The Mahindra Thar is an SUV that evokes emotions like few other cars can, embodying the spirit of the original Jeep and the 75-year-old legacy of India’s original SUV maker. This iconic SUV with its legendary 4×4 capability also embodies the freedom of (and off) the road, so it was rather appropriate that the reborn Thar. It’s a quantum leap ahead of the old Thar. Everything is completely new – the design, chassis, engines, gearboxes, cabin and dashboard have all been developed grounds-up, with almost no parts carried over from before. In fact, Mahindra has chosen the Thar to debut the company’s latest engines, a 152hp, 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol and 132hp, 2.2-litre diesel.
The quality of materials and the general fit and finish are light years ahead of the previous Thar. The cabin is not luxurious or plush, but is well-finished with hard-wearing materials and solid switchgear. There’s a row of nicely executed buttons below the chunky centre console that has a nice rubberised feel, and in front of the gear lever is a nice, large, rubber-lined storage area where you can put your phone and other odds and ends. The power window switches sit between the seats and there’s a reason for that the doors come off.
The front grille adds some retro, albeit, controversial charm and the front end seems to draw inspiration from the old Mahindra Armada Grand. While you do get fender-mounted LED DRLs, the headlights themselves use basic halogen bulbs as do the fog lamps. The most interesting bit is how Mahindra has been subtle with some things and over the top with others.
The new Thar gets front power windows, electrically adjustable mirrors, tilt steering, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, steering-mounted audio/phone controls, and even cruise control. It also gets remote keyless entry, a colour multi-information display, and a new 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and navigation. also kick off a program to offer custom and factory fitted accessories. Stuff like protectors, snorkels and lots more to enhance your experience or simply look more rugged. The touchscreen itself has some cool drive displays that show you roll and pitch angles, a compass, tyre position display, G monitor and more. It even gets a 6-speaker music system with two speakers and two tweeters mounted to the roof.
The Thar is now offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that makes 150PS and 320/300Nm of torque (AT/MT). The diesel is a new 2.2-litre unit producing 130PS and 300Nm of torque. Both engines are turbocharged and available with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard with the option of an AISIN 6-speed automatic. A rear biased 4×4 drivetrain comes as standard the petrol automatic, diesel automatic and diesel manual. The Thar has a selectable 4WD drivetrain. The default position is 2H, which send torque to the rear wheels only. 4H engages all four wheels and should ideally be used off-road, on gravel or hard compacted sand conditions. 4L engages the low ratio transfer case for the more heavy-duty stuff.
Mahindra will offer the second-gen Thar with both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol option will be a new 2.0-litre turbocharged unit (unveiled at Auto Expo 2020) rated at 150PS/320Nm while the BS6 diesel engine is a 2.2-litre unit which makes 130PS and 320Nm. Both the engines get a 6-speed manual unit as standard while a 6-speed automatic can also be availed as an option. As a Thar staple, 4×4 drivetrain is standard on both the powertrains.
Mahindra Thar Price: The new Thar is expected to be priced from Rs 9.5 lakh to Rs 13.5 lakh