The Mahindra Thar, over the years, has been a very emotional choice for many off-road enthusiasts for it has always been inspired by the original Jeep and has been known for its massive legacy in India. This iconic 4×4, with its breadth of abilities, has been deemed very capable on and off the road as well. After years of having the Thar in its old avatar, Mahindra have unleashed it in its newest form, ready for 2020 with a new chassis and new engine and gearbox options. It also comes equipped with new, modern features. We take it for a spin to tell you what’s so special about it.
The new Thar looks a whole lot more attractive now and appears to have a better, quality finish to it. The entire silhouette is more modern and rugged than before. The bumpers appear chunkier, the wheel arches are more prominent, the six-slat grille is all-new, the grey-finished alloy wheels look more solid while the headlights and tail lights too, look contemporary. The Thar also comes with the option of a soft-top and a hard-top.
What lies underneath?
The Thar is based on a new ladder-frame chassis. Mahindra says that the chassis is in its third generation, which is lighter, more robust and stiffer than before. At the front, it gets independent suspension while the rear gets a multi-link setup. The brakes too, have been improved upon. The Thar is being offered with two engines: a 150bhp, 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo petrol engine and a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, all-aluminium diesel engine that makes 130bhp and 300Nm of torque. Both engines come with the option of a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox.
Inside the cabin
Ergonomically, the new Thar is better than the old by leaps and bounds as everything feels well built. It gets a multi-function steering, cruise control, power windows, a touchscreen multimedia system with Apple CarPlay, cup holders, USB charging ports and a driver information system. The four seats on offer are comfortable, with the front seats being huge and supportive. The driver’s seat gets height adjustability too, while the seats at the rear are bit hard to have access to, they’re quite comfy with good legroom on offer.
On the road
The engine is refined and you can barely feel any turbo lag because of the auto ‘box. The engine is quiet and pulls effortlessly. It overtakes without any fuss and is very easy to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Thanks to the auto ‘box, driving in the city was an effortless affair. But if you floor the throttle, then it does get a bit vocal. Low-speed ride quality is a bit of a bother, but you pick up pace, the ride improves significantly. It absorbs bumps well without being unsettled.
We’re absolutely in love with the new Thar, for it is a breeze to drive in the city, is very comfortable, while refinements levels have improved too. It’s hard to nitpick, and we’re sure Mahindra will sell it in good numbers, provided they get the pricing right. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.