The hype around the new-get Thar is unmatched. We get some limited time with it ahead of the launch.
The first good thing about the new Thar is the trims. The lower adventure or AX trim is available in both diesel and petrol with manual transmissions only. A soft top with R16 steel wheels and footsteps are standard.
The premium LX or luxury trim gets either a hard or convertible top. The petrol variant only gets automatic while diesel has both the options. Luxury, as the name suggests, brings in creature comforts and conveniences like height-adjustable front seats, touch screen infotainment, R18 alloy wheels and more.
The design has changed quite a bit to meet pedestrian safety norms while keeping the historic factor of Mahindra Classics intact. Thar will have a customisable top – a soft, hard and a convertible.
The tall stance and short wheelbase of Thar have changed quite a bit. Based on Mahindra’s 3rd generation platform, which is also used in Scorpio, there is more room inside the cabin. Mahindra says the wheelbase has been increased to allow easier access to the second row.
The room at the back is much better than before with the adjustable seat incline. In hardtop variants, you also get roof-mounted speakers. The cabin appears much like the TUV, for example, the steering wheel, infotainment system, and AC knobs. What doesn’t seem appropriate are the loosely dangling cables from the roof and unfinished velvet matting on the sides.
The spare wheel is mounted on the tailgate is split into two halves. Pull the gate and lift the glass panel to access the minuscule boot.
The front of the Thar looks different from the outgoing generation, especially due to the Wrangler-inspired grille, and new LED day time running lights. The headlamps continue to be halogen with an old-school circular shape.
The mHawk, which produces 130 PS and 320 Nm, paired with a 6-speed manual was our test vehicle. BS6 has surely taken some wind out of the sail for Thar. And that’s not a bad thing completely. The engine feels refined than before and the NVH levels are vastly improved. The gear throws are still pretty long along with a deep clutch travel. That said, the rubbery effect associated with gear level is gone.
In terms of ride quality, there is a lot of sideways movement going inside the cabin all the time, and that’s majorly because of the body-on-ladder frame. Once you get used to that, they niggles you need to overcome are spongy brakes and vague steering feedback at highways speeds. That said, it’s not an absolute Thar judgment as the off-road trail is yet to be part of our itinerary.
Thar, nothing less than an icon, was crude and hard to live with. In its second generation, Mahindra has upgraded the stylish, and added convenience in the mix. The second-generation Thar on launch is expected to be priced between Rs 10 lakh and 13 lakh (ex-showroom). Do you think it is good enough to meet your urban lifestyle?