2015 Mahindra Thar Review
Want an adventurous solution for the weekend that can climb rocks, craters and perhaps even buildings then you can read further as it is the 2015 version of the Mahindra’s iconic off-roader Thar that has made it to our review garage. They have been making it for a good long time and also have enthusiasts crooning about it.
The 2015 Mahindra Thar has got a lot better in many aspects and not just cosmetics which have also been updated with a slight bit of added ruggedness. The cabin feels more urban with tidier bits and pieces. But then who cared about all of that as the Thar is a tool to dig in dollops of muck and then rise above it with a feeling of triumph. This time around the confidence levels also receive a sizeable boost with the introduction of lockable rear differential.
Does it still retain its original character of a macho soldier wanting to march on the untried pieces of tarmac? We find out.
Yes, it is a 2015 version and a facelift too but then looking at it many would argue scratching their chins as to what all is new. The new Mahindra Thar gets clear lens headlamps for better illumination. The front bumpers now extend up to the front wheel fender to meet the new CMV norms which state that there cannot be any panel gaps. It now looks like a grown moustache signifying true make-in-India spirit.
Also, there is ‘THAR’ embossed on the front bumper while rest of the arrangement is similar to the previous model. The rear canopy gets an update in the form of a better material along with a slant on the rear to make it look more compact. Since the cabin is located at a height, there is a side step for easy access to the cabin. These side steps are strong and can withstand heavy loads with ease. For that added novelty bit, the alloys have got a new shape and the tyres too are larger.
Importantly, the wheel arches have been extended to take care of the muck thrown from larger after market all terrain tyres. Other than that, things are mighty simple with manually adjustable ORVMs, basic door handles and a spare tyre proudly mounted on the rear tail gate.
If you opt for the all terrain tyres like the one in our review car, be prepared for the extra effort required to open the gate. The Thar is definitely a fantastic looking off-roader especially with its old school traits but when it comes to safety, there is no central locking and the canopy can only be zipped close meaning it won’t be too wise to leave anything inside as the effort needed to rob is bare minimum.
I have always loved the Mahindra Thar for its design and driveability but then when it came to the interiors, it is definitely an acquired taste much like sushi. 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.
The two cup holders on the central carpet area are pretty much what one gets in the name of practicality. The door trims are blatantly flat and can hold nothing at all. The generous rear zone offers amazing loads of boot space and you can possibly carry a proper motorcycle in there.
Clearly, the interiors of Thar do not feature in my ideal world zones to be in and frankly there are better cocoons which can take care of my queenly needs but then the area where the Thar marks its own unique territory and does not let any trespasser of a vehicle intrude is its potential to drive on impossible terrains.
I have driven the Thar earlier and it is then that all my eager kiddish concerns of whether this one would survive harsh surfaces were answered in a slam of a jump from one crater to the other. Now in the new Thar, they have added a lockable rear differential which is a good thing if you plan to spend your weekends digging muck and driving over surfaces normally avoided by regularly styled vehicles.
The 2015 Mahindra Thar comes with a 2.5-litre diesel motor that makes 105 bhp at 3800 rpm and generates a torque rating of 247 Nm between 1800 to 2000 rpm. The motor is mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. It also comes with a Borgwarner transmission case with low reduction gear. The rear differential lock is a new addition as it was a need for climbing surfaces.
Since the motor has not been touched, its behaviour remains the same. Crank up the large displacement motor and there is a constant rattle felt inside the cabin. Keep revving the motor and you feel the slight cabin movement. Now the shifts are still not the best in duty as it takes more than little effort to shift. That being said, it is only the first gear which acts stubborn as the rest of the ratios seem well distributed.
All that torque comes into play at an initial point and thus the first gear feels too tall. The higher torque also makes possible to start in 2nd gear itself. The NVH levels of the cabin are high as the cabin is semi closed. The rear canopy keeps clinging on the upper frame, the rear seats have their own set of acoustics and the squeaky sounds coming from all over makes it discomforting.
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.
|Power in Bhp/RPM||105 / 3800|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||247 / 1800-2000|
|Wheel base mm||2430|
|Ground clearance mm||200|
|Fuel tank capacity L||60|
|Tyre Spec||235/70 R16|
|Air-Conditioner with Heater||Yes|
|Dual Tone Dashboard||Yes|
|3-Pod Instrumental Clustre||Yes|
|Lockable Glove Box||Yes|
|12V Charging Point||Yes|
|Independent Front Suspension||Yes|
|Manual Shift on Fly with 4WD||Yes|
|Mechanical Locking Rear Differential||Yes|
|Auto Locking Hubs||Yes|
|Clear Lens Headlamps||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||CRDe||Soft Top 4X4|
|Engine||2.5L CRDe||TD FTI Turbo Charged|
|Power in Bhp/RPM||105 / 3800||80 / 3200|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||247 / 1800-2000||230 / 1800|
|Wheel base mm||2430||2400|
|Ground clearance mm||200||210|
|Fuel tank capacity L||60||63|
|Tyre Spec||235/70 R16||245 / 70 R16|
Everything said and done, the Mahindra Thar catches attention like none. Its old school styling based on straight lines sans curves makes it look retro modern. Not an exaggeration, but it gives the feel of a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon which is high praise for a vehicle priced at Rs 8.16 lakhs.
Mahindra enjoys an unparallel dominance in this segment as other manufacturers still do not believe in such a fun vehicle and are merely busy making cars that can go longer and longer for every litre of fuel. I would definitely recommend the Mahindra Thar to someone who wants to find a better way to spend his otherwise dull weekend.