Review: 2020 Mahindra Thar

Mahindra’s Thar has been to Indians what Jeep’s Wrangler has to the Americans. The Thar has had a huge impact on a lot of enthusiasts, including children. Its rugged appeal and off-road ability had buyers at one point, but as time went by, it lost its charm. However, Mahindra cars haven’t pulled the plug on their baby; instead, they’ve brought it back to life in its newest avatar – and guess what – it’s better than ever. The new Thar has always been highly anticipated, so here we are, giving you our first drive impression.

In our eyes, the new Thar is a huge step forward in terms of styling. It is modern, no doubt, but has retro elements in its design language. It is wider because of its pronounced wheel arches and comes with plastic cladding all around. At the front, it features a seven-slot grille that gives it a classic look. We like how much more macho the new Thar is. The AX variant features a soft-top and smaller 16-inch alloy wheels. Ground clearance has been increased to 226mm. It is also larger, on the whole. There’s also the option of a convertible roof and a hardtop. And the LX model comes with dual-tone bumpers, LED lighting, a hard-top roof and 18-inch alloy wheels. It can also be bought in six lovely colours.

New on the inside?

Gone is the old, basic cabin, and in comes a well-built interior. It may not have the quality to match other SUVs, but is a lot more comfortable to be seated in. Up-front, it gets bucket seats and front-facing rear seats. The dashboard is all-new, so is the instrument cluster, and we particularly like the round AC vents. On the top variant, you get a touchscreen infotainment system, roof-mounted speakers. Space at the rear is good for two, but boot space isn’t much. The wheelbase is longer too.

New power too

Under the bonnet lies the all-new mStallion 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine that makes 150bhp and 220Nm of torque. While the AX variant offers a 6-speed manual gearbox, the LX model gets equipped with a 6-speed torque converter AT. The 2.2-litre diesel engine makes 130bhp and 320Nm of torque. The front axle features a brake locking differential and a mechanical locking at the back. The newer diesel motor was quite refined, but seemed to lack the punch of the older engine.

Ride that way..

It’s built on the brand’s 3rd-generation chassis and gets independent front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. The ride has seen a major improvement. And we’re sure the automatic variants are going to be the popular ones, as it makes driving the Thar a breeze in the city.

You want one?

The new Thar makes for a great daily-driver, excellent off-roading talent and a comfortable cabin. It’s going to be bought by enthusiasts, young and aged – and pulling up in one at a signal will have others around you green with envy. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.