Mahindra Thar

With compact SUVs taking over the scene, the Mahindra Thar stands tall, both figuratively and literally. Mahindra has launched a true SUV that is worthy of the name. With the Thar’s timeless design and updated interiors, this off-roader has oddly become a go-to car, even for primarily city riders.

Mahindra Thar: Exterior 

Being a sub-4m SUV, the Thar is quite wide both at the front and the rear. It appears menacing and bold. There is no ignoring a Thar when it is within sight.

Boasting its classic retro, boxy design, the new Thar is quite similar to its predecessor; merely on steroids. It still retains the big grill with vertical slits at the front with the round halogen headlights, paired up with all-new LED daytime running lights. The rear, too, retains that retro charm with its even boxier taillights, which are now LED. It comes factory-equipped with chunky 18-inch tires.

The previous generation of the Thar was 3760mm in length and 1640mm in width, whereas the newer model is 3985mm and 1820 mm, respectively. In terms of height, though, the newer Thar is about 50mm shorter. This is an intelligent change to the Thar’s design, as the lower height makes it more aerodynamic, leading to better wind resistance, easier entry and exit, and a smaller center of mass offers better handling. Taller cars will always have a higher center of gravity due to which they are more likely to roll over when suddenly turned.

However, let’s address the elephant in the room: it looks like a baby Jeep Wrangler. Undeniably. It is imperative we consider all factors before passing judgment though. The Thar was originally based on the iconic Jeep CJ series, the license to which Mahindra had acquired and has been using since the 1940s. We’ll let you make up your own mind about this one. 

Mahindra Thar: Interiors

Mahindra has made moves in the right direction by updating the interiors of the Thar. They have been able to retain the rugged feel one ought to get out of a true off-roader without sacrificing the luxury of modern-day vehicles.

The fabric front seats come with adjustable headrests and height adjustment for the driver seat comes standard in all the variants. They are also body-hugging so you remain in place when off-roading. The missing center armrest definitly leaves a sour taste in my mouth, especially at this price point. Even the automatic variant, where the left arm is essentially free, misses out on it. The back row consists of 2 small seats with nothing special about them. The back row is usable for kids and perhaps pets but for adults, at least for an extended period, it isn’t ideal, to say the least. 

Continuing its evolution into a modern car, the Thar comes equipped with a 17.8 cm touchscreen infotainment system that displays everything from your music to featuring the all-new Mahindra Thar Adventure Statistics which displays vital stats (the data is divided into three categories: on-road statistics, off-road statistics, and custom statistics) like tire pressure, g-force, torque, power, speed, a compass and more.

The steering wheel is adjustable for height but not reach, but it is sufficient for the majority of the population. Depending upon the variants

Mahindra Thar 4×4 vs 4×2: Making the Right Choice

Owing to the success of the 4×4 Thar, Mahindra launched the RWD or 4×2 as their new lifestyle SUV, targeting the population that wants an SUV but doesn’t intend on doing any hardcore offroading.

Mahindra Thar 4×4 vs 4×2: Performance

The new RWD Thar boasts Mahindra’s all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine with manual transmission, sharing it with the XUV300, pumping out 300nm of torque and 117 bhp whereas the 4X4 uses a 2.2-litre automatic diesel engine which is capable of churning out 130bhp and the same level of torque. On plain city roads, both cars perform almost equally, with the lighter weight of the 4×2 model offsetting the difference in power. Both cars come with the same 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the 4X4 gets the option for both manual and automatic which RWD is missing with only an automatic six-speed petrol unit.

Mahindra Thar 4×4 vs 4×2: Exterior Differences 

There isn’t much to talk of here, the differences are very subtle. The average joe would not be able to tell the difference between the two. Except for the “4×2” badging and a lack of a convertible soft-top option, the 2 Thars do not differ at all. The new 4×2 Thar features two new color options namely Blazing Bronze and Everest White

Mahindra Thar 4×4 vs 4×2: Interior Differences

The same story can be seen inside the two Thar, there isn’t much difference. The only difference is that the 4X2 variant has a storage cubby instead of the 4WD gear shift lever

Mahindra Thar 4×4 vs 4×2: Safety

Mahindra has done a fantastic job at offering the same level of safety features on both Thars. Both of them come equipped with dual airbags, panic braking signal, speed warning, tire pressure monitor, rear parking sensors, follow-me-home and lead-me-to-thar lamps, and ESP with roll-over mitigation.

Mahindra Thar 4X4 vs Mahindra Thar 4X2

SpecificationsMahindra Thar 4X2Mahindra Thar 4×4
Engine1.5-litre diesel/2.0-litre turbo petrol2.2-litre diesel/2.0-litre turbo petrol
Transmission6-speed MT/6-speed AT6-speed MT/6-speed AT

Pricing and Final Verdict:

The RWD Thar is an affordable alternative to the 4X4 drives. It starts with an introductory ex-showroom price of Rs 9.99 lakh and goes up to Rs 13.49 lakh whereas the 4×4 variant starts from 15.40 lakh. The choice between the 2 variants of the Mahindra Thar will essentially boil down to a simple fact: will you take it off-road? Both cars are identical in terms of performance, appearance, comfort, and safety in city and basic traveling. So, purchasing the RWD won’t be a major sacrifice for those not interested in exploring the route not taken. For enthusiasts who plan on going where no roads go, the 4×4 is the clear choice.

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