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Old 9th August 2012, 11:05   #2251
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Suedehead - Wow! If a customer like you can compare Thar with a BMW X1 and then buy the Thar, what more can I ask for? Please PM me your contact number, I'll call you, I'll see your car and I'll guide you in totality. My personal opinion, please don't fit the half top, it is nowhere near the production canopy as far as engineering goes. It is just an accessory. Same comment goes for the other accessories too.
Sir, I am absolutely honoured and thrilled. I would honestly love that opportunity. You are an absolute legend and I am a bit speechless.
I have not yet figured out how to PM (Perhaps because I am a new user on Team BHP).

Best regards.
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Old 9th August 2012, 12:19   #2252
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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I have not yet figured out how to PM (Perhaps because I am a new user on Team BHP). Best regards
Dear Suedehead - thanks for your gracious comments, I appreciate. As I had said before also, I am just a normal guy doing a normal job, the small difference is that by the grace of God, I happen to understand cars quite well and fortunately work with them all the time. Please E mail me your contact number on dhabhar.behram05@gmail.com, I'll call you.

One small opinion. Please buy the standard vehicle with factory equipped AC. Please do not buy any accessories, they do not provide any value for money proposition. See the difference in the production v/s half canopy yourself, you will get convinced. Same goes for the bumpers also.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by moralfibre : 13th August 2012 at 10:37. Reason: Fixing quote.
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Old 12th August 2012, 21:01   #2253
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Default The Thar hates the tar and....

Eighty thousand kilometers on the odometer is a very scary figure, esp when its on a safari. And its doubly scary when its out of extended warranty.

With such fear, we had decided, that
1. Sometime next year we need a new vehicle
2. That next vehicle should not be a Tata
3. That next vehicle should not cost more than 12L if we sell the safari, and not more than 7.5 approx, if we do not sell our beloved white elephant.

Of course, it has to be a 4x4, and low range is an important requirement, unless the vehicle weighs less than 1500 kilos.

With Duster dusting off any plans of 4WD, there remained a few choices.
What to replace the white elephant with? Scorpio LX? Or maybe keep the elephant and buy the AC Thar at 7L odd, and spend some money fixing proper seats etc.,

So with this aim in mind, it was decided to TD the Thar. Is the Thar salvageable enough to create a proper vehicle out of it, or not?

First and formost, we really do not care two hoots about things people have fought world wars for. For example, vehicle has Independent front suspension, or or is still under british rule, no issues. Similarly, solid axle, liquid axle or gaseous axle, all are okay, as long as it works.

Our definition of a "it works" vehicle is something which can allow us to proceed in 10 inch deep snow, ford 2-3 feet of water, crawl slowly over rocks aound 8-10 inches in diameter, and take us through semi solid sand. And do all this by spending more time with us, rather than the service center. And then things like it should go left when you turn it left, rather than right. In laymen terms, we wanted a "tighter" handling, "better reliability", and little bit better offroad capability. Now the white elephant is a fine thing, but at 2450kg(me + wife + luggage + 140liters fuel + safari), it likes to sink.

So with its light weight, simple mechanicals, and "tough design", Thar seemed like an alternative to the mighty muscular mHawk, and at a price where we could keep the white elephant.

But then again, a TD is a must.
We needed a Thar which we could keep for an hour or so, do some mud plugging, and do some speed driving too.

Enter Sudev for the rescue.

So on a bright and humid sunny Sunday morning, I stand with keys to an AC thar.

The door opens with a weird noise and as I take the seat, I notice everything is very very dirty. The reason is that it was taken for a full interior wash, inside the river at Jispa. The river was muddy(monsoon you know), so there you have it.

Then the canopy was torn a bit, and there was rust here and there, but at 38000 on the odo, its a fine specimen.

However, my wife did not share my enthusiasm, and I could see a frown forming.
Nevertheless, its my turn and I first try to adjust the weird seat.
Now there is nothing wrong with the seat per se. It has a bottom, where you sit, just like all seats, and a back like all seats.

But its just like something we have on our swaraj tractor (1998 model, mind it!), and within 2 minutes, my shoulders and back are complaining.

The clutch is a bit wonky, but then multi driven vehicle, tough terrain, all sorts of drivers.... excusable. Gear shift. WEll its not bad. The slot quality is fine. But it sort of felt like slotting the gears of a very nice bus.

And then, there is the steering wheel itself. ITs huge. Its like somebody was making a steering for non power steering equipped vehicle, but then decided to fit on a power steering vehicle.

And then everything around the steering? The indicator and headlight stalks. Well people have compared it to M800. I would take offense at the insult caused to the 800. Why compare this stuff with the lovely 800.


Anyways, as I drive around noida roads, some things become clear. For example, the suspension does not work. Atleast with 2 people it does not. However, if I was transporting a buffalo to the veterinary clinic, I think the ride quality would improve, but then there would be no space for luggage.

And then the whole positioning of everything. The seat, the steering, the hand brake....
Nobody thought that how you pull the handbrake, or whats the seating position. Ergonomics....? What ergonomics. I have seen many ergonomical disasters, and in comparison, the Thar is Apoclypse now.

After some time I decide I have had enough, and now its my wifes turn. Well, the passenger seat turns out to be worse. First of all the non existant dash tries to break your knees all the time. I wonder why did they need such a long bonnet for such a small engine. Oh wait, they had to use MM550 stuff.


And then the seat itself. Instead of the large steering wheel, there is a plastic rod, which I hold on to. I have too. I do not have much faith in the seatbelts on this thing.

WE do some city driving. Engine, gearbox, drivetrain is all fine. Even the AC is good enough, but if this vehicle had a remote control, it would be ideal. If you have to sit in and drive, its a nightmare.

By now its fairly clear, that even with custom seats, and stuff, this is not salvageable. There are too many holes. The driving position, the pedal position, the way your elboy hits the door, the tiny puny dash, the visibility... this car was designed as a engine-gearbox combo. Nobody thought that somebody would actually sit and drive it. Well I am 6'2", and that could be the cause... But its a no go.

Now only one thing remains. Offroadability. Does it offroad. And then meant finding a slush ground. We have some empty spaces in noida where I have sunk the white elephant, and then extracted her with great difficulty.

AS for the Thar, it crossed all that in 2WD without much fuss. I even went back and forth just to get her stuck. Finally I could get wheelspin in 2WD. Switch for 4WD, and we are out.

Effortless 4WD drive.

Before the hour is up, the keys are returned.
This cannot be a white elephant replacement. We will keep her for 2 years more I guess.

As for the thar, when I have to transfer buffalos, I will get it. Or why not get the Maxx instead. Till then, The Thar hates the tar... and I hate the Thar.

In this day and age, such an ergonomical disaster got made, and priced at 7L....? That is the biggest wonder. A car is not just an engine and drivetrain.

IF you want a third vehicle, build a jeep for 5L.IT will fit you like a glove. a 7L thar? Naah!

Mahindra could have spent more, and given us a proper vehicle for 8L. But they chose to use the existing parts bin, and created a crude jugaad which actually has the underpinning of being a wonderful and very capable vehicle. Maybe they should send somebody abroad, and see what jeep wranglers are from inside. Till they decided to go for half hearted stuff, this is what will be made.

Such a wasted effort almost makes me weep.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 12th August 2012 at 21:03.
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Old 13th August 2012, 09:25   #2254
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

I drove the AC Thar for 700kms last month (shared with another driver), mostly on-road and an OTR event. It is an upgrade over Jeeps, but never consider it as a downgrade from SUVs. It is a long fall. In KA, you have to pay 8.5L for a barebones AC Thar. To make it family worthy, spend another 1.5L for hardtop, seats, tyres, rollcage, etc. Yeah, it does get depressing.

Last edited by Samurai : 13th August 2012 at 11:52.
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Old 13th August 2012, 09:36   #2255
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Tanveer, I agree with everything you said about the Thar. I am 6 feet tall and a friend of mine left his non AC Thar with me for a week. I started using it from Monday and could not get through the week. Thursday evening, I was down with back pain and the doctor said that it was due to un ergonomic seating position.

The seats were terribly uncomfortable and the suspension on good roads was amplifying even small undulations.

It was fun to have even public buses move out of your way and command respect but at the end of 4 days, the back pain and elbow pain from hitting the perfectly positioned exposed screw head on the door pad repeatedly, I had had enough of the Thar.

The Scorpio 4X4 makes a lot more sense or even the Vitara. It maybe petrol but you already have an efficient diesel hatch for everyday use. You would need Vitara only for your adventure trips.
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Old 13th August 2012, 10:27   #2256
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Tanveer, I agree with everything you said about the Thar. I am 6 feet tall and a friend of mine left his non AC Thar with me for a week. I started using it from Monday and could not get through the week.
I had almost made up my mind to buy the Thar. Did a long drive in a friend's Thar. I am 6 ft 4 and I can tell you that the Thar is not meant for anyone above 6ft tall. My back started aching after about 4 hours of driving. The knees hurt because the door handle is perfectly positioned to hurt your knees. Took me two days to recover from all the pain. Generally its a health hazard for tall people I guess.

With a heavy heart I have had to put off the plan to buy the Thar for now. I will wait for Mahindra to fix some of these nagging issues.

There is a talk that Mahindra is upgrading the Thar with better interiors, handling and such. Has anyone else heard this? SPIKE.ARRESTOR ?
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Old 13th August 2012, 11:40   #2257
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

@TSK1979 - I agree with a lot of what you said.

I am a Thar owner and I like the Thar...its not as bad for me to drive (but that is probably since I am a skinny 5'8").

I have spent about 2.5L above the price of the Thar and have made it fairly comfortable for me and the family - good luck doing it for 1.5L though.

But as much as I like it, the wife hates it even more! So in one year of ownership, I have clocked just about 6000kms.

One thing Mahindra should have done with this vehicle is what Honda did with the Civic in the early 90s - they priced the vehicle cheaply and made it a modders dream - the number of civic rice rockets I have seen in the Middle East and the US is unbelievable. Mahindra should have priced the Thar at 5L and then released mods for everything - HT, bumpers, seats, engine, rock sliders, snorkels, steering wheels and more and made a killing! They could have made it a plug and play machine with all aftermarket parts - which would have worked to their advantage. Its what I would have done if I had been in charge. It seems that they kind of thought of doing it and stopped halfway which is why you get that "engine-gearbox only" feeling.

I do know that as soon as the Wrangler is released (hopefully next year) I will be dropping the Thar like a hot rock and buying a Wranger! So, keep in touch if you want a used Thar - I am willing and happy to let go of it cheap...

Regards,
Manas
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Old 13th August 2012, 11:47   #2258
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Default

Trying to use existing parts bin in automobile manufacturing is the norm nowadays, unless volumes are justified, no auto manufacturer would go for a new part design.

Having said that, they could have used Scorpio switchgear in their Top End Bolero [VLX] and the THAR to make their vehicles better.

And the OnRoad Price needs to be under 6L to make it attractive. M&M customisation does NOT offer any off road improving parts like lockers, lift kits etc. Instead they sham the market with all bling stuff.

Steering feedback is depressive and so is the over servo-ed braking system. Clutch and Gear throws could be better [ i meant lighter clutch and a shorter GB shift]

I hope M&M seriously look into these issues and give us a better THAR.

Until then, I'm in waiting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by manasm View Post
I will be dropping the Thar like a hot rock and buying a Wranger! So, keep in touch if you want a used Thar - I am willing and happy to let go of it cheap...
Please PM your cheap price and if it meets my expectations, you have a deal

Last edited by Samurai : 13th August 2012 at 11:53. Reason: back-to-back post. Learn to use multi-quote feature
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Old 13th August 2012, 11:53   #2259
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

That is one honest review Manas. Thanks!
I am also in the market looking for a new 4X4 tourer and Thar isn't there yet. I had one with me for a few days. While it was parked at my place and after over-night rains, i find water at the front footwell and at the rear flap.
So, the only one i am left with is the Scorpio LX 4wd. Although, i would have to spend some cash even on this one to make it touring worthy, what i sorely miss is an ABS on it.
I just so wish they provide a Scorpio LX 4wd + ABS at an extra cost. That would be the best tourer at around 10L price point (Ex-showroom).
@Tanveer: Do check the LX 4wd. With some modifications to the seats, you should find it comfortable.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 13th August 2012, 11:54   #2260
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Almost agree with tsk1979. Out of the 38k odd on odo I must have driven is 50% of the time.

THAR shines when you are driving through back of beyond with no road near by. BUT to get there in the first place is a pain. To me, considering MM5xx series were sold at ~5lac, the price is not that much out of acceptable range.
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Old 13th August 2012, 12:58   #2261
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by manasm View Post

I do know that as soon as the Wrangler is released (hopefully next year) I will be dropping the Thar like a hot rock and buying a Wrangler! So, keep in touch if you want a used Thar - I am willing and happy to let go of it cheap...
Jeep Wrangler is being planned in India by TaMo. Should be twice the cost of the Thar (if you are to believe the reports on the internet).

The Thar is great value, but its the nagging things like the seat ergonomics and passenger health and safety that needs looking into. The rest can be mod jobs.

In my opinion, the following have to be fixed on the factory floor

Issues that need mandatory fixes:
  1. The steering centering should be corrected.
  2. ABS and Airbags should be factory fitted or made available as OEM
  3. Brakes need to be tweaked for the better. Above 80, the Thar brakes are not quite enough (but then the early Scorpios also had the same issue)
  4. Issues like screw-heads injuring the elbow and the door knob injuring the knees need to be fixed
  5. 4WD shifter knob rattles against the driver leg. The only option is to keep the foot under the clutch pedal which can be a significant safety issue in case of sudden braking.
Nice to haves:
  1. The front seats need to be more ergonomically enhanced for long drives
  2. Dashboard and controls needs a bit of a facelift with a bit of thought on the placement of the controls.
These cannot be mods since they impact the platform and safety of the vehicle. The rest can be mods.

I am sure that with the Wrangler, one would not have to worry about any of the above.

With Wrangler poised to enter the market, the Thar will finally has some competition. And hopefully that can make the product better.
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Old 13th August 2012, 14:07   #2262
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Default Re: The Thar hates the tar and....

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

With such fear, we had decided, that
1. Sometime next year we need a new vehicle
2. That next vehicle should not be a Tata
3. That next vehicle should not cost more than 12L if we sell the safari, and not more than 7.5 approx, if we do not sell our beloved white elephant.

Of course, it has to be a 4x4, and low range is an important requirement, unless the vehicle weighs less than 1500 kilos.
I don't think the Thar was ever going to do it for you once you'd done all those long trips in the White Elephant. Why? Even if everything else was perfect, you'd miss the space you are used to having in the Safari. You rarely see seasoned road hogs downgrading in space and the Thar has very little usable space in the rear. We figured that out in June, with just two people in the Thar and luggage it was not fun to do the Changthang loop with around 50 liters of extra Diesel onboard. The loops you guys do are crazier, requiring at least what, 80-liters? You're better off towing a camper for that.

I don't think there are any sane upgrade options from a Safari in the price range you've mentioned (the Scorpio 4x4 LX won't cut it due to the cramped front). Perhaps, it makes sense to keep an eye out for a good used Pajero?
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Old 15th August 2012, 14:47   #2263
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

can anyone share with me the part numbers for the bliestein shocks B6 for the Mahindra Thar CRDe. Also if there are any other brands available OME, Rancho, Skyjacker etc that i can use on my thar.

any help appreciated on this.
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Old 16th August 2012, 09:56   #2264
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Default Re: The Thar hates the tar and....

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
First and formost, we really do not care two hoots about things people have fought world wars for. For example, vehicle has Independent front suspension, or or is still under british rule, no issues. Similarly, solid axle, liquid axle or gaseous axle, all are okay, as long as it works.
Dear Tanveer - I just loved your post. I still can't figure out why people fought a "World War". Your "Weight Reduction" proposals of liquid (phase 1) and gaseous (phase 2) axles need serious review I say!.

Dear all - I have read all your brickbats on this page and I respect your opinions on the product. However, my take on my Thar MH01V521 was completely different, read for yourself:

Mumbai - Nasik, 179 kms in 2 hours and 5 minutes, week after week after week!
AKC / EXAMM 2010 conquered with elan and panache!
A Japanese race prepped Honda Civic not able to keep up on a winding highway!
But then, 521 was 521, the "real" Thar! .

That said, your recent comments have given me a golden opportunity, so thanks. Now, I shall:

REPEAT MY DREAM! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 16th August 2012, 11:01   #2265
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Default Re: The Thar hates the tar and....

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

REPEAT MY DREAM! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Sir, you last dream itself is a cannon in the right hands, this i experienced in Speedys thar at Mcube , cant wait to see your next dream come true and i am sure ill lay my destructive hands on it and be proven wrong again by not being able to break it .
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