Although SUVs are quite popular in India, there are only a small portion of SUV owners who actually take their SUVs off-road. Some SUV owners group have now started organising off-road adventure trips for the owners so that they can explore the capabilities of their vehicles in controlled environment. Normally these groups consist of an experienced driver who has driven off-road. We have several videos of such off-road expedition available online. Currently in the market we have Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha SUVs in the affordable 4×4 SUV segment and there are several videos of both the SUVs available online. Here we have a video where Force Gurkha, Mahindra Thar and a pre-facelift Isuzu V-Cross is seen off-roading.
The video has been uploaded by DCV Expeditions on their YouTube channel. Video shows a current generation Mahindra Thar, Force Gurkha and a modified Isuzu V-Cross off-roading. Vlogger owns the Force Gurkha and the other two SUVs belonged to his friends who were participating in the off-road session. Force Gurkha and Mahindra Thar did not have any modifications on them. They had stock size off-road capable tyres. The Isuzu on the other hand gets a 2 inch lift kit for better ground clearance.
The first obstacle was to go down a hill through a track that was created by SUVs that had passed through the obstacle. Mahindra Thar was the first to come down the track and it did the same beautifully. Force Gurkha and Isuzu V-Cross also managed to come down without any issues. The next obstacle is where things start getting a little bit more challenging for the SUVs. In the next section, the SUVs had to go uphill through a track. The tracks were not even and that made driving up the hill a bit more challenging.
Mahindra Thar was the first SUV to attempt the climb. The driver engage 4L and started crawling up the hill. Surprisingly Mahindra Thar went up the hill in the first attempt itself. The Mechanically Locking Differentials in Mahindra Thar came in handy and they were locking the rear wheels whenever the car needed it. The driver kept the throttle input constant which also helped the SUV climb up without any issue. Next was the Force Gurkha. The vlogger attempted to climb the section without engaging the diff locks first. When he realised the Gurkha cannot climb up, he engages the rear differentials manually and starts moving forward.
The suspension travel on Force Gurkha is less and stiff when compared to Mahindra Thar and that was a problem for the Force Gurkha. The SUV was moving around a lot but was making little progress. Force Gurkha could not climb up even after engaging the rear diff locks. He tool the SUV back and then attempted to climb up with front diff locks engaged. The SUV was doing well but after some time, the front diff locks started slipping and were not working properly. Gurkha could not climb up and then Isuzu V-Cross attempted to climb up the same track. Like Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha, Isuzu V-Cross does not get differential locks. The driver engaged 4×4 and attempted to climb up but the wheels lost traction and the SUV could not climb up. When compared to other two SUVs, Mahindra Thar performed well in the off-road section.