Mahindra Thar CRDe is a vehicle for adventures people who would like to explore. And I am sorry to say that it does not meet the needs for the other category of people. It is an affordable four wheel drive vehicle by the Indian middle class. I bought the vehicle in Sep 2013 since then it has completed 14500 km. Back then the vehicle had come with an on road price tag of Rs8,30,000.
The beauty of the car is indescribable. It is an admirable piece of architecture. The suv looks pretty much as its predecessor the mm540 DP, there is nothing much changed in terms of exterior design, apart from broad tyres. The car can be customized as desired by the owner, and you can keep doing it as long as you run out of money, because there are a lot many custom parts available in the market to meet your taste. Buying the vehicle is only a small part, customizing it is the major challenge. When you open the doors of the vehicle you get the same sound like in the old jeeps, and I am happy that Mahindra has made it a point to keep it in the present model.
The Thar CRDE has the same dashboard as the Bolero, which is a bit disappointing as people would like something different for a vehicle that looks so appealing from the outside. The vehicle comes with air conditioning and heater as standard. The Thar looks very outdated from the inside. To feel like you are in the 21th century, you have to customize your interiors as well.
The dashboard is made of poor quality plastic and it has a very bad finish quality. The air blower cannot be adjusted for the flow of air to the driver and the co-driver, it is a major setback in the vehicle. It has no electric windows, no cigarette lighter, and it has no indication when the doors are opened, and it has no indication for the seat belt. The steering cannot be adjusted. To say it in one word its “rubbish” on the inside. It is a very bad impression for Mahindra. Jeep is a vehicle that owns a great reputation all around the world, and it’s not very pleasant to see Mahindra destroying it.
The Thar has a 2400cc engine which has good torque and in no time you are into higher speeds as and when you press the accelerator. This attribute comes at the cost of greater fuel consumption. Overall the engine feels very refined and smooth. The braking characters are very good, the vehicle comes with front discs and rear drum brakes. If you would ask me what I like about the vehicle it would be the front end, because it has individual front double wishbone suspension which keeps the vehicle planted to the ground while off road. The vehicle has good off road ability, it handles any terrain with ease and it is gives you the that adventures feeling while you drive.
It handles very well at high speeds on the tarmac unless you meet pot holes or obstacles on the road, because it goes uncontrollable when you come across obstacles. When you travel at speeds above 50 kph, you come across hearing the soft top battering, no matter how many speakers you install you just wont be able to hear your music. The rear suspension is a leaf spring suspension. It is not very comfortable for occupants while traveling on uneven surfaces or bumpy roads. When you come across bumps while traveling at descent speeds you feel as though there are many loose components.
As the vehicle has a powerful engine you end up getting very poor mileage. On the highway you might get around 12 to 13 kmpl if drive below 80kmph, in the city will get 8 to 9 kmpl. If you have money constrains this might worry you a lot.
Mahindra does not have the facility to service the Thar in most of its centers, you have to be prepared to go miles to service your vehicle if you would like to own one. I am not very satisfied with the quality of service that Mahindra offers. The only thing that is done is the replacement and toping up of fluids, the vehicle is not washed, in fact the service station where I service my car does not even have a hydraulic facility to wash the vehicle. As it has been free service so far I am not sure what might turn out to be the Maintenance cost.
Overall vehicle build quality
The material and the paint job is done brilliantly, but there are many small details that is not very pleasant to view. The door beading’s are not of good quality, and during rain, water seeps through the door beading’s. The window seals are not of good quality either. The car’s hood beading is also not good and it is not fitted properly.
My car had coolant leaking in the first 1000kms itself. The clutch pedal rubber had come off the pedal. The quality of material used is very poor, they tend to fail very often. Mahindra has not taken good care in building the vehicle, and not taken any efforts in testing it before it reaches the customer. This vehicle is not built as rugged as the mm540, and I can tell you that because we had owned one.
This vehicle is not worth the price tag, since it has no competition I believe Mahindra is taking this car leniently. Producing cars of such low standards is a bad reputation for the company. I had already sent an email stating the problems but the company has not given any response so far. I would be happy if Mahindra considers customer feedback and rectifies the problems. For people who would like to buy the Thar I would suggest you take a detailed inspection, and if it meets your needs, you can go ahead in buying the vehicle.