Mahindra Thar CRDe is the top end trim in its lineup. Now, it is available with updated exteriors as well as interiors. The list of updated features include plastic cladding over the wheel arches, metal based front bumper, bigger foot rest, new headlamps, a new dual-tone color scheme for cabin, brand new dashboard with a slot for 2 DIN audio system, silver finished AC vents on center console, an astute looking instrument panel, redesigned steering wheel, lockable glove box, windshield demister, larger seats, a 12V power socket and a newly designed center console with hand brake, gear shift lever and transfer case. It is fitted with a 2.5-litre CRDe engine, which comes with a displacement capacity of 2498cc. It is mated with a five speed manual transmission gear box, which enables the engine to deliver a maximum power and torque output of 105bhp and 247Nm respectively. Its braking and suspension mechanism are quite proficient, which keeps it well balanced at all times. This vehicle has a decent wheelbase along with ground clearance, which makes it capable for driving on terrains. Its handling is made easier with the help of a responsive power assisted steering system that is tilt adjustable as well. The interior section is quite spacious and airy with good seating arrangement. It offers ample of leg space along with shoulder room for all occupants. The seats are wide and well cushioned and are integrated with head restraints. This vehicle is going to give a tough competition to the likes of Maruti Gypsy, Force Gurkha, Premier Rio, Tata Sumo and others in its segments.
EXTERIORS AND STYLE
The root of this car is surely the famous Jeep. The front profile to be specific comes with round shaped headlamps, front teeth like grilles, which is richly similar with the Willys Jeep, which was a cult model all around the world for many decades. This facelift version comes with two clear lens large headlamps which are capable to illuminate a wide area; there is an overhauled front bumper, which is more bulky as well as robust than the previous edition with a larger THAR branding sitting at the front just below the grilles. The new and huge butch looking wheel arches come looking bolder and sharper as well, and blend perfectly with the front bumper. The wheels underneath the arches come bigger than before, as well as the tyres are wider than the previous model, which ensure a more tighten grip to the soil.
At the side profile too we can see a few changes, which come in the form of bigger tubular sized footrests and fender extensions. The black hard claddings all around the body gives a slight crossover type feeling to this car. The rear profile too got some renovation, which comes in form of new rear bumper, which is thicker and beefier. Another new touch is the redesigned soft head canopy, which we already saw in the promotional video.
The new Thar CRDe will be available in 5 interesting colours which are Red Rage, Fiery Black, Mist Silver, Rocky Beige and Diamond White.
INTERIOR AND CABIN
The inside of the new Thar has been tweaked to make it more civilized as Mahindra might have realised that even normal people who live a normal life and drive normally can think of buying one provided the cabin offers features and comforts for the normally abled. It will not always be on its way to Ladakh or deserts of Rajasthan.What all has changed inside? Mahindra has played around with the interiors by borrowings bits and pieces from its other portfolio models like the brand new steering wheel which has been sourced from Bolero. The three spoke steering wheel feels great to hold on to. The instrumental cluster gets a three pod display with a chrome rings; Looks comparatively upmarket than before except for a tiny issue. The needles are so wide that you can’t make out the exact quantity of fuel left in tank, the exact speed and the exact engine rpm.
Ignoring the above, the front dashboard lends a nice touch to the cabin as it sits higher and also covers the possible gaps seen previously. The central console is done in contrasting grey with THAR embossed; this area can be used to fit an aftermarket music system. The simple AC vents gets a aluminium surround along with basic retro styled controls.The front seats have been sourced from Mahindra Scorpio and do an almost comfortable job provided your commute is very short as on long journeys, it can play great havoc. In addition, if you are on the taller side, you might prefer chopping your legs off as the front kneeroom and legroom is extremely tight. However, if room is what you want then shift in to the rear passenger area and there is plenty of it since it gets front facing two bench seats which might make you feel like someone being taken to the legal offices for doing something notorious.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
With no major changes underneath, the Thar still drives like it used to. The 2.5-litre engine, putting out 105bhp, has enough grunt to pull you over most obstacles, evident by its performance on Mahindra’s off-road track. The addition of the differential lock has made it marginally more capable as the Thar conquers a lot more than before. The Eaton-manufactured differential lock, also used in the export Mahindra Getaways, helps send power to one wheel when the other one is airborne or stuck. However, a centre-diff lock would have added to its capability as the locking differential was of little help while climbing a mucky incline or wading through a slush pit. That said, the course laid-out for us at Mahindra’s off-road academy was not a cakewalk, and our test car shod with Maxxis Bighorn off-road tyres, along with careful driving ensured we didn’t get out of the car even once to push it. But if it were the standard road-biased Bridgestone tyres going through those obstacles, we would have been stuck for a long time. That explains the role of the right tyres while going off-road. We wish the tiny four-wheel drive lever could have changed places as it is still in the same awkward position and takes some effort to slot in. Also, the five-speed manual gearbox is still not light or easy to use and has an inconsistent feel while slotting into gears. Get On Road price of Mahindra Thar from Mahindra Dealers in Hyderabad at Carzprice
RIDE AND HANDLING
Driving it in city conditions is not recommended at all provided you don’t wish to throw and show muscle power on other citizens. The engine takes it own sweet time to gather and deliver momentum and the engine demands to be peaked at every shift to make sure there is enough power available all across the band. However, take it on less travelled surfaces and the Thar feels at home. Climb mountains, drive on peak and troughs or just make doughnuts on sand, it does all of that with great confidence. The high approach 44° and 27° departure angle makes it a great off-roader.The new addition of rear lockable differential gives more traction while manoeuvring on such impossible terrains. The rear wheels work in tandem with the front and do not lose out on power even on slippery terrains. It is indeed a fantastic addition to the Thar and will be appreciated by enthusiasts.
As wonderful as the Thar is, my primary problem has always been that the Mahindra is as safe as a box of cereal. And just like said box, it does not get ABS, ESP or airbags. The only thing stopping you from certain death is that body and chassis that is built like a tank, I’m sure. It isn’t really safe out on the highways either. It feels really hairy at high speeds and the steering doesn’t correct itself too fast, which means you have to manually assist to straighten the car out of tight turns.
Mahindra Thar is for those who prefer performance over looks, the UV has been built to deliver power packed performance. Well known for its off-roading traits, Thar offer a great run. The new improvements made to the vehicle further improve the brand Thar which earlier was known as a suave UV. Although, still a lot is missing on the vehicle and considering the price it is offered at it seems it could get much more options. However, comparing it with all other off-roaders in India Thar is a viable option