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Force Motors Force One Detailed Expert Review - March 01, 2012

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Introduction

Mar 01, 2012 : Expert Review By

Force ONE: The Big F

This utility vehicle company has not been a very popular brand but then its existence was not ignored either. It may not have come with some cut throat head on rivals for a particular segment but then it offered the rural market with highly rugged transport solutions.

We are talking of an automobile company, whose one time cursive F logo was synonymous for commercial vehicles as well as affordable means of public transport.

Firodia backed Force Motors have breathed Indian roads very well. Some may complain that they have not been too active. However, their dedication and belief in simple technology is commendable.

Force Motors Force One Expert Review, Force One Road Test - 116032 | CarTrade

The mass carrier Traveller and the UV Trax have been the face of Force Motors for a long tenure.

Finally, after a long stint with simplicity, the next gen Firodia has decided to put his foot down with a modern automobile. A vehicle, which would not just exist but also, would make the stalwarts of the segment very uncomfortable.

The Force One comes up as a very strong contender in the newly famous SUV segment in India. We review the 4x2 version to find out if it can really shake the SUV scenario.

Exterior

The Force One will really appeal to those who love massive looking vehicles. The looks may be dated for some, but personally I loved the old school styling done on it. Its outer body shell is based on the Guangdong Foday Explorer III, a Chinese SUV.

Mentioning about its inspiration from the neighboring country doesn’t mean we demean it. The chassis frame has been developed in house. Force Motors have gone ahead and enthusiastically got UK based Lotus Engineering to work on the chassis.

The front profile has been garnished with some too flashy chrome radiator grille. The design doesn’t scream of an I-am-so-aggressive stance but then the character is not lost. The strong and long bonnet illustrates strong lines on them.

Something I didn’t appreciate was the Day running light LED strip; it looks like an aftermarket fitment. Also, had the headlights been bigger, it would have gone well with the massive appeal of the vehicle.

Very strong jaw line of the bumper holds the retro styled circular fog lamps with pseudo cute dimples on each side.

Side profile gives a Ford Endeavourish feel to the entire design. Though, from certain angles it also reminds me of Mahindra’s upcoming SUV, the SsangYong Rexton. The massive Apollo 235/70 Hawkz will give you all the confidence you need to take it on any terrain possible.

ORVMs come body colored with integrated turn indicators. These mirrors are electrically operated. An auto retract after locking would have been a great touch but the ones installed do the job.

A long wheelbase of 4860 mm, gives an elongated feel to the vehicle. This is complemented by muscular wheel arches which are bulging outwards. A strong passenger step is a very good addition aesthetically as well as in utility too for such a tall SUV.

A small glitch in the side profile was the fuel lid, which lacked proper finishing and refused to close in properly.

One’s simple design is its unique selling point. The waist lines run simple and straight. The roof line runs parallel to the waist line and ends with a spoiler with an integrated break lamp.

The D-Pillar is more curvy than normal SUVs, its ends the design more in a hatchback way from the roof line. The rear wind shield is neat and wide and is a good help while reversing the car, which in some other SUVs is very cramped.

The rear profile is very basic and reminds you of the Toyota Qualis. No confusing lines flowing but just bare minimum to conclude. See properly, and you will see two short gun barrels hanging at the bottom right hand corner, which are actually the exhaust pipes. For some reason they aren’t parallel, wonder why.

To conclude the exteriors, the One has big looks, with big tyres and big doors. It has an amazing street presence. Nobody will mistake it for a Tours vehicle, which is a case with vehicles like Tavera and Xylo. It is an economically massive vehicle. 

Interior

So you love sophistication in life and value supreme quality, then Force Motors have not made this vehicle for you. The interiors are very very and very basic. Does that make me a complaining man? No. Not yet.

Let’s try and understand why Force Motors did something like this. It’s a deliberate move from a company, which got UK based Lotus Engineering for the chassis calibration. The purpose for it is to keep this vehicle very basic but with few comfort features.

Force ONE would find its takers in those who dont mind wearing old torn jeans and just pat the dust away when dirty.

Large doors make the ingress and egress easy but the quality of finishing of the door is not good. The “thud” sound is not there at all and instead you feel the doors lack strength.

Basic interiors start with the 3 spoke steering wheel with steering mounted controls on it. These controls include one for the Media player as well as the instrumental display and the other for the cruise control.

Instrumental Panel has a multi info display and is neat and simple giving all the needed information without any need to toggle much. Interestingly there is an ABS light too on the instrumental cluster.

Interiors have a very nice color combination with minimal shades. The fake wooden treatment done on the central panel which holds the AC, Music System as well as the gear stick is not disappointing at all.

As you are gazing through everything, you run across a peculiarly positioned black button on the central panel. Discover it properly and you shall realize it’s the mirror adjustment button. Why is it there? No idea. A number of AC vents run across the roof in an attempt to cool each and every occupant inside the vehicle.

It’s a long SUV compared to its rival Scorpio, This also translates as tons of legspace. Head room is decent too. For the basic interiors, the seats are fantastic wit good quality and well stitched leather proudly displaying the F logo. They can snug you in and comfort you for all long journeys.  The same remains with all the seats. Even the last row seats are very comfortable unlike in other SUVs, where it is nothing but an excuse to shove more seats.

Head rests are offered with angular adjustments too.To conclude about the interiors of Force ONE, they will not make you crib. Yes, they lack proper fit and finish in lots of areas. Some zones are too crude and beg for improvement, which we are sure Force Motors will look into too.  

Storage options on the Force ONE are not too commendable, some bare minimum space in the door pockets to hold nothing important but trivial documents. In case you wish to insert a bottle anywhere inside, you shall be disappointed. The not too useful door pockets issue can be seen on all the doors.

From the roof, descends a goggle holder. The Glove box, which is affixed to the dashboard again won’t swallow in tons. It will be as it is crowded with the necessary ownership documents so no space left to shove it your important articles.

A vertical space is provided just besides the hand break, throughout the review my cell occupied it. The area around the transmission stick has provisions for storing tickets and trivial articles.The central armrest has a double storey storage options. The upper storey takes in something like a wallet but the lower storey can gasp in generous loads.

Rear half of the car has same central storage affixed with the armrest. The only storage that you can do is inserting coffee mugs.Luggage space especially after collapsing the last row is very impressive. The credit of which is shared with the long length of the vehicle too. 

Performance

The Force ONE has been powered by a 4 cylinder CRDi 2.2L FM Tech Engine. This unit is sourced from the guys who believe in the best and nothing but that. The Daimler AG, derived engine produces a peak power of 141PS at 3800 rpm and a torque figure of 321Nm at 1600-2400 rpm. A 5-speed transmission governs the engine with an ease. The gear box also boasts of a Dual Mass Fly wheel. The benefit of which can be supposedly felt when driving at low speeds.

So the Drive of the Force ONE makes a “Forceful” impact?. As soon as you start it, you are made to realize that this vehicle will not make you feel lazy and instead feel the brute appeal of it.

Rev the engine hard, and the shotgun exhausts start howling making the vehicle shiver at its place with the torque to offer. The drive of the vehicle is very impressive. The drive and the engine of the Force ONE makes me ignore all the issues I had with the fit and finish of the vehicle.

Shifting through different gears in traffic and on highways is fun. However, as we get set to party with the engine there are some serious mood spoilers.

This begins with the Air-Conditioning, Switch it ON and you will feel what pilots feel when they get ready to take off. The orchestra of the AC is powerful but sadly its functionality is very weak. We cranked the AC to its max speed and were craving for an AC overdrive button. The cabin didn’t get cooled at all and we were left sweating throughout.

Seconds this is the entertainment system. The music quality offered by the JVC unit was very bad. Had we been little harsher with heavy bass tunes, the speakers would have just split from the doors. Though, I was not very disappointed as the engine howl entertained me sufficiently.

Then comes a weird issue, a differential play….hmmmm..This is something I haven’t come across too often. At lower speeds, shift it to the 3rd gear and then press and release the accelerator at regular intervals, you will experience a play in the differential. This essentially means that power delivery can still be improved with improvisaion of this issue.

Enough of complaining now, let’s see the brighter side. The Force ONE, though looks massive and difficult to maneuver, in real is like silk to handle. It was super nimble at handling the traffic. The steering does a great job of tackling the short turns as well as the gradual ones.

This being a tall and big SUV didn’t have any body roll at all, which floored me completely. A general conception for all my praises would be cause of the Daimler unit. FALSE, Force Motors have painstakingly taken efforts to tune this SUV into an impressive offering.

Though, we had the 4x2 for our review, we still thought of doing some offroading activity with it without any hopes of getting impressed. Surprise there too, It may not be a quick off roader but then still it took whatever terrain was offered to it with ease.

Suspensions of Force ONE are something that impressed me a lot more than other SUVs. The suspension travel makes you feel very balanced and in control, while taking it on irregular terrain.

Brakes are crude and why I had mentioned in the interiors of the car that interestingly there is an ABS light, coz when you drive it and push the brakes hard, the tyres just lock and rub on tarmac. The drama and the noise, while the vehicle stops is impressive indeed. No sarcasm on this.

Kitna Deti hai? , The Force ONE gave us a best mileage figure of 12kmpl and the worst of 10kmpl. There was not a lot of variation in between the best and worst mileage even though we vigorously tested the vehicle.

Safety features come in the form of reverse park assist, over speeding warning and seatbelts alarm. Drive conclusion for the Force ONE, I was very happy with the drive of the vehicle. This made me forget all the issues with it. 

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Force Motors
 Model Force One
Variant 4X2
Engine Type 2.2FMTECH
Cubic capacity 2149CC/4CYL
Power 141PS/3800RPM
Torque 321NM/1600-2400 RPM
Transmission 5/M
Ground clearance in mm 205
Fuel Tank Capacity in Liters 70
Mileage 12
Seating option 5+D, 6+D
Tyre Rating 235/70 R16 Tubeless
Turning circle radius in Meters 6
Length mm 4860
Width mm 1780
Height mm 1885
Wheelbase mm 3025
Color options Intense White,Bold Black,
  Fierece Red,Emphatic Grey,Robust Blue
Force Motors Force One Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Force Motors
Force One
Mahindra
Xylo
Toyota Bharat
Innova
Mahindra
XUV 500
Ford
Endeavour
Variant 4X2 E9 VX W8 4X2 4X2
Cubic capacity 2149CC/ 4CYL 2179/ 4CYL 2494/ 4CYL 2179/ 4CYL 2499/ 4CYL
Power 141PS/ 3800RPM 120PS/ 4000 RPM 102PS/ 3600 RPM 140PS/ 3750 RPM 143PS/ 3800 RPM
Torque 321NM/ 1600- 2400 RPM 280NM/ 2400- 2800 RPM 200NM/ 3400 RPM 320NM/ 2800 RPM 330NM/ 3600 RPM
Front Brake Disc Disc Disc Disc Disc
Rear Brake Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum
Ground clearance mm 205 186 176 180 210
Fuel Tank Capacity L 70 55 55 71 71
Seating 7 Seater 8 seater 8 Seater 8 Seater 7 Seater
Key Features
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Wash and wiper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arm rest for driver and co driver Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Height adjustable driver seat Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reverse assist Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Engine Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tilt steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Defogger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leather seats No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leather wrapped steering wheel No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cruise control No Yes No No No
2-DIN Audio system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Airbag No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ex showroom price Mumbai in lac 1118814 1040787 1347903 1290660 1975610
Conclusion

People at Force Motors have done a great job. We really appreciate the very first attempt by Force Motors to make a foray in the main stream segment. Force Motors has seen to it that the vehicle is not enthusiastically priced.

The Force ONE does have its set of issues but then, it is like a school kid in a primary class. The kid is still not a super performer in all subjects but there are some subjects in which he excels brilliantly. This vehicle is a proof of Force Motors understanding what it takes to crack the segment.

Even during the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi, I managed to ask Mr.Prasan Firodia on his plans and strategies about the Force ONE, he remained very positive about it and expressed that Force Motors will be working on making the brand more visible and popular as well as improving the vehicle in the next generations of it. He also stated that Force Motors will be very aggressive with the dealership line up, which would also see substantial increase in times to come.

Personally I would love to go for a Force ONE, if I have a farmhouse far away from the city or if I have a stud farm. Force ONE makes its statement with its ruggedness. Its confident identity won’t get blurred as a dummy off roader or a commercial carrier. 

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