New Force Gurkha 4x4 Review & Pictures


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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

Hi Major JS, after going through reviews of Gurkha, finally I find your ownership review. Congratulations for buying the passion of life.... 4x4!!
I have few questions about Gurkha, as I am also interested to buy one for myself.
1. How is the performance of the car after 3/4 months of running?
2. How about the overall quality of the rubber parts, beading, dash board, seat covers and other parts?
3. How about the performance of the car while driving it in city?
4. Air-conditioning?
5. Service and Spares?
Would you suggest Gurkha as second vehicle for regular use in city and once a month for off roading, and sometimes for long cruse in mountains.
Your valuable comments would decide if I will go for this car or not.
Hi Sam,

Nice to hear that you're thinking of buying one of the best VFM Offroaders. As they say in the Gurkha gang - You don't own the Gurkha, the Gurkha owns you.
I want to add a corollary to that – For the Gurkha to own you – You don’t choose the Gurkha, the Gurkha chooses you. As you go about choosing the Gurkha, hopefully the Gurkha is choosing you as well. That was on a lighter note.

Unfortunately due to some issues on the personal front have not been able to venture on any offroad trip so far. But I did take the Gurkha to Kovalam beach on ECR(East Coast Road) – and the vehicle behaved quite well – felt solid in the sand with the 4x4 in Low. PFB.

Incidentally had seen a pic of another black Gurkha at the exact same spot long ago – when I was still researching about the vehicle. All the more I felt the Gurkha owns you and takes you to the places visited by others of its clan. Sounds spooky right

Well getting to your questions.
1. Performance of the jeep after 3/4 months - The jeep has certainly gotten smoother – in the sense earlier, while accelerating after gear shifts, the engine would seem a little harsh earlier – not now – it is really smooth now. And I had mentioned earlier about how the gear shifting too has gotten really smooth.

2. Rubber parts, Beading – Too early to say. Beading – Well 6 of the 8 windows have beadings (incl the windshield) which look quite solid enough to last a while and while driving the cabin is certainly quite quiet. As for door beadings – OK so far – but it is little too early to say anything.

Dashboard – Well the screws holding it the dashboard in place are of large size – so the dashboard is very basic. I mounted a clock on my dash and modified the single-DIN slot to accommodate a double-DIN system. PFB.

Seat Covers – Well I added another one on top of the factory-fitted ones. But the original ones seemed to be of fairly decent quality.

3. Performance in city – The Gurkha behaves decently well on city roads – in fact it is very good on bad city roads – Chennai has some bad patches and that’s where it feels good to be in this rugged beast – as you hardly feel the bad road.

4. Air Conditioning – It is early summers and Chennai summers are quite bad given the humidity – and I have found the AC quite good so far. Will need to wait see how effective it is when the mercury rises further.

5. Services and spares – Given the small number of Force vehicles in the country and the consequently smaller number of service centres – spares are a bit of problem. During one of the check-ins, one of the technicians noticed a small leak in a fuel hose and decided to replace it – they didn’t have it in their stock & it it took them a day to get it from another service centre. In general, based on whatever I have read on various forums, I will need to be patient with spares.

Lastly Sam – I will say – I am very new Gurkha owner. I have just covered about 4k (excluding the initial 2k on the odo) in 3 months. So my inputs don’t really matter. You should read up much more from various older threads on various forums to learn more. You will need to take a considered decision because one will be able to live with the shortcomings of the Gurkha only if one loves it enough. For me it’s a new love – hopefully the romance will last this lifetime. as of now I think this is lifetime buy – I may change my cars but not the jeep – at least not if Force Motors is still around to provide service back-up.
 

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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

Thank you very much for you valuable comments and sharing your experience with Gurkha.
Honestly, the more I am learning about this SUV and more I am in love with it.
You are correct - 'You don’t choose the Gurkha, the Gurkha chooses you'....its the passion of life, like Jeep. Can you post more images of the Car stereo mod from single din to double din.
 
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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

Hi Sam,

Now that the music system has been fitted - the snaps with the music system fitted will not help much. So I will try to explain the modification in words with the help of a few quick sketches I made to illustrate what was done.

If you see in graphic 1 –

- Diagram 1 – The compartment given for the single DIN system is totally closed from top. It is quite a solid fibre compartment though.
- Diagram 2 – So the guys from Car-Audio shop (Radio Warehouse, Chennai) cut out the top part so that it is open from top.
- Diagram 3 – Then they slid the DOUBLE DIN into the compartment and fixed it to the box using thin metal strips (with holes) – one end of each strip screwed to system and the other end to box – but this looked shabby as there were gaps (1 to 1.5”) between the system and the inside of the box.
- Diagram 4 – So to improve the look from the top a carpenter added a custom-made plywood cover lined with felt on all sides. And then inserted screws on the sides of this top cover to secure it to the side walls of the compartment.

I also sketched graphic 2 to explain the mechanical modifications made –

- FYI – There is no panel in back side of the music system compartment. This will help understand the graphic a little better.
- Diagram 1 – The compartment has 6 metal brackets (outlined in blue) with holes (2 on LHS, 2 on RHS & 2 below). And 6 large screws passing through these holes are screwed onto the lower panels of the dashboard to hold the box in place. Now the lower part of the box is not as wide as the top – so initially when you insert the DOUBLE DIN it will not go inside the compartment completely but only about 30-40%.
- Diagram 2 – So to increase the width in the lower part of the compartment – the mechanics bent both the lower brackets so that the lower part of the compartment moved closer to the gear lever. But after doing this the four brackets on the side will not align with the holes in the lower dashboard panels. However the brackets will just be sitting behind the dashboard panels without any screw passing through them – enough to hold the compartment in place.

Hopefully - the last & simple graphic 3, will make things clearer on how more width was achieved in the lower part of the compartment.

I am not sure to what extent this was helpful – but I couldn’t think of any other way to explain the modification.

Regards, JS
 

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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

I think few photos would fill the gab in understanding the graphics. Make 10%[:D]. We love to see photos you know..
 
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It was Yesterday. Sombre Monday. As My Avenger entered in to office parking area I saw a Scorpio parked and I started thinking what a sight it would be if a Gurkha parked in its place. I am yet to see a Gurkha in flesh on road by a real owner (Show room and test drive aparts). That day gone as usual like any other mundane Monday, as my clients are USA. It was Eve 6:30, I packed up and reached office parking area to leave home. Wow.. what is that.. am I dreaming... I thought to myself. I am Ogling at a Black Hawk Gurkha. still I didn't believe. I thought I am on High. But it is real. I peeped inside, walked around, checked the Tyres, the front, the back, the sides. Time machine stopped ticking for me. And then I saw 'ARMY' written over the glass. Is that our Dear Major's Beast? Checked the Number plate. Yes it is. Dear Major I ogled at your Beast. Congratulations, you deserve my Envy. You know what? It is really much more robust and solid and the looks inside says even offering decent comforts than the competitions - The scorpio etal.
 
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Hi Kadumedu,

Where did you spot my Gurkha beast [:)]

I work slightly odd hours - 12/1pm to 10/11pm type -that is why I am wondering when & where did you see my Gurkha...[confused]

And my route for work is - Mogappair (Golden Colony) -> Ambattur Industrial Estate -> Chn Bypass -> Porur -> Kathipara junction -> Madhyakailash -> OMR/Ramanujan IT City

On way back -
OMR/Ramanujan IT City -> Madhyakailash -> Kathipara junction -> Koyambedu -> Thirumangalam -> Mogappair (Golden Colony)

Reason why I shared my route is so that we could plan some stop-over meeting if both of us are around the same place.

I think few photos would fill the gab in understanding the graphics. Make 10%[:D]. We love to see photos you know..

Sure I will take some pics soon & post them
 
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Hi Kadumedu,

Where did you spot my Gurkha beast [:)]

I work slightly odd hours - 12/1pm to 10/11pm type -that is why I am wondering when & where did you see my Gurkha...[confused]

And my route for work is - Mogappair (Golden Colony) -> Ambattur Industrial Estate -> Chn Bypass -> Porur -> Kathipara junction -> Madhyakailash -> OMR/Ramanujan IT City

On way back -
OMR/Ramanujan IT City -> Madhyakailash -> Kathipara junction -> Koyambedu -> Thirumangalam -> Mogappair (Golden Colony)

Reason why I shared my route is so that we could plan some stop-over meeting if both of us are around the same place.
I saw the vehicle parked. I guess then it must be OMR/Ramanujan IT City :-P. I am available there from 10:30 AM to 6:30PM. I will PM you :-)
 
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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

Hi Sam,

Now that the music system has been fitted - the snaps with the music system fitted will not help much. So I will try to explain the modification in words with the help of a few quick sketches I made to illustrate what was done.

If you see in graphic 1 –

- Diagram 1 – The compartment given for the single DIN system is totally closed from top. It is quite a solid fibre compartment though.
- Diagram 2 – So the guys from Car-Audio shop (Radio Warehouse, Chennai) cut out the top part so that it is open from top.
- Diagram 3 – Then they slid the DOUBLE DIN into the compartment and fixed it to the box using thin metal strips (with holes) – one end of each strip screwed to system and the other end to box – but this looked shabby as there were gaps (1 to 1.5”) between the system and the inside of the box.
- Diagram 4 – So to improve the look from the top a carpenter added a custom-made plywood cover lined with felt on all sides. And then inserted screws on the sides of this top cover to secure it to the side walls of the compartment.

I also sketched graphic 2 to explain the mechanical modifications made –

- FYI – There is no panel in back side of the music system compartment. This will help understand the graphic a little better.
- Diagram 1 – The compartment has 6 metal brackets (outlined in blue) with holes (2 on LHS, 2 on RHS & 2 below). And 6 large screws passing through these holes are screwed onto the lower panels of the dashboard to hold the box in place. Now the lower part of the box is not as wide as the top – so initially when you insert the DOUBLE DIN it will not go inside the compartment completely but only about 30-40%.
- Diagram 2 – So to increase the width in the lower part of the compartment – the mechanics bent both the lower brackets so that the lower part of the compartment moved closer to the gear lever. But after doing this the four brackets on the side will not align with the holes in the lower dashboard panels. However the brackets will just be sitting behind the dashboard panels without any screw passing through them – enough to hold the compartment in place.

Hopefully - the last & simple graphic 3, will make things clearer on how more width was achieved in the lower part of the compartment.

I am not sure to what extent this was helpful – but I couldn’t think of any other way to explain the modification.

Regards, JS
Thanks Major for detailed explanation and diagrams for the 2 DIN mod in Gurkha. Now I can understand how it was done.
I am not sure if this news is correct or not, few days back I got a call from Force dealership asking me if I am interested in purchasing Gurkha, as I was in Showroom in April to see the vehicle. I said I am very much interested to buy this car, however, waiting for right time, instantly, he offered me handsome discounts on dead stock of the company. Upon inquiry, the guy on other side told me that Force is planning to launch BS4 version of Gurkha with 2.2 FMTECH engine, de-tuned to 120 BHP and many modifications not only in interiors as well as outside, based on customer reviews. The staring wheel would be placed in more comfortable position and might have a new dash.
Can Gurus confirm this news so that I should wait for new version.
 
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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

Thanks Major for detailed explanation and diagrams for the 2 DIN mod in Gurkha. Now I can understand how it was done.
I am not sure if this news is correct or not, few days back I got a call from Force dealership asking me if I am interested in purchasing Gurkha, as I was in Showroom in April to see the vehicle. I said I am very much interested to buy this car, however, waiting for right time, instantly, he offered me handsome discounts on dead stock of the company. Upon inquiry, the guy on other side told me that Force is planning to launch BS4 version of Gurkha with 2.2 FMTECH engine, de-tuned to 120 BHP and many modifications not only in interiors as well as outside, based on customer reviews. The staring wheel would be placed in more comfortable position and might have a new dash.
Can Gurus confirm this news so that I should wait for new version.

Could be ring of truth in it but I seriously doubt it going by Force's record.
 
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Force Gurkha Spotted On Test, Could Be BS4 Variant

Force Motors released the current Gurkha in the year 2013. But, after receiving a lot of negative feedback from the ones who tested the car, it held back from launching the vehicle. The company worked on the vehicle for more than a year to make it more suitable for the market and tried to incorporate the suggestions given by media and other Gurkha owners. This helped it iron out most of the issues and the capable off-roader was launched in late 2014. However, since the car wasn’t BS4 compliant, it couldn’t be sold in big cities where BS4 standards have been implemented.

Now, in order to increase the market of the Gurkha, the company is testing a BS4 compliant model of the same.Two vehicles being tested on the outskirts of Mumbai showing that the company is indeed serious about the major cities. The vehicles on test were the fully loaded 4×4 variant which is what the SUV is known for. At the price point it sells, nothing comes close to it in sheer off-roading capabilities due to the hardware available. With looks inspired from the legendary Mercedes G-Wagen, the vehicle looks the part too. The launch of the car would give tough competition to the Mahindra Thar which currently has no competition in many parts of India.

The Force Gurkha comes with 2.6-litre turbo-diesel engine which has been sourced from Mercedes and it produces 81 BHP of power and 230 Nm of torque. While the power figure doesn’t look too good, it is the high torque figure which matters more in the terrain it is meant for. Front and rear differential, snorkel kit and a transfer case make it an extremely capable off-roader. Ground clearance of 210mm and 16 inch alloy wheels add to the look and practicality. Available with a hard top as well as a soft top, the Gurkha 4×4 should sell in decent numbers if launched at a good price. A launch date hasn’t been announced but we expect the Gurkha BS4 to debut within this year.

Force Gurkha Spotted On Test, Could Be BS4 Variant | MotorBeam – Indian Car Bike News & Reviews
 

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Re: New Force Gurkha 4x4 Test Drive Review

T The staring wheel would be placed in more comfortable position and might have a new dash.
Can Gurus confirm this news so that I should wait for new version.
Dear Sam,

The steering wheel has already been changed on existing Gurkha. The new steering wheel gives total "Car-like" feeling in comparison to much maligned previous steering wheel. I am attaching a picture of new steering in Gurkha for comparison.

I would suggest you that if you are in need of a vehicle which can endure extreme conditions with ease, you should straightway go for the current Gurkha with DI engine. I am suggesting for two reasons:

1. One can never anticipate anything about Force Motors, they will have everything ready and yet they will keep everybody waiting.

2. Reliability of a new engine can again be an issue, not that it will be anything bad, but complexity of an engine can prove problematic especially in remote areas.

Also, a point to ponder for all of Gurkha lovers, in not so distant past, we all were wishing for existing Gurkha to be readily available and now when it's there, we are waiting for Gurkha with new engine. "Don't postpone Joy"
 

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Force Motors launched the updated Gurkha SUV last year. The model is currently powered by a BS-III compliant 2.6-litre OM616-derived diesel engine which is good for 81bhp, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Like the Mahindra Thar, the Force Gurkha has attracted a good fan following, but its reach is restricted to those cities supporting BS-III norms.

But this could change soon, as our sources tell us that Force Motors is readying a BS-IV version of the Gurkha and it is expected to launch by the end of this year. The Force Gurkha BS-IV will come with the current 2.6-litre engine but the big news is that it is also likely to get the more-powerful 2.2-litre motor which does duty in the larger Force One SUV. This engine is essentially a Mercedes-Benz’s 2.2-litre, OM611 common-rail engine that meets BS-IV emissions norms and makes a Tata Safari-rivalling 139bhp and 32.6kgm of torque. Force Motors will also introduce an updated gearbox for both the engine options.

Source - Force Gurkha SUV to get more power | Car News | SUV/Crossovers | Autocar India
 
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So Force have just recently opened their first Gurkha dealership in Himachal (Mandi) and it seems they already have the slight updated version of Gurkha with them. The concerned person was not very specific about the changes under the hood. He said that gearbox has been updated (more smooth now) and they have also made some changes in the engine which has led to better engine sound (NVH??) levels (am not sure about this) but is still BS3. He also said that they have put in a bigger fan which has led to better AC performance.
Can the experts put some more info on this??? Also they have jacked up the price to 9.55 L ex showroom [anger] [cry] !! I wonder how much they are going to push up the price after up-gradation to BS4 and don’t even want to think about the price of FM 2.2 140 version if they launch it too.

Here are picks I received from the dealer. One can clearly see the heat of Thar update here[clap] .
 

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Only change I see - is in the steering wheel - and I am not a big fan of this spoky plasticy look - basic & simple is classic anyday - so this was not a very meaningful or worthwhile change.

Also I think someone recently commented on the change in the angle of the steering wheel - that it had become better or something like that. I looked at Lowkey's side-view photo of the steering and since it was neither in landscape nor in potrait orientation, I rotated the pic (to make it more lansdcape like) & compared with similar side-view pics of earlier models and I saw no change. However if you ask me - I'd say all that criticism of the "odd" steering wheel angle is quite unwarranted. I have a car and the Gurkha and personally I find the Gurkha easier to steer. yes what would have been odd - would have been an almost horizontal, Leyland bus type steering wheel.

And of course the vehicle color is new - white is nice - but still very close to Sumo type taxi white. Force can introduce some classy dark colours - dark maroon, dark grey, dark green, etc.

I dont think dealer's input about changes to gearbox/lower NVH or AC/fan are latest - they are true but thses changes were made when the new look model was launched late last year.

Also the seats look different - dont know if the dealer has added seat covers or if if Force has changed the original seat covers.
 
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