The Mahindra Thar was first exhibited at the Indian Auto Expo in 2010 and ever since it has attracted a lot of prospective buyers, especially enthusiasts. It is the first car from Mahindra to get an oil-burner BS IV CRDe engine and a soft-top. The car comes in three variants DI 4x2, DI 4x4 and the CRDe 4x4 with AC.
The Mahindra Thar is reminiscent of the age-old sturdy Jeep that villagers in India used for many years. This new one is however revived with many changes still keeping the retro look intact. The round headlamps and front grille accentuate the same. The side indicators have been placed on the wheel arches, which is cost effective and old school. The rectangular front glass frame is hinged on to the front and can be dropped onto the bonnet, just like we see in the movies. The broad tyres with alloy wheels further enhance the bold, sturdy and muscular look of the car. The Thar has three doors, two at the front and one at the back of the car. The overall looks of the Thar are very similar to that of the old Mahindra SUVs and in turn the American Jeeps, which have made a substantial contribution to Mahindra’s utility line-up through their (now defunct) partnership.
The car gets simplistic and minimalist design inside. Being an off-roading vehicle there is not much focus on luxury but still the vehicle gets comfortable seats. The rear seats have been placed longitudinally, to accommodate more passengers and that is surely of big help on rural roads. The instrument cluster is simple and the dashboard also has basic components with a blower and a heater, while the AC is retro-fit, introduced recently based on feedback.
The Mahindra Thar is powered by a 2.5-litre diesel engine that produces 105bhp and 247Nm of torque that is delivered through a five-speed gear-box. The 4x4 variant gets a Borg Warner manual shift with low reduction gear. The car brags about the Drive by wire technology which helps for a quicker and better controlled throttle response. As there is no power-steering, the steering wheel is big enough to ease the efforts required for turning. The car gets disc brakes in the front with nine-inch boosters and drum brakes at the rear wheels.
The Thar has incredible off-roading capability with the low gearbox and four-wheel-drive, but it stands out among the pseudo SUVs mainly due to its capacity to take enormous amount of beating. The Mahindra Thar has a cult following among off-road junkies, who have just two other options in the entry-level segment - the Maruti Gypsy and Force Gurkha.
The Thar is available in five colours – Diamond White, Mist Silver, Fiery Black, Toreador Red and Rocky Beige.