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Mahindra Thar vs Force Gurkha – Which Would You Pick?


Mahindra_Thar_Off-road

Force Motors recently unveiled their barebones off-roader Gurkha to compete with the likes of the Mahindra Thar. Both the SUVs are engineered to tackle different set of terrains seamlessly with their great off-roading capabilities. Some luxurious features and advance safety equipment like ABS and airbags are missing on both the vehicles. In terms of design, the Mahindra Thar has a classic rugged stance, whereas the Gurkha with a smiling grille has a soft look upfront but with some elements coming from the legendary G-Wagen.

Coming to the tech specs, the Force Gurkha gets powered by a 2600cc diesel motor sourced from Mercedes-Benz producing 82 PS of power at 3200 RPM and 230 Nm of torque between 1800-2000 RPM, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox with Hi and Lo option on transfer case transmitting the power to all the four wheels. The Gurkha is based on the Mercedes G-Wagon. It comes with three locking differentials, 210 mm of ground clearance and a high mounted snorkel that makes it a very capable off-roader.

The Mahindra Thar is designed on a ladder frame chassis and has a strong body on frame structure. The Thar is available with two engine options including Di and CRDe. The 2523cc Di is capable of producing 63 BHP of power with 180 Nm of torque, whereas the CRDe with a capacity of 2498cc can churn out 105 BHP of power at 3800 RPM with a 247 Nm of torque between 1800-200 RPM, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox transmitting the power to all the four wheels.

Both the Gurkha and Thar come with an optional AC variant. The Gurkha offers both hard-top and soft-top variants, whereas the Thar comes only with a soft-top variant currently. In terms of prices, the Force Gurkha gets a heavier price tag over the Mahindra Thar. The Gurkha comes with a starting price of Rs. 6.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) for the basic soft top 4×2 variant whereas the Thar comes at a starting price of Rs. 4.67 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) for the basic Di 4×2 variant.

The Force Gurkha is currently not available in BS4 markets but Force Motors is expected to launch a version which complies with stricter emission norms. While the Mahindra Thar does look more appealing, the Gurkha is expected to be more capable. Mahindra has a wide dealership presence while Force Motors has a very thin service network. Considering all these factors, it is difficult to choose between either. On our poll, 70% chose the Thar. Which one would you choose? Force Gurkha or the Mahindra Thar?

2013 Force Gurkha Launch

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{ 36 comments… add one }

  • Rajan March 3, 2013, 8:03 pm

    The snorkel on the Gurkha is the air intake. Is that right? i dont think it is the exhaust.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 8:37 pm

      Rajan, yes that is right.

      Reply
      • Rajan March 3, 2013, 10:32 pm

        Faisal, thanks. if thats a air intake then how does that factor alone make it a capable off-roader?

        Reply
        • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 11:50 pm

          Rajan, its not the factor, its one of the factors. Makes breathing easy while wading through water.

          Reply
          • Rajan March 4, 2013, 12:35 am

            Quote from teh article “a high mounted snorkel that makes it a very capable off-roader”

            Guess Aariz mistook snorkel for exhaust.

          • Faisal Khan March 4, 2013, 2:27 pm

            Rajan, Aariz mentions ground clearance, locking differentials and snorkel as the factors making it capable off-road, not just the snorkel alone.

  • Makarand,Pune March 3, 2013, 8:52 pm

    I wiill choose ofcourse Thar ..Reliable and longlasting Mahindra Product ! I am already having Scorpio for last 8 Years which as given to me troublefree srevice so far..

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 11:46 pm

      Makarand, but the Thar is not as capable off-road.

      Reply
  • DevVrat March 3, 2013, 9:17 pm

    gurkha hardtop

    Reply
  • sandy March 3, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Popular vs proven one. Heart vs Mind. Although I voted for Thar due to wide service network, cheap and its unique stance. But I found Gurkha is having more essential hardware under its skin for hardcore offroading along its proven image, so do the price. Days back, I learnt about Gurkha’s balanced ride and handling, it’s differential lock for gripping the hard core terrain, makes it one of the best off roading tool to keep pace with the likes of highly priced Jeep Wrangler or Merc G Wagon, yet affordable compared to these two. And compared to Thar, it’s practical.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 11:46 pm

      Sandy, would you prefer the Suzuki Jimny over both of them?

      Reply
      • ganesan March 4, 2013, 8:46 am

        Faisal, If you ask me, I will not pick Suzuki Jimny. Instead I would choose Defender -DC100!

        Reply
        • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:05 am

          Ganesan, Defender DC100 is still a concept na!

          Reply
      • sandy March 4, 2013, 12:49 pm

        Oops! You managed to form “Love Triangle”! :)
        I don’t know how much capable is Jimny w.r.t Gurkha. I look this kind of vehicle for offroading purpose rather then road presence. In one of the comparison review between Thar and Gypsy, the tester found Gypsy is still the better one in terms of on/off road performance, but only negative point is being petrol. Jimny is same as Gypsy, but smaller, lighter and bit more powerful then Gypsy. Lets consider Jimny equally capable as the above yet cheaper, then I would consider it. As healthy torque backed with healthy power to weight ratio in a small foot print is a boon for off-roading activity.

        Reply
        • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:06 am

          Sandy, Gypsy is still the king (no pun intended).

          Reply
  • S Pani March 3, 2013, 9:30 pm

    It will be the Gurkha hardtop for me. For me the vehicles capability off-road is more important, and the locking differentials really make a difference when the going gets really tough. Add to that hardtop practicality, which tips the scale towards the Gurkha.

    As for reliability, both these vehicles are extremely simple purely mechanical machines. And use components which are very very common. The Gurkha’s OM616 is a legendary Mercedes engine, and is utterly reliabile and does duty in numerous Force Travellers throughout the country. So service is not something to be worried about. Any good mechanic will be able to take care of these machines.

    Reply
    • Rajan March 3, 2013, 10:36 pm

      agreed, I would bet on Gurkha because of its locked differentials. The Force engines are known for its longevity… they can run for generations.

      Does Thar has differential locking? If not, then i dont think we can classify that as capable off-roader.

      Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 11:47 pm

      S Pani, since its Merc underneath, it will definitely be more reliable than the Mahindra.

      Reply
      • Sushrut March 4, 2013, 7:25 am

        But don’t miss the fact here that the engine even if it is Merc, is more than decade old in terms of technology. M&M’s 105hp crdi is any day a better pick. Even the infamous Six seaters (tum-tum) running in Pune had a merc sourced (1954 year engine i guess) but that did not make them reliable.In fact, they were worst polluters in the city.

        Reply
        • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:05 am

          Sushrut, yup, the engine is old but you know its going to be reliable. Also its not BS4 compliant.

          Reply
  • No One March 3, 2013, 9:36 pm

    I will be picking none of them rather will opting for the ISUZU truck version of coming model, which I guess would be available at around Rs. 8.5L on road..

    That has 4×4 i guess and that definitely has better road presense over these vehicles

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 3, 2013, 9:50 pm

      No One, the Isuzu D-Max doesn’t have 4×4.

      Reply
  • Akash March 3, 2013, 10:08 pm

    Gurkha hard top with AC :D … Only the name is weird ??

    Reply
  • Baljinder Singh March 4, 2013, 12:09 am

    I prefer THAR…..Mahindra is much localized as compare to Force in India.
    I love to have THAR like WILLY jeeps with big wheels, rigid body, no top roof…….

    Reply
  • Baljinder March 4, 2013, 12:29 am

    Hey faisal, as No One said……
    when ISUZU truck version is launching in India with what price tag ? any guess

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:04 am

      Baljinder, already launched. But its available in Hyderabad only. Use the search button on the top right, its called the D-Max.

      Reply
  • Rajan March 4, 2013, 12:40 am

    I would prefer Gurkha for its locked differential, better dashboard, lookwise quality is better, can gel with city life because of its good looks, Benz heart.

    But still that classy looks of Thar will defintely make anyone to think twice.

    Reply
  • Shashank A Naik March 4, 2013, 12:43 am

    The Gurkha is based on Mercedes G-Wagon and that says it all… Since it has all the mechanicals and engine from Mercedes, I’ll choose it anyday… But also high respect for the Mahindra Thar which is also a very capable vehicle in it’s own right… But for me, a Hardtop Gurkha…

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:04 am

      Shashank, well said. Both vehicles are good in their own regard.

      Reply
  • Baljinder March 4, 2013, 1:05 am

    what about Wangler and jimny?? when they are coming? dnt know why Wangler ovrpriced……..

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:04 am

      Baljinder, Wrangler will cost more than Rs. 20 lakhs.

      Reply
  • Love Singh March 4, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Thar Di is an excellent option at 4.6 lakhs. The bare minimums give a maximum scope for customizations. A good CRP hard top without any modifications to the body comes for around 50k and is already being sold good. Add another lakh and the whole interior and exterior is made to one’s taste. A fully customized thar di still costs less than the base gurkha. My only inhibition is the ride quality of thar di on tar road for regular use as it has leaf springs on both axle. The ride can be quite bumpy and tiring for the all on board.
    Will love to see a complete test drive and review of thar di by motorbeam to confirm the ride quality…….

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan March 5, 2013, 12:06 am

      Love Singh, leaf springs don’t give the Thar very good ride quality, its quite stiff but bearable.

      Reply
  • johnny March 15, 2013, 3:48 pm

    Hi! I really love this blog. Tell me please – from where do you have information for ths blog%3

    Reply
  • Sudeep May 16, 2013, 3:08 am

    Gurkha looks over priced,except smiling front grill, they kept thr design same with big squre window like trax/judo, de shud make some changes in exterior design atleast improve side view but its usp (3years/300000km servicing)with merc engine may get advantage..

    Reply
  • Abhilash June 7, 2013, 5:54 pm

    i love force ghurkha

    Reply

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