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All-New Mahindra Thar Review: Can the New-Gen Off-Roader Compete With Mainstream SUVs?

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Advancing the predecessor’s off-roading capabilities, the all-new Mahindra Thar is now better equipped to appeal not just the adventure seekers but everyone. 

All-New Mahindra Thar Review

Let’s know all details of 2021 Mahindra Thar in this review!

Mahindra has always been on the forefront in the SUV segment in India. In recent years, it has positioned itself in the sub-compact SUV segment too with SUVs such as the KUV100 NXT and the XUV300. Mahindra also introduced the safest budget MPV “Marazzo”, thus offering the buyers more choices in the utility vehicle segment. But, what’s been the key highlight for the car marker is its highly capable and the most trusted off-roader, the Mahindra Thar.

The heartthrob of the off-roading enthusiasts, Mahindra Thar has been longing for a new generation transition and the wish of the adventure seekers recently got fulfilled when the 2nd generation of this SUV marked its debut in India.

Besides carrying forward all the core rugged characteristics of the former, the new 2021 Mahindra Thar has also emerged as a more convenient-to-drive SUV, which other than the adventurers also doesn’t disappoint the sophisticated car riders too due to its sheer comforts and advanced features.

2021 New Mahindra Thar Review

The new Thar that’s made to “Explore the Impossible” has received major revamps, both outside and inside. It is offered in an attractive price bracket of Rs 9.80 – 13.75 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The improved features & comforts and the affordable price tag now make the new Thar capable enough to compete even with the popular mainstream SUVs such as Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass, Kia Seltos and various others.

There’s a lot more that needs to be discussed in detail about the 2021 New Mahindra Thar. So, let’s head over to the review to know its key attributes in detail.


ALSO READ: 2020 Hyundai Creta Review

How are the looks of New Mahindra Thar 2021?

New Mahindra Thar Exterior Dimensions Colors

The all-new Mahindra Thar drives vintage cues from its forerunner and has plenty of off-roader charisma present on its exterior. A perfect blend of ruggedness and retro styling is what the new Mahindra Thar possesses. Earlier, its predecessor came in a macho yet barebone form that lacked certain elements that couldn’t categorize it among the mainstream SUVs. But now, Mahindra has convincingly done a marvelous job in making it an SUV that ticks all the standard criterias to make it a versatile SUV for all.

The iconic retro style remains the key attraction. What’s new is the pair of fender-mounter daytime running LED lamps that amplify the attractiveness of the front profile. The front bumper looks bigger and contemporary but does not lose the core off-road impression. The front distinctive grille fully justifies the car’s rugged image and the hood, though remains very much flattened like the forerunner but gets subtle curves on the edges. What excites more in the new Thar 2021 is the hard-top roof that gives you your own private space. Also, you have the choice to convert your Thar into an open roof SUV whenever you want to experience a sense of freedom around you.

The style and performance factor is also enhanced through its 18 inches alloy wheels that are wrapped by wider tyres with impressive width to keep the SUV stable even on the worst terrains. Right above the wheels, you get bigger wheel arcs that also add to the sportiness of the car. Something new this time is the antenna that you will find placed right above the front-left wheel arcs, kinda innovative!

Also, the side steppers are also rightly positioned to give you a comfortable entry inside this SUV. The rear profile also doesn’t give up on the retro styling part as the bumper comes with that typical vintage attractiveness, yet having the modest impressions. Also, the rear LED tail lamps come in the retro rectangular design that certainly would grab the attention of all. One thing new that you will see in the car is the access to the boot. As now the Thar gets rear front facing seats, there is a boot storage that makes it way in the second-generation SUV. The boot can be accessed by opening the rear gate. And, you have the option slide upwards the rear windshield glass as well so that the entire rear area can be used to easily accommodate your stuff inside the car.

You may find it resembling the Jeep Wrangler.

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All-New Mahindra Thar Dimensions

Mahindra Thar 2021 Review Prices Features

Let’s have a look at the dimensions of the all-new Mahindra Thar.

Dimensions Thar
Length (mm) 3985 mm
Width (mm) 1820 mm (AX OPT) / 1855 mm (LX)
Height (mm) 1844 mm (Hard Top)
Wheelbase (mm) 2450 mm
Ground Clearance (mm) 219 mm (AX OPT) / 226 mm (LX)
Fuel Tank Capacity 57 litres

Mahindra Thar Colour Options for Buyers

New Mahindra Thar 2021 Colours

The 2021 Mahindra Thar comes in 6 shades. These are Rocky Beige, Aquamarine, Mystic Copper, Red Rage, Napoli Black and Galaxy Grey.

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How are the interiors of 2nd-gen Mahindra Thar?

Mahindra Thar 2021 Interior Features

The all-new Mahindra Thar is not at all same as its forerunner. The second-generation from inside is designed keeping in mind the comforts of the passengers. The upholstery appears to be made of the nicest fabrics.

Mahindra has kept the toughest off-road drives in mind while designing the seats. First of all, you will find the cushioning of the seats to be very comfy and then, the body-hugging contours featured in the front seats serve as another advantage as they keep the occupants glued even during the bumpiest rides. In addition, to quickly allow you to clean the floor without any hassle, the washable floors are offered in the new Thar.

All-New Mahindra Thar Interiors Features

Comfort has been sensibly incorporated in this rugged SUV so that it is able to give tough competition to some of the existing mainstream SUVs. Its rear seats also provide ample of room to the passengers, but only for two occupants. Remember, the Thar should only be considered as a 4 seater SUV, not the 5 seater one. And, 4 seater too only for occasional tours.

2021 Mahindra Thar Interior Features

It is ideally meant for the off-road fun for the front two passengers. Undoubtedly, the rear seat passengers also don’t miss on the comfort part but the downside we figured is during the entry for the rear two occupants. There are no rear doors in the Mahindra Thar. Hence, the rear occupants need to fold either of the first row seats to get inside. Ideally, if you buy a Thar, it would be advisable to enter from the co-driver’s side as the seats would fold better and offer you more space to get inside the car. This is something the country buyers may not like. They are used to the traditional rear doors for entry and exit.

How much storage capacity does the 2021 Thar have?

Mahindra Thar Interior Storage

As Mahindra Thar 2021 has the capability to pass through any given terrain, it certainly can be a car for consideration by long tourers and explorers. Now, a big question they may have is about the storage of luggage and stuff.

If you are a group of 4 friends and plan to go on a long tour and have excessive luggage then you probably may have to reduce the luggage because the boot space offered in Mahindra Thar is not sufficient to gobble big suitcases. So, that’s something you need to take care of. Keeping smaller standard-sized travel bags will not be an issue.

Now coming to the storage spaces part. The new-gen Mahindra Thar comes with plenty of storage spaces. Apart from the standard glove-box compartment, you get adequate space to place your phone right below the AC controls. There are cup-holders right next to the handbrake lever and bottle holders in the front doors.

2021 Mahindra Thar Features

All-New Mahindra Thar Features

The 2021 Mahindra Thar has been improved remarkably in this 2nd generation with the additions of various exciting features. At our first glance, what we liked in Thar was the introduction of the driver’s seat height adjustment feature. All you need to do is simply adjust the lumbar support and you’re good to access the best road view. To mention, the standard road visibility of Mahindra Thar is also good enough so you might avoid seat adjustment until and unless you really want to take the advantage of the offered feature.

Central locking with the remote flip key is also offered to maximize vehicle security.  There’s never-seen-before in Thar a touchscreen infotainment system that looks premium and supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB and Navigation. The coolest thing about this infotainment system is that it also provides access to information about your adventure drives through its Adventure Statistics System.

Besides these, other noteworthy features of New Mahindra Thar include Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), cruise control, steering mounted audio and phone controls, electric ORVMs, power windows, tilt-adjustable steering, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lamps, roof-mounted speakers and a lot more!

Engine, Specifications and Performance of Mahindra Thar 2021

Mahindra Thar 2021 Engine and Specifications

The 2nd-gen Mahindra Thar is offered in 2.2L diesel and 2.0L petrol engines. Both the engines are offered in 6-speed manual and automatic transmission choices. The 2.2-litre (2184cc) mHawk 130 diesel engine churns maximum power of 130bhp and maximum torque of 300Nm. On the other hand, the 2.0-litre (1997cc) mStallion 150 TDGi petrol engine of Thar produces maximum power of 150bhp and maximum torque of 300Nm.

Mahindra Thar 2021 Automatic Transmission

The new Thar comes with incredible driving capabilities. With a little push on the accelerator, you can feel its true power. The 300Nm of torque forces it forward immensely and makes you feel that you’re driving a true off-roader. There’s a second gear lever provided to help you enjoy that 4X4 thump on the tracks.

The bigger 245/75 R16 (AX OPT trim) / 255/65 R18 (LX trim) sized all-terrain tyres of 2nd generation Mahindra Thar provide enough stability and control while cruising on high speeds and testing the terrains off the road. The wider width of the tyres also helps in achieving the best of handling on any kind of track.

The ground clearance of Mahindra Thar is 219 mm (AX OPT) / 226 mm (LX), which feels adequate even on the worst sorts of roads and off-road tracks. What makes the 2021 Mahindra Thar a ‘go-anywhere’ SUV is its water wading capacity of 650 mm. So practically, you are well-prepared to cross anything that comes in between your off-roading adventure.

What additionally makes the driving experience interesting in the all-new Thar is its approach angle of 41.2 degrees (AX OPT) / 41.8 degrees (LX) and departure angle of 36 degree (AX OPT) / 36.8 degree (LX); say thanks to the intelligently designed bumpers.

Safety features of New Thar

2021 Mahindra Thar Safety Features

Before we start discussing the details of Mahindra Thar’s safety, we want to highlight the fact that Mahindra Thar has achieved 4-star adult and child safety ratings at Global NCAP crash tests. For off-road lovers and performance drivers, this data is very important as it defines the true sturdiness and safety competence of the all-new Thar.

Mahindra has also equipped the Thar SUV with various other noteworthy safety features such as rear parking sensors, dual airbags, hill hold and hill descent control, ABS, ESP with rollover mitigation, ISOFIX child seat mounts and built-in rollcage.

Want to know how Kia Sonet fares in the review? Head over to Kia Sonet Review

Prices of 2021 Mahindra Thar

2021 Mahindra Thar Prices in India

Currently, both the diesel and petrol models of the new Mahindra Thar are offered in two trims – AX OPT and LX. The prices of the Thar SUV fall in the price bracket of Rs 9.80 lakh to Rs 13.75 lakh (ex-showroom, India).

The petrol trims of Mahindra Thar are priced in the range of  Rs 9.80-13.55 lakh (ex-showroom, India) while its diesel trims are offered in the range of Rs 10.65-13.75 lakh (ex-showroom, India).

Should you buy a Mahindra Thar?

Mahindra Thar 2021 SUV Review

Now here’s the most important question for which the Thar buyers would definitely want an answer – “Should you buy the new Mahindra Thar or not?”

So, we think that Mahindra has put all its efforts to make the Mahindra Thar a first-choice among the SUV lovers by not just limiting it to the off-road conditions but also by making it a reliable and comfortable SUV for day-to-day city rides.

It comes with all the necessary features that one would expect in present-day cars. So, it appears to be a good choice over many other standard sub-compact and compact SUVs currently sold in the market.

But, you cannot call it a full-fledged family car. It can be a car for the youth or for the adventurers who have that ‘thrill-hunting soul’, but it is certainly not for the aged. They might face issues in traveling in this SUV due to its lack of rear two doors. The young wouldn’t find that problem at all.

Also, to the routine SUV seekers, who often look for that 5-seater option, the Thar might not excite much. In the near future, Mahindra will counter the 5-door issue too as it already has started working on the Thar’s 5-door avatar.

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