2020 Mahindra Thar – First Drive

Brute macho muscular go anywhere are some of the words that come to your mind when you look at this the latest avatar of the iconic Mahindra Thar

2010 saw the 1st generation of the Thar that was based on the legendary MM540. The SUV since it’s launch has gone on to become a cult in its own way with enthusiasts across the country and beyond. Now in its latest incarnation the Thar enters its 2nd generation. Taking a quick look at it what you see is it’s sheer road presence, it is huge standing wide and very domination in its stance.

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The Front end keeps the Mahindra MM540 vibe alive with the six slot front grille and classic round headlamps along with DRL’s on the fender adding the modern touch. You also get embossed Thar branding on the front bumper along with round fog lamps. The fenders emphasize the width of the SUV and add lot of character to the front and sides.

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On the sides you Instantly notice the large 18 inch dark silver alloys mounted on Ceat Czar All terrain tyres along with large fenders and the wide step board. The front wheel arch is squareish while the rear one is rounded. Both of them getting nice chunky fiber cladding. The Thar that we drove had removable hard top while you also have the option of the retractable soft top version.

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And yes the doors on all the trims can be got off when needed. The wing mirrors are huge in size and get special Thar branding on their housing. On the left hand side you get the engine branding and the radio antenna while on the right hand side you have the Trademark Thar logo.

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The rear end on this brute looking SUV is mainly dominated by the huge rectangular LED tail lamps with Thar badging one them that would surely go on to become iconic with time. The spare wheel mounted on the back door comes with alloys and looks imposing here. The rear windshield is openable upwards supported with gas shocks once you pull open the rear door. The rear bumpers like the front bumpers are imposing. The Thar from the outside looks very muscular, very chunky, very desirable and extremely high on fit and finish. The paint quality on the body panels are of top quality and so are the body color options.

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For getting into the Thar you have to climb on to the step board first due to its real SUV height.  Once inside you instantly notice the typical flat SUV like dashboard in all black and the upright front wide windshield. You also get a grab handle placed here for the front passenger the round AC vents come with faux carbon fiber surrounds. The centre dash gets a 7 inch touch-screen infotainment unit that is also compatible with Apple CarPlay. This highly customizable display unit can read out a wide range of vital readings of the SUV which also includes a unique adventure statistics display.

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The instrument cluster comes with easy to read dials and also a tft display placed in the middle again reading out lots of information at all times of the drive. The steering is a three spoke design with metal aluminum inserts and neatly laid out multi function buttons on it. This steering is manually adjustable for height. The switchgear is ip54 rated for dust and water resistance. There is neatly laid out Thar branding on the the door panels.

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The seats get all black upholstery while the driver’s seat gets height adjusts as well. These seats also get the Thar branding on them. The front seats offer extra padding probably keeping off roading in mind. Getting in the rear is not as difficult as it might seem, just tumble the front passenger seat over and you are in. Rear seats come with adjustable headrests too. The entire cabin of the Thar feels very roomy and spacious. The rear passengers get loads of legroom and knee room. The wheel well does intrude into the rear foot area hence the rear seating is strictly for two.

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The entire cabin area including the seats etc can be washed with a hose pipe, the water gets out from the drain plugs that can be opened after some muddy outing.

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Powering the Thar are the two engine options, you have the 2.2L BS-6 Turbo Diesel mHawk 130 unit that makes 130hp and 300Nm of torque. For petrol lovers you have the 2.0L BS-6 mStallion 150 motor that has 150hp of power and 320Nm of torque. Both the engine have been developed in house in India by Mahindra. Transmission options to go with these engines include a 6-speed manual and also a 6-speed Torque Converter Automatic.

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We drove the Diesel Manual during our Independence drive and the overall feel is very positive. The Thar now feels very nicely engineered; this engine is immensely refined with just the right power delivery available across the powerband. The suspension is also very well laid out and we glided over some huge Mumbai potholes even without feeling them. The Cabin is well insulated and you have a immensely dominating view from the driver’s seat, you feel invincible. After driving this one the older Thar seems just obsolete and out of time. You can easily compare this new Thar to probably any SUV in its class or even above it in terms of drive quality, drive feel, convenience and refinement. While the older Thar was mostly for off roading and weekend drives our of the city you can drive this latest SUV for your daily commutes very conveniently and comfortable.

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The Thar now comes loaded with all the latest safety features that include dual airbags, 3 point seat belts, crash safety complaint structure, ESP with roll over mitigation, Hill hold control, hill descent control, ISOFIX child seats anchors, Tyre pressure monitor etc.

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For the off-roading gadgetry the All New Thar comes with 4W Drive With 4-High And 4-Low Range, Electromechanical Driveline Disconnect (Front Axle), Mechanical Locking Rear Differential (MLD), Brake Locking Differential (BLD) On Front and Rear Axle to name a few.

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Speaking of the off roading capability the Thar has a water wading ability of 650mm and a ground clearance of 266mm with the 18 inch wheels. The SUV has an impressive approach angle 41.8˚ and 36.8˚as it’s Departure Angle it also has 27˚ Break Over Angles With R18 Wheel And Tyre Combination.

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We have been driving the All New Mahindra Thar at their Special Independence drive. stay tuned to Motorworldindia as we take the Brute Suv off road where it belongs very soon. So like and subscribe to our YouTube Chanel and also hit the bell icon to not miss on any of our future videos.

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Review – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar

 

 

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