Mahindra Thar A/C : First Drive
Mahindra's adventure offering, the formidable Thar, gets a practical twist and with the summer sun beating down we couldn't be happier!
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The Mahindra Thar has made quite an impact on the Indian automotive scene thanks to its retro looks that hark back to the days of old school jeeps. While I wouldn't term it as the quintessential off roader, the Thar is a beast that is rather capable of tackling the rugged outdoors with élan. I have had the opportunity to drive the Thar through the Himalayas, go dune bashing in Rajasthan as well as explore the trails around Gurgaon on weekend off- roading trips.
I can proudly say that I've been there and done that with the Thar (Read : Mahindra Thar Road Test) and the fact that the vehicle has held its own is a statement to its build and character, but then that is what you would expect of the Thar. The surprise lies in its on road mannerisms which are rather decent and on numerous occasions I've enjoyed cruising down the highway in a Mahindra Thar. The 2.5 litre CRDe engine is a refined unit that offers enough grunt, and the independent front suspension ensures you aren't in for a jeep-like jarring ride. While it's not the smoothest vehicle to drive around, the Thar is a capable machine and shouldn't be under estimated on that front. Despite this attribute, the Thar is still known as an impractical vehicle, or a third vehicle in the house.
The reason for this image lies in the fact that the Thar has come to be known as an affordable adventure machine and its level of practical usage is relatively limited due to the fit, kit and lack of basic creature comforts. While Mahindra's level of fit and finish is still questionable, the company has addressed a more pressing need with the Thar and has finally included an air conditioning unit as standard fitment on the top variant.
The HVAC unit is a robust one and like other components of the Thar, this too seems to have made its way from the Bolero parts bin. Fortunately the unit is a tried and tested bit of machinery and is known for its ability to bring down the interior temperature rather quickly. In the Thar this is an even bigger requirement because of the soft canvas roof, which isn't the best cocoon and has numerous gaps, making the job of the air conditioner even tougher.
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