Off the beaten track lies adventure. The off-roading enthusiast, for that reason, is looking only for the best off-road cars in India. Today, we look at Mahindra Thar and Maruti Suzuki Jimny, and find out what draws off-roaders to them.
In this article, we will share
- What an off-roading enthusiast looks for in a car
- Mahindra Thar vs Maruti Suzuki Jimny – an in-depth look at their variants, features, and off-roading capabilities
- How to pick the right car for you
What an Offroading Enthusiast Looks for in a Car
Here’s what to look for in a car as an off-roading enthusiast:
- Drive system – What drive system does the vehicle have (FWD, AWD, or 4X4)
- Ground clearance – the car should have high ground clearance to tackle uneven terrains
- Low range gearing – the car should have low range gearing to allow the vehicle to drive at lower speeds while still operating the usable power band/RPM of the entire engine
- Locking differential – the vehicle should have differential locking for better traction when driving on soft, muddy or uneven surfaces
- Engine power and torque – the engine should have adequate power and generate enough torque
- Safety – safety features are important, especially when traveling through challenging terrains
- Comfort and convenience – the vehicle should offer good comfort, as well as convenience features
An offroading enthusiast seeks a vehicle built to conquer challenging terrains or water-wading with ease. Key attributes include a powerful engine with rapid torque response, 4WD or AWD capabilities, and substantial ground clearance in top SUVs for off-roading. Approach and departure angles are vital for tackling rugged terrains without scraping the vehicle’s underbody.
Differential locking and low-range gearing are essential for superior traction in off-road vehicles. Additionally, safety features such as ABS, ESC, and hill hold assist enhance confidence during offroading adventures.
Why Mahindra Thar and Maruti Suzuki Jimny are Popular
Both the Mahindra Thar and Maruti Suzuki Jimny are highly regarded in the off-roading community. The Thar, with its robust design and powerful engine, has been a legacy SUV for off-road aficionados in India. Its iconic design and adaptability on treacherous terrains have earned it a loyal fan base.
Meanwhile, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny, known for its compact design, showcases surprising off-road capabilities. Its AWD system, combined with impressive ground clearance and torque response, makes it a fierce competitor.
The Jimny’s relatively compact size makes it agile, allowing for nimble maneuvers on tricky paths, making it a favorite among off-road enthusiasts.
Mahindra Thar and Maruti Suzuki Jimny Variants Shortlist in Rs 12-15 Lakh Range
For Mahindra Thar, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 11 September 2023|
|LX 4-Str Hard Top Diesel RWD||₹12,04,000|
|AX Opt 4-Str Convert Top Diesel||₹14,44,000|
|LX 4-Str Hard Top||₹14,56,000|
For Maruti Suzuki Jimny, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 11 September 2023|
Mahindra Thar LX 4-Str Hard Top Diesel RWD
Although equipped with RWD, this variant misses out on 4WD, a crucial offroading feature. However, its strong engine performance and safety features like ABS and ESC make it a considerable option. You can also read how the Thar compares with Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara as an off-roading vehicle.
Mahindra Thar AX Opt 4-Str Convert Top Diesel
A genuine offroading beast with 4WD, impressive torque, and quick engine responsiveness. Its convertible top adds flair to the adventure, making it an exciting pick.
Mahindra Thar LX 4-Str Hard Top
This 4WD variant stands out with its powerful engine and comprehensive offroading attributes like differential locking and low-range gearing. We also have our guide to the best Thar variants for off-roading.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny Zeta
With AWD, decent ground clearance, and an engine that delivers moderate power, this Jimny variant is a balanced choice for offroading enthusiasts looking for agility and performance.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny Zeta AT
Sharing the same offroading features as the Zeta variant but with the added convenience of an automatic transmission, this variant is suitable for those who prefer automatic rides. You can read how the Jimny compares with Mahindra Scorpio-N as an off-roading car.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny Alpha AT
This top-tier Jimny variant provides the same attributes as the Zeta AT but comes with additional enhancements in interior comfort and design.
Our Pick for the Best Variant Among Mahindra Thar and Maruti Suzuki Jimny for Offroading Enthusiasts
The Mahindra Thar AX Opt 4-Str Convert Top Diesel emerges as the frontrunner. Boasting 4WD, a powerful engine with quick responsiveness, and differential locking, it’s tailor-made for challenging terrains, and mild to serious off-roading.
The convertible top adds an element of fun, letting enthusiasts experience nature in all its raw beauty. Its competitive pricing, coupled with the promise of Mahindra’s rugged durability, makes it the ideal pick for offroading adventurers.
The Top 3 Choices
- Mahindra Thar AX Opt 4-Str Convert Top Diesel
- Mahindra Thar LX 4-Str Hard Top
- Maruti Suzuki Jimny Zeta
|Attribute||Mahindra Thar AX||Mahindra Thar LX||Maruti Suzuki Jimny Zeta|
|Engine Power (BHP)||130||150||103.39|
|Engine Torque (Nm)||300||300||134.2|
|Hill Hold Assist||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Low Range Gearing||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How to Pick the Right Car for You
- The Thar AX Opt 4-Str Convert Top Diesel stands out for its pure offroading prowess.
- The Thar LX 4-Str Hard Top offers similar capabilities but with a hard top.
- The Jimny Zeta, with its agility and AWD, offers a different off-roading experience, emphasizing nimbleness.
All three variants are stellar choices, ensuring thrilling off-roading escapades while not compromising on safety and performance.
If you’re interested in reading more such face-to-face comparisons of popular car variants, head over to our Buying Advice section.