A facelifted version of the Mahindra Thar off roader was recently spotted at Nashik, Maharashtra. Incidentally, Nashik hosts a Mahindra factory from where the likes of the Scorpio and Thar roll out. Test mules of various Mahindra SUVs are a constant sight in and around the factory. Coming to the facelifted Thar, there are few visual differences between the new version and the current model. Some parts of the SUV have been camouflaged indicating that some design elements could be changed. The soft top also features a slightly revised design, what with the rear of the canvas top getting an angled look compared to the squarer design that the current model features. A hard top remains elusive though.
While there has been some talk about Mahindra working on fitting the 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin scroll turbocharger equipped diesel engine to the Thar in order to gain excise duty benefits, this is a move that enthusiasts will not like. The SUV is an iconic vehicle in Mahindra’s range and doing away with the 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine (105 Bhp-247 Nm), known for its peppy nature and rev happy performance, for the more sedate 1.5 liter diesel motor (98.6 Bhp-240 Nm), could negatively affect the off roader’s brand value. Also, larger engines with better low down torque are more suited for off roading, where crawling with a small capacity motor calls for revised gearing.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of areas in which the vehicle can be improved. Fit and finish levels on the SUV’s interiors are far from satisfactory and using better materials on the innards can go a long way in giving the vehicle better appeal among lifestyle SUV buyers. Also, the braking is another department where the Thar can do with improvement. The hard top option, currently available only as an accessory from Mahindra Customization, if made more easily available through dealer channels, will find make the off roader more practical as a daily ride. Apart from the CRDe model, Mahindra also sells a more utilitarian 2.5 Liter DI diesel motor (63 Bhp-195 Nm) equipped variant of the SUV. The Thar DI is likely to be unchanged given its positioning as a people mover meant for semi-urban and rural markets.