If you think that the Mahindra Thar, the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and the Force Gurkha are the coolest things to happen to the off roader segment in India, wait until you hear this. The big daddy of off roading – the Jeep Wrangler – will soon be in India.
The Wrangler is likely to make its Indian debut by the end of this year, even as Fiat India is busy making preparations to launch the Jeep brand in India. The Wrangler will be an out-and-out brand builder for the Jeep brand in India, along with another flagship offering, the Grand Cherokee luxury SUV.
While the Wrangler will appeal to lifestyle SUV buyers and well heeled off roaders, the Grand Cherokee will square off against the likes of the Mercedes Benz GLE and the the upcoming Audi Q7 luxury crossover. The Grand Cherokee will be priced over 60 lakh rupees. The Wrangler is expected to be much cheaper though.
In rupee terms, expect the Wrangler to be slotted in between the 30 and 40 lakh marks in the Indian market. The steep pricing has to do with the off roader being directly imported from the United States, as a completely built unit (CBU). One advantage direct importing will have is in the engine choices that the Wrangler will be sold with.
The off roader is expected to be offered with the 3.6 liter V6 Pentastar petrol engine (285 Bhp-352 Nm) and the 2.8 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel motor (197 Bhp-460 Nm) sourced from VM Motori. Both engines are likely to be mated with 5 speed automatic transmissions for the Indian market, while a four wheel drive layout will be standard.
Internationally, the Wrangler is also sold with 6 speed manual transmissions. The Wrangler features live axles at both ends, with coil spring suspension. The Jeep is known for its tremendous articulation, making for great off road prowess. An international icon, the Jeep Wrangler has plenty of hop up bits from across the world. Customizing is the name of the game really.
Find the Jeep Wrangler too pricey? Here are three other options for your consideration.
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy 4X4
The petrol powered Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is called a mountain goat for sound reason. The off roader is known for its reliability and ability to scamper up tough trails, day after day. The Gypsy uses a 1.3 liter petrol engine with 80 Bhp and 110 Nm on tap.
A five speed manual gearbox is standard while creature comforts such as a power steering and air conditioning can only be had through the after market route. The Gypsy uses leaf spring suspension for all four wheels, and is available in hard top and soft top variants. Prices of this built-to-order SUV start from 5.95 lakh rupees.
Mahindra Thar CRDe 4X4
The Mahindra Thar CRDe 4X4 is the most popular off roader in India, and is also one of the most customized SUVs. The Thar is literally a blank canvas, ready to feature its owner’s imprint. The Mahindra off roader is essentially a Mahindra Bolero under the skin, but with a MM540 tub to give it the classic Jeep look.
The SUV features a 2.5 liter CRDe turbo diesel engine with 105 Bhp-247 Nm on tap. A four wheel drive layout with high and low ratios are standard, along with a five speed manual transmission. The Thar is available only with a soft top from the factory. Prices start from 7.74 lakh rupees.
Force Gurkha 4X4
The Force Gurkha is the latest, dedicated off roader that is available in the Indian car market. 8.56 lakh rupees is from there the Gurkha’s prices start. The vehicle uses a 2.6 liter turbo diesel engine with outputs of 80 Bhp and 230 Nm.
The Gurkha comes with differential locks and a four wheel drive mechanism with low and high ratios for off roading. The SUV is a five seater, and features a two door design. The ladder frame off roader also comes with a factory fitted snorkel, which affords it good water wading ability.