Cars & Bikes

2017 Force Gurkha Xpedition First Drive Review

Why will I buy the Gurkha Xpedition

If I wanted a no nonsense, no frills, reliable workhorse, I’d settle for the Xpedition.

Why will I avoid the Gurkha Xpedition

Simply because I can’t have a no frills SUV as a family car; it needs more creature comfort.

Meet another version of the new for 2017 Force Gurkha. This one is the more practical one. So, it has four doors and seating for eight people and a driver. It gets the same revamped 2.6-litre diesel with 85 horsepower and the conventional shifting 5-speed gearbox from the more lifestyle oriented Gurkha Xplorer (you can read that review HERE). And, it has the same design updates too.

This one is called the Xpedition. And in terms of visual upgrades – compared to the older Gurkha – it gets new metal bumpers front and back, a new grille, new fog lamps and tail lights. The fender mounted turn indicators, the snorkel and the slab-sided looks continue unchanged. And it must be said, the new Gurkha even in this longer length and wheelbase form does look better than the older SUV.

How is it on the inside?

Unlike the Xplorer, the Xpedition is meant for the road and be a full-fledged family car. In that regard, it’s pretty basic. Sure, you get power steering and an aircon, and a tiny glovebox. But, otherwise there’s no real creature comfort to talk about. No power windows, no internal adjustment for the ORVMs, no rear wash and wipe and not a single cup or bottle holder either.

Instead, its list of features include slim door pockets; a simple instrument cluster with just a speedo, a trip meter, and gauges for temperature and fuel level; and a pretty insignificant stowage option in front of the gear lever. But then again, you can’t really sell a car without these, now can you?

As for the seats, the bucket options upfront don’t offer much support, the ones in the middle are flat and a bit too upright, and the two benches in the boot are, well, benches. Space, however, isn’t half bad. The Xpedition can’t compete with the never ending Trax range (Toofan and Cruiser), but two up front, two in the middle and two right at the back – one per bench – is comfortably doable.