The upgraded Mahindra Thar has been launched in India, it gets a cosmetic update and a mechanical rear locking differential.
In 2017, the Mahindra Thar is offered in a total of 5 variants: four powered by the DI engine and one powered by the CRDe engine.
The Mahindra Thar is priced between Rs 5.93 lakh to Rs 8.89 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. Direct competition is limited to the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and the Force Motors Gurkha.
The Mahindra Thar is offered with two diesel engines - a 1.5-litre (2498cc), turbocharged 4-cylinder 'CRDe' diesel motor and a 1.5-litre (2523cc), turbocharged 4-cylinder 'DI' diesel motor. Both the engines are paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. While the CRDe is only available with a 4x4 system, the DI can be had either with 4x2 or 4x4 systems.
The Mahindra Thar is one of the last old-school SUVs on sale in India. Launched in October 2010, the retro design, back-to-basics features and great off-roading capabilities made it a hit amongst enthusiasts who had come to revere older Mahindra Jeeps. Mahindra introduced a refreshed Thar in July 2015 with cosmetic and comfort features to make it more appealing.
Thar is the offering from the house of India’s leading utility maker, Mahindra and Mahindra. True to its off-roading DNA, Thar appeals more to the conquerors than typical city drivers. . Mahindra has updated the styling of Thar in its recent facelift and the overall demeanour of this off- roader feels more contemporary now. Interiors have gone under a drastic transformation which adds to the overall appeal of the Thar. There are two engine options under the hood - a 2.5-liter DI diesel engine and a 2.5-liter CRDe putting out 64 PS / 183 Nm and 106 PS / 247 Nm respectively. In addition to 5-speed manual transmission, Mahindra Thar also features differential lock with low and high gear ratios for true off-roading. Priced in the range of Rs 6.39-8.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Mahindra Thar rivals Force Gurkha, Maruti Gypsy, and its own cousin Bolero among others.
One of the most impressive things about the Thar includes how it demands attention wherever it goes. And that comes courtesy of its old school, no-nonsense looks. The front looks menacing, with that in-your-face seven slat metal grille, flanked by round headlamps and the brawny bonnet silhouette. The plastic bumpers, huge wheel arches, excellent approach and departure angles for tyres, up to 200mm of ground clearance, the soft-top roof, the rear mounted spare wheel and the exposed door hinges all come together to exude rugged simplicity. In short, no matter what you are in, if a Thar goes by, you will give it a second glance.
This is where the Thar feels less than adequate in today’s time and age. The front seats point in the correct direction but the ones at the rear are two benches, facing each other. The dual-tone dashboard tries to liven up the cabin but the fit and finish is far from perfect. As far as safety tech is concerned, there isn’t any; neither ABS, nor airbags. There is no music system either but Mahindra proudly highlights the provision of a 2-din one. Wow! Frankly, expecting a company-fitted music system is a bit optimistic because the Thar doesn’t even have power windows.
The poor man’s Jeep Wrangler is offered with two engine options - a 2.5-litre m2DICR engine and a 2.5-litre CRDe. The former of the two produces 63PS/195Nm and is available with two- or four-wheel drive systems. The latter is tuned to generate 107PS/247Nm and is the one to opt for. Both engines come mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, whereas the 4WD variants feature a low-range gearbox as well. It is this off-roading tech and the availability of a mechanical differential lock that makes the Thar simply one of the best vehicles to go serious off-roading in. There is no automatic as off now. Maybe that will come into the equation with the new-gen Thar which, by the way, is being developed. Mahindra hasn’t bothered to reveal the mileage figures no matter how bad we want it.
Mahindra couldn’t possibly create a vast variant list because the Thar doesn’t have enough features. Hence, there are three variants on offer - m2DICR 2WD, m2DICR 4WD and 4WD CRDe. The only recommended variant is the most expensive one, which comes with the more powerful engine and 4WD. The m2DICR variants don’t have enough oomph under the hood and miss out on basic features like AC, door trims with armrests, windshield demister, cupholders and an accessory socket.
Force Gurkha: The Gurkha has always been in the Thar’s shadow. That said, it does offer a more versatile package, with options like a five-door setup, hard- and soft-top roof and seats facing the front. However, the force in the Force Gurkha’s offering diminishes with its 85PS/230Nm, 2.6-litre diesel mill and the fact that its least expensive variant is dearer than the range-topper of the Thar.
If you are the sort of person who puts the ease of off-roading above practicality, features, safety and quality, then the Thar is the best sub Rs 10 lakh option for you. In other words, the Thar cannot pass as the sole family vehicle and can only be considered as a second or a third vehicle in the garage to utilise its specific deliverables.
Sunny Beige Di Variant
Champange Di Variant
Arctic White Di Variant
Retro design, capable off-roader, comfortable ride on all surfaces
Bare bones interior, not ergonomic for daily driving, not backed by a reliable after-sales service network
The Thar remains one of the last of its kind – simple and tough with a capable 4x4 system. With the CRDe variant getting a more comfortable cabin and new locking differential, the Thar gets creature comforts for those looking for more than a bare bones SUV.
Mahindra has given the Thar CRDe an extensive cosmetic update and a mechanical rear diff lock that makes it more capable offroad. We drive the Thar at Mahindra's Igatpuri training academy to find out how it does
Mahindra's adventure offering, the formidable Thar, gets a practical twist and with the summer sun beating down we couldn't be happier!
The Mahindra Thar is finally here and ready to kick-start an off-road tripping trend for Indian enthusiasts. But is it really that good? Muntaser Mirkar seeks the answer.
Available for a limited time for existing Mahindra Thar owners only
The Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy is a must-experience camp for adventure-seeking enthusiasts
The Mahindra Thar enthrals off-road enthusiasts from across the country yet again!
Be the first to know about latest offers on Thar in your city. Click Allow