Bought the Force Gurkha home on 22nd November 2022.
We always named our rides. Going with the tradition, decided to call him Old Monk, since the Gurkha is basically the older version of the Mercedes Benz G-Wagen, which too had the same OM616 engine as the Gurkha.
Exactly a year back we had done a Test Drive at Mahalakshmi Force, the sole Force Motors dealership authorised to sell and service the Gurkha in Pune.
We needed a car which was abuse friendly, can carry heavy loads and could tackle bad roads with ease, which meant it had to be a ladder on frame SUV, a 4wd would be an added advantage. Despite of all the confusion hovering on phasing out the Diesel engines and the BS6 gremlins, we still decided to stick to Diesels.
1- Mahindra Scorpio N: The N fulfilled all our requirements. Booked a Z4 Diesel 4×4, but then cancelled it as the delivery time was completely irrational (2 years).
2- Mahindra XUV700: The 700 was never in the consideration since it was a monocoque, but decided to have a look since my better half expressed her interest. The XUV would have been a logical upgrade though. I managed to bang my head twice while trying to get inside, not a good sign I guess. The AWD version was available only on the top trim, which i felt was not fair. Moreover the 700 came with an all white interior, which i felt would be very difficult to maintain in the long run.
3- Toyota Innova Crysta: By the time we could book, Toyota had stopped taking bookings for the Crysta Diesel. The petrol version was available though.
4- Mahindra Thar: We would have bought one if the rear seats were easily accessible. The interiors felt very cramped and claustrophobic, less boot space and had a bumpy ride.
5- Isuzu Dmax VCross: The VCross remained in the race till the last. A bit of bargaining and the dealer decided to provide Insurance at zero cost. But looking at the abysmal sales number, we feared Isuzu would pack their bags and leave for good.
Test Driving the Gurkha, again…..!
During the second visit, we got to drive through an offbeat track to experience the four wheel drive hardware. Also, the dealership was kind enough to bring the Gurkha over to my residence, as I wanted to check if it would fit my parking space.
Owing to its height, I was a bit sceptical if the Gurkha would touch any of the overhead pipelines. With the luggage rack, there was only a four finger gap between the Jerry can holder and the overhead pipes. Owing to this decided not to install the luggage rack.
Selling the S-Cross
The S-Cross had almost completed seven years. It was getting a bit difficult to maintain in terms of availability of spares. As we approached November, I had to take an impromptu decision, as the more I delayed, the more I would loose on resale. Approached Spinny who gave me a fairly good deal. The car was inspected, evaluated and sold in three days, which left us in a dilemma and without a car.
Convincing the family
Everyone except me didn’t like the idea of buying the Gurkha since it wasn’t a typical family car. It looks quirky and has a striking resemblance with its commercial cousins (Trax). Since no cars were available immediately, the only choice left was the Gurkha.
It took us two weeks to finally decide on the Gurkha, another week to get the finance sorted. With the payment done, Old monk started his maiden 700km journey from Pithampur, MP to the dealership at Pune.
Delivery–22nd November 2022
By the time we reached the showroom, Old Monk stood there decked up, all ready to meet his new owners.
With the customary Pooja done, I cranked up the engine and coasted the truck out of the showroom.
We headed out to the nearest fuel station and got the tank filled to the brim. With a rated capacity of 63L, Old monk managed to gulp down 60L of Diesel.
The next day, we headed over to the Ayyappa Temple at Dhanori and got the Vahana Pooja done by the head priest, who turned out to be a car buff himself.
As of today, the odo stands at 5.5k km.
Journey with Old Monk
- Multiple trips to Mumbai
- Pune-Shirdi-Nagpur (via Samruddhi Mahamarg)
- Missal Pav drives to Lonavala
More to come…..