There are few of us that haven’t lusted after the original Thar for its rugged, go anywhere ability, and sense of adventure and freedom that it promised. But far fewer sensible decisions have led to actually owning one, mostly on account of the compromise that you had to make in terms of everyday practicality. The new Thar fixed a number of its flaws and today is heaps more urban friendly. And while we found that out right at the outset when we first drove it, it took a proper road test to uncover a few of it’s more surprising secrets!
1. Wow, that’s fast!.
With a 0-100kmph sprint timing of just 10.21 seconds, the 2.0 Turbo Petrol Thar automatic ranks as a quick car in our performance tables. Quicker than cars like the Hyundai i20 (1.0-litre Turbo Petrol DCT – 10.88s), the Toyota Fortuner Legender (2.8-litre Diesel AT – 10.58s) and on par with cars like the Renault Duster (1.3-litre Turbo Petrol – 10.23s) or the Hyundai Aura (1.0-litre Turbo Petrol – 10.27s). This is all the more impressive when you take into consideration the sheer mass of the Thar, as well as its slab sided aerodynamics! Its in-gear acceleration of 6.08s is also very impressive for an automatic car. More than just the ability to drive over anything in its path we enjoyed the way it pulled away from practically every stoplight leaving other traffic in its wake.
2. Ooh, that’s smooth.
The petrol automatic we drove was not only quick when you step on the gas it is also so smooth at city speeds that it’s hard to pick the gear changes. The heaps of torque and smooth shifts make it a very well mannered drivetrain to manage on a day to day basis. The only complaint we had is that at full gas the shifts feel like they could have been a tad quicker.
A 4×4 with big all terrain tyres, a big powerful turbo petrol engine and tonnes of steel to move around, it was never going to be efficient. But still with city efficiency hovering around the 9kmpl mark and highway figures pushing up to 12kmpl the new Thar isn’t frugal by a long shot but doesn’t really guzzle gas either.
Read about our Thar turbo petrol road test experience here
4. Not trying to injure you anymore
The old Thar had quite the reputation of giving you a few cuts and bruises or even the odd tear in your jeans. Its rough edges were an unfortunate part and parcel of it’s legendary status. The new car is a big big improvement in this regard. Yes, in terms of ergonomics there are still some things to complain about, like the egress into the rear seats, the rear seat comfort and the driver’s footwell space. But on the plus side, we didn’t experience any cuts and the only rips in our jeans were the ones we’d paid Levis for.
5. Still can go anywhere?
With the Thar getting friendlier there was always that niggling worry that to improve one aspect of the 4×4, Mahindra would have to make compromises in other areas. But in actuality the opposite is probably true. The Thar seems to have lost none of its go-anywhere-ability and in fact with the updated, more powerful drivetrains, it may have actually improved some of its off-roading ability too. We say maybe because, appart from a few small excursions off the beaten path, we haven’t really pushed the new Thar to its limits off-road yet. But that’s something we plan to do this monsoon!
Read about how the New Thar faces off against the OG here
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