The Mahindra Thar is almost eight years old in the market but it still manages to have many admirers across the country. Not many know that the Thar was developed on a pretty low budget and is basically a mix of the Bolero and the Scorpio under the classic Jeep outer shell. The Thar isn’t high on refinement or luxury but is well-known for its off-road capability and ruggedness. However, in spite of all the drawbacks, the Thar is a pretty aspirational vehicle for many. Today, we take a look at the REAL reasons why people buy the Mahindra Thar.
It’s a JEEP thing
The Thar really has no alternatives. There’s no other vehicle in our market that has the kind of appeal that the Thar does. Thanks to its iconic design, there’s really no other vehicle that can replace the Thar. It’s pure nostalgia in spite of having sufficiently modern internals that are fairly reliable. Maybe, the really well-heeled ones would want to spend lakhs of rupees and buy the Jeep Wrangler, which is now officially on sale in India. For everyone else, the Mahindra Thar is the only vehicle that can offer them the timeless Jeep design.
The TINA factor
For the uninitiated, TINA stands for ‘There Is No Alternative’, and there really is none in case of the Mahindra Thar. There are hardly any affordable off-roaders on sale in India, which, in turn, helps Mahindra find more buyers of this lifestyle SUV. There’s really no other well-priced off-roader like the Thar. The Maruti Gypsy, which is pretty good off the road, has a petrol engine. Moreover, it doesn’t have an aircon or a power steering, which make it even more basic than the Thar. The Force Gurkha is another direct rival of the Thar. While it has a powerful diesel engine and is a capable off-roader, it feels pretty crude to drive. Moreover, the dealership network is nothing to write home about. Next comes the Jeep Wrangler, which is basically the real deal for the Jeep lovers. However, it costs many times more and is just too expensive for almost everyone.
It’s a proper “bro” car
The Thar is a proper ‘bro’ car. It’s one vehicle that almost every man loves and wants to own at some point in his life. The Thar has that typical thuggish appeal that makes it really very cool among men. Driving around in a topless Thar is something that really has no alternative. Driving to the college or to a pub in a topless Thar with your friends in the passenger seats make you look uber cool. At least that’s what the ‘bros’ think.
There are plenty of customization options for the Thar. Its clean design and simple construction make it fairly easy for a customizer to work its magic on it. Want to give your Mahindra Thar a more macho appearance? Aftermarket rims, wider tires, light bars, bull bars, and a snorkel are the only things you need. Basically, the Thar is like a blank canvas that is waiting for the painter. You can easily customize your Thar into something that has its own distinct identity. There are only a few other vehicles that are as easily customizable as the Thar.
The Maruti Gypsy is made-to-order but many authorized dealers aren’t too keen on ordering one for you. On the other hand, Force Motors doesn’t have a wide dealership and service network, which means buying the Gurkha has its own share of hassles. The Mahindra Thar, on the other hand, is the most accessible. Mahindra has a widespread dealership network across the country. You can simply walk into a dealership and place an order; delivery mostly happens within a couple of weeks. Even getting a Thar serviced isn’t tough. You can get it serviced at any of the authorized service stations near you. The same can’t be said about the Gurkha as Force Motors has a rather flimsy dealership network and poor after-sales support.