Car Expert, Editor at 91Wheels
07 Nov 2020
Mahindra Thar has hit the market by storm and the talks are just not talking a halt. With the waiting period climbing up to 6 months for select variants, you should consider yourself with the golden spoon. Having so many buyers waiting in the long line is proof that the Thar has got something unique under its sleeves. But no car is perfect and the Thar, well, isn't either. The Mahindra Thar just can not be considered as a family-friendly SUV, even though, it has been improved by leaps and bounds. As now you know that, let's move ahead and know the pros and cons of the much popular Mahindra Thar.
The previous Mahindra Thar was a good looking car but the owner must have good connections and deep pockets to make it look astonishing. The astonishing factor is partly achieved for the new Thar, all thanks to the design team at Mahindra. Most of us call it a rip-off Jeep Wrangler but hey, Mahindra has adopted that design language years ago and we cannot call it a rip-off. And if you are being called a Jeep owner by paying one-fifth of the price, should you complain?
It may feel shocking but the Thar is the most affordable 4X4 SUV in India and the most capable too. It truly is the Go Over Any Terrain SUV and it is Indian-made too. Talking about the equipment on offer, we get fully independent suspension at the front, multi-link coil spring rear suspension, low range gearbox and Mechanical Locking Differential (MLD). The approach, break-over and departure angles of the new Thar are segment-leading too, although there is no designated segment for the Thar.
The old Thar was unbearably jarring on the roads with a constant movement on decent speeds. The engine was loud and not driveable on the highways and the NVH was not just present either. Come to the second generation and it is lightyears ahead than the older one. Thanks to the multi-link suspension rather than leaf springs, the on-road dynamics are better and its comfortable too - only relatively. The engines are refined and the wind noise is well contained as per Thar standards.
The Mahindra Thar, of late, was a very limited offering with only one engine option on offer. The 2020 Mahindra Thar comes with two engine options and both also come with automatic as well. Moreover, unlike the previous-gen which used to come only with a soft top, the new one offers hard top, soft top and even convertible top! But it's not your swanky convertible system which deploys with a touch of a button, instead, you have to come out from the car and slide the canvas to the back. The new Thar offers a diversified range which is further reinforced by AX and LX segregations.
Mahindra Thar was popular for the accessibility and that is carried over in the new-gen model as well. The Thar comes at an affordable price tag and you are given value against every penny. One thing worth mentioning is that the base variants of the Thar are not well specced and could have been worked over. Mahindra has offered all the stuff you need to conquer every terrain at a price which is in line with some popular jacked-up hatchbacks.
The Mahindra Thar has taken a leap in terms of car-like experience but that is relatively speaking. If you compare the Thar with your normal crossover, it falls behind. Being a two-door and high-set seat, ingress/egress is cumbersome whereas access to the rear seats is an exercise in itself. Mahindra couldn't really do much about it as the Thar is supposed to rest under 4 metres. Moreover, the rear seat space is restricted to kids and if you somehow manage to fix two adults at the rear, there is no luggage space for your airport runs.
The ride quality of the Thar, although much better than the older Thar, is still not on par with other subcompact SUVs. The Thar has a constant movement no matter what speeds you are doing. The ride is not very supple and high-speed manners are average. The Thar will be scary over high speeds which can be done at ease with other SUVs at this price point. Hence, there is some margin left in marking the ride quality of the Thar perfect.
Mahindra has really worked hard to make the Thar accessible. Although the new Thar comes with a lot of features, there are some omissions which are not very welcome. Given the poor visibility owing to the boot-mounted spare wheel, Mahindra should have given a reverse parking camera with the Thar. Actually, Mahindra provides the reverse camera as an official accessory from the dealer. Create a problem, sell a solution? You decide. Moreover, the Thar also missis out on foldable ORVMs, passive entry, keyless fuel-lid opening and more.
Out of all the pros and cons of the Thar listed above, Mahindra can ignore all of them but solve this one. The waiting period of the new Thar is staggeringly high - as high as 6 months for select variants. Mahindra didn't expect such huge demand from the market for the Thar and they failed to serve the demand. However, Mahindra has confirmed the waiting period in an official statement and promised to increase the production from 2000 to 3000 per month. This would surely help to retain the interest of buyers and increase the pace of deliveries.