Mahindra Thar Review By Al Smyth (AKA Al Your Pal) So I am no critic or motor journalist but I was given the opportunity to drive the new Mahindra Thar as part of a sponsorship deal made by Mix 93.8fm and Mahindra Fourways. I felt it not a duty, but a pleasure to share my experience. I am going to take you back to my teenage years where the A-Team and every Vietnam movie I watched had the old Willys jeep in it. I remember the thoughts of one day finding one to restore as it was one of my favourite classics after the Ford mustang. Little did I know that the day would come where I could drive a new version of that yesterday classic in the form of the Mahindra Thar, yes I did just compare the old Jeep with the Mahindra Thar! You will be astounded as I was to learn that Mahindra was building the old Jeep we all know for Jeep (Under Licence) that was used back in the II world war. That will answer all the questions you may have regarding the similarities of the two vehicles. Mahindra still use some of the same tooling they used back in the day for the original Jeep back in the 1940’s My journey in the New Thar started about 6 months ago where I had requested a test drive after seeing one on the road. It took me back to my early teens and I wanted to give this car a go. It was the closest thing I was going to get to that Willys Jeep I always wanted to own. I found out how cost effective it was, Just over R200 000 for a 4x4 with a 2.5l diesel engine. I was immediately interested in finding out more! I am about to let you know what I had found in the Mahindra Thar If you looking for a fast sporty type of 4x4 keep looking, the Thar is a strong rugged 4x4 that does just that. It is true to what it is! It has a 2.5l turbodiesel motor that develops 78kw with a 5 speed manual gearbox. It has a separate gear lever next to the primary gear lever which allows you to engage either the 2wd or 4wd and also gives you the option of low range which you would expect in a 4x4 I took the little Thar on its first 4x4 trip to my local 4x4 swamp. It was this after the torrential rains we had at the end of last year. There were a few 4x4s there that day. The Thar was the attention of all 4x4 enthusiasts. No one had really seen one yet, cameras came out and people were asking a lot of questions. Some I could not yet answer as it was the day I was to test the Thar and put it thru its paces. I had a lot to prove on the track as I was under the scrutiny of all watching. In the pond (or that’s what it looked like) was a topless 4x4 doing its thing. It was my turn to take this Thar to a place it had never been before, a slippery mud pit filled about 1m and in others 1.3m of a brownish soup. I set off hoping not to embarrass myself or the reputation of the Thar. Put it into 4x4 and went down the same line I had seen the other 4x4s go. The Thar took to the mud without any effort, no need for me to have over revved the motor up and down the slippery embankments. It took to the wet muddy rocks with even less effort. The short wheel base made climbing easy. The height on the Thar cleared all the obstacles and she was as dirty as a kid that had spent the day playing in mud. Its appearance had gone from a shiny Greenish camo colour to a Brown mat colour. Due to my window being open at the time that colour was inside and out. Everyone there had that look of disbelief when I exited the pond and a lot of interest was expressed by the onlookers in to acquiring this new little bull of a vehicle. It took me a good two days to get all the grit off every hook and cranny. I have since been commuting 140km a day with the Thar to the Mixfm studios and back. It has your basics one would need during a commute. The Thar has aircon, power steering, manual windows, comfortable (way more than I was expecting) leather seats, a soft top and what I can only explain as an electric heater. It has two seats in the front and two bench type seats at the back. Big enough for two big guys. (yes I did test it) In December we took it out on a camping adventure, I towed our 4x4 trailer that weighs in the region of 1.6 tons. The Thar towed it with ease and the vehicle felt stable and safe on the trip. I even had to tow it across a distance of beach sand. It was no challenge at all for the Thar. There are a few drawbacks, but can be expected! There is a lot of road noise due to the soft top, It does not come standard with a radio and there are no electric windows, central locking or other electronics we are spoilt with like cruise control. But I ask myself after experiencing the vehicle, would these be a deal breaker for me? The answer my friends is a BIG NO!!! You get what you pay for. It is a toy I think many 4x4 enthusiast would love to own, it is a rugged strong 4x4 that looks good, drives well and wont let you down or embarrass you on your next 4x4 adventure. The only thing that I am a little disappointed about was not taking the Thar on a trip to Mozambique. I would have loved playing with it on the dunes as I head off to Punto Du Ore. If at all this has inspired you to give this little Beast a go, make your way to Mahindra in Fourways and have a chat to their dealer principle Lance Ritchie who had made my experience with this what I can only call Fabulous little 4x4 an experience to remember. My time with MY beloved Thar is coming to an end and I will have to say my goodbyes soon. It has been 20 000km of absolute joy. What was a test drive has become a memory! I have not only tested one of the most (who would have believed id say this) awesome little 4x4s in its class but have also made a few friends along the way. I am going to own this: “The best little 4x4 by Thar” Al Smyth (AKA Al your Pal) Mix 93.8fm Drive Presenter
very reliable and strong
Entry level car. No long distance driving recommended. No bootspace.
Soos enige kar het die Zoyte maar sy probleme, maar ek is meer as tevrede met die kar. Bietjie moeilik om parte in die hande te kry. Werk baie goed vir in die dorp en is lig op petrol. Die hoogte van die kar is perfek vir plaas paaie, maar is baie los op grondpad.