The Mahindra Thar was launched in 2010. However in 2012 it recieved some changes and feature additions. In terms of looks the reason almost all eye-balls were on us is the fact the Thar carries typical retro Jeep styling. Then there is the generous helping of chrome – ofcourse this isn’t really a chick magnet but we were surprised to see the number of people giving attention to the Thar while negotiating Pune’s awfully slow traffic while on our way to the shoot location. The chunky alloy wheels with 235/70 tyres look great.
On the inside, where all owners will spend hours, frankly things are pretty basic. We have seen people cribbing about the lack of creature comforts and quality on various public forums but isn’t the Thar meant for adventure experiences. In our opinion, the interiors are spot on for they have to take on elements like rain, hail, snow (in some cases), sand, dust and everything else that a typical owner would subject it to. Comparing the Thar to its main competitor the Maruti Gypsy, the insides feel much better and more comfortable as well. Instrumentation console is basic though a tachometer finds itself right there.
The Thar has a 2.5-litre turbodiesel unit that pushes out 105 horses along with 247Nm of torque from just 1800rpm onwards. The engine’s cubic capacity, bore and stroke are same as the XD3P engine though the Thar’s motor obviously is a common-rail unit. The gush of torque from low engine speeds is the secret behind making the Thar a joy to drive on all kinds of terrains. On normal roads, the torque flow takes you by surprise and you can chug along happily, overtaking traffic easily. On the roads that the Thar is really made for, all this torque comes in handy. You don’t have push the engine hard, just a tap on the throttle does its job. Pedal to metal, it takes roughly 17 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash. Expect 12 kmpl.
When it comes to suspension the Thar inspires confidence in you and seldom makes you want to lift off the throttle even while doing crazy speeds over undulations. To start with, the ladder frame chassis suspends its front wheels independently (this helps on day to day driving) and makes use of both a torsion and a stabilizer bar. The rear suspension on the other hand is of the semi elliptical leaf spring variety. This combination is standard and necessary for off-road machines. The 200mm ground clearance combined with approach and departure angles of 46 and 30 degrees further gives the Thar an edge on really tough terrains. Grip is phenomenal and the Thar takes on bad bumps without a protest.
Off the trails and back to tarmac, though the suspension doesn’t give the Thar a Scorpio rivalling ride quality, it isn’t bad either.
Prices of the Thar start at Rs 4.5 lakh to 6.8 lakh. For a detailed analysis read below.