Now that I am a Gurkha owner - I thought I should join this thread and contribute
I have been following this thread for some time and though my mind was more or less made up on buying the Gurkha once it became available 3-4 months back, but I must acknowledge that Iron Rock's superb review was amongst the many inputs that helped me take the final call.
Briefly about me -
I am ex-army guy who is passionate about the outdoors. I was looking for a really capable vehicle which could be my city use vehicle as well as my go-anywhere vehicle. Waited for about 2 years for the Gurkha to launch (again) and I must be amongst the first few to buy it after the re-launch. Not gone on any serious offroad trip yet (in the last 1month) but planning a drive on the OMR OTR track and a Valparai trip sometime in next few weeks.
Having driven capable vehicles in the army, I must say I am very happy with the Gurkha. Especially with it's overall drive quality.
Just sharing some initial experiences (in random order) and a few pictures.
- Engine is quite strong and can do gentle inclines(my office parking ramp) even on 2nd gear - in fact I am reminded of a joke that there are only 4 gears on a Gurkha. But I prefer to use the 1st gear - at least everytime it starts from rest/after a halt (at a signal/in traffic).
- The suspension is strong as well - may feel stiff but then it has to be - because it is designed to take a heavier beating. So when you drive over small speed breakers the shock absorbers wont absorb much while a car may have felt comfortable - but when you go over a very bad patch, you'll hardly feel it in a Gurkha where as the softer car suspensions might get seriously damaged.
- Highway driving - On a drive to Bangalore, I felt the cabin shudder at 90km/h - but I am a little old-school so I believe in running-in a new engine in the initial days - so didnt push the engine & stayed south of 90km/h. The owner's manual does talk about driving it at around 85 km/h (on 5th gear & they give speed ranges for other gears as well) but thay suggets that only for first 2000km - I am sure the engine may take much longer to run-in - but I am willing to wait for that to happen.
- AC - has been vastly improved
- has a thermostat - and in fact at extreme cold setting (of the thermostat) - it does get very cold - hopefully it will be ideal for the sizzling Chennai summers.
- Gear shifting was a little difficult initially but it has gotten smoother with use over the last 2000 odd km that I have driven in the last one month.
- Brakes tend to 'feel' a tad slow but I think that impression could be because of the ABS.
- Some accessories I feel I absolutely needed - Audio sys+speakers+radio antenna, rear camera (cam input connected to the 2DIN audio screen; rear cam very much required as the vehicle is very high & you dont want to injure someone while backing up or bang any vehicle or anything else behind), new horn(ROOTS), new seat covers, central locking.
- Things to do/add- Jumper cable (my battery drained the day I fitted the central locking due to a bad-wiring job and then I had to get my vehicle push started
), Rear foot step, Anti-rust coating - am looking for advice on this front - required/not required if yes - then which brand - WURST or 3M.
Lastly I must say I have made peace with the ugly looks at least for now - actually was all ready to change the grille & the bumper - even found out the rates for the old ones from the showroom (MPC Force Chennai) - it was 4k & 8/9k - then I realized the fiber bumper is quite strong & it even has quite a lot of metal backing - so based on that discovery, at least for now I am beginning to feel OK with the new looks. That said - you must check out this new review by a Malayalam channel Manorama news - because at around 11m the video features a new look variant of the Gurkha with WARN PTO with additional fog-lamps on the hood & a sleeker/shorter version of the new grill - which sits into the original slot of the face. Check out the video just to catch that new beast.
Waiting to hear from you all.
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