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Mahindra Thar Review: Mahindra Thar - First Impressions

Mahindra Thar - First Impressions

By Shiva Shankar; 2nd January, 2011
Introduction

Mahindra Thar - First impressions with Images

On popular demand from Indian vehicle fans, Mahindra has re-introduced the great Mahindra Jeep which was discontinued few years back. Dubbed as the Thar, the new Mahindra SUV now comes with an upgraded engine and upgraded features depending upon the variant selected. We visited the showroom and took the Mahindra Thar for a drive. Here are the first impressions and analysis of the Mahindra Thar.

 

 

Exterior

The Mahindra Thar with its open roof declares that it is a vehicle made for all road conditions - Highways, country roads and hilly areas. It has been equipped with features in such a way to satisfy the requirements of an open roof vehicle. For example, the Thar misses a music system, has no AC, and no leather interiors or fabric covering for seats. Even the windshield can be folded if not required.

Not many changes have been made in the exteriors versus the earlier Mahindra SUVs, and it is as good as the earlier version but with a new paint finishing. The side panels, bonnet, Doors all give a sturdy feel. The Spare wheel provided gives the classic image for the vehicle. 

 

The head lights of the Thar retain the classic round shape and functional indicators. It might have been a good idea if the front portion or at least head lights were designed further for better styling.

Thar is provided with a tarpaulin covering which can be used for avoiding dust and rains. However, if needed a metal body can also be fitted which will thus make the car a complete hard top SUV. It’s a good development through which users would have plenty of options on modifying styling of car through simple techniques.

 

Interior

Dashboard is made of fine quality plastic and there is provision for fitment of Music system. The models with option for AC fitment are yet to arrive in the market. The interiors are sober and there are no extra features or embellishments. Clearly, this vehicle is not meant for the luxury driver.

The front seating positioning is good and there is good visibility for the driver. In the rear, two long seats are provided enough for the seating of 6 persons though 4 persons can be seated comfortably. The seats are foldable so that one can make use of the space for any other purpose. Seat covering is of good quality and can boost confidence to use it up to some extent in rainy conditions also.  

Performance

The most significant changes in the Mahindra Thar from earlier versions are in an improved engine and specifications.The Thar comes in two versions with different engines. The first is a CRDe Engine: NEF CRDe Turbo Charged intercooler with 2498cc, 4 cylinder engine delivering power output of 77 KW and 243 NM torque. The second variant is a DI engine i.e. MDI 3200 TC L 2523cc, 4 cylinder engine delivering a power output of 47 KW and 182 NM torque.

As far as Transmission is concerned, the CRDe is available with an optional 4WD version for which a transfer control is provided. The DI engine is available in permanent 2WD and 4WD variants. The on-road price (Bangalore) of CRDe 4WD BS4 is Rs 7,19,230/-, DI version 2WD BS 3 version is Rs 5,19,412/-, and DI version 4WD BS IV version is Rs 5,76,002

As the above implies, the  CRDe Turbo charged intercooler  version and DI Engine 4WD version satisfy BS IV norms whereas in DI Engine 2WD version  BS III norms are retained. Clearly, the DI 2WD is thus meant for sale outside of the 13 cities where BS IV norms are applicable.

Colour options include Fiery Black, Toreador Red, Mist silver, and Rocky Beige for CRDe version. For the Thar DI version, colour options include Arctic White and Champagne, though the availability of Champagne is slim.

Mahindra Thar comes with remove and refit roof lining. The kit can be carried in the vehicle and can be fitted whenever required. However, it should be done manually. Where style is the main criteria open condition is suitable, and in case of heavy dust, rain, etc. closed condition is preferred. 

There is no specific competition for the Mahindra Thar in today’s new car market. The nearest competition would probably be the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, which offers similar features and character. However, it is a petrol version whereas Mahindra Thar is available only diesel. The following comparison is provided for completeness’ sake.

 

Though the ideal drive of the Thar should be done in rough road conditions, we took the car for a city test drive.

While driving the Thar, nobody will escape from being noticed by public. We received huge attention while driving, with people even taking photos of the car.

In the test drive, we could experience a decent ride quality with high damping effect at city humps, testifying to the off-road style suspension. There is no need to worry about humps touching under chassis, thanks to high ground clearance of 200MM. Moreover, its dimensions are on the modest side so that maneuvering is not a big challenge.

The Thar comes with a decent power steering, and it is quite easy to drive. Acceleration is good and so is the braking efficiency. We expect a Mileage of 12 KMPL for the Thar.

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Mahindra
 Model Thar
Variant CRDe DI
Engine Type NEF CRDe TC Intercooler MDI 3200 TC L
Engine (cc) 2498 2523
Cylinder 4 4
Power in KW 7.23 47
Torque in NM 243 182
Transmission 5/M 5/M
Transfercase Borg Warner n/a
Minimum turning circle 5.25 M 5.25
Ground Clearance 200 MM 187MM
Suspension Front Independent with torsion and stabiliser bar Leaf spring with shock absorbers
Suspension Rear Rear: Semi elliptical leaf spring Leaf spring with shock absorbers
Tyres Tubeless Tubed
Tyre Rating 235/70 R16 185/ R16
Tank Capacity 60 Litres 46 Litres
Seating Capacity 7+1driver 7+1driver
Dimensions in MM
Length 3920 3760
Width 1710 1314
Height 1930 1904
Wheel Base 2430 2430
Features

 

Features CRDe DI
Ex Showroom price Mumbai (Rs.) 8640000 504333
Power Steering Yes Yes
Power windows Yes No
Central locking Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes
Steel wheels No No
Alloy wheels No No
Tyre Rating No No
Integrated CD/MP3 Player Yes Yes
Blue &Me with USB Port No No
Steering mounted audio controls No No
Remote keyless entry Yes No
Electrically adjustable ORVM Yes No
Driver seat height adjustment No No
Rear arm rest Yes Yes
Rain sensors Yes Yes
Real-time mileage indicator No No
Dual tone dashboard No No
Leather wrap steering wheel and gear knob Yes Yes
Fire prevention system No No
Immobiliser with Rolling codes No No
ABS with EBD No No
Dual airbag Yes Yes

Competition
Specifications
Mahindra
Thar
Mahindra
Thar
Maruti Suzuki
Gypsy
Variant CRDe DI G13BB MPFI
Engine Type NEF CRDe TC Intercooler MDI 3200 TC L G13BB MPFI
Engine 2498 2523 1298
Cylinder 4 4 4
Power in KW 77.23 47 80
Torque in NW 243 182 103
Transmission 5/M 5/M 5/M
Transfer case Borg Warner No Constant Mesh
Tyres Tubeless Tubed Tubed
Tyre Rating 235/70 R16 185/70 R16 205/70 R15
Tank Capacity 60 Litres 46 40
Price Ex Showroom Bangalore 600984 435395 528550
Conclusion

Mahindra Thar is for specific persons and designed for off-road usage in hilly areas and country roads. City users who are looking for a stylish car might also consider it. The Thar has a remove and re-fit roofing available that will be of good use during rains.

Though Maruti Gypsy King  can be considering as a competition, Gypsy has almost lost its impact as a favourite new SUV. The sale numbers justify the same. Thus, considering the limited competition for the Thar, it holds a unique presence in the SUV segment. Further boosting factor comes from the fact that it has been reintroduced in response to the demand from customers familiar with utility of a convertible Off-road SUV.                   

Drawbacks of the Thar include insufficient storage for things like bags, music system etc. and the eccentricity of the car. In a way the Thar’s character resembles a bike, wherein there is limited storage but unlimited space for visibility and air in the hair. However the difference is that here you can be seated comfortably along with fellow passengers and enjoy the company along with enjoying the environment as it is. For the people who are bored of looking at the same cars on road, if there is anything that can bring good change and economical too, then it should be Mahindra Thar.