Iconic vehicles are not planned to be made, but are conceived as products, which are destined to become famous. History of automobiles continuously saw some vehicles coming to the market, making a distinct mark for themselves and also witness a major part of cultural revolution. Vehicles like Volkswagen Beetle in the international scene and vehicles like Mahindra Thar in off road market. Mahindra, for one, had always been a company keen on creating innovative products regardless the norms and mostly let the innovation lead the way rather than existing segments. In terms of off road vehicles, Mahindra undoubtedly remains a pioneer with vehicles, which exist even decades after their first launch. That is one more thing about iconic vehicles, despite very few drastic changes in their design, they remain to maintain the dependable factor intact. Being an Indian company, Mahindra also enjoys a distinct share of market with customers opting for it over its highly priced counterparts in the international off road scene. Over the last 60 years, Mahindra Thar undoubtedly remains a ubiquitous vehicle. The initial version was created as a civilian jeep under license of Willy's overland corporation. Ever since, Mahindra has constantly strived in creating a better functioning vehicle in terms of engine performance and enhanced off road capability. The impressive thing about Mahindra Thar is the fact that despite continuing its traditional design, the vehicle managed to create a contemporary connection by offering relevant technology, so that innovative solutions for comfort and performance can be achieved. The innovation took a major leap for Mahindra Thar in 2003, when the company updated the chassis and suspension with the latest new generation chassis and suspension system (NGCS). As an ode to its sixty years of success, Mahindra launched a limited edition version of the vehicle built on the same MM540 design.
The beauty of a Mahindra Thar lies in the fact that it offered off road capabilities, which were way ahead of its time in the Indian automobile industry. However, in 1997, to suffice the growing demands for a more powerful vehicle, Mahindra Thar was launched with a 1800cc Japanese engine, which was highly lauded not just for the adventure seekers, but also for its paramilitary requirement capabilities. A constant supplier of the iconic MM540 to the Indian military, Mahindra Thar is a head turner even after aging all these years. Not just in terms of the excellence, the design achieved over years but also for the unmatched iconic off road capabilities such as a four wheel drive and an exceptional wheel size with enormous ground clearance. The performance of the vehicle is very impressive, which was also evident in the off road contests such as the Monastery Escape conducted by the company over the years to give the customers, a first hand experience of the off road capabilities of the vehicle. The latest offering from the company features a seven seater capability and it has a soft top. The vehicle however is offered in three variants, which are separated in terms of the engine specification and the mechanics. The Mahindra Thar DI 4x2 offers a decent two wheel drive with a slightly less powerful diesel engine with a displacement of 2523cc. The same version is offered with a four wheel drive capability, which is evidently just a few steps away from traveling on vertical walls. Mahindra Thar CRDe is offered by default as a four wheel drive vehicle. The 2.5-litre capacity of the engine explains the highly powerful 103.6bhp and the torque of 247Nm. The engine, being BSIV compliant for its emission standards manages to offer a decent handling for the internal comfort in terms of air conditioning as well as heater capabilities.
Mahindra Thar Mileage
Ed's take: The fuel efficiency of the Mahindra Thar is good, as the off-roader returns about 9km to every litre on an average.
Mahindra Thar comes with three variants and two engine options. Both the engines however are diesel operated, hence their mileage capabilities and the fuel economy are maintained accurately. The DI engine has a 2523cc displacement , which is enough power to handle exceptional off road skills as well as interior comfort features. The CRDe engine of the Mahindra Thar offers an equally decent performance with its BSIII complaint standard. The vehicles are equipped with five speed manual transmission, which is perfect for the off road capabilities as the control of the vehicles maneuvering remains a treat through out. The CRDe turbocharged and inter-cooled engine offers a city mileage of 13.25 Kmpl, while the same on highways escalates to 16.55 Kmpl. The DI version however offers an amazing 15.03 Kmpl mileage though the company claims it can go as high as 16.55 Kmpl under perfect conditions.
Power of Mahindra Thar
Ed's take: The power produced by the engine is good, but it is the low-end torque that gives that kick.
The one thing any off road vehicle needs to possess is its power. The more powerful a vehicle it, the more off road capabilities it can offer. With a powerful NEF CRDe engine, Mahindra Thar offers an amazing strength to the vehicle, which is best suited for off road capabilities. The vehicle's 103.6bhp output at 3800rpm and a stunning torque of 247Nm at 1800 to 2000rpm are definitely a treat to customers who are looking forward to have a adventure filled driving experience. The thing about Mahindra Thar is that the power is not just in terms of the horse power, but it reflects in the way the vehicle handles, the feel of handling a beast tops the feel of riding a luxury vehicle. The performance in the DI engine variant is also decent with an output amounting to 63bhp, while the maximum torque which the vehicle can offer amounts to 182.5Nm at 1500 to 1800rpm.
Mahindra Thar Colours
These colors are available with all variants of Mahindra Thar
Acceleration & Pick-Up
Ed's take: The acceleration produced by the Thar is good, and it has a nice spread of torque.
Mahindra Thar is offered with a five speed manual transmission system, which successfully clubs the capabilities of the powerful engines and transforms them into speed and power, which customers can visually see and feel. The CRDe engine is specifically a 2498cc engine, which means that it has a very decent acceleration and pickup capabilities. The Mahindra Thar takes 17 seconds to go from 0 to 100 Kmph , while the top speed offered by the vehicle is an amazing 155 Kmph. The DI engine version however takes 19.5 seconds time to catch up from 0 to 100 Kmph.
Mahindra Thar Exteriors
Exteriors of Mahindra Thar are beyond beauty and are aptly suited to be called sheer brilliance. All the variants feature the same exterior build, so other than the performance, the dimensions and other exterior appeal of the vehicles remain the same. Mahindra Thar has a powerful build, which sums up as robust, rigid and extremely durable. Being the first ever SUV in the country, Mahindra Thar not just inspired the future generations of SUVs, but also retained its leadership regardless the competition. The vehicle comes with an amazing build with parts just structured and sculpted together forming the design. The pieces of design such as bonnet, wheel arches, doors and even the roof do not blend into anything , but just gets connected offering an authoritative look to the vehicle. The vehicle also comes with a strong and powerful set of wheels, which strictly means to tear the roads apart with their powerful design. The front fascia of the Mahindra Thar offers a traditional design with a large front grille, which covers most of the front fascia. The headlamps have a small protector grille, so that they would not be affected by the off road adventures of the vehicle. The front bumper is a rigid structure, which extends over the vehicle to avoid any bushes, rocks or obstacles on the way. The bumper guard has two additional headlamps. The snorkel offered in the vehicle actually acts handy for extreme off roading so that the vehicle engine gets its due air intake. The Mahindra Thar's build is no doubt, a show stealer but the traditional design in terms of the wheel arches which geometrically extend along the wheels which themselves are prominent out of the vehicle.
The exteriors of Mahindra Thar do not just look good, but also measure accurately. The front track of the vehicle measures to 1445mm for the CRDe version, while the same is 1314mm in the DI variant . The rear track too is higher in CRDe version at 1346mm compared to the 1295mm in DI version. The overall length of the CRDe models is 3920mm, while the same in the DI models is slightly less at 3760mm. The overall width of the vehicle is 1710mm for the CRDe variants and 1640mm for the DI engine variants. The wheelbase of the vehicle is same in both the engine models at 2430mm. The overall height however can again be noted to differ at 1930mm for the CRDe variants, while the same is 1904mm for the DI versions.
Mahindra Thar Interior
Ed's take: The interiors of the Thar are bare and basic. It hasn’t been designed to give you the best comfort, but for you to enjoy off-roading.
Interiors of Mahindra Thar justify its off road capabilities. Though they fall short in offering a more contemporary design statement for interiors, considering their off road skills, the interiors seem to match the requirement. The interiors have seats which are water resistant hence would not affect the passenger comfort , while driving in the odd environments. The rear passengers can be seater comfortably in an opposite seating arrangement. For extremely odd weather conditions, the soft top can be found useful though it is not exactly an equivalent to a hard top.
Being an off road vehicle, this Mahindra Thar is not expected and hence is not offered with luxurious interior features. However the spacing is good so the passengers can at least have a comfortable driving experience. The off road capabilities however come without any interior comforts when compared to luxury sedans or luxury SUVs.
The wheel base of 2430mm explains volumes about the interior spacing of the vehicle . The spacing allows seven passengers to commute comfortably. The fuel tank capacity of the DI engine versions is 45 litres, while the same for the CRDe version is 60 litres.
Mahindra Thar Engine and Performance
Ed's take: The performance of the Thar is good and we love the way the engine pulls despite being in a higher gear.
Mahindra Thar offers an amazing choice of two engines both running on diesel. The usage of diesel for both the CRDe engine and the DI engine ensure that the vehicle's mileage is a notch ahead of the other SUVs. The fact that off road capabilities are enhanced by running mostly at low speeds where the petrol engines burn all the fuel leaving the vehicle with a minimum of mileage actually led Mahindra to stick to the diesel engines, which perform exceptionally well with the customers. The NEF CRDe turbocharged inter-cooled engine has a displacement of 2498cc . This engine ensures a maximum output of 103.6bhp at 3800rpm , while the maximum torque they can manage to provide is 247Nm at 1800 to 2000rpm. The Direct Injection engine variant of the Mahindra Thar however offers a decent 63bhp output and a 182.5Nm torque at 1500 to 1800rpm. All the variant are offered with five speed manual transmission, but however the difference in operation comes in the drive features. While the vehicle features four wheel drive in two of its variants, one of the DI engine variant also comes with two wheel drive system. The powerful engines which do follow traditional design principles are highly successful not just in Indian automobile market but in a global scene too. The interesting thing about these engines is the fact that the DI engine, for instance, is heavily tried and tested with the Mahindra Bolero, which is a best selling vehicle in the country. The advantage of the vehicle also lies in the engineering evolution the company took over the years. The stylish vehicle not only offers good looks but also performs with equal authority. This can be noted in the seamless drive offered by the vehicle without any hassles even on the worst of terrains.
Mahindra Thar is blessed with P 235/70 R16 tubeless tyres, with 6.5 J x 16 wheels , whereas the DI version of this vehicle has P185 – R16 tyres . These tyres assure a highly stabilized drive even on bad roads. Mahindra Thar offers an exceptional set of tyres which just enhance the visual appeal of the vehicle. The P 235/70 tyres boost the authoritative look of Mahindra Thar. The 16 inch tubeless tyres give a superior off road drive. The wheels have a dimension of 6.5 J x 16. The DI version of Thar however has a slight modification in the wheel specification though the dimensions remain the same. The DI version features a P 185 – R 16 tyres which can further be translated to be 40.6 cm. The high stability of the vehicle is evident in the most crippled terrains.
Braking & Handling
Ed's take: The handling characteristics of the Thar aren’t great as it is design for off-road than quick driving on the road.
Mahindra Thar offers an amazing hydraulic system with tandem master cylinder. The LCRV braking system featured in the CRDe engine model does assure the safety of the vehicle is maintained. The dual hydraulic circuit along with the tandem master cylinder is featured in the DI variants. The braking system of any SUV is one of the key factor which decides the off roading capability of the vehicle. The safety is definitely a notch higher considering the robust build. The Mahindra Thar is designed to withstand a decent drive even on the bumpy roads which the gear system of the vehicle, however still retains its traditional design DNA. The off road capability of the vehicle is maintained safe with the disc brakes fit in the front section and the rear section offered with drum brakes . The highest speed of the vehicle too is not doomed to sabotage the superior feel and appeal of the vehicle.
Handling & Safety
Ed's take: The Thar doesn’t get ABS or airbags as safety. The chassis is aso ladder frame with a lot of metal on it.
Mahindra Thar arguably is the best off road vehicle in its segment that too in its price range. The handling of the vehicle is extremely amazing and just gets better and better with every coming model. The vehicle offers exceptional technology for the handling, so that the four wheel drive models as well as the two wheel drive models have a great ride . The leaf spring suspension with shock absorbers in the DI engine variants offer a great handling, while the CRDe is offered with IFS with torsion bar and stabilizer bar in the front and semi elliptical leaf spring in the rear. This suspension system is something which makes the Mahindra Thar as rugged as it is. With a ground clearance of 200mm in the CRDe model, Mahindra Thar never ceases to fall back in its features. The DI variants too have a decent 187mm ground clearance. The Mahindra Thar also comes with engine immobilizer, which makes sure that the SUV is secure regardless the circumstance.
Stereo & Accessories in Mahindra Thar
Ed's take: The Thar now comes with a music system and AC in its top of the line version.
Mahindra Thar is a purely off road vehicle and hence it does not actually have a separate music system to go with the design. But it is always a feature, which can be a choice for customer. But when the Thar is offering such superior off roading features, adrenaline junkies are stuffed enough to ask for music to cheer them up.
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Pros & Cons
Mahindra Thar Pros :
Exceptional handling, off road capabilities are unmatched.
Mahindra Thar Cons :
Interiors can be made more contemporary, safety can be improved further.
Mahindra Thar Price
Mahindra Thar Variants Price
Mahindra Thar prices were updated on 14 Jun 2013