I very common question that I’m asked is that when this vehicle is guzzling so much time, effort and money why don’t I sell that off and buy a Toyota Fortuner or the newly launched Pajero Sports.
Well the explanation is not so simple to answer in a short writeup, still I’ll try. No doubt both the vehicles the T Fort and the P-Sports are fanatic vehicles but I have only one basis of comparison, the Landcruiser 80 Series which I’ve driven now for 58000 Kms in about 2.5 Years.
I’ve driven the Fortuner and didn’t like it, this is obviously when comparing it to my vehicle. I find the drivability, road presence, ability to repair and get it serviced much better.
The thought of replacing the TLC with the T-Fort came to my mind too. I’ve spent close to 2.5L on the vehicle in the last 2.5 Years due to the Old Age factor. On a totality I’ve spent much more but I’m not counting expenses like Insurance, Accidental Repair, Normal Service & Tyres in this calculation as I would have spent a similar amount on the vehicle had it been a T-Fort or Pajero Sports.
Now comes the drivability . I like driving the TLC much more than I did the T-Fort, though I’ll agree that I drove the TFort only for a short duration, but still I could gauge it, on maybe an overall level. One has to really drive it to experience what kind of a vehicle this(Landcruiser) is. Additionally I’m a person with a slightly heavy foot, meaning though I don’t drive fast but I like to let the suspension do the work while driving over potholes, bad road and obviously no roads. And yes,I’ve have driven it in mostly all kinds of terrains. For example once each to Leh, Ladakh, Lahual Spiti, 3 trips as a Rally Marshal to the Desert Storm, a trip to Goa and back, Diu & Gir, to name a few. Yes, I’ve had my share of hiccups with the vehicle with occasional breakdowns, Tyre bursts, fan belts breaking, power steering pump packing up, etc but most of these factors were due to the Old Age of the vehicle and owner error, which I believe and practice, that if preventive maintenance is done, can be handled.
Regarding the time, yes it take a bit of time and I do have drivers who can goto the workshop and stand on the heads of the mechanics to get the job done. They do infact when I get the normal services done. However whenever something critical needs to be done I prefer to be there personally due to only one reason, cauz I enjoy it and want to learn from it. Plus share it with the world.
Now comes the part on the amount of dough that I’ve spent on the vehicle till date. I’ve spent 2.5 lacs On the vehicle till date but the way I see it, the 2.50 lacs I spent isn’t all loss. Like I bought the vehicle for an amount that today wouldn’t even be enough to buy a brand new Mahindra Scorpio 4×4 or a Tata Safari, so I believe that I have much better vehicle comfort wise viz a viz the above tow. Now on the worst case seaniro I can sell it easily for the same amount of money that I bought it for, infact,slightly more. So reasonably ,even if I can sell it for the same amount of money I bought it for,I’ll end up losing 2.5 big ones. If that’s the case, I take not like this that I’ve haven’t lost anything atall. Why you may ask? Because had it been a T-Fort I would have lost much more on the depreciation on the vehicle than I’m losing on the TLC today. Additionally the bill has run up a bit high (some may think) is because I get all the work done from Toyota Authorized Workshop and not from road side mechanics. Further any or all the parts that go bad, I have a a habit of replacing them with brand new OEM replacements. So they are bound to cost a bit more.
The reason I blog the goings of my vehicle is that, I want to share it with the world so that tomorrow anyone wanting to walk the same path know exactly what to expect and learn from my experiences.
Now comes to the point on the reliability of the vehicle. I simply say that even if for once I thought that the vehicle is unsafe, I, for all the money in the world wouldn’t risk taking my children for out station family vacations. That’s all I can say.
Its that time of the year now when the summer vacations of the children start and we are planning another holiday or a Driving Vacation as I like to call it. I would be writing another blog post soon on where we will be visiting this time of the year but for now I will post the mechanical maintenance that I’ve performed on the vehicle in the last 10K Kms. The Odometer now reads 155000 Kms and there a lot that I’ve done on the vehicle in this time.
NEW ALLOY WHEEL
I bought another Alloy Rim and now after the disastrous experience of me bursting 2 tyres within 24 hours I always carry 2 spare tyres with myself.
To read about the tyre burst incident click here
The new alloy wheel and testing that on the vehicle. Now this new bling alloy is doing a duty as a spare tyre in the boot.
AT THE TOYOTA FORTUNER BOOT CAMP
Previous Posts in this series
- Road Trip- PROLOGUE – Delhi- Jaipur- Ahmedabad- Mumbai- Goa- Tarkarli- Mumbai- Udaipur- Delhi
- Goa Road Trip March ‘12 Delhi–-> Jaipur–-> Ahmedabad
- Goa Road Trip Mar ‘12 Ahmedabad–-> Mumbai –-> Goa
- Goa Road Trip March ’12 – In Goa
- Goa Road Trip- Drive from Goa- Mumbai- Udaipur- Delhi
26th March 2012 Monday
Now being a shade less than 700 Kms from Delhi and again having done this journey several times we had a late start. Another reason for the late start was that having myself being mentally strained the previous day I didn’t set the alarm clock the previous night. Second reason was that the room we stayed was so bad that I have now decided never to again stay at this hotel if I ‘m getting the same category of room.
Ready to Leave for Delhi at RTDC Hoetl Kajri, Udaipur
My review of RTDC Kajri as posted on Tripadvisor . com
It was 23rd or March 2012 and was time for us to head back for New Delhi Via Mumbai and Udaipur. The earlier plan was that we’ll go to Mumbai via NH17 and take a night halt at Tarkarli, I had spent weeks preparing the GPS Tracks for that area, planning the routes with the help of HV Kumar sir, however this plan was shelved at he had already been about a week since we’d left home and the children were not up to it. Me too personally had developed an inkling that it was time to head back and maybe leave Tarkarli for a later time. The homework’s been done and the trip is surely on the cards for a later date.
Taking a final look at the place we started our 2200 Kms return journey to New Delhi at approx 826AM.
Ramada Carvela, Main Building
The Land Cruiser and its occupants at Ramada’s main entrance
Distance to Mumbai from Panaji
We made good time and cover 85kms were at the Mumbai Goa Border in a little less than 2 hours. Crossed the Goa Border Check Point with no issues but at the Maharashtra Check Point/ Excise Post, it was a different story. At this place I was asked to park my car and come out for inspection. This was about 7 Kms after the Goa Check Point so now I’m thinking that it can’t be the border post and must be the Excise Check Point.
The Path to Prestige
The concept of the 80 series was the combination of "Advanced" and "Top Quality" features at the highest level. However, the true reason why the 80 series gained worldwide attention was the fact that it able to maintain its original toughness of excellent off-road characteristics while being loyal to the above.
In 1989 regular minor changes were introduced, all in the direction of greater luxury, which led eventually to the evolutionary transformation of the ever-popular 60-series into the new 80-series.
At the time the 60-series was being driven more for leisure or family use, and as a town car, than as an off-road vehicle. Over time the demand increased for more fashionable and passenger car like characteristics.
18th March 2012 Ahmedabad ––> Mumbai
Again as the previous night we were a little late for retiring for the day and were able to hit the bed only at 1AM.
Rooms at The Karnavati Club, Ahmedabad
Additionally having done 700 Kms the previous day, the drive for this day was just a little more than 500 Kms, so we thought that I could take it easy. Further as always, whenever I visited Goverdhan Thal, I never felt hungry the next morning, hence we skipped breakfast and headed straight out for Mumbai. The hotel bill settled, we were on the road at 8AM and reached the Ahmedabad- Baroda Expressway at 830, covering approximately 20 Kms. Inside the city, being early and a sunday I encountered little traffic, but I could sense that had it been a weekday and slightly later during the day, we would have encountered much more traffic.
The Ahmedabad Surat Expressway is a drivers dream and we covered the distance of 93 Kms in 58 Minutes, clocking an average speed of 95 KMPH. I was driving at 120-130 KMPH but I guess stopping at the 3 toll plazas reduced the overall average speeds. From here we took the Baroda ByPass and the NH8 all the way upto Baruch.
Old Golden Bridge