As old as the independent India, Mahindra Thar has been ubiquitous in not just India but in other nations too. M&M has evolved in terms of the design, performance and durability of its jeep variant over years. Excellence followed the company with every modification in the model, which constantly reflected contemporary requirements of its buyers. What started of as a civilian jeep catered needs of not just to wildlife enthusiasts but also to the Indian Army by providing the XDP4.90 engine model over the years. With growing demands, Mahindra also released the petrol variant in 1997 with the 1800cc Japanese powered version of MM540. With a standard 7 seater in most of its models, the Thar serves as a rough UV paving way to go in the extreme places for mavericks. The new Thar comes in both 4x4 and 4x2 variants. The 4x4 variant helps the vehicle serve like a mini hummer in roads, jungles and the worst possible rock zones in the extremes of the country. Mahindra demonstrated the capabilities of its Thar by conducting contests on raw areas, where the Thar was subjected to worse scenarios during race. Such rawness though theoretically possible through other SUV’s etc., the roughness and brake-the-stone attitude that Thar offers can not be matched. The 4x4 variant means that the UV has both it wheel pairs functioning with equal power at any given moment. This helps in distribution of load across the tyres on both the sets of tyres offering better control and power in the overall performance of the vehicle so that Thar can maneuver through rocks and bushes with ease. The experience on valleys and pits is almost as comfortable as a sedan on tar.
The Thar, being specifically designed for perfect outdoor junkies, follows the less is better philosophy which is evident in the minimal metal and avoiding the over the top features, which give the vehicle a posh look, but wouldn’t help it attain the target it is designed for, that is robust usage. Thar has a ladder-on-frame chassis design which even Military prefers as a norm in order to avoid major damage to the vehicle over worst case scenarios. There is a robust iconic front grille that helps Thar make its way through bushes and rocks. The headlamps are also armored with lamp guards so that the off road driving that Thar assures, wouldn’t effect the lighting at odd hours. An optional windshield can be applied like a convertible, for regular drivers, but the old design couldn’t be achieved as it is made as a pure sports car with for those who prefer living on the edge. The large 16-inch tyres make the mobility rather comfortable. Even the ground clearance is an apt 187mm.
Being a firm sports UV, the Thar doesn’t have striking interiors which high end crossovers tend to offer. The main feature being its open design, the vehicle is devoid of traditional air conditioning, dual tone interiors etc. Mahindra still claims that the Thar offers the best AC and heater in the soft top category. The Thar expects a rough usage from the user, hence interior charm isn’t boosted. The seats are water resistant, so any sudden weather change wouldn’t effect the vehicle interiors much. The door locks are manual and no central locking system is provided. The interiors provide a decent spacing for 7-passengers. The Thar comes with standard five speed gearbox.
The Mahindra Thar DI 4X4 has MDI 3200TC L engine. The DI engine is one of the most successful engines that the comapny has used in other vehicles. The engine proved to be highly efficient and perfect on the Indian roads. This vehicle comes with a 2523cc displacement that offers 63bhp. The turbochargers act as catalysts improving the engine efficiency by increasing the pressure. This vehicle offers a 16 Kmpl mileage and the DI variant can go for a speed more than 100 Kmph.
In terms of safety, the Thar offers a vehicle immobilizer, which ensures that if any malpractice towards the UV would immobilize the engine till it is properly operated by the right authority. Safety belts are provided as a mandatory measure. The Thar has the widest tyre footprint in its segment which assures the vehicle doesn’t loose grip even on a slippery terrain. The twin-bucket seats help the vehicle maintain it’s passengers stability in case of collisions.
Thar indisputably offers the best comfort while off roading. The journey is enhanced by the way the UV maneuvers through terrains and slippers zones with ease. The vehicle offers an open design making outdoor experiences more lively. The leaf spring suspension system with shock absorbers helps the vehicle give a smooth ride even on the bumpy paths. Thar has a 45 litres fuel tank capacity as well.
Braking and Handling
An off road vehicle should be able to sustain sudden low gears as well as quick transitions to high speeds. The brakes should be best in class availing journey in the worst possible terrains. To achieve these specifications dual hydraulic circuit with tandem master cylinder and vacuum assisted servo. Due to its simple mechanics and easily available spares even in the most remote locations, the Thar is a perfect option to explore unknown lands with ease and power.
Pros: Affordability, best in class off road capability
Cons: Non-contemporary interiors.