Force Motors has endowed the One with necessary equipment to turn it into a no-nonsense SUV

Without four-wheel drive, a big brute of an SUV like the Force One seems a bit incomplete, doesn’t it? A year and a half after its launch, Force Motors has now endowed the One with the equipment that, in a perfect world, every SUV would be fitted with.

It gets its own trim called the LX, and it looks identical to the SX (the thus-far-unnamed 2WD middle trim that the car was launched with), save for new graphics on the side and the roof carrier. Look closer and you will see that the bash plate at the front is angled more sharply; this is to accommodate the LX’s new front axle. This, along with the new transfer case, means the Force One has piled on 200kg, and as a result, the suspension has had to be retuned too.

The electronic control for the BorgWarner centre differential lets you shift from Two-wheel High to Four-wheel High on the go. However, to shift to Four-wheel Low, the Force One needs to be at a complete standstill. To give it a bit more purchase in the rough, there’s a limited-slip differential at the rear and slightly wider 245/70 R16 tyres. The 205mm of ground clearance and six-metre turning radius are unchanged. The Mercedes-designed, 2.2-litre diesel motor and five-speed gearbox are carried over from the SX. From behind the wheel, the extra weight is apparent — responses to throttle inputs are a bit dull and the One also feels more nose-heavy when steered into corners. On the upside, it drove over the bumpy Belgian paver block section of the test track with a softer edge and less body movement. The cabin also felt better insulated from the harsh road conditions.

On the inside, a faux brushed-metal finish for the centre console and door pads distinguishes the LX from the SX variant with which it shares an extensive equipment list. The LX is expected to be priced Rs. 1.5- Rs. 2 lakh dearer than the SX, which is close to Rs. 15 lakh, and at this price, it struggles to exude the sense of occasion that buyers would expect. However, if you are looking for a no-nonsense SUV with a voluminous cabin and brutish dimensions that can drive you out of tricky situations, even at this price point, the Force One LX offers decent value.