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- Front view
- Head lamp
- Side view
- Rear view
- Steering wheel
- Instrument Cluster
Force Gurkha Key Features
Four-wheel drive system make sure that you don't get stuck while doing some off-roading.
Steel Air Intake Snorkel
A unique stainless steel air intake gives the Gurkha a very aggressive look.
Differential Locks on both front & rear axles for muddy and undulating terrains.
- Serious off-roading capabilities
- Provides perfect combination of mechanicals, reliability and off-roading expertise.
- Equipped with differential locks, making its better than rival, Mahindra Thar.
- Average on-road performance
- Overall design looks outdated
- Interiors could be better equipped
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Force Gurkha OverviewForce in India is known for its practical, rugged and value for money offerings. Led by Mr. Firodia, Force Motors is famous for their old-school SUVs. Few of you might know that in 2008 and 2010, Force launched the very first edition of Gurkha for Germany and some African market. Further, some 40 selected buyers in India were given the keys of Gurkha back then.
The new second edition Gurkha is a result of deep ownership feedbacks of the aforementioned lucky Indian customers. Force Gurkha comes with a 4X4X4 badge which is nothing but a marketing lingo that depicts that Gurkha is a four wheel drive car – for all four seasons – on all four terrains (sand, water, snow and rocks). Force also claims the Gurkha as an E.O.V – Extreme Off-roading Vehicle.
The looks are straight from the Mercedes G-wagen and earlier Gurkha model with the circular headlamps being the only exception. Face is rugged and tough looking. However, the most distinctive feature is the big shiny snorkel around the A-pillar which shouts that Gurkha means some serious off-road business. Side and rear profile have same boxy and utilitarian design philosophy and makes the Gurkha a very capable off-spring of Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G-wagen.
Interiors are pretty Spartan with air-conditioning (weak performance) being the only convenience you’ll ever get. Seats are large and supportive and are well-stitched too. Space is generous for both front and rear passengers. However, no adjustment in steering and seats makes the Gurkha a very limited product in terms of offerings.
Powering it is a Mercedes sourced 2.6 L direct-injection diesel. 82PS of power at 3200 rpm and 230Nm of useful torque at 1800-2000rpm makes Gurkha a decent performer, especially on off-road trails. Engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with high and low gear ratios. However, the feature that you’ll be using a lot is a very capable and helpful differential lock system for both front and rear axle.
Over the years, numbers of serious off-road junkies in India has seen a boom and with Mahindra Thar as a sole competitor, the old-school Force Gurkha really makes a potential case for itself.
Force Gurkha ExteriorThe face of Gurkha is unmistakably familiar among the off-roaders. It’s a no-nonsense styling which gives a rugged character and compliments a commanding driving position. The round headlamps and big plastic grille looks pretty good from every angle. Further, the metallic Force badging onto the grille looks more upmarket and easy-on-the eyes. The functional shiny snorkel adore the driver-side A-pillar, making Gurkha a serious mud-plugger. It is placed at the roof height to aid the water wading capacity of the car and keeps the engine intake manifold clean.
Side profile contains muscular body claddings and some cheap body graphics. 210mm of massive ground clearance makes the Gurkha a very accomplished and tough looking off-roader. Large ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirrors) along with sturdy and slip resistant full length foot boards makes the car much more functional and meaty looking. 245/70 Apollo Hawkz tyres are specially built for off-road action and provides a wide and serious stance to the car. 16” alloy wheels are borrowed from the Force One SUV. The Gurkha’s trademark Khukri has been used in the car’s 4X4X4 badging, a good move I say.
Rear end carries the spare wheel onto the tailgate ensuring the SUV-ish character of the Gurkha. All rear-end lights are placed at the shiny bumper of the car in a very subtle way. The soft top variant is surely the best looking of the two and will command serious on-road presence while crawling the urban jungles.
Overall, the design is classic and timeless and will attract the true off-roaders as well as amateurs to come and experience one of the purest outdoor experience under the price tag of 10 lakh.
Force Gurkha is available in both hard and soft-top options. The color options are limited to three – Copper red, Dragon green and Matt black.
Force Gurkha InteriorInside the Gurkha, the tough purpose built theme continues with simple layout and minimist fuss. The plastic quality however is very cheap and basic. The dashboard is not what you’ll call pleasing or interesting, it’s just there to hold some knobs and vents and nothing more. Instrument panel is large and simple to read. However, the placement of tachometer at the center of the dashboard under AC vents is pretty weird and stupid.
Seats are large and comfortable with sufficient support. But considering the hard juggling that the cabin will mostly be facing out on fields, body hugging seats would’ve been much more appreciated. Legroom gets just an O.K for both front and rear passengers, however getting onto the rear bench comfortably requires a bit folding of front seats.
Big and awkwardly placed steering wheel along with dog-legged gearbox makes Gurkha a hard animal to tame. Soft top variant has a set of longitudinal seats making it a six-seater. Both the variant comes with standard air-conditioning, the only creature comfort that Gurkha has to offer and whose weak performance on hot sunny days makes the ride even worse.
Overall, the high perched driving position and well-padded seats are the only plus point in an otherwise function oriented decade old cabin.
Force Gurkha Engine & TransmissionForce Gurkha enjoys the long-running relationship between Force and the German giant Mercedes-Benz. The engine is an OM 616 model 2.6L in-line four with direct injection and turbocharger, sourced from Mercedes itself. Although it’s a bit old and dodgy, its rock-solid durability and trustworthiness is unmatched whatsoever. Power output is a decent 82PS at 3200rpm with torque figures of 230Nm at 1800-2000rpm.
Five-speed gearbox comes with high and low gear ratios and overdrive, which is quite handy when it comes to use all of the engine juice as and when required during off-roading. Refinement is a weak point for an engine who is quite heavy in the first place. The biggest drawback however is the unavailability of Gurkha with a BS IV ready engine, eliminating its sales in the cities.
This awkward BS III only engine makes a very strange case for Gurkha. As it is not exactly a car, so only the city dwellers with big pockets can afford an enjoyment toy like this but then it’s not on sale in cities and therefore town-people with short pockets are the only major source of demand for the Gurkha.
Force Gurkha Performance and HandlingONROAD
Force Gurkha comes with off-roading tyres as standard and therefore the ride on paved roads are nothing short of a torture for the on-board passengers. The independent suspension with McPherson struts and solid torsion bar in front and semi-elliptical leaf springs at rear tries hard to supple the ride but unfortunately they too are tuned for the wild alfresco rides and therefore the well-padded seats are the only thing between your spine and your doctor.
This is what Gurkha is all about, this is what it is built for. Wilderness and treacherous paths comprises Gurkha’s natural habitat. The worse the road gets, the more at home Gurkha is.
Force have loaded the car with numerous authentic off-roading amenities. Starting with a one of a kind differential lock for BOTH the axles. Whenever any of the wheel is losing traction or has gone airborne, the concerning differential can be locked enabling power transmission to the either wheel experiencing traction on the same axle. This helps in extracting out the Gurkha from deep trenches without even breaking a sweat.
Other useful feature is the presence of GI 18/ 5B low and high ratio gearbox in the transfer case. The low ratios are much lower than that of Mahindra Thar, which means the Gurkha can simply drone over almost any obstacle even at low engine speed. The high ratio gearbox is most suited for paved roads and gravel fields.
The upfront snorkel makes the water wading capacity of Force Gurkha to an astonishing 550mm, unmatched by any other vehicle in this category. Further a 37° angle of approach, a 34° angle of departure and a 27° of ramp-over angle makes Gurkha quite literally an Extreme Off-roading Vehicle. The maximum gradability of 40° (with low 4X4) is impressive for a car with a kerb weight of over 2500kgs.
The most driver friendly feature of the Gurkha is the Crawler gear. With this, the car can crawl easing over the adulations and even on the inclines without any throttle input at all. It is almost like a Hill assist system. The concerned ECU sends the signal to the injection system as per the load on the car and ensures a uniform power delivery without any human input. This is indeed helpful in harsh conditions where driver should concentrate fully on the assessment of brakes and clutch pedals of the car. Assisting it is a LCRV (Load Conscious Regulating Valve) fitted braking system which ensures that the dual circuit hydraulic brakes delivers consistent performance irrespective of the road and load conditions.
Hydraulic steering wheel is hard to operate and along with even harder clutch makes the driving experience of Gurkha a tedious job. The large turning radius of 5.8m is not very appreciable as well. Overall, Force Gurkha is out and out a true off-roader with strong ladder frame chassis and with generous tools, a very capable off-roading underpinnings.
What do we think about Force Gurkha?Force Gurkha is a very capable and true off-roading machine with quite extreme abilities and no-nonsense design, a genuine mud-plugger under a sticker price of 10 Lakhs.
With likes of speed and adventure rallies, motorsport scenario in India is booming at a very fast pace. Numerous off-roading trails are being erected within the ever-so varying landscapes of India. From the mountains of Himalayas to the western coasts and from the wilderness of almost virgin eastern states to the barren dunes of Thar Desert, the possibility of finding an off-road adventure is nothing short of infinite. And now with right form of mobility, the task is even merrier.
Force Gurkha is one such car that can satisfy almost any appetite for outdoor escapade. It looks rugged and timeless and believe me, it is. The familiar robust face along with few sturdy inserts here and there makes Gurkha one tough-looking machine. Cabin too is fuss-free and livable with air conditioning and large and supportive seats.
Gurkha is available in three variants - 4X4 hard top, 4X4 soft top and 4X2 soft top. Engine is the same 2.6L throughout the range. However, the transfer case and differential locks are for the 4X4 variants only. Power is enough for everyday usage and the punchy torque output compensates any other shortcomings marvelously. Ride quality is poor because of the off-road tyres and changing them on 4X2 variant will be wiser for daily operations.
Pricing starts at a very reasonable 6.3 Lakhs for the 4X2 soft top model further going north to 8.3 Lakhs for 4X4 hard top variant. Therefore, if you’re looking for an authentic and tailor made off-roading companion at a nominal price then Force Gurkha is just the car for you. It is sturdy, tough, classic in design, cheap to maintain and immensely capable when subjected to off-road examinations. The seats are comfy and the engine is durable and time-tested. Finally, the Mahindra Thar is a good adventurer as well but is it the best off-roading experience on this side of 10 Lakhs of Indian rupees? I guess not. And therefore with the twin differential locks and snorkel alone, the Force Gurkha wins the duel unscathed.
Force Gurkha CompetitorsThe only real threat to the Gurkha comes from a car that belongs to a very renowned off-roading specialists and is called Mahindra Thar. Based on the classic Mahindra jeeps, Thar too is a very capable and purpose-built off-roader. Engine in the Thar is a 2.5L diesel but is more powerful than the Gurkha’s, more refined, more efficient and even torqueier. The ride quality too is pretty good both on and off the tarred roads.
However, with independent diff locks and snorkel in the list, it’s the Force Gurkha that makes more sense of the two for serious off-roading and if it’s the price that you’re worried about then go for the soft-top variant (it comes with AC too).
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