First Teased in the Auto-Expo 2020 The All-New Force Gurkha is finally here and this has a lot to talk about because it is built on a new chassis its new on the outside it’s new on the inside hence there is a lot on the ground to cover. The promise is to give a hardcore off-roader that has also got an easy and user-friendly site. But will it deliver the promise? Find out more about it and keep reading.
The New Gurkha surely looks the business with its boxy shape, cliff face sides, clamshell bonnet, round LED Headlamps and all the New Gurkha carries over the old ones G Class for the massive look. However, the overall treatment is far more sophisticated and something that becomes very evident when we see The Old and The New Gurkha together. Every panel is new and what’s seen is that quality is vastly improved, there are tighter shut lines all over and this impression of enhanced quality all over helps elevate the Gurkha from a rudimentary offroader to something for lifestyle.
The loud colours do their bit too, the new models have a chair of eye-catching details as well it wears the GURKHA lettering on its grill as a badge of honour and the dual light LED DRLs on the sunken headlights to work well worth noting is that the Headlights are All LED unit which is a first in the segment, the high set position of the indicators haven’t been tinkered with but the bonnet is chunkier the front bumper is fuller and there is a heavy-duty bash plate too that gives the GURKHA sufficient street spread and like the previous Gurkha, these snorkel is standard with the official wading ability of 700 mm(millimetres). Of course, there is heavy cladding around the wheel arches and what’s nice is that the standard fit footboard has been neatly integrated into the look. At the sides is however there is a single pane rear glass in place of the three-part windows that does the most to distinguish The New Gurkha. Flush bidding windows higher set taillamps that sit on the bodywork rather than at the bumper and the new bumper are the changes that are at the back. The full-size spare tyre that sits on the tailgate completes the look.
There is scope to personalize your Gurkha too such as a rear ladder, roof rack with a jerry can holder and All-Terrain Tyres and there will be more on offer. In size, The New Gurkha is marginally wider and taller than the old one and is identical in its 2400mm Wheelbase too. But overall length is up by a substantial 124mm primary courtesy of the longer front overhang that was required to incorporate structures to meet the latest crash and pedestrian protect norms.
At the Gurkha’s core is the new high steel strength ladder-frame chassis that uses C and C construction that Force says offers the best rigidity in the segment. The frame is designed to support four-length configurations and importantly will also form the base of a 5 door Gurkha that comes soon.
Like the last-gen, Gurkha explore an expedition that features Independent double-wishbone coil springs and anti-roll bar in the front suspension and Non-Independent live axle multi-link coil springs, anti-roll bar at the rear. There are disc brakes in the front and drum brakes at the rear.
One will surely need a ladder to walk their way into this ladder frame offroader its that high set off the ground, thankfully Force has given a side step as a part of standard fitment and you also the chunky grabrail to hall your way into the cabin.
The New Gurkha’s cabin is light years ahead of the old one but by modern standards, it’s still what you call modern functional and not fancy. You get modern stuff like a touch screen featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to get the job done. The dials are also fairly simple by modern standards but the fact is that you get a tachometer at the traditional instrument console and not at the centre console as the case with the old Gurkha, that the dashboard extends to the floor is a big upgrade on its own and it’s finished in hard and shiny plastic and look and feel very basic though. However, what is nice is that the seats are really large and supportive and even ergonomics have also improved vastly. The Steering for instance gets both tilt and telescopic adjust and things even like the aircon control and rotary knobs are in easy reach.
There is also plenty of storage space in the centre console and even in the glove box and you also have 4 USB slots (2 upfront and 2 in the rear of the centre console ) there is an aftermarket looking tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) other features include front power windows, central locking, rear wiper, dual airbags, speed sensing auto door lock, rear parking sensors are a part of the safety sweep. The Mahindra Thar will get you more kick and also has an upmarket interior.
Where the Gurkha scores big is the rear seat comfort where the rear seats comprise 2 forward-facing chairs access to which is near the side hinge rear door, a footstep helps with the steep climb up and you will have to duck walk you way between the seats too but it sure beats entering via the front door. Once you are inside you will find that comfort is pretty good too and at the back, there is pretty good legroom for an average 5”8 ft. person. The big surprise is the seat themselves they are large and supportive get a good motion to adjust thanks to the back adjust, you can also adjust the angle of the Armrest and the seating position in itself is nice it gets a natural armrest with the window sill. Tall Passengers will find the top of windows at eye level and will need to slouch down to get a really good view out. Now speaking of the view a big change on the New Gurkha is that it has switched to a single pane window at the back there is no way to open it and that there are no aircon vents at the back, impression is that it could be a rather stuffy area.
However the view out is good, you have a lot of space inside the cabin and the air conditioning is also really impressive so it is a stuffy place this ain’t.
The Gurkha also impresses in terms of luggage space you can store large suitcases behind the rear seats but will also need serious might when it is time to load and unload heavy items. The New Gurkha already feels superior to the old one, it comprises the long-standing Mercedes derived 2.6-litre diesel engine that has been upgraded to BS 6 spec before you ask the 140 horsepower, 2.2-litre diesel engine from the old Gurkha extreme has been dropped and there won’t be any petrol option either. In the BS6 avatar, the 2.6 engine sees a mild bump up in power and torque though the 91 Horsepower and 250 nm figures are strictly average that the max torque is available from 1400 – 2400 rpm tells you much about this unit’s characteristics. The Gurkhas power and torque figures might not seem to like much but on the open road what gets you is the ease with which the Gurkha just pulls forward there are lots of pulling power at your disposal but this engine does not like to rev, it is happy at lower rpm.
The Gurkha has become more practical, friendlier and cooler and has evolved to the extent that it can be thought of as your only vehicle make no mistake though because the Gurkha is still no softy it is very much a hardcore off-roader first whose natural habitat is the real jungle and not the urban one.
Those looking for the latest of gizmos and car-like comfort need not apply, an automatic transmission would have made Gurkha easy to live with and the plastics need an upgrade as well even though there is a likeable what you see is what you get honesty to the package. Likely to be priced at around 13 lakh rupees (Ex-showroom) which is base Thar money. The Gurkha remains a committed buy but one that has been a whole lot easier to commit to.