Sunday, May 19, 2024

2023 Mahindra Thar 4×2 Diesel Review, First Drive

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The Mahindra Thar needs no introduction. The iconic SUV has been doing rounds forever. The SUV is known for its crude nature that can take all the beating in the world and still soldier on. Mahindra had to modernize it and it did by bringing out a Thar so good, that just a first look has had people talking nonstop ever since. Mahindra had an aggressive strategy ahead and brought out new models to make sure they stand out and grab sales numbers. The Thar 4×4 sales were doing good, if not great for some time after which people realised, the THar could be more affordable to buy and live with as the problem was mostly the 4×4. Yes, sometimes the biggest aspect of a product can be its flaw some. Incomes the 4×2 version which takes the world by surprise, but it was something that was expected someday or the other. A lifestyle SUV works in the urban scenario more and this was in fact necessary. We find out what the Thar has to offer!


We have always told you exclusively that the Thar is a sub-four-meter SUV! Hence the 1.5 diesel motor combination means it gets a tax break. The other big SUV was brought to the market. The SUV still has a proportionate stance and a very good design grabs attention. The elements such as the front grille are completely legal too, said Mahindra! The round headlamp and the rectangular tail lamps at the back stand out and keep the traditional aspects alive. The large 18-inch wheels and boxy design continue. The butch SUV stance thanks to the spare wheel mounted on the tailgate makes it look legtimate. The build quality seems solid and as we know, Global NCAP has awarded 4 Star safety rating to the Thar.


On the inside, the build and quality are good, but not great. The stowage is good, charging points are in plenty, and overall a very practical cabin. The feature list, we have explained time and again in our launch reports. You get every feature possible in the top variants of the SUV apart from reversing cameras and projector lamps, wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Want a sunroof? Not possible of course! Get the soft-top version for the full-fat sunroof feels!


The infotainment system needs polishing. The system still does not have a Bluetooth remembrance feature and has to be connected every time and music shuts down even before removing the key, after shutting down the engine. Something we said in the 4×4 review as well. These feel-good features should be included which are present in other Mahindra vehicles.


The roof-mounted speakers and the sound system is good too considering the premium price tag. The space is quite good too. The shoulder, head, leg, and knee rooms are segment standard and more than adequate in the four-seater version. The boot space is negligible with seats up, with seats down, there are over 500 litres. Road and wind noise inside the cabin can be better controlled as it can get intrusive. Wind noise creeps in, but after 140 km/hr. The safety kit includes ABS and EBD with two airbags that come as standard. Overall, the cabin experience is conventional, but all of this for a Thar which now meets most modern requirements and refinement standards while being an epic all-rounder that has removable doors quite definitely makes a lifestyle SUV.


We drove the 1.5l diesel motor with a manual gearbox. The motor is a free-revving and low on NVH unit by a big margin but some intrusion does happen when you start pushing the car in the rev range. Thar 4×2 delivers spectacular fuel economy on the highway and city. 18 km/l on the highway and 13 km/l in the city is a very good number for diesel. Low and mid-range are good and the top-end is adequate as it runs out of steam after 3500 RPM. However, it ends up cruising at speeds, legal and above it, quite speeds easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties. The low to medium ride quality has underlying stiffness means it takes bad roads well enough at all speeds. The high-speed ride is stable and well-judged too. Anything above 80 km/hr, does start with vertical movements from the suspension but that transfer much inside the cabin.


The independent suspension on both ends makes things so much better. Body roll increases as speeds get higher while taking a corner or changing lanes at high speeds. Steering is light, precise, and has the bare minimum feedback on offer. However, it is a confidence-inspiring driving situation making the Thar worth that all-rounder tag. The steering kickback is quite high and that is a trait of every ladder-on-frame SUV. However, it is much lighter than the 4×4. The brakes are good with a well-done pedal bite but the overall power could be better. Overall, the Thar can be your everyday SUV if you really want this SUV as your only choice of vehicle. The 4×2 makes things lighter, better and easier on the pocket, making it ideal for city use.


With a superb 41.8 deg approach, 36.8 deg and departure angle & ramp over angle of 27 degrees and a massive Ground clearance of 226mm makes the Thar’s wading depth come to a quite high 650mm still keeps the Thar 4×2 in a position far superior to its monocoque rivals. Whatever we threw, it took all really well, which included some articulations on really worst roads and deep ditches even with the 4×2 on offer, something that is surprising. After all, we didn’t go through hardcore stuff, especially wet or mucky conditions.

Mahindra Thar Review, Road Test, Verdict

With the prices starting from Rs. 10.0 lakhs onwards reaching RS. 14 Lakhs ex-showroom for the top-end variants, there is no denying that Thar makes a lot of sense as the value is stupendous than before. For an SUV that went from a crude off-roader to a lifestyle and now became a 4×2, the everyday aspect of this vehicle is a giant leap for the second time in a row. We all have memories of Thar and it gets even more accessible means it becomes truly tempting. The Thar does not offer diesel automatic yet and AMT cannot go with the Thar’s character which is available in the Mahindra powertrain portfolio. The petrol automatic also signifies the aspect that it has truly become a lifestyle with the 4×2. Enjoy most of it, a lower cost in all aspects, this, for us, is a bigger moment than then the new Thar 4×4 coming in!

2023 Mahindra Thar 4x2 Diesel Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Quality
  • Space
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Practicality
Mohit Soni
Mohit Soni
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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