While Thar seems like it should be a reasonable choice, the lack of 4 doors and lack of storage space was a turn-off.

BHPian Grandizer recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

At present I have a Mitsubishi Outlander from 2010. I love my car. It has done over 194000kms, and even as recent as last year I have driven it from Dehradun, to Coonoor, and back! Crossing many places in India worth visiting! I love my car. It is fantastic!

But the rural parts I am looking to move to do not seem to have proper roads. People often tell me only 4x4s can go there, as often it is just a mud path on hilly terrain. I do not plan on 4x4ing just for the sake of it – it will be a necessity. Hence I am considering a new car.

Hence my requirements are:

  • Should be 4×4
  • Sufficient ground clearance
  • Access to service center in rural area, without having to send it to a major metropolitan city.
  • May drive to a city every once in a while from rural areas. Maybe 4+ hours each way.
  • reasonable storage space for carrying some household supplies etc and possibly suitcases etc on weekend trips.

With those things in mind I seemed to move in the direction of:

  • Mahindra Thar
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Possibly a used army vehicle (temporarily since it may be cheap)

I decided to avoid a diesel purchase because of Gadkari’s recent warning to car manufacturers to reduce diesel car production.

While Thar seems like it should be a reasonable choice, the lack of 4 doors and lack of storage space was a turn-off, since not only may I have to tranport supplies in bulk to my future residence, but also because I take my dog everywhere and there should be sufficient space for him (a German Shepherd).

Jimny seems better because of the 4 doors, and slightly more storage space. As it is a new car to the market, not so sure how other users feel about their experience with the car yet.

As for a used army vehicle I need to do more research. I happened to read some old posts where people were discussing the process etc. But seems like a possible stop gap option.

I would stick with my outlander if I could, but because it will be a rural area with possibly no road, outlander may not be able to traverse so easily. Servicing may also be more difficult in rural areas. Otherwise I love my outlander and feel it is the perfect car for me otherwise.

So was wondering what your thoughts are, and if you can chime in on more things to keep in mind when trying to make my selection. Or if there are any other existing vehicles or upcoming vehicles you think I should consider? Open to any guidance you feel will be useful. Thank you!

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

You’re lucky because the choices are plentiful today!

Eliminate the Force Gurkha then. Also check which workshop is closer, Maruti or Mahindra?

Avoid army vehicles. They require way too much work & upkeep. Plus, they are slow and unreliable, even after rebuilds. I own a ’97 Classic, so have been through the process.

  • 4-door Thar coming in 2024, but will be more expensive than the already expensive 2-door Thar. You should wait for it.
  • If you are looking at VFM, get the Jimny today. A+ mountain goat!
  • If you are open to spending more, also consider the Scorpio-N 4×4.

Give the terrain a try in your Outlander first. Then decide whether you want to splurge on a new car. Although, IMHO, a 14-year old car with 200,000 km means it’s time for an upgrade.

Here’s what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:

If this is going to primarily be a passenger transport vehicle, your choices are spot on – the Thar or Jimny make great sense. Considering your description I would go for the Jimny because it is much more comfortable in terms of ride and has 5 doors. Very very useable because it is narrow and easy to get around our Indian conditions because most rural roads are narrow and a tight squeeze especially if a tractor or combine harvester is on the same road and you need to pass it.

If you add the EVCX Throttle Controller you will also be happy with the pep that the Jimny provides. I think both Maruti and Mahindra have more than enough service centres across India.

If at all you need a beater 4×4 vehicle for moving produce and other utility things, then an used Bolero pikup or old Thar or Gypsy may help.

Avoid ex Army and other similar vehicles unless you’re doing a passion based restoration project.

Here’s what BHPian anjan_c2007 had to say on the matter:

Since an used Army jeep is on your list other than the MM550DP, please also add the Mahindra MM540DP/Classic and the CJ500D /Major to your list. These are extremely suitable for our Indian conditions and are extremely rugged too. And as regards the looming fear of diesel ban, a second hand Mahindra could set you back by Rs 2-3 L which is not rattling our personal finances. There are good chances that you may come across these in the used market. And more about the logic of such a “proposed” ban is discussed in the next para.

As regards Gadkari and his nausea for diesel, that’s impossible and may remain a pipedream for him for the rest of his life. Because, the countless buses, trucks, mini-trucks ( 407, Aces, Dosts, Maximmos, Jeetos and more) and also defence vehicles cannot simply be banned overnight due to such whims and level headed political considerations must take precedence in a democracy.

Here’s what BHPian aviator1101 had to say on the matter:

Since you don’t want to buy a diesel vehicle, Scorpio N 4×4 is out of the list.

Avoid buying a Army auction Gypsy you will only end up wasting time and money. (Seen lot of such cases) As a hobby/restoration project, it’s ok. But not as a utilitarian vehicle any more. Always remember, they have lives their life in the army, that’s why they are with you.

The other petrol options as the other members already brought out is limited to Jimny and Thar. So not much to think about.

But if you re-consider of revoking your self imposed ban on purchase of diesels, do consider a used Bolero 4×4. It is damn tough and truly a go anywhere vehicle.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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