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The SUV Experience

The SUV has experienced its ups and downs on the market. However, today, the SUV is a popular choice for those seeking utility, cargo space, and passenger space in a vehicle. Further, the SUV has evolved from a vehicle sought after for its towing capacity and off-roading capabilities, to a luxury vehicle with customisable features and accessories. And because of its versatility, it has also become immensely popular in the Nepalese market. To know how it feels like to ride one in our roads, we interviewed a few owners and here is what they had to say:

Avash Nirola

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT AND TRAINER

suv-1

1 What SUV do you drive?

I currently drive a Ford Ranger 2.2 XLT

2 Why did you choose to drive a SUV?

Well firstly it was because of the performance for the segment and it’s the highest rated pick-up in the market.

3 Do you think there are any drawbacks of riding one?

In my experience size is the biggest drawback. In the city, it’s a big hassle. However, on the highway, she rides like a dream.

4 One situation when you were thankful for riding a SUV in Nepal.

Just recently, on my trip to the east, the Ranger fell in a ditch that was not visible to me. Thankfully, the 4×4 function came to the rescue. I was actually happy with what it did.

5 What’s your dream vehicle and why?

Hmm…There are a lot, depending in the ride type and terrain. But if I had to pick one for this moment it would be the Range Rover Sport. Would love to take it around Nepal, over the hills and far away.

 

Vivek Basnyat

MANAGING DIRECTOR,

YETI GROUP OF COMPANIES

suv-2

1 What SUV do you drive?

Currently I drive what I call a Yeti XLT, which is stock 3.2ltr Ford Ranger XLT that has been upgraded using Ironman Manufactured and tested performance parts such as Foam Cell Shocks/struts, larger coil springs, thicker cold pressed leaf springs, 3mm cold pressed steel under vehicle protection guards (front, gear box, and fuel tank), 3 inch big bore exhaust upgrade complete from the manifold, snorkel (Ram air intake), chassis mounted bull bar with heavy winch (plasma rope), chassis mounted rear step bar with heavy duty tow ball integrated with a 20ltr Jerry can holder and spare tire mount built on operating on large pin and bearing swivel system, automated dual battery system, licensed UHF communications system and mid-range antenna, additional 30 micron diesel pre-filter, truck bed roll bar, ROPS (internal Roll Over Protection System), HID Supernova Lights, 30 watt LED Spot and flood fights with heavy duty relays, fuses, and wiring. Yes, it’s an “Indomitable Beast” and there will be more coming!

2 Why did you choose to drive a SUV?

There would be some that call a pickup truck a “Poor Man’s SUV” but they don’t realize they are actually the “Smart Man’s SUV”. My work and the overall versatility of Pickups is the sole reason I drive one and to be honest I haven’t been able to find anything more cost effective and capable. I like taking the “unbeaten path” so if you see/find a freshly excavated trail/ track chances are I’ve already been up it. Furthermore I operate off road expeditions so I need a workhorse that can deliver and get abused. There are some good and “pretty” SUVs out there but unless you’re the Government, a Diplomatic Mission, or an INGO enjoying duty free status they are just too expensive and if you get one you might as well treat them like a Mercedes rather than an SUV.

3 Do you think there are any drawbacks of riding one?

Generally the Size of an SUV in Kathmandu can be difficult to manage. You can’t take an SUV in narrow roads without sometimes sweating bullets. I use my XLT daily and it’s pretty big; but I believe if you are an experienced driver that can anticipate the reckless nature and sometimes irrational driving behaviour of others on the road you will be fine. Most stray clear of my bull bar!

4 One situation when you were thankful for riding a SUV in Nepal.

Oh God there are too many situations. Honestly look at the poor quality of the roads and their never ending construction. What irritates me the most is people digging up a freshly paved road to put in a new pipe to the sewer system then not bothering to repave. Let’s say there are more than a few people I’ve rescued that are thankful I have a capable SUV! Furthermore I never feel limited to the paved road so I’m thankful I can always choose to go which ever path I choose and leave the rest watching and wishing!

5 What’s your dream vehicle and why?

I like getting “out here” so it would have to be the indomitable Land Cruiser 70 Series as it is the undisputed ‘tough as nails’ workhorse. Having traversed over a million paths around the world and bashed its way in and out of mines, jungles, mountains, through construction sites and up farm trails, the LC 70 series has earned an undeniable reputation for versatility, ruggedness and dependability. If you want what i honestly believe is the world’s toughest 4WD, for work, towing, or extensive off-road travel, this is it! It has a proven and tested unstoppable 4.2-litre diesel engine which dishes out 96 kW at 3800 rpm while offering a an amazing 285 Nm of torque from a low 2200 rpm. They come standard with the real “goodies” such as differential locks, five-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive system with hardy low-range transfer box for mind blowing off-road ability. Also worth noting is the impressive ground clearance – the 79 Pick-up variants are 235 mm above the ground, allowing the vehicle to tackle almost any off-road condition.

 

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