Five expedition friendly vehicles for under 12 lakh rupees

Snapshot – Cross country touring in cars is in its infancy in India. However, this mode of leisure is gradually growing along with growing incomes. While hatchbacks and sedans can manage quite well on most well paved surfaces, SUVs remain the kings of the highway, for the high seating position and ground clearance they offer. SUVs also rule the roost when the going gets tough with broken roads.

If you do want to carry you bathroom and kitchen sink along, you need something that’s more versatile than an SUV. Enter the pick up truck. Pick up trucks, when customized, can prove to be great expedition vehicles. CarToq lists out three such such pick up trucks that are available for under 12 lakh rupees. The Mahindra Thar and Maruti Gypsy off roaders also make the cut as they can be converted into pick up trucks.

Maruti Gypsy

The original mountain goat of the off roading world is a petrol only option. This doesn’t make it suited for driving across long distances for folks who are bothered about running costs. For those who aren’t, the Gypsy can be a great two seater with the space at the rear converted into a flat bed for luggage and other peripherals.

The Gypsy is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine that outputs 80 Bhp of peak power and 110 Nm of peak torque. Transmission is a five speed manual unit. The Gypsy gets a four wheel drive system as standard and is sold with soft top and hard top options. The Soft Top variant is priced at 5.79 lakh rupees while the hard top variant costs 5.93 lakh rupees.

Mahindra Thar CRDe

Like the Gypsy, the Mahindra Thar is an off roader that can be put to good use as an expedition vehicle, especially with the rear made a flat bed. The Thar is diesel powered and scores over the Gypsy when it comes to ride comfort due to its independent front suspension.

The Thar’s 2.5 liter NEF CRDe turbo diesel engine outputs 105 Bhp and 247 Nm. A five speed manual gearbox and a four wheel drive layout are standard. The Thar is priced at 7.40 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi and comes with a canvas top as standard.

Mahindra Scorpio Getaway

The Mahindra Scorpio Getaway has shown much promise as an expedition vehicle with Jaskirat Nagra, a custom vehicle builder, building an expedition version of the double pick up truck for Gul Panag, a Bollywood celebrity. the Scorpio Getaway’s twin cab pick up truck design allows for tremendous versatility.

The pick up truck features a 2.6 liter CRDe turbo diesel engine that outputs 115 Bhp and 280 Nm. A five speed manual gearbox is standard. Both rear wheel drive and four wheel drive versions of the Getaway are sold in India. The rear wheel drive version starts at 7.83 lakh rupees while the four wheel drive version starts at 8.77 lakh rupees.

Isuzu D-Max Space Cab

A new entrant to the pick up truck space, the Isuzu D-Max Space Cab isn’t technically a double cab pick up truck. However, the D-Max offers additional space for luggage stowage behind the front seats. The D-Max is a CKD assembled product and is priced at 9.09 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

The D-Max is powered by a 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine that outputs 136 Bhp of peak power and 294 Nm of peak torque. A five speed gearbox, power windows and air conditioning are standard fare. The D-Max features a rear wheel drive layout with a four wheel drive function not available in India.

Tata Xenon XT

Arguably the most loaded lifestyle pick up truck in India, the Xenon XT offers a host of creature comforts and safety features. A double cab pick up truck, the Xenon XT is available with rear wheel drive and four wheel drive layouts. The pick up truck is powered by a 2.2 liter DICOR turbo diesel engine (140 Bhp-320 Nm) and gets a five speed manual gearbox.

The rear wheel drive variant of the Xenon XT starts at 9.98 lakh rupees while the four wheel drive variant is priced at 11.02 lakh rupees. ABS+EBD is standard on both the 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive variants of the Xenon XT, making it one of the safer pick up trucks sold in India.