The new Mahindra Thar was launched earlier this year with aplomb. This is a revised version of the popular Thar model that was originally launched in the year 2010.
Mahindra went back to the drawing board, took feedback from took feedback from customers and experts. The result is an exceptionally well-made vehicle, which is far better than the earlier crude version that has its root in the model that were decades old.
Design and styling
Aside from the name, there is absolutely nothing left over from the first-generation Thar. This second generation is supported by a hydroformed ‘Gen-3’ chassis (same as the Mahindra Scorpio’s) that is substantially stiffer than the original model’s tubular ladder chassis, and its body shell is a mix of mild and advanced high-strength steel that is lighter, yet much more rigid. Stabilizer bars in the front and rear, as well as an integrated roll cage, contribute torsional stiffness to the structure. What’s more, the Thar has received a commendable four stars in Global NCAP crash tests for adult and kid protection, owing to its solid structure as well as a slew of safety features such as ABS with EBD, ESP, and ISOFIX child seat mounts on the rear seats, to name a few.
Interior and comfort
Quality and fit-finish are unquestionably improved over the previous-generation Thar, despite sharing parts with several other Mahindras. Its interiors, on the other hand, set a utilitarian tone, with a very plain design and layout. Designers at Mahindra have effectively included exposed screws as a style component that imparts ruggedness to the environment and provides character to its interior design, just like on the outside. The chassis plate on the dashboard is a wonderful detail that proudly displays this Mahindra’s Indian heritage. In terms of storage and convenience, there are bottle holders in the front doors, cup holders in the center console, and a phone cavity in front of the gear lever. The lockable glovebox, on the other hand, is far too small. By utilizing the space, Mahindra could have also given a center armrest console for front passengers, as well as a side armrest with charging and storage facilities for rear passengers.
The new Thar is powered by a second-generation 2.2-liter mHawk diesel engine with 130 hp and 300 Nm of torque. What strikes you immediately away is its elegance and fluidity. The diesel clatter is very well managed, and even when the motor is spun faster, it does not sound loud or unpleasant. This engine is responsive right away, and it accelerates from idling revs in a fairly linear manner with no spike in power delivery. Not only does it generate 53Nm more torque than before, but it also generates maximum torque at 1,600rpm and extends to 2,800rpm, a 1,200rpm band, compared to the first-narrow gen’s 200rpm (1,800-2,000rpm) band. As a result, the diesel is incredibly drivable and easy to operate. Reduce engine speeds to 1,000rpm and it will effortlessly generate momentum without any lag or judder, without the need for a downshift.
The new Thar is an extremely appealing SUV. If the tough-as-nails construction and mountain goat-like ability to traverse harsh terrains don’t knock you off your feet, the butch persona and heaps of street cred will. The new Thar is more user-friendly, with smooth and powerful engines, a dose of refinement, the convenience of automated transmissions, and light controls. Despite this, it is not without flaws. Getting in and out, particularly of the rear seats, is difficult, the boot is small, and it lacks several types of equipment, like LED headlights, a rear-view camera, a rear wiper/washer, and others, all of which have become standard at this price point. Its uneven on-road ride quality, which isn’t as smooth or soft as SUVs with a ‘car-like monocoque construction, may further deter consumers.