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Old 6th January 2011, 11:29   #91
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Hi Ramkya,

Have been trying to get someone at M&M to get back to me. But no response from anyone about a custom HT. I am working on a HT design, but there is no point in going ahead with it if it voids a warranty.

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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai DB,

Nice to see you respond to the criticism, many of them constructive. I am sure you're on a packed schedule, a few suggestions you may consider:
  1. The least that is expected from your ASC guy is correct information on the technicals, pricing and features that differentiate it from other products. You may have difficulty in reach for an eye-ball training session, focus on a few guys and train them intensively. By giving illogical / stupid answers and spreading confusions, the ASC guys are damaging the M&M brand. If you need training ideas, speak to me, you have my number. Use an LMS platform, use the web, certify them and ensure minimum standards are achieved in knowledge and skills before they talk to customers about Thar or touch the product on the shop floor.
  2. If you cannot fit the AC/ Hardtop due to whatever reasons officially and quickly; source, validate and recommend vendors who would love to fill the demand supply gap, ther's a void now. If you don't, somebody is going to do a local job on it with dangers of failure; the minus would rub-off on the brand. Even if the neighbourhood garage does the jugad job, the owners / mechanics would pass it on as inherent technical weakness of Thar. This is a serious threat, wonder if your SWOT escaped this point?
  3. Delay the actual sale of the product until you sort out the interior issues, this is going to hit the M&M brand adversely. I'm a satisfied customer with a Scorp and and have expectations from the M&M badge, I feel let down with the technical and cosmetic weak points in the Thar. It has great positives, but then that's what the money is paid for.
  4. Those who have already bought or booked, assure them the fit and finish refinements, when they come, FOC, M&M can afford to invest in brand building.
After all that is said and done, the Thar has the underpinning of a winner, the minor problems can be overcome with more investments at least on the cosmetic finish. You need to seriously dispell the Jugad image of the product.

--Ramky
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Old 6th January 2011, 11:33   #92
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post

Let me summarize again:
  • A/C: is a MUST
  • Hard TOP: MUST for city buyers. Come one, I am sure your vendors can make a decent FRP H/T and it will not cost the moon for MM.
  • Decent quality interiors, fit-n-finish. Customers don't expect absolute luxury here, they can be spartan/basic but should not look like a JUGAAD/afterthought.
And yes, all this should be at the same price point. You get these in the Thar and your folks have a winner in your hands here that will appeal to a wide segment of the market.
I'll be among the first to make a booking if these are incorporated, like you say, at the same price point.

I'd like the Thar to do it all, city hopper, highway cruiser and capable off-roader. Mahindra has a winner on their hands which is already capable of all these uses - which no other offering in India's market can do. The lack of an AC and lockable hard top make it impractical for pretty much any use other than off-roading. I don't want to fry in summers without an AC. I want a HT to keep the vehicle secure and this will allow me to install some ICE. Without a HT, I'll have to install a HU in the tool box and protect the speakers with steel grille.

I'm already imagining those rusted seat rail edges tearing away at my excited son's ankles. Is the twist at the end of the rail the only thing preventing the seat from coming off the rails?


I've not seen the Thar in the flesh as yet, but the off-center steering is another bugbear. The other ergonomics (indicator stalk) and heaven knows what else are not heart-warming either.


I'd like a trouble-free ownership experience, free of niggles and rattles. I can imagine reaching over while driving to slam that glove box shut after it pops open only to have it fall to the floor.
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Old 6th January 2011, 11:38   #93
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

thanks for the spectacular and probably most awaited review in the forum.

the number of pages ANY THREAD WITH THE WORD THAR runs into shows the level of interest about this vehicle among the forum public.

as many of you would have commented, i feel M&M has come out with a good vehicle in comparison to a traditional MM540 BUT , BUT, the CRDE version, given that it is being projected as a lifestyle vehicle, could have gone much further in terms of

1) interior fit and finish
2) driver passenger ergonomics
3) storage and comforts like a/c
4) hard top/front facing seats.

If this vehicle can do 90% what regular Jeeps can do ( though I doubt that 90% figure ), and is targetted at the "casual/occational" offroader, M&M could have spent some more time on the interiors

I hope they will in due course..
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Old 6th January 2011, 11:39   #94
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Great Review.

Superb

As mentioned Offroading requirments of 95% of the users will be covered by the Thar, but as a lifestyle vehicle the inteiors quality and absence of AC is a major shortcoming.

This requires a removable Hard roof, AC and even better garnishing. Mahindra should offer these as original accessories and even if it cost Rs. 1-1.5L extra over this the lifestyle guys will go for it. Else they do have the Xenon Option, and that makes an even better statement with AC, better plastics and interiors (even though they too are not perfect) - expecially if true off terrain requirements don't exist.
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Old 6th January 2011, 12:09   #95
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Thanks Khan and Tejas for a wonderful review, with great attention to detail. For a person like me with no offroading knowledge, this sure was a lot of useful information.

The kind of detail you guys went into to point out the good and the bad deserves applause.

That aside, omission of A/C and hardtop are glaring, and even as a lifestyle vehicle these can be dealbreakers. I would love own someday, though.

Between, what is the official seating capacity of the Thar for registration? Sorry in advance for the ignorance.
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Old 6th January 2011, 12:17   #96
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
I'll be among the first to make a booking if these are incorporated, like you say, at the same price point.

==================
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Completely agree on your points, I hope M&M is listening, as most forum members are pointing towards the same key areas.

Last edited by Jaggu : 6th January 2011 at 12:25. Reason: Please avoid Quoting the entire large post, especially once with images and video. Readability issue.
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Old 6th January 2011, 12:29   #97
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Between, what is the official seating capacity of the Thar for registration? Sorry in advance for the ignorance.
AFAIK it will be registered as a 7 seater.
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Old 6th January 2011, 12:32   #98
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Originally Posted by manasm View Post
Hi Ramkya,
Have been trying to get someone at M&M to get back to me. But no response from anyone about a custom HT. I am working on a HT design, but there is no point in going ahead with it if it voids a warranty.
My experience with M&M has been good, they listen, are talking to customers, the R&D team is accessable and has the track record of surprises; 10 year old model like Scorp is still running strong whereas the life cycle of other models are much shorter. I feel they will come up with solutions, will not be quick enough for you, may not be perfect, but would be livable. I'd wager you'd run out of patience and fabricate a HT anyway.

If they don't respond to market calls, this would become a classical case study of "taking the customer for granted, not matching customer expectations and not delivering the brand promise". If they do, this would become a case study for "listening to customer".

--Ramky
=======
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:07   #99
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Really shocking to see this kind of quality of plastics and materials in the THAR! Well can we expect more from M&M. ITs not that they are giving the THAR free. It cost about Rs 7.2 lakhs plus in Blore. After seeing these pictures, don't even feel like going for a TD.

M&M have to get their act together. They seriously need to get someone better in ergonomics division ( shocking to see the indicator stalk is nearly touching the a/c console.) The rear number plate looks like someone bent it and put it there as an after thought.

Its like they have put some cheap plastics as a so called dashboard. Better to call it a Jugarrd THAR.

Now start comparing the same to a nice JEEP(USA) and see the fit and finish is leagues ahead.

Thank god the Scorpio is much better finished atleast the new ones. Was amazed at the soundproofing done inside the cab!
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:11   #100
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Khan, Tejas, GTO

I see many non offroaders visiting this section than the 4x4 section, rightly so - this section is the cream of all threads in Tbhp. And more so, many such new-to-4wds are showing interest to buy one, at least in this thread. I feel to make this test drive and review a complete one you should add more inputs to newbies to such kind of vehicle.

1) F.E figures - onroad and off road. (not many newbies would realize that ~10Kmpl in city would go down to 3-4Kmpl in 4W-L, my guesstimation, try to get real measured figures)

2) Standard maintenance costs - Oil service like a scorpio, yes, but other known issue parts and their costs like the CV, Clutch, etc...

3) Please Highlight the case of warranty - In the featured green-goblin, 'IF' this were a customers vehicle, and say a part like ECU, water pump, Universal joint or any other part had failed (not physically damaged from bashing) - the MASS would refuse a claim because it is visible it had been offroad. Where does M&M draw a line for such claims?

4) Also, in future if we ever get the Mdi 4x4, please post a 'competitor' post. Also, post comparision data with available lifestyle vehicles like Xenon, Getaway, TL 4x4, even the scorpio 4x4 and safari 4x4 and gypsy - the (newbie) reader needs to know all his options besides the Thar.
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:22   #101
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Awesome review, Thanks to Khan and Tejas for investing their time and energy to do this review.

Thar is on my radar for the last 2 years and was patiently waiting for its launch. But after the launch, I am quite disappointed as I was considering it as a replacement for my Bolero. The reason for my disappointment is because of the interiors and absence of A/c and HT. I was expecting it at least par with my Bolero SLX terms of interiors.

I am used to M&M vehicles for the last 20 years or more, and quite familiar with lack of finishing in their product. Then came the Bolero in year 2000 which was a marked improvement from earlier vehicles in terms of fit and finish and comfort, since then I am driving a Bolero. Then came the Scorpio which was again an improvement from Bolero. Now after 11 years of Bolero launch, M&M launched the Thar which is supposed to be a lifestyle vehicle with pathetic interiors. It has taken them back by decades in terms interiors when every other manufacturer getting it better on every launch of their products.

I dont think it has anything to do with the cost, it is the mindset of some of the guys in M&M, nothing else. The mechanical team has done a wonderful job, the entire effort of the mechanical team is spoilt by the rest of the team, it is very tragic IMO. Thar as a product has enormous potential, provided M&M takes care of these simple things.

M&M with your enormous resources, is this what you can offer in a lifestyle vehicle? Hope to see better interiors in Thar which can be easily accomplished by M&M, but why they are not doing it really surprises me, that too after working on this vehicle for over 2 years.

What I liked in Thar is its compact size (even shorter than my Bolero ), 4x4 with CRDe. For me, it has to be my only vehicle for daily use, mostly in city, rarely in OTR situation may be twice or thrice a year. So the basic requirement are A/c, HT and an interior at least like my Bolero SLX . I am not willing to pay more for these from the current published rate. Hope M&M is listening and hope that my waiting period will be shorter.
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:33   #102
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post

1) F.E figures - onroad and off road. (not many newbies would realize that ~10Kmpl in city would go down to 3-4Kmpl in 4W-L, my guesstimation, try to get real measured figures)
Well, we didn't really get down to measure the actual FE. However, according to our guesstimate, it should be around 7-8kmpl. This is with approx 250kms on road and 100kms off road/dirt track.

In addition to more consumption off the road, the Thar engine wants to be gunned to the max on the road as well, thus the FE again goes down. Sedate driving will definitely give a much better and respectable FE for a diesel jeep with no aerodynamic properties.
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:36   #103
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The more I read about Thar, the more my interest shifts from CRDE to MDI, is it me only or are there more like me in the forum?
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Old 6th January 2011, 13:46   #104
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As I was riding down on my bike today, I saw a Mahindra Maxximo at the signal. I just glanced inside and had a look at the dashboard. Believe me the quality, fit and finish, is way better than the dashboard in the THAR! Even the door panels looked really nice. Not too many gizmos, just plain and simple, but surely much better than the photos of the Thar I have been seeing posted here.
For Mahindra which is highlighting the Thar as a life style vehicle, the quality of the interiors leaves much to be desired.
Having driven a Bolero for the past 6 years, I would have to say that the quality of the interiors though not on par with some of the later versions of vehicles, is many times better than the one seen on the Thar.
The guys at MM really need to pull up their socks and do something about this fast, or they may stand to loose a lot of customers!
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:14   #105
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Guys - congrats on a superb report with fine attention to the minutest detail in your review/report. Very well put together indeed. Enjoyed reading it and looking at your pictures. WELL DONE!!!

I appreciate M&M's effort in making this vehicle happen.

But I cannot abide their obvious compromises on the quality, safety aspects, fit, finish and overall attention to detail. The interiors are worse than even the first gen MM540! The ergonomics look completely out of whack. Safety?? - bit of a joke really.

If the Thar were to be offered for export to even a "Semi-Developed Country" I doubt very much that it would pass muster.

M&M really needs to get its act together and design and build something where quality is given top priority.

After all, this is a 7 lac Rupee vehicle we are talking about!!

Apart from the engine and the Borg Warner Manual 4WD system and the other technical bits and pieces, there is NOTHING else in it, to recommend this vehicle. One might be better off buying an used 4WD MM550 DP and bringing that up to scratch, given the quality of fit and finish in this brand new Thar!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 6th January 2011 at 14:17.
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