. I would say a Venture is much better buy than this. It has loads of space, and looks stylish too. Please go through our Official Road test report for more details of the Tata Venture.
Thanks Akash
Main problem m not considering this new is price.. but second hand was k.. problem is old models used to rust like crazy.. so its no no.
I have seen the venture(yet to drive it) n i really liked the vehicle. lil expensive but compared to gama, its a steal id say.
our main puprose is big heavy boxes likes speakers(approx 40kg), amp(50-60kg) among others. Venture has no space with 8 seat option and roof carrier will damage the items.


ilango[speed thirst];144621 said:
Kind of different review.
practically i like cars of these type very much! jeep kind of!

Throughout the ages force do produce superb engine and almost starting from exterior looks , everything have genes of merc!

Present day TT suspension /ac/ engine is so fine , that was so absent in few years ago.


For your use , either venture or bolero or sumo suits more.

Sumo is similar priced like venture with ac and you can carry 8 people with luggage rack fixed on roof.

I have not seen venture with luggage rack , but interior is so good for that price - feel of premium luxury car/van inside plus the tried and tested indigo engine with rear wheel drive unlike the winger which is front wheel drive.
Thanks ilango. That is one of the reason i was bent on checking this vehicle. I still like this vehicle. But its too long to manouvre comfortably in city limits and parking too is a problem.

Sumo i havent checked. Have only driven the grande n its biege interiors will be difficult to maintain for our purpose.
Bolero has awkward driving position. Rear is seriously cramped. Disliked it the first time i drove it. Steering doesnt auto center too after turning. Drove the ZLX i guess it had crdi engine.

How much will a winger cost?? any idea bout its maintainence? Price? Are seats foldable for additional space?
 
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Thread Starter #14
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Great review and it’s sure one of a kind (First on internet?). You have explained the pros and cons of this ‘truck’ nicely. From the looks, it does not appear pleasing but then I think it serves the purpose well for what it is really meant. Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi is using this vehicle for ambulance purposes too. For the personal usage – Just don’t look anywhere close to it. You will find much decent cars around which at least offer better comfort, features and design for the amount spent.

Drive Safe,
350Z
Thanks 350Z. Still thinking of other options in sec hand. What about qualis? Is it possible to find one in good condition? Price? Maintainence?
Good write up.

Price is on the higher side for what the UV offers. A strict no for personal use. The long side facing seat will be uncomfortable. I think even a van would have more creature comforts.
Yes it is expensive. Which van?? Omni? Problem is it runs on petrol and for our running and going current petrol price trend. Doesnt make sense.

Once I drove this thing for a trip., its pain to drive machine and its give no comfort or confident. steering seems to changed from the old gama/goorkha. BTW great review buddy. :)
Thanks rakeshkn. Steering was decent for a non power assisted. As i mentoned some adjustments needed to be done for proper feel. I was using Eeco for two days and its steering felt 'almost' as hard as toofan at parking speeds.

totally different review....its good that you didnt book one? why not new bolero? or TATA xenon?
Thanks anilntny. I wouldnt have booked. Too expensive. Bolero reason i have mentioined in my previous post. Xenon can carry only 5 people+luggage. Expensive too. A 207 DI would serve the same purpose for us :P

Good review buddy, how about ride quality at back seats? also the last row seats are side facing which is not good for long traveling, venture has all front facing seats right?
Thanks Surfer. I sat only in front seat. Didn sit on last row when it was being driven. So cant comment on that. But with full load it should be decent. Yes venture has front facing seats.

good review man!!

WTH force wanna give ppl piece of junk with tasteless design that didnt even get ac @ 8 lakhs?? [shock]
Thanks dodge_v1per. Well i wouldnt call it junk. It still does the job of transporting people quite well. And it engine is still pretty good. And 8+ lk is for white board. Yellow board will be cheaper.

This is the first time i am reading the TD report!

Pradzz Thanks a lot for giving out such a nice detailed review, i like to drive this one and the driver's seating position looks great.

Ask the dealer if the model which you asked for that PS can be fitted as an aftermarket fitment.Think it may serve your purpose well.

Venture looks fine for you and the GC doesn't really matter as that Van has 14" Tyres and positioned highly


not recommended for long distance trips.



You get a good body massage in those seats, because it uses leaf-springs,


Yes it has front facing seats in all the rows, And all the seats in the rear have considerable legroom
Thanks Vishwas. I did like the driving position. So much more comfortable than bolero(purely my opinion). Not planning to buy first hand and yes i feel PS is possible to be fit aftermarket. When old Jeeps, ambys can be fitted one.. i feel this too can.

That was a nice review...

Is that a typo error ?? Engine warranty 30000 kms or 3lacs?

Trust me on bad roads this vehicle goes fast with speed.

I have seen so many Toofans going speed on bad roads, while returning from Pandarpur, during my Shirdi trip.

I was going slow at such places.
thanks mukeshus, sorry that was a typo. Yes its 3lak kms warranty. And yes this vehicle rides good on bad roads provided its on full load or rear is loaded.

it may be 3L kms. commercial vehicles ike tata 407,eicher,... gives the same 3L kms or unlimited kms warranty
Thanks for the correction.



I used Eeco for two days. its a 5 seater. so after loading the vehicle, there was only one seat left for a passenger. the Eeco jumps around with a passenger or two, but once loaded it rides so well. handling too is decent for its bread box design. Engine is has decent power. enuf for its purpose. impressed. If only MS launched a diesel version.
thinking of checking a venture 5 seater. here no one has bot a 5 seater till date. showroom doesnt have a display vehicle. if any of you can find one.. pls share pics in venture thread n paste a link here.
 
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How much will a winger cost?? any idea bout its maintainence? Price? Are seats foldable for additional space?
Hope winger cost upward of 5.8L , base variant , 13 to 14 seater with bench seat , i hope you could remove last row.
Luxury variant cost near 9 lakh with 9 seater - which may not be needed for you now.

I hope what you looks i car cum business thing .

I hope the sumo victa suits your purpose - another power thing that comes now is sumo gold. But you cant seat 8 and luggage at a time , without the help of a luggage carrier.

Many small business people here buys the victa - both as family car and also to transport their small products , some time intercity too in white board without paying additional tax.


A friend of mine in ups/battery and transformer manufacturing business , uses the tavera. removes the last seat and loads with some 3 to 4 batteries and some inverters etc.
2.35L and still pulls to 120kmph , Just ac clutch coil was replaced in its entire maintenance in additional to the 4 to 5 set of tyres! Even the stock leaf spring is not bend , but its aging now i hope!


Imo , 8 people and luggage option is difficult task.
if its 5 people with luggage there are many options starting from dual cab cars like bolero camper/ scorpio get away / even a xylo have a dual cab i suppose!
 
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