The Mahindra Thar is an emotionally evokes SUV, which represents the essence of the original jeep and the 75 year old legacies of the original SUV manufacturer of India. This famous SUV with its famed 4×4 capability is also the embodiment of road liberation, so the revered Thar was first seen on Independence Day for the first time in the country. It was pretty fitting.
In 2010 the first Thar generation based on the legendary MM540 came to life. The SUV has been a cult in its own way with fans around the country and beyond since it was released. The Thar is now entering its second generation in its latest incarnation. Mahindra’s been with SUV since ages and they are very well aware of it. In addition to the iconic MM540, the Thar owes its lineage primarily to the Classic, Armada, Bolero and its unreasoning conduct.
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Evolution or Revolution?
For a while we have been watching spy photos of the new Thar and some thinly camouflaged photographs emerged during the unveiling phase, so we got a decent idea of what to expect. The immediate thing (or things) that seemed to come to mind when it actually broke cover was that it was a tidy and new view of the previous Thar and significantly greater. It is also very similar to the Jeep Wrangler, and shares a shared history with them. Is Thar then strong enough to answer the Wrangler from the Indians?
It’s a quantum leap forward to the old Thar, first of all. Everything is totally new, and all of them have been made up – design, chassis, engines, gearboxes, cabin and dashboard, with absolutely no parts taken over. Indeed, the Thar company has been called by Mahindra as the first company engine, a 152hp, 2.0-liter, direct-injecting turbo-gasoline and a 132hp, 2.2-liter diesel engine. The two latest, all-in-aluminium motors are brand new and are powering the future Mahindras, including the next-generation XUV500 and Scorpio, albeit in different states of tune.
The way the latest model looks is what Thar owners love. The measurements are broader and longer, the corners are moderate, but the classical look of the original remains unchanged. The huge 255/65 R18 tyres, with a diameter of 790 mm, give the New Thar its 226 mm clearance on the ground and reputation on the lane.
First look at the Brand New Thar and believe me that you can’t look somewhere else or lose it. It oozes loads of paths, has multiple dominant positions and grows instantly on you. There’s not any resemblance when you equate it with older Thar. The total look is boxy, broad, high and strong. The Thar now has a length of 3985 mm, a width of 1855 mm and a complete height of 1844 mm (hard top) with a 2450 mm wheelbase. The complete wheelbase is 226 mm in height.
The New Thar has a broad rectangular grid of black enclosures and six vertical slats that differentiate it. The standard Jeep style front end is further emphasised by round halogen-powered headlamps mounted slightly in the body line. The other neat highlight on the face is the rectangular shaped white DRL cum turn lamps on the extended stylized fenders that come out of the bodyline and complete the robust SUV look. The front bumper has a dual shade finish in silver and black.
The front bumper stretches ahead, allowing a platform to put a winch if appropriate, and it’s also noted here that this bumper can handle a lot of load on it, and I just tried that by simply standing on it. There’s even a major bold THAR branding on the winch platform. Moving down, you’ve got wide round halogen-powered fog lamps put in the extreme corners. The cap is flat and wide with a set of character lines that characterise it.
In the centre of the grille the Mahindra logo in chrome is proudly mounted. The cap also has these retro-looking lock holders on the corners in black. If one bends over, the wide skid plate can still be seen, it’s an all functional platform that can avoid good violence.
The major 18-inch dark silver alloys on Ceat Czar All-terrain tubeless tyres, along with large fenders and a heavy metal steppe board can be immediately seen on the sides of this square. The front arc of the wheel is oval and the back arc of the wheel is carved. Both of them are well cladded with fibre chunky. On the doors and XXL, which also have Thar ‘s branding on their housing, are the wing mirrors. Door handles in unpainted black fibre are lifted in style.
The right fender gets Thar branding and the left fender gets the same engine branding if it’s a Diesel then MHawk 130 and if it’s the Petrol then MStallion 150 TGDi badge in chrome with a radio antenna. The windshield is set at an upright angle and is thin in height but wide in length, offering a traditional SUV feel. The LX Thar we’ve driven comes with a fibre hard roof top that can be completely or partially removed if and when needed, you also have the option of a retractable soft top variant on the AX trim. And yes, the doors on all the trims can be removed as desired.
The rear end of this brute-looking SUV is dominated by large rectangular LED tail lamps that will undoubtedly become popular over time, with Thar. The back door’s spare wheel has a full-size pipe and allied features that seem remarkable in this respect. When you open the back door, the rear window is opened and protected by gas shocks. The rear bumpers are as intimidating as the front bumpers. The Thar looks very muscular, very sumptuous, incredibly attractive and highly fit. The consistency of the paint in the body panels is of the greatest quality and so are the body colour.
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To go into the Thar, due to its true SUV height, you must ascend onto the step platform. When inside, you immediately find the standard flat SUV in all black and the windshield wide upright. The round AC windings are also fitted with imitation carbon fibre surrounds and dazzling black inserts for the front rider. The dash centre has a 7 “touchscreen infotainment interface and is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. This fully versatile display unit can read a wide variety of critical SUV readings, which also provide a special display of adventure statistics. Vital off-road statistics such as the angle of incline, 4WD status, pneumatic turn angle, motor temperature, G-force, engine torque read, speed read etc. This mode can be further personalised and shared on and when needed on the social media.
The Thar gets Bluetooth audio networking and even gets AUX, USB ports. You get speakers put in the dash and even in the roof region very uniquely. The tone of the roofs is outstanding and because of the total decline, the surroundings are very distinct and immersive.
The Thar has an extra-cooling and efficient zone control for the atmosphere even at the first fan level. The rear passengers do not require AC vents because the main unit is more than adequate. The instrument cluster has easy to read dials, as well as a tft monitor in the centre of the drive that reads a lot of information all the time. You are welcome when you turn on the car with a sleek Thar graphics.
The steering is a three-spoke style with metal alloy inserts and is tightly arranged with multi-function buttons on it. This steering can be manually height-adjusted. The cabin is ip54 for dust and water resistance and the cabin can be practically washed with a shaft hose, drained by water from the drainage points given on the board. The Marking of Thar on the door panels, doors, back windshield, etc was properly set out.
The seats are all black upholstered in leatherette and cloth, while the driver’s seat is adjustable in height. Support for the lumber is accessible on both front benches. These seats also have the Thar logo on them. The front seats provide additional padding, presumably with the road in mind. Getting in the back isn’t as hard as it would sound, just tumble the front passenger seat over and slide it forward and you’re in. The rear seats also come with flexible headrests which can also be independently adjusted to the backrest angle.
The whole Thar cabin is very comfortable and spacious. The passengers in the back have plenty of legroom and knee room. The wheel well reaches the rear foot section, so the rear seat is solely for two. The wide glass area on the front walls, the front and rear windshields and the fixed glass reinforce the overall airy feel inside the black, sporty cabin area.
The door pad and centre console provides a complete comfort to storage cabinets, bottle holders etc. When it comes to storage, the Thar has a very nice boot area but then this SUV is never intended to be a luggage carrying business. The rear seats can also be folded in to stretch the boot area if necessary.
The whole cabin area can be cleaned with a hose pipe including the seats, the water gets out from the drainage plugs opened after a slow departure. The cabin is very well equiped with a hectare of room all over the cabin area , high quality materials and a very good fitness standard. The amount of comfort inside the New Thar is equivalent to any other car or SUV of the present age.
The two choices of the Thar Power are a 2.2L BS-6 turbo diesel mHawk 130 engine that offers a 130hp and 300Nm torque. This 2.0L BS-6 engine with a capability of 150hp and torque of 320Nm is available for petrol fans. The engine was assembled in India by Mahindra. These engines are fitted with a 6-speed manual and 6-speed Torque Converter Automatic.
During our journey, we drove the Diesel Manual, and the overall feeling is very good. The Thar now seems very well engineered; this engine is immensely refined with only the right power supply available through the powertrain. The suspension is also really well thought out, and even without feeling it, we glided over some massive Mumbai potholes. The cabin is well enclosed and you have an immensely superior view from the driver’s seat, you feel invincible.
After driving this model, the older Thar looks out of date and out of time. You can easily equate this new Thar to any SUV in its class, or even above, in terms of drive efficiency, drive feel, convenience and sophistication. While the older Thar was more off-road and the weekend drives our area, you can drive this new SUV on your regular journeys quite easily and comfortably. The suspension setup is remarkably well tuned for the tarmac too.
As far as the off-road drive department is concerned, the Thar still feels at home and the New Thar literally takes the road off to the next level. All New Thar includes 4W Drive With 4-High And 4-Low Set, Electromechanical Driveline Disconnect (Front Axle), Mechanical Locking Rear Differential (MLD), Brake Locking Differential (BLD) On Front and Rear Axle to name a couple. The New Thar has a water wading capacity of 650 mm and a ground clearance of 226 mm with 18 inch wheels. The SUV is measured at an approach angle of 41.8 and 36.8 as the Exit Angle also has 27 Break Over Angles with R18 Wheel and Tyre Combination.
The All New Thar will glide over cliffs, drive across streams and rivers, navigate wet muddy land, and take over any roadside you can imagine. With our off-road spin, we experienced that the New Thar was ever receptive and took every field with a smile and crossed it with a little extra comfort. Yes, I had a broad smile planted permanently on my lips, while I took the Thar quickly, confidently and courageously across the field. The fundamental architecture and engineering of the Thar makes it a road champion. The 4WD is provided for the rescue if and when necessary, the tyres assisted and the overall nature of the SUV are perfectly equated with the motor power, equipped to provide you for long time with a lot of pleasure.
The All New Thar now has all the newest safety features, including dual airbags, 3-point seat belts, accident safety complaint structure, prevention ESP, hill hold control, descent control, ISOFIX anches, Tyre press control, etc.
More To Know
Oh, it’s just a total revelation for the young Thar in contrast to the old century. Even, if we need to pick up anything we missed the most critical aspect will be the lack of a self-open fuel filler cap. Or else you have to step off or shut down the engine and give the fuel station holder the key to manually open the filler cap with the key lock. Another thing we didn’t know was that the back wiper gets a really powerful defogger, which immediately clears the nebula. I would still like to get a back camera along with the Thar’s rear parking sensor, but we just enjoy the Current Thar in this way.