2018 Force Gurkha Review
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2018 Force Gurkha Review

Car Tested: 2018 Force Gurkha; Road Test No. 936

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 10.85 – 12.27 lakhs

The Force Gurkha is a crazy and fun off-road SUV, had a total blast driving it

It is not everyday that you get to drive a car that is something quite out of the ordinary. Something that is outdated, crude, basic, unrefined and yet has the ability to tug your heart strings. Yes, I’m talking about this bright green SUV that is now resting in my parking, only after being driven for hundreds of kms on the road, off the road and in the air too, for a few seconds that is!

Motor Quest: The Force Gurkha is a very popular SUV in India and a lot of people in tier-2 and tier-3 cities buy it to ferry passengers. However, the automaker then went on to launch the Xplorer and Xpedition versions of the SUV and these are targeted towards a set of customers who live in urban areas and want a lifestyle SUV that also doubles up as a good off-roader.

There are quite a few similarities with the G-Wagen

Exteriors – The design of the Gurkha is boxy and the looks are rugged. The Gurkha takes its design inspiration from the Mercedes G-Wagen and is available in the Xplorer and Xpedition variants. The Xplorer is available in 3-door or 5-door body styles while the Xpedition is available in a 5-door layout only. What catches your attention immediately is the factory-fitted snorkel. Our test car had a lot of accessories such as a carrier, ladder, jerry can holder, shovel, axe, etc. and even had “Built For War” written. The alloy wheels also have a striking design and thus the Gurkha proved to be a huge head-turner on our roads. The car is so high, you need to be careful with the carrier because when we took it to a mall, it actually grazed the ceiling in the parking lot!

Except an AC, there’s no other feature in the Force Gurkha

Interiors – The cabin of the Force Gurkha is as basic as it can get. The dashboard has been put together in a very crude fashion and even the quality of materials and fit-finish is nothing to write about. Everything is super basic, there are hardly any features on offer and the Gurkha feels totally bare-bones on the inside. The instrument cluster is simple and easy to read but the tachometer is placed between the centre AC vents and there is no backlight for the tacho which renders it completely useless at night.

Quality inside the cabin is absolutely below par

The Force Gurkha’s cabin doesn’t feel like it’s made for a Rs. 12 lakh car

Thankfully, the Gurkha at least gets an AC but it cools the cabin nicely only when the vehicle is moving and its performance goes down when the car is idling. There is no audio system, no safety features, not even central locking on offer! In fact, I had to get down and open the tail gate with the key for a security check when I had gone to a 5-star hotel. You do get a basic 12V charging socket though. The horn isn’t loud at all and sounds like it is meant for an entry-level hatchback. There aren’t many storage spaces and cupholders too.

The rear seats are not at all comfy even for short trips

Talking about comfort, well the front seats are decent enough for day to day usage but I did find the lower back support not upto the mark, especially on long drives. The seat cushioning is on the softer side which is a good thing. The driving position is very high and you get a very clear view ahead. The Xplorer is available in 4+1, 5+1 and 7+1 seating configurations and our test car had the 5+1 setup, which means there are 2 side facing seats at the rear. However, the seats are downright disappointing when it comes to comfort. Moreover, safety is also a concern because there are no seat belts. For rear passengers, there’s a grab rail on the ceiling of the car.