Kerala Police has bought 44 Force Gurkhas to increase its presence in mountain regions of the state. They have done this because 4×2 vehicles are not capable in mountain regions where there is rough terrain whereas the Gurkha is a proper 4×4 vehicle that is made to tackle such terrains. Moreover, Kerala Police has also approved 72 Mahindra Boleros for the police force. They will be getting the B4 variant which is the base variant of the Bolero. This is not the first time that police force is using Bolero as their vehicle. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are already using Mahindra Bolero as patrolling car.
Last year, Force launched the new generation of the Gurkha and it has received good feedback from people who are really into off-roading. The competitor to the Gurkha is the Mahindra Thar. However, even that now is a sophisticated SUV when compared to Gurkha which feels barebone.
Unlike the Thar, Force offers the Gurkha in only one variant. It is priced at Rs. 14.10 lakhs ex-showroom which is a bit higher than the Mahindra Thar. The Thar starts at Rs. 13.17 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 15.53 lakhs ex-showroom. It is also available in more variants.
Gurkha comes with a Mercedes-Benz sourced 2.6-litre diesel engine that produces 90 PS of max power and 250 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. As of now, there is no automatic transmission on offer. Force offers a 4×4 system, low-range transfer case and front and rear manual locking differential as standard.
Mahindra Bolero is very popular in the rural areas because it is known to be very reliable and is a work horse. Moreover, it is one of the most affordable rear-wheel drive SUV. It is using a ladder-frame chassis, has a good ground clearance and the SUV is still built like a tank with all metal parts. The prices of Bolero starts at Rs. 8.99 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 9.99 lakhs ex-showroom. It is offered in only two variants. There is B4 and B6. It is offered only with a 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces 75 PS of max power and 210 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine is very reliable and requires low maintenance.
Up-coming Gurkha 5-door
Force has already started working on a 5-door version of the Gurkha. The new SUV has also been spotted quite a few times on the Indian roads. Force increased the wheelbase of the 3-door Gurkha to accommodate the rear doors. The rear doors would make it a lot easier to get in and get out of the vehicle. Moreover, the test mule that was spotted on the roads had two captain chairs in the third row. It had a 6-seat layout whereas the current 3-door Gurkha comes only with a 4-door layout. There are no changes expected to the drivetrain of the SUV.