The Mahindra Thar still is viewed as the royal masterpiece which is equivalent to the Royal Enfield Bullet in the bike ecosystem. The Thar model is a recent product, and it looks purposeful and it signals an earthy sort of driver.
It is a proper 4x4 with a mechanical transfer case, short wheelbase, adequate diesel motor and comes in a variety of different body styles which is dependent on what project gets you all hyped up.
We have to mention here that the basic formula remains the same with the 2020 model. However, there have been a number of changes made which bring it in line with more recent Mahindra vehicles.
For starters, the body style and design look very similar to the Jeep Wrangler. It comes with modern conveniences like air conditioning and audio that worked as per expectations. Although, it still retains the rough-and-ready project vehicle vibe.
The new Thar offers a lot of surprises – it looks fresh, modern and very solid. It seems as if it has been put together with purpose and every element has a certain role to play in the vehicle.
The interior is all plastic and comes in the pristine black look. However, the look and feel are quite premium. The look is rather polished and the model which we tested had a touchscreen infotainment system which is quite similar to what we have seen in other recent Mahindras like the Marazzo.
One can easily pair the phone via Bluetooth and the music was at your fingertips thanks to the steering-mounted controls.
The controls in the car are what one has come to expect with Mahindra. You can save for the extra lever north-west of the gear shifter to shift into 4H or 4L four-wheel drive modes. If we speak ergonomically, this new model felt comfortable, familiar and extremely suave to operate.
The company has made the new Thar available in 12 distinct options across two variant lines: AX and LX. Now, there are also a couple of options in the mix. Essentially, you can make your pick - soft convertible top, hard top, 4 seats, 6 seats, 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, petrol or diesel motor.
Specifically, we speak about the top-spec diesel hard-top manual:
It has the mHawk 130 2.2-litre diesel motor in it and it makes it a jewel. It comes with short sub-4m stance and shorter wheelbase and hence, there is not much space between the driver and the motor. However, it still maintained a comfortable cabin and one could hold a conversation while driving.
Also, the motor is very smooth and has plenty of ability to cope with the city environment. Now, the diesel makes 130PS/320Nm, which is plenty for a model like this. All you have to do is to push the throttle and things happen. And hey, the Thar is rock-steady at insanely high speeds as well!
We now take a look at the steering and it us very light – the angle is perfect and the torque required to make a U-turn is minimal. The flat sides and wide mirrors make placing it very easy. As far as the suspension for roads is concerned, it was also very good. It has always been a capable off-roader, and we expect this one to be no different.
The 2020 Mahindra Thar starts at Rs 9.8 lac and goes up to Rs 12.95 lac ex-showroom.