2020 Mahindra Thar review: Iconic off-roader makes an impressive comeback
After a long hiatus of 10 years, Mahindra & Mahindra has finally introduced its second-generation Thar in India. The iconic off-roader retains the aesthetics of the original model while featuring a modern design, an updated cabin, and powerful BS6-compliant petrol and diesel engine options. We tested the new Thar across various terrains, and long story short, it has made an impressive comeback.
The new Thar retains the signature boxy design of the original model but in a refreshed avatar. It is fairly compact, measuring under 4m in length, but everywhere else it is bigger and more muscular. There is a lot more style thanks to the new 7-slat grille, rounded headlamps, heavy-duty 18-inch alloys, and three new roof options: fabric soft-top, convertible soft-top, and hard-top.
When you open the heavy door and climb into the Thar, you are greeted with a simple yet functional cabin. The dashboard looks industrial with an all-black finish but the materials are fairly premium and the layout is pleasantly spacious. Mahindra says some of the switches are water-resistant, meaning you can even clean the interiors after an off-road session.
The modern design elements and updated interiors of the Thar are complemented by some new tech and safety features. It has a 7-inch touchscreen console with smartphone connectivity, a tire pressure monitoring system, height adjustable driver's seat, roof mounted speakers, rear parking sensors, dual airbags as standard, and forward-facing rear seats among other features.
The 2020 Thar is offered with a 150hp, 2.0-liter turbo-petrol engine and a 130hp, 2.2-liter diesel mill. It also gets a new 6-speed automatic transmission while a 6-speed manual and 4x4 drivetrain is standard. The SUV is very easy to drive and the new engines also make it fast. The 226mm ground clearance and 650mm wading depth allow you to explore new terrains.
Thanks to its improved power, smooth transmission, and the all-wheel-drive system, the new Thar is great for off-roading and a breeze on the city roads. That said, it is not like a Kia Seltos or Creta, and the 3-door setup means it is limiting for some people. But Mahindra has managed to make the new Thar even more desirable without alienating its core audience.