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Old 6th January 2011, 14:14   #106
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Why no internal lever to open the bonnet? I know a soft top, no HT option makes it a waste but then when we do get a HT. One will have to do jugaad to lock the bonnet. Orelse bye bye battery. I understand the present set up is safer in OTR conditions. But then this is a lifestyle vehicle. Also I remember it being present earlier.

Voted 5 star.
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:19   #107
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
WE SHALL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ENSURE THAT THAR SHALL SUCCEED IN THE MARKETPLACE.
BD with a 2wd version, improved interiors, a/c and hardtop options from factory I think you will be well on your way to enhancing the Thar's chances of making it at the box office !

The finish must at the very least be like your similarly proced Bolero's
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:31   #108
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Why no internal lever to open the bonnet?
It has an internal bonnet opening mechanism tucked away on the driver's side below the dash.
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:44   #109
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
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.
I was surprised when i spoke to Khan regarding this. Even scorpio's when gunned give similar mileage with AC. Then why Thar inspite of being lighter has such low FE figures. Yes it is true the engine is really rev happy but such a huge drop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
It has an internal bonnet opening mechanism tucked away on the driver's side below the dash.
Here i would definitely ask M&M to copy gypsy system, move the lever inside the dash and make that also lockable. Especially in the soft top.
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:46   #110
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Hats off, Janaab Khan and Dr. Tejas Saheb. One of the best reviews ever!

Around 6 months back, my three friends and I kept money aside to make a full payment on the Thar the day it would be launched. Thanks to no AC, no HT, horrendous fit/ finish/ material quality used, misaligned steering position and lack of vehicle security features two of my friends have washed their hands off the Thar for good.

However, I'll still buy the Thar the day Thar is offered with an AC, HT and better fit and finish. I wonder how many potential customers Mahindra will lose before this happens (if it ever happens).

PS: An immobiliser alongwith the above would be nice, but let Mahindra first come up with the above basics at least.
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:53   #111
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
It has an internal bonnet opening mechanism tucked away on the driver's side below the dash.
Hey thanks missed that in the initial pics.
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:56   #112
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Hi Discoverwild,

Hope I could help you.

Regards,

Arka
Thanks, Arka. You are always a tremendous help. To bug you more, I have sent you a PM.
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:01   #113
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Dear All – I have read all your comments in detail and I would like to share some thoughts with you. Before you start reading, I would also like to mention to you that I am not trying to justify anything. If you read my comments carefully, you will understand everything.

I have been saying many times and I am saying this again today that in order to be able to sell a vehicle in the Indian market, it must meet the current CMVR, or “Central Motor Vehicle Rules”. CMVR consists of a variety of requirements for which tests are conducted on a representative vehicle. Vehicles are certified in various categories. The category for vehicles to be registered with a white number plate is technically known as “M1” category. These M1 category of vehicles, have to compulsorily meet the most critical and most stringent CMVR requirements. Thar is certified for registration in the M1 category in India.

Let me give you one example. There is a test called the “Head Impact Test”. M1 category vehicles must meet this test. This test is not mandatory for other categories of vehicles in which we could have homologated Thar for you but then you would have got a yellow number plate and nobody would have bought the vehicle. This test consists of a ball which is around 150 mm in diameter, which is smashed against the instrument panel at a particular angle / orientation / velocity. It is essentially required that the force generated must not exceed a certain value of “G” in a time of “T” milliseconds. In order to meet this test, we have incorporated the long rubber strip on the instrument panel. I hope now you will appreciate why the strip is there. It is mentioned in the homologation document, without which your local RTO will not register your vehicle. I have seen that in some vehicles, the strip is not mounted properly. We have taken up this issue with our concerned supplier already for corrective action.

Let me give you another example. This is what you want, the AC. Personally, I would want it too. I have mentioned time and again that the vehicle is “AC ready”. It is a conscious decision to introduce the vehicle in “AC ready” configuration because please remember that everything finally comes at a cost. As the vehicle is “AC ready”, we have already given you the AC ducts, the AC blower motor, the AC cooling coil housing, an idler pulley in place of the compressor, the cutouts required in the dash panel to incorporate the AC pipes etc. All these parts are already fitted on the vehicle as standard equipment. Their cost is included in the cost of the base vehicle. Now, read carefully. For incorporating the ducts, we gave you the Instrument Panel (IP). We have derived the Thar IP from the Bolero IP. Due to the nature of the windshield of the Thar being what it is (flat) which we did not change because we wanted to essentially retain the outer shape of the classic MM540 vehicle; we have reworked the Bolero IP to suit Thar. You can always say that we could have made a brand new injection molded IP for the Thar but I would like to bring to your notice that a new IP is a capital intensive proposition and runs into crores of rupees and a development time of more than a year. I obviously cannot disclose the actual amount; I can only say that if I had that kind of money, I could comfortably retire for the rest of my life! Even if someone who won “Kaun Banega Crorepati” were to make the IP, the money would not be sufficient. Then, in the end, the vehicle would have had a price tag of much more than 5.99 lakh rupees and you would have again shouted. Alternately, we could have gone for a vacuum formed or a fiberglass IP which you would not have liked either, the finish would have been pathetic. At the other end of the spectrum, we could have gone for making a completely new vehicle for you but then you know the project cost. With that kind of money, my next 7 generations could have retired!

Incidentally, we all know that the vehicle lends itself to modifications very easily (if you can "lift kara de" the whole body, you can do anything. Look at Tejas's red classic. Tejas actually did just that because he did not like the IP on his red classic. I know that he will do it for his Thar too, as soon as he buys it! . I’ll post a photograph of the panel shortly; it’s lying inside my office for more than a year. But, please remember not to change the instrument cluster. It meets EMI (electro- magnetic interference), which is necessarily required in a vehicle equipped with an ECU. . What happens to the AC? You can still have the AC with a “hung” blower, remember the old Ambassador? Go ahead and do it if you want! Your car, your call! Now you appreciate why the vehicle is “AC ready”? Thank you.

We are also working on AC as dealer fitment but in this case the IP will not change. Please contact the dealer for more details.

I just now saw a comment on the rear number plate. It is not “someone bent it and put it there as an afterthought” it is a result of a requirement of an 18 degree angle for the light to fall on the number plate. This is a carry-over from the international requirement, so that when it becomes apart of CMVR in India, we don't have to run around. The number plate size is regulated in the current CMVR.

I hope you will now appreciate that a lot of rational thought has gone into doing this vehicle and launching it at the dress level that it is at today. I also feel that I have been able to reasonably put my views across. However, this in no way changes what you want because finally you are the customers. The critical path is the IP fit and finish and the need for an AC. For obvious reasons, I cannot say more. However, you can be rest assured that our commitment towards success of this vehicle remains rock solid and we shall do everything to ensure that we succeed, because we know that we have a winner on our hands. We shall give you what you want.

This comment is for the combined 1,11,120 people who have read this thread and the Thar CRDe launch thread.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by Amartya : 6th January 2011 at 15:46. Reason: Removed the phone numbers too. Thanks.
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:02   #114
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
I was surprised when i spoke to Khan regarding this. Even scorpio's when gunned give similar mileage with AC. Then why Thar inspite of being lighter has such low FE figures. Yes it is true the engine is really rev happy but such a huge drop?
I too was shocked when the needle reached empty and we required an urgent splash and dash on our way to Mahape.

The following i attribute to the poor FE:
- Test vehicle. In my personal experience, the test cars always run rich so that the customer experiences less vibrations and better performance.
- why i suspect the above? The crawl in 2wd was surprising! No matter what i did to stall the vehicle, it just refused to stall on letting go of the clutch. She would crawl.
- we did really push her on and off the road and many times she idled when we examined obstacles. So let not this be a test of true efficiency.
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:06   #115
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Whoa- nice review! I have no clue about offroading, and am still still scratching my head about what front IFS could be , but I could totally relate to this as a layperson! Great job Khan & Tejas.

I'd like to go out on a limb here and say M&M has got the Thar right on the price and trim fronts. With this type of vehicle that can potentially appeal to the enthusiast *and* the layperson, there is always the risk of titling too much in favour of one over the other. An example that comes to mind is the Evo. Since I am not a die-hard enthusiast, my reaction at HM launching it at the price point they have is: Who in their right mind would pay 50lac+ for a car that looks like a Lancer?

At least at 6 lac+, Mahindra hasn't alienated too many buyers- that's about as much as you'd pay for a premium hatch or an entry sedan these days. Agreed a car without an AC seems an anachronism, but then am sure the thrill of riding an "open jeep" will more than make up for it. And pardon me if I'm wrong, but the interior fit and finish is not something very high on my list of must-haves for a vehicle like a Jeep.

A "highline" version with AC, immobiliser, hardtop, nice interiors etc. while it may sound like a perfect offering, will probably end up turning people off the base version (case in point: Vento!) This is probably where Mahindra hopes to get volumes so the strategy may not be as syupid as most here believe.

Anyway that's my 2 cents. I wouldn't buy the vehicle myself, right now, but maybe when I have some savings stashed up and semi-retired in Goa somewhere it may be on the wishlist!
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:19   #116
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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
I know that he will do it for his Thar too, as soon as he buys it! .
Counting the chicken before they... ? Or putting me in a spot?

I will be speaking to you soon. Also waiting for your email. I will be meeting one of them next week.

Everything said and done, let me congratulate you and your entire team (spikey, etc), vinod and marketing. Now start work on the NEF powered CL340!

BD, can you list out possible modifications that can be done to the Thar (to improve offroading) without affecting the integrity / life of the parts. eg. can the IFS and PS support 31" tyres if we cut the fenders? Why are you against body lift? How to prevent the front end dip, etc.

Your view will help the average Joe in deciding how he can safely modify is car to a better off-roader than currently offered.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 6th January 2011 at 15:20. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:25   #117
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That was a wonderful and very informative review. Congratulations are in order for the effort taken by Mahindra to release the THAR to serve a small segment of the market. I think Mahindra will do well to take corrective action based on this review and the feedback that it has generated.
When a person belonging to the middle class has to shell out this much of money , he would expect the vehicle to be a commuter during the week and an off roader on the weekends. From that point of view the THAR is a disapointment because it lacks an AC and a hardtop.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:27   #118
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Dear Behram Sir,

We all appreciate your sincere efforts that went in to give us this vehicle.

Please note that none of the potential buyers here (except for the extreme off-roaders) are complaining about the design or specs of the vehicle or change the dimensions of the IP. What we as a lifestyle buyers are asking MM is you have given us the IP fine, but please give us the better quality in terms of smooth edges, better finish unlike the cheap finished ones that are on the Thar now. I dont think if this has got anything to do with meeting the norms, right ?

Second point is Provide us with the Hardtop atleast as an option. What sense would it make if we get the AC fitted in ST Thar ?

Third Point: When there are multiple components shared between Bolero (there is a sticker on one of the components in the Thar pic), The investment would be much lesser, right ? When the cost is saved here, please give us something useful for the price that you have saved by sharing the parts.

Hope am not asking too much

Cheers,
Rajesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear All – I have read all your comments in detail and I would like to share some thoughts with you. Before you start reading, I would also like to mention to you that I am not trying to justify anything. If you read my comments carefully, you will understand everything.
.............
.............
I cannot say more. However, you can be rest assured that our commitment towards success of this vehicle remains rock solid and we shall do everything to ensure that we succeed, because we know that we have a winner on our hands. We shall give you what you want.

Last edited by Amartya : 6th January 2011 at 15:47. Reason: Kindly avoid quoting large posts, unless replying to each particular part.
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:37   #119
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

HATS OFF, to you BD Sir.

Never have we seen such a prompt response, from any manufacturer, or a representative of any manufacturer.

I'll (we'll) eagerly await your modifications to roll out, with my (our) cheque-books on the Ready. But, please do keep in mind, the market perception of the Thar CRDe Pricing, whilst you are at it. All the best.
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Old 6th January 2011, 15:39   #120
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DB Sir,

No one is questioning your commitment to the Thar. All of us know your inputs. However, we do not understand the rationale behind ill-fitting and potentially harmful plastics, an ergonomic disaster of the front seating and the dashboard touching the stalks, etc. Does CMVR recommend this?

The driver's seat on stilts and the passenger seat on a tool box? Why couldn't both have the same box below to make the seats at least look the same?

How come the Thar Crde has an ill-fitting beading on the instrument panel for CMVR sake, whereas the Mdi version doesn't?

I will definitely buy a Jeep, but not in this condition.
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