Mahindra Thar upgraded with some functional changes

The Mahindra Thar is one of India’s toughest offroaders and a few functional changes to it have just made it tougher. Based on customer feedback, Mahindra has updated some areas of the Thar that were its weak links literally, making this rugged off-roader, slightly better. So far, there are no changes to the prices, and the Thar CRDe 4×4 continues to be available at an ex-showroom Delhi price of Rs. 7.22 lakh.

Mahindra Thar upgraded with some functional changes

What are the changes to the Mahindra Thar?

One of the biggest complaints people had with the Thar was the quality of the plastics used in the vehicle, and Mahindra has taken steps to address that. Also see: Want to learn offroading? Join Mahindra’s off-road training course

New door handles: The inside door handles (pull-type) were quite flimsy and would break with repeated use. Although these are not expensive to replace, they are a nuisance. The new door handles are of a better quality plastic that should be less prone to breakage.

AC controls: The controls for the airconditioning were again not quite up to the mark. These have been replaced by the AC controls of the Mahindra Bolero, which are of much better quality, and hence there’s a slight change in design too – with the blower speed and AC switch incorporated into one unit and the temperature control on a separate knob.

Roof crossbar: The Thar has been fitted with an X-shaped crossbar over the cabin area to reinforce the area between the A-pillar (windscreen top) and the B-pillar. Over time the B-pillar used to loosen up and develop rattles, and in some instances even cause the doors to not close properly or pop open with excessive vibration.

Rear-seats lowered: The rear seats have been lowered by 6 mm to give rear-seat occupants (two sideways facing benches) more headroom.

Easy-to-remove soft-top: The design of the soft top has been improved making it easier to remove and put back. The earlier system had pins for the front portion of the canopy that have now been changed to a four-screw system.

Mahindra Thar upgraded with some functional changes

Mahindra has replaced the auto-locking 4×4 hubs seen above with fixed flanges on the front wheels as they are stronger

Auto-locking hubs removed: The front wheels had auto-locking free-wheeling hubs (just like the Mahindra Scorpio 4×4) that automatically locked the front wheels to the drive shafts when four-wheel drive was engaged. However, these hubs were the weak-link in the 4×4 system and have known to fail in extreme 4×4 conditions. (These Borg-Warner hubs are expensive as well, costing as much as Rs. 13,500 each!) To make the Thar more reliable, it now gets permanently fixed front axle flanges – which keeps the drive shafts and the differential constantly engaged at all times. This makes the vehicle far more reliable off-road, but may take its toll on fuel economy slightly. However, given the Thar is meant as a purely recreational, rugged-used vehicle, this won’t bother owners much. Also see: Essential off-roading gear to keep in your Jeep

The brakes are another common complaint from Thar owners, saying they are not very effective. But it looks like Mahindra hasn’t worked on that at the moment.

Last year, Mahindra had updated the Thar by offering a factory-fitted air-conditioner. It also offers a hard-top option now through its dealers. The rest of the vehicle remains untouched. The Thar continues to be powered by a 2.5 litre common-rail diesel engine putting out 105 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission and manual-shift part-time 4×4 system with high and low ratio. It’s a vehicle that most off-roaders swear by.  Also read: Mahindra Thar 4×4 off-road test