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Old 6th May 2013, 17:49   #1
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Default Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

What had attracted me :

A new Jeep, I had expected better reliability from these rebuilt Jeeps. CJ3B and MM 550 that I had owned.

Better paintwork and finish from what can be managed in reconditioned jeeps.

Power steering and AC

A more powerful engine, about 102 - 105 bhp. I love power and torque, had reckoned it will be better than my current MM 550.

This weeked I went on an off road trip where the terrain was mud banks, slush, mud pools and soft sandy tracks on the banks of the river Ganges in Kasganj and Bdayun districts of UP.

I travelled in my 4WD Scorpio till this campsite where we were staying and then drove out in my MM 550 and a friends Thar for the offroad sessions. And during this trip the Thar dissapointed me to the core.

The Cons :

It was a hot 41 deg afternoon in Western UP on Saturday. On the Noida to Tappal section of the Yamuna Expressway I went to sit in the Thar for a while which was being driven by one of my drivers. The AC cooling in this Soft Top Thar was deplorable. Say in a 15 year old Japanese specification Mercedese 190 E where half the gas has leaked or a 30 year ols Mazda 323 of a rural Omani. A bit of cold air was blowing but it was not cool inside.

On the highway the wind drag and rattle inside the cabin was terrible.

In a three month old car the steering tie rods were making a sqealing noise.

The vehicle was wobbling, alignment was out.

The OE Bridgestone tyres performed misreably when deflated to 20 PSI while crossing the river sand bed. The near right tyre had a burst the sidewall gave away.

We had to cross through about 10 inch deep water where there was a fordable depth in a tributory of the Ganges. Tractors cross this regularly. My MM550 crossed it in one go on low 3rd gear. The Thar got bogged down, so much for the power and torque. We had to send a tractor to tow it or say drag it out of the river.

All these plastic parts are no good. The rigid plastic rear mud flap tore off while going over a small bush shrub.

The bumper design is such that a pintle hook cannot be fixed to its rear bumper, so much of an offroader. In an MM550 it can be, in fact there is.

The silencer is so low that it frequently scraps the ground.

The sidesteps are very low and they were uprooted in the sand track section itself. What are these for in a 4x4 jeep ? They dont belong here.

The Crawl ratio is so poor. Put an MM550 in 4H and 2nd gear, it will glide slowly on a rutted mud track. The powerful Thar's CRDe engine made funny rythmic breathing sounds and always screamed through in 1st gear on 4H.

And finally the worst thing happened. In a very rutted open field bouncing over small 6 inch embankment ruts the tie rod of the Thar snapped. Imagine the trouble associated with ferrying parts and a mechanic to this remote location, far side river embankment of a UP river village!

No Thar for me. I am much happier with my MM550, will spend a few thousand bucks to fabricate a new canopy, maybe get the body polished. After a couple of years if I do not find sandgripper tyres any more buy some 16 inch alloy wheels and change to Maxxis big horn or some similar tyres.

So the final diagnosis is that Thar is a failure in serious off roading.

MM550 till a Jeep Wrangler is launched and it is a real Jeep.
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Old 6th May 2013, 18:45   #2
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

to each his own. i would prefer a thar any time to the MM 550, maybe the vehicle you had travelled in was a one off freak case
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Old 6th May 2013, 19:20   #3
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Not really an earth shaking conclusion. Thar CRDe is great for highways, but MM550 is still the best option for offroading. This is the general sentiment I have observed down south. That is why I didn't find it hard to give up on Thar CDRe and pickup a MM550. If Thar CRDe was the best offroader, I would have waited until I could afford it.
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Old 6th May 2013, 21:46   #4
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Desertfox - I take it you're not a Lifestyle Segment entry ?
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Old 6th May 2013, 22:57   #5
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I think Rather than the plastic and the tie rod this sounds more why you wont buy a Thar "I travelled in my 4WD Scorpio till this campsite where we were staying and then drove out in my MM 550 and a friends Thar for the offroad sessions " & " I went to sit in the Thar for a while which was being driven by one of my drivers"

If you can maintain a Thar, 550 will ran away thats the truth and you can hide it by saying Old is gold or crawl, poor nut and bolt etc..
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Old 7th May 2013, 10:57   #6
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut View Post
Desertfox - I take it you're not a Lifestyle Segment entry ?
Not at all, I am not a lifestyle segment entry at all if that is what a typical THAR boy is.

I need a Jeep for some serious off road work. A vehicle needs to endure the beating given by off road terrain.

If the Thar has been designed to go on the beach a la aka small Suzuki Vitara or Jimmy or SWB RAV4 there are no beaches here, the sand is serious sand of the riverbank in some extremely remote area where the city boy will not dare ever.

I am not the one who puts huge woofers and music system in a Jeep wannabe lookalike clone , takes off the top and parks next to an ice cream shop with blaring disco music. Perhaps the Thar has been designed for exactly this cult.

Last edited by desertfox : 7th May 2013 at 11:03.
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Old 7th May 2013, 11:21   #7
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by sreejeshmp View Post
If you can maintain a Thar, 550 will ran away thats the truth and you can hide it by saying Old is gold or crawl, poor nut and bolt etc..
Sreejesh Bhai,
I am yet to see any serious offroaders or old timers buying Thar CRDe, why? Few months back i was contemplating to see 2 of my Jeeps to buy AC Thar, but after so many horror stories, i simply walked away. Product conception might be good but execution quality is poor than 550s era, that is the truth !

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
If the Thar has been designed to go on the beach a la aka small Suzuki Vitara or Jimmy or SWB RAV4 there are no beaches here, the sand is serious sand of the riverbank in some extremely remote area where the city boy will not dare ever.

I am not the one who puts huge woofers and music system in a Jeep wannabe lookalike clone , takes off the top and parks next to an ice cream shop with blaring disco music. Perhaps the Thar has been designed for exactly this cult.
Shahid Ji,
Even big city service centers are clueless on few issues of Thar. Thank god DB sir is helping many such victims. You second paragraph is humorous yet real.....

Shubhendra

Last edited by Shubhendra : 7th May 2013 at 11:25.
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Old 7th May 2013, 11:30   #8
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Each vehicle and each driver has his strengths and weakness. Period.

Tie Rod Breaking in sand? Or slushy sand? Only one reason I can think is the driver trying to turn the wheel when there is no space for tyres to move. Not realizing that the power steering reduces the effort needed but also multiplies abuse on tie rod ends if the wheel is continuously turned even when there is no play available.

Yes plenty of things wrong with Thar but it also shines brightly in many areas. Have used it extensively in desert and it only disappointed me once when I let it run on slushy side bank of a pond.
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Old 7th May 2013, 11:49   #9
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut View Post
Desertfox - I take it you're not a Lifestyle Segment entry ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Each vehicle and each driver has his strengths and weakness. Period.

Tie Rod Breaking in sand? Or slushy sand? Only one reason I can think is the driver trying to turn the wheel when there is no space for tyres to move. Not realizing that the power steering reduces the effort needed but also multiplies abuse on tie rod ends if the wheel is continuously turned even when there is no play available.

Yes plenty of things wrong with Thar but it also shines brightly in many areas. Have used it extensively in desert and it only disappointed me once when I let it run on slushy side bank of a pond.
Sudev Ji, what can a 105 BHP Thar do in the desert ? It can run on tracks if deflated to 20 psi and climb some small dunes. A 1.3 Gypsy with a lighter body might perform slightly better on dunes. But where in India is there a vehicle to run on the brims of dune cutting it side to side on the rims or climbing 500 ft dunes in a straight run ? Simply not possible. A desert vehicle that can really do well is a SWB weight upto 1900 Kg with a 200 to 220 bhp engine, that is where the fun begins. The only vehicle sold in India to be a desert king is the Toyota Prado LC 120. The Fortuner with its 1GRFE Petrol engine 4000 cc V6 can do well in the desert if the front bumper is taken off, otherwise the Indian Pajero with a diesel and the Pajero SPorts all are underpowered for desert use.

The list of really capable desert champion vehicles is :

Jeep Wrangler TJ,YJ or JK with 4000 cc engine
LC Prado 90, 120 SWB or LWB with 3400 V6 5VZFE or IGRFE engines
Toyota Landcruiser with 4500 I6 engine
Nissan Patrol SWB or even LWB with 4500 or 4800 engines
Mitsubishi Pajero with 3500 V 6 SWB better LWB kind of OK
Toyota FJ Cruiser - the best desert drive ever created with 4000 cc 1GRFE engine.
Suzuki Viatras with 1800 cc petrol engines offer a great P/W ratio
Toyota RAV 4 SWB

The desert fun begins here.

On team BHP I had posted an off road test drive report for FJ Cruiser on its launch day. Perhaps you would be interested in reading it.

Last edited by desertfox : 7th May 2013 at 12:01.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:21   #10
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertfox View Post
Not at all, I am not a lifestyle segment entry at all if that is what a typical THAR boy is.

If the Thar has been designed to go on the beach a la aka small Suzuki Vitara or Jimmy or SWB RAV4 there are no beaches here, the sand is serious sand of the riverbank in some extremely remote area where the city boy will not dare ever.

I am not the one who puts huge woofers and music system in a Jeep wannabe lookalike clone , takes off the top and parks next to an ice cream shop with blaring disco music. Perhaps the Thar has been designed for exactly this cult.
As for target profiling - I am 32 years old, married, no kids, walk to office since it is near and wanted a car just for late night drives (now am regular at OTR's) My other car is a Mercedes ML350 and the Getz will shortly be replaced by a Polo 1.2 TSi. I have spent close to 2L+ already on the Thar and have visibility of another 20-30k.

So I don't know whether I am the typical customer or not but I love my Thar because of which someone like me got "introduced to Jeeping" and OTR's which otherwise would never have happened. Being fairly engineering savvy I understand the shortcomings of the Thar as an offroader, so for the rundown Jeep that I will be buying and building a few years down - I can only thank Mahindra that they launched the Thar.

Whenever you are in Delhi, I invite you to ride with me. I will take you out to the poshest markets in South Delhi where people don't even blink at the sight of Merc's, Audi's, and Beemers. And the same people will not only stop and stare, but walk up to me and compliment me on the vehicle. Conversations with strangers on the Jeep is an almost everyday occurrence - but yes, could be because of the way I have modified it - but a major reason is the fact that it IS a Jeep afterall.

Having said that - I like the humor in your post. As for me, I don't have a woofer or amp as yet - just a pair of components. But I thinking of going in for a small amp and woofer (for better SQ) since my usage has far exceeded what I had initially planned. I don't listen to disco and cannot remember the last time I bought ice-cream from an ice-cream-wallah.

Quote:
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I need a Jeep for some serious off road work. A vehicle needs to endure the beating given by off road terrain.
Bhai, you are NOT the target segment for the Thar. You never were. And you are mistaken if you think a Jeep Wrangler will serve your purpose. It never will either.

Just build your own Jeep. That's what true Jeepers do, isn't it . Like I will, one day.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:42   #11
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

At the risk of going off-topic, a stock Jeep Wrangler will run circles around ANYTHING sold in India and 90% of all 4x4s sold worldwide. And yes i truly believe it WILL serve desertfox's purpose. LOL.

Last edited by vivekjayasheel : 7th May 2013 at 13:46.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:43   #12
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I have already built up my Jeeps, earlier it used to be a CJ3B now it is a MM550 built to perfection one of the best MM550 ever created with fantastic engine, gearbox and drive train systems overhaul and this best MM550 comment comes from a guy in NIOC who owns about two dozen Jeeps inclusive of half a dozen MM550 and a Mahindra Legend.

I know the Thar is not a serious off roader like my MM550 of other 4x4 vehicles around, I wanted to buy it as a replacement for MM550 with the comforts of an AC and Power steering in view but in the end changed my mind because it is a softroader at best.

I can sit in air conditioned comfort of my Bolero, with the MM550 following, park the Bolero leave a couple of people to guard it and get into MM550 for off road sections.

I had thought that I can save on double the fuel and hassle if a Thar replaces the two, it cannot.

Lets see what Wrangler is launched here. The TJ / YJ or JK are extremery capable legendary off roaders. In India what is launched with a diesel engine needs to be seen, I have no idea yet what is coming.
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Old 7th May 2013, 13:51   #13
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Lets see what Wrangler is launched here. The TJ / YJ or JK are extremery capable legendary off roaders. In India what is launched with a diesel engine needs to be seen, I have no idea yet what is coming.
I think only the LWB 4-door version will come with engine options. The unstoppable SWB will only come with the 3.5 V6 petrol and a 6-speed manual gearbox. Or so I've heard.
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Old 7th May 2013, 14:13   #14
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

If a SWB comes with a 3.5 L petrol engine its good. This is the JK edition, and the power output is close to 200 BJP with a fuel efficiency of about 7 kmpl. With Petrol and Diesel prices going to be the same bin the next few months, the choice of fuel will hardly matter.

But I dont think Fiat - Jeep will launch the Wrangler in India without a diesel engine that can churn out 110 to 140 bhp and with a fuel consumption of 10 to 12 kmpl of diesel. The product will be aimed to displace the Thar maybe not as cheap as 7.5 Lacks but in the 10 to 12 lakhs bracket, still it will be a much superior product.

But compared to the Thar it will be as different as chalk and cheese. A real stallion not a Mule that Thar is with MM550 body, Bolero Dashboard, Scorpio front suspension, altered crawl ratio, and reduced stroke CRD engine .

Last edited by desertfox : 7th May 2013 at 14:29.
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Old 7th May 2013, 14:38   #15
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Quote:
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Not at all, I am not a lifestyle segment entry at all if that is what a typical THAR boy is.

I need a Jeep for some serious off road work. A vehicle needs to endure the beating given by off road terrain.
I'm glad you aren't. You are preaching to the converted - and Mahindra is milking lost souls (true budding 4x4 enthusiasts) by peddling a shoddy, sub-standard product at an extremely high price point.

What are your thoughts on the DI Thar?

Personally, I've derived more than half the joy of watching a beat up ol' 550 get torn down and built, and maintaining it on a consistent basis. Sure she's temperamental, but the learning along the way is immense. Built not Bought.

On a more facetious note,
Mods :
Can we fork out a separate section under cars on SUV/LifeStyle/Softroad segment vehicles? With Duster out, and Ecosport coming down the horizon..
Some great posts would include:
1. How to navigate an 8 inch deep puddle with your LifeStyler?
2. How to decide on optimal sound system for an open top Lifestyler?
3. Cubby hole comparo across multiple Lifestylers?
4. How to start your Lifestyler on a Pedder Road incline?
5. Optimal decal placement/plush toy placement
6. SUV drag racing
7. The Complete guide to Dabwali vehicles?
{append as seen fit}
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