Should You Consider Buying the Mahindra Thar RWD? Our Comprehensive Review
Mahinda launched its much awaited second generation Thar back in 2020. While it spoiled the buyers with multiple variants, price wise the top trims were still a bit expensive for most. Fast forward to 2023, Mahindra have played a master stroke and made the Thar even more appealing and accessible with multifold benefits.
Mahindra Thar RWD 4×2 is priced from Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base AX(O) variant. It is powered by a diesel engine and comes with a Hard top. We had the Thar LX MT variant for several days and drove it over varying terrains to pass our verdict, read on.
The Mahindra Thar RWD: A Comprehensive Review of Its Design Changes
Refreshed bumper. Gone is the 2 tone finish which the 4×4 variant sported, and the 4×2 variant has an all black matte finished bumpers at the front and back – and we love it. It maintains the overall butch persona without trying to look sophisticated. 2 new paint shades – Everest White and Blazing Bronze (our review car).
The Thar is a head turner no matter which colour it sports, however the Blazing Bronze shade simply transforms it into a showstopper, period. If you happen to own one, get used to extended gazes from other road users. The RWD variant loses the 4×4 plaque on the rear panel and the car now sports Mahindra’s new Twin Peaks emblem all around, that’s about it.
Despite the hefty price tag, the Thar 4×4 was pretty slim on creature comforts which the RWD variant does address to an extent. Losing the 4×4 transfer case and the dedicated shifter lever frees up some space for a mobile phone sized receptacle. A tall central armrest with storage has barely enough space to hold a wallet. Rear passengers get armrest with storage on either side which sit atop the wheel arches. There is also a USB charging point which is a very thoughtful addition. Integrated cup holders improve the functionality even further.
A Detailed Look at the Heart of the Mahindra Thar RWD: The D117 Engine
Major update for the Thar RWD has come in the form of the changes to the powertrain. Mahindra’s next generation 1.5 litre D117 CRDe (117 bhp) with same as before 300Nm (1750-2500 rpm) breaks cover on the RWD variant. Mated to a 6 Speed Manual transmission, in the RWD guise, the Thar does feel sprightly to drive. The fuel tank has been trimmed down to a 45 litre capacity as opposed to 57 litres while the 20 ltr DEF tank (Diesel only) is carried over.
Reduced mechanical components and a smaller engine does rob the RWD with its 0-100 performance compared to its 2.0 ltr sibling. However there is no loss in drivability in this SUV. The D117 is a likeably tractable motor and its torque surge post 1700 rpm is smile inducing.
How the Mahindra Thar RWD fares in terms of off-road performance?
Off-road capabilities in the Thar RWD still remain impressive and it handles challenging terrain with aplomb, something that a pseudo SUV will certainly not be up to. We subjected our review car to some mild off-roading over rocky terrain. With a BLD (Brake Locking Differential) equipped rear axle and ample torque at tickover, this 4×2 induces immense confidence. Vacuum assisted clutch lends it a lighter action at the pedal even though the travel is long, this coupled with the ample torque at tickover, make pottering around the city pretty comfortable.
Where the Thar feels short geared is on the highways. The D117 will be spinning at around 2500rpm while you cruise at 100 kmph in 6th (A Venue CRDe 1.5ltr manages the same at 1750rpm – just to put into perspective). A well-insulated cabin and a refined engine makes the Thar surprisingly silent at cruising speeds. A smaller engine with ample performance to boot, the RWD version returned us a respectable 14.5 kmpl with a mix of driving conditions, we saw this figure go up to 17.2 kmpl on highway only runs – impressive!
A THAR which is super VFM.
Same butch styling.
2 new smashing colours – Everest White and Blazing Bronze (Our pick).
Improved creature comforts and NVH levels.
Unmatched off road capabilities of any 4×2 SUV.
Impressive Fuel Economy .
Does not miss out on Adventure Statistics Display with torque, power, digital compass, roll & pitch gauges – cool !
IP54 dust and water resistant infotainment.
ESP, cruise control, hill hold assist, hill descent control, traction control, TPMS.
Misses out on Reversing camera, folding ORVMs, auto HVAC, rear Wash and Wipe (only Defogger)
No Automatic on the Diesel variant (6 Speed Torque converter comes with Petrol option only)
Bumpy ride quality may not be to everyone’s liking
Ingress and egress to the rear seats is still a cumbersome affair (1 touch tip down seats work effortlessly though).