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!


Mahindra Thar A/C



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.



Mahindra Thar A/C


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.



Mahindra Thar A/C switch panel



In real world conditions, or I should say under the summer sun in Delhi, the air conditioner did struggle initially, however it makes the cabin comfortable in about seven to ten minutes, which is rather decent and comparable to the cooling time rate of some hatchbacks. Keeping in mind that the Thar is a soft top I figured that the cooling system was working considerably well; however the element that I did have a grouse with were the controls, which I found flimsy and rather old school. In today's day and age, the least that one would expect in a vehicle that costs upwards of Rs 7.00 lakh would be a climate control air conditioning system.




Mahindra Thar A/C interiors




The bottom line however is that with the inclusion of the air-conditioning system, the Thar gains a rather practical attribute. It's always been known as a fantastic adventure vehicle, but as the list of creature comforts trickle in, the Thar is slowly and surely finding its way into the urban jungle.  It has a lot of merit as an urban SUV  thanks to its small dimensions, easy and light steering, frugal engine and if Mahindra plays their cards right, they can open up a whole new avenue for the Thar.

Recommended Variant : Thar CRDe

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