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Force Motors Trax Review: Trax Toofan - The rural giant MUV

Trax Toofan - The rural giant MUV

By Shiva Shankar; 18th September, 2010
Introduction

If any person has gone on a tour with their car or SUV with a person or two extra above the normal capacity, he would have experienced the worst of discomfort. With that in mind, companies have developed an MUV which solves the purpose of both MUV and a traveler.

Force Motors Trax

Most of us would have in the past noticed a fully packed Force Motors Trax loaded with passengers. One may wonder why the same is not the chosen car for city people whereas the car is one most popular utility vehicles having a massive presence in Rural Areas. We took the Force Motors Trax Cruiser Toofan for a testdrive, and present our analysis of the same.

Exterior

A quick look at the Trax Toofan, clearly shows that it is perfectly suitable can for touring all over the state and country-side with a good number of people, even compared to say a 8 or congested 10 seater MUV. From the outside already, it’s clear that the Trax Toofan can seat 12 people comfortably – the car is that big.

Force Motors Trax

From the front, there is nothing much to appreciate, as there is no curving or any other styling cues, which one sees in the Mahindra Xylo or Tata Sumo Grande. The metal bumper gives a sense of toughness comparable to Ambassador cars.

On the side, the car carries graphics resembling a splash of water. They cover from the front door to the rear quarter panel and a sticker of Toofan Classic is there for the Toofan version.The Ground clearance of 210 MM is apparent on viewing and it assures to swallow worst of the road humps. In general, the Trax is a no-nonsense, big car, with no embellishments whatsoever. It’s purely designed for functionality. 

Interior

The Interiors of the Trax Toofan are comparable to any other pick up van. The dashboard is completely plain, serving the minimum necessity for which there is an instrument cluster and a small glove box. The dashboard has the fuel gauge, speedometer, and engine temperature gauge. It doesn’t feature music system.

Force Motors Trax

For the 11+driver option, the driver seat is separate from other the other two seats in the front row. As a result, the driver is assured of comfortable seating and he need not move to the far right to accommodate one more passenger, a problem which exists in the Ambassador. Best of comfort exists for the middle row, where there is provision of headrest for two persons, with plenty of legroom for all three passengers that can sit here.

Two bench seats are provided in the back with enough space for seating of 3 passengers on each side. Thus, the car allows 6 persons in rear side, 3 in the middle row, 2 in the co-driver seat so that a total of 12 persons can be seated in a comfortable manner. Beyond the above, there is really not much to say about the Trax’ interiors. It is extremely functional to the point of being underwhelming and contains only the bare minimum without any embellishments. 

Performance

The Trax Toofan is a variant within the Trax Cruiser model and features a 4 cylinder diesel engine with capacity of 2596cc, which delivers a power output of 61HP and torque of 158NM. The ground clearance of the car is 210MM,. Other options in the Cruiser model are the Trax Cruiser 9+driver and the Cruiser Classic 13+driver. Other specifications remain same for all.

Force Motors Trax

We drove the 11+ driver option variant in Bangalore which is priced at 7.24 Lakh on-road (6.0 lakh ex show room).

An important point to note is that of emission norms. The Trax is still available under BSII and BSIII norms version only. BS IV norms version can be expected by next year or so. Since most of the sales for the Trax are from rural areas where BS IV norms are not implemented yet, the company has the luxury of delaying the new launch. Similarly, though the dealer is located in the city, registration would be done in respective RTO of residence of customer. However, if anybody from city wants to buy the same, the Executive is ready to help out to complete registration formalities with a rural area RTO and deliver the vehicle. 

 

We took the 11+1 seater Trax Toofan for a testdrive. While the large size of the vehicle does create an apprehension for one who is not used to driving such large cars, there turned out to be no need to worry about driving in normal roads. The only precaution one needs to take while turning is to make sure that the vehicle is slowed greatly down and ensure that there is enough space available for taking turn. Bear in mind that the car’s minimum turning circle radius is 7.0 Meters (for comparison, the Nissan Micra’s is just 4,5 meters). However, there is no need to worry about the same while driving on plain roads.

As we can see in the photos, there is no special cushioning for the driver seat. The Dashboard is plain with minimum required gauges. Once seated, one at once feels like a pick up van driver, as there is really no other purpose for driving this car. However, once we switch on the engine, we are presented with a smooth running diesel engine, which is also known for its reliability. The car’s Hand brake is provided just next to driver and hence there is no need to extend hand for operating the same. However, gear lever is a bit forward and we have to stretch somewhat to grab the plain gear lever, but once we start using it, there is not much of an issue.

Force Motors Trax

Moving out the Trax from its parking place onto the main road in the heart of the city was a bit due to the heavy movement of vehicles, but once we came on the road, there was not much of an issue. The quality of the build and the bumpers provide good confidence. For the driver, there is the confidence boost that in case of any inadvertent collision, the bumpers are easy and cheap to replace – indeed the car has been built keeping this in mind.

Clutch operation is very easy and the positioning of brake and acceleration pedals is just right, so that it is easy to operate. While driving on plain roads, the Trax is as good as any MUV such as Tata Sumo and Mahindra Bolero. The Trax reaches a maximum speed of around 100 to 120KMPH max, which is not bad keeping in mind the capacity of the engine and the number of passengers, causing a larger pay load due to larger interior space. Though there is considerable acceleration, we can not expect acceleration as good as a Sumo Victa or Bolero. Hydraulic brake system with front disc and rear drum is very efficient and has a minimum stopping distance and road grip. Hence, it can be used confidently in city, highway, and rural roads as required.

Force Motors Trax

Overall, driving Trax Toofan is as good as driving a Tata Sumo, though the only thing one has to get used to is the length of vehicle.

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Force
 Model Cruiser
Variant Toofan
Engine Displacement 2596
Power PS/RPM 60/3200
Torque Nm/RPM 158/2000-2200
Transmission 5/M
Seating  10+1 Driver
AC No
Power windows No
Central lock No
Power steering No
Ground clearance in MM 210
Fuel Tank Capacity 60
Tyre Size 7.0/215 R15
Dimension in MM
Length 4832
Width 1660
Height 2055
Turning circle radius 6.3M
Colour Options Metallic Silver,Metallic Gold
  Metallic Sapphire, Tasmania Green
  Mica Black
Ex showroom Price Mumbai 660972
Features
Features Toofan
AC No
Power steering Yes
Power windows No
Central locking No
4WD Wth 10+Driver Yes
Competition
Specifications
Force
Cruiser
Tata
Sumo Gold
Mahindra
Bolero
Variant Toofan EX SLE
Engine Displacement 2596 2596 2523
Power PS/RPM 60/3200 84/3000 62/3200
Torque Nm/RPM 158/2000-2200 250/2000 195/2200
Transmission 5/M 5/M 5/M
Seating  11+1 Driver 9 8
AC No Yes Yes
Power windows No No Yes
Central lock No No Yes
Power steering No Yes Yes
Ground clearance in MM 210 190 183
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 65 -
Tyre Size 7.0/215 R15 185/85 R16 215/75  R15
Dimension in MM
Length 4832 4258 4107
Width 1660 1700 1745
Height 2055 1925 1880
Turning circle radius in M 6.3 5.3 5.8
Ex showroom Price Mumbai 660972 676588 653382
Conclusion

The Trax Toofan Serves the Purpose of a utility vehicle, providing for maximum number of people to travel in it. It’s a reliable car, with effectively priced maintenance and parts, and offers attractive drive quality.

Though one has to compromise with respect to luxury features such as AC, Music system, etc., the car justifies the money invested explaining its stronghold in rural transport system.

However, the car’s purpose is clearly to carry as many people as possible. As such, even for city use, it will be useful only to fleet operators or taxi drivers.