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Old 6th January 2011, 15:55   #121
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Indeed this had to be the most awaited vehicle review in recent times in Tbhp and needless to mention that 'detailing' thing which is core of Tbhp reviews is present to the best extent possible. And by and large it is in the same line as what have been felt through the comments in the 4x4 sections so far.

I am yet to test drive or even see THAR CRde in reality. But here are few comments based on the observations of Khan & Tejas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
.....
What you won't:
............
Driver ergonomics messed up (pedal position, off-center steering etc.)
Nervous steering feel over 100 kph
Point # 1 (above): I thought this was the problem only with the old school jeeps. Considering the THAR as a new gen jeep, i guess this aspect needed more attention than even the inferior interior quality.
Point # 2: This sounds bit surprising to me. With an excellent mechanical package for on-road driving and repeated mentioning of its cruising ability many times in the forum, why the steering has to deliver a nervous feel over 100 kph? This is easily understandable for the older jeeps e.g. even with a 57" front OKBJ and associated upgrade in the tie-ends, i don't feel very 'confident' to drive my petrol MM 440 above 110 kph. But why with THAR???

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
.....
What you'll like:
..............
A Jeep with warranty, parts & labour support from authorised service stations
Yes, all said and done, the feeling of buying a brand new JEEP with standard ASC support, straight from the showroom is UNMATCHED for any jeep lover. This is something which was associated with only a brand new Gypsy till now.
If the THAR would have been launched two years back OR my petrol Jeep wouldn't have been reliable enough to go on long excursion trips including Ladakh without any significant problems,i would have probably gone for THAR just for that gripping JEEP stance packaged with state-of-the-art mechanical components.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:07   #122
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

I see a Lot of parts of the suspension and body/undercarriage parts already rusting. Why cant M&M take a decision to stop this dirty rusting problems with their vehicles, at least now for the THAR!
I Personally feel a buyer wont mind paying 25000 more for a vehicle with a 4 year antirust warranty!
The fit and finish unfortunately a Mahindra trademark and maybe in the next couple of years they will realise the buyers needs on this front too, so what if its a SUV, this is a lifestyle product they targeting.
Mr. Anand Mahindra's personal vehicle a Bolero had all the antirust, etc etc etc on it beside a superb paintjob/bodyline and he was using it for a good 3 years! His office happens to be close to mine, and some divisions are housed in our office building too!
A good idea for them would be to Import a Wrangler and relearn the modern market requirements.
On second thought maybe the Korean buyout will expedite the process.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:15   #123
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Thumbs up Excellent review!

Khan Saab, Tejas must say this is a honest and unbiased review. Excellent job

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Though indicators for 4x4 High / Low are provided, they didn't function throughout our test drive.
Those indicators are dummy, they function only on Electric shift BW Transfer cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
  • Surprisingly, no drain holes provided. We searched very hard, yet could not find a single one.
Drain holes are present, pull away those carpets, underneath you will find chequered stickers, remove those stickers to find the drain holes :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
2) The Seat Belt Roller could have been recessed in the B-Pillar or bolted behind it, in front of the rear wheel arch. Thereby giving some more space to align the front seats,
Given an option we would have tucked the rollers inside the Tool box :-P Oh come on Arka?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
Khan bhai, great review!!!
+ Tejas :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
I am sure they had their own internal challenges to bring this to market, in a corporate setup with all the different forces at work it takes a lot of passion and persistence to bring your dream alive.
Alas, someone understands that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post

Fully agree. it is a very fun to drive car. Give me A/C & Hardtop at this price point with half decent interiors and I will be in queue to make this my daily drive city car
Khan Saab, for me this statement was the highlight of this review. For a hardcore Zuki guy to come out and express this is really commendable. AC & HT, Inshah Allah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
the unexplained holes within the interior of the wheel well absurdity.
Holes on the rear floor give the provision for mounting front facing seats, and if you have a proper roll over bar, the ELR can also be mounted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejeshmp View Post
The toolbox is welded on the body ?
Sree, how do you expect a flat sheet metal to be joined to another flat sheet metal surface? Glue, Press fitting, Bolting? Oh come on

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Hi Jaggu,

But the Thar has a Stock Body Lift!!!! Please check the pics for comparison of body mounts.

http://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/mahi...ah-thar-01.jpg

Since the Thar Body is a MM540, a additional channel has been added underneath, to give a body lift.

Regards,

Arka
Arka, if people like you call that as a Body lift then only heavens can help. You are spreading confusion man, see below post on how you have confused Jaggu. Do you know why is it like that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Yup Arka we had noticed the body lift, i was talking about the suspension lift which puts more strain on IFS???
Jaggu, that is not a body lift!

Spike
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:15   #124
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

I drove the THAR a few days ago at BLR and noticed the steering to be off-centre; the whole assembly is clearly offset to the left. Considering the amount of time M&M has taken to develop the THAR the interiors are a disgrace. They still have 20 odd screws to mount the door pads, a rubber stopper for the doors, not even a manual adjustment for the mirrors and overly terrible fit. The engine and gearbox is great and the power steering is nice. Given the clearance between the font tires and the fenders - I am sure they will foul if you go off road. Big improvement over the 540 but the THAR is work in progress.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:27   #125
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

kindly go through the Jeep Wrangler website and check out the interior pics, the fit and finish, the 'machine-weave leather wrapped' steering wheel, bespoke texturing on doors & console the attention to detail and then imagine selling the Thar to an aspirational class who would want to be treated atleast on par with a Jeep Wrangler customer atleast when it comes to interiors.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:40   #126
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

SPIKE,

My plan was Buy a set of Xylo Middle Row Seat and fit to the front and use the original front seat at rear.So I can fold the left front seat and make way to the rear seat. What was the problem with Bolting? I am sure, it was welded for the Export Thar. For Export its under driver's seat for us its under passengers's seat .

Any News on AC ?

- Sreejesh

Last edited by sreejeshmp : 6th January 2011 at 16:42.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:43   #127
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

dear behram and spike

just wanted to ask why such sad quality of interior fit and finish. The Thar has several things in its favour that goes without saying, but it is irretrievably let down by this one thing - the poor quality and 'crude and basic' look and feel inside.

I know that my comments and points of view may make many people displeased but thats just too bad.

personally, while I love jeeps, I cant abide the poor fit and finish in the Thar - this is 2011 after all. I dont see why one has to pay biggish bucks and buy something which feels pretty much as crude as our old 1986 first gen MM540 (in comparison with the new benchmarks set by various manufacturers both in India and abroad today).

And why no safety features even as an option? considering that the "export" range of some of the m&m vehicles do come with ABS and Airbags etc. what about EBD?

these are some of my concerns and worries with the thar.

A pal of mine was interested in this vehicle (also is a TBHP member) - but rejects it simply on account of the above.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 6th January 2011 at 16:45.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:47   #128
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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?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
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.
I have driven/gunned with extreme load and no load both the Xylo and my Bolero. On highway I get about 11.5KMPL with continuous AC and lot of idling. The THAR being similar speced in weight and power shouldn't give less than 11KMPL on highway, though people have been heard to get upto 4KMPL.

Secondly the journey of the Fuel Guage needle from halfway to Empty is much faster than from Full to half. Also in the 60 Litre tank you can expect about 10 Litre as reserve at the E point.. Mine keeps about 13-14 Litres these days.
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Old 6th January 2011, 16:52   #129
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Default Re: Excellent review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
....Drain holes are present, pull away those carpets, underneath you will find chequered stickers, remove those stickers to find the drain holes :-)
Where? Can you point the checkered stickers in these pictures? We tried opening the 2 'black' rubber ones in the back, but they turned out to be "rivets". They are not the rubber drain-plug gromets

Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review-ina3.jpg

Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review-ina4.jpg


Quote:
...Alas, someone understands that.
Spikey, taking nothing away form you & the team who has worked on this, you just put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think: "why should a customer bother about internal issues/inefficiencies at Mahindra" and accept a product that is WAY below part in few areas.

Quote:
..Khan Saab, for me this statement was the highlight of this review. For a hardcore Zuki guy to come out and express this is really commendable. AC & HT, Inshah Allah!
I stand by my word. You can hold me accountable to it. Give me HT/AC & decent interiors at this price & I will buy it today.
However, do note that it will be my daily drive vehicle. My Gypsy stays for hardcore off-roading. The THAR will be just for mall-cruising :-)
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Old 6th January 2011, 17:02   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Given an option we would have tucked the rollers inside the Tool box :-P Oh come on Arka?

Arka, if people like you call that as a Body lift then only heavens can help. You are spreading confusion man, see below post on how you have confused Jaggu. Do you know why is it like that?
Hi Spike,

Does CMVR cover poor driving position?

The Original Driving position of the MM540/MM550 is barely manageable, because at least the seats are aligned with the foot well and the steering is off-centre to the LHS, this position is very unforgiving in a Manual Steering and barely noticeable in a PS.

Wheel to pull the Driver Seat to the LHS wrt Steering Column the feet will foul with the pedals, and you expect people to drive 1000s of KMs in this position, maybe they should take up Yoga.

There is no confusion The Channel welded under the Original Body Mount of the MM540(Since 1985) is a BODY LIFT.

http://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/mahi...ah-thar-01.jpg

If people like me Talk IFS you reply in Quantum Mechanics, I'm waiting to learn a new theory.

Please explain as to why it is like that.

What is this Shiny SILVER Thing?

http://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/mahi...ah-thar-12.jpg

Does CMVR/ARAI prevent you from fitting a Sump/crankcase Guard?

This is a 4x4 vehicle, lifestyle or not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
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.
Hello Sir,

You're views on the A/C Ready Setup make sense to me.

But what about the Sump/Crankcase guard? Does that require Crore's Too?

What are the mechanical modifications we can do to the Thar to make is Off-Road worthy? From making circles in 2WD, it is now rated at 70-90% of the obstacles we do in our regular off-road, from an off-roader dream, this is now a Lifestyle vehicle.

Regards,

Arka

Last edited by Amartya : 6th January 2011 at 17:30. Reason: Removed the signature from one of the posts after these were merged. Thanks.
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Old 6th January 2011, 17:13   #131
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Khan Sultan & Tejas - Thank you for such a painstakingly compiled review, it is comprehensive and presented in an easy to follow manner.

It looks like you have saved me some money, for the time being I will put back my cheque book and wait to see if M&M are serious about this vehicle and dramatically improve quality. It is annoying to see that after two years of 'polishing' M&M actually launched such a scrappy product to the Indian 'Jeeper'.

I am keen to see if the dissapointment echoed by members in this thread is reflected by the buying public at large. If we are a representative sample, this vehicle needs considerable rework to become a commercial success.

Last edited by KMT : 6th January 2011 at 17:17.
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Old 6th January 2011, 17:15   #132
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Default Re: Excellent review!

I agree with this feeling because I would feel the same if I were a serious consumer evaluating the Thar prior to purchase.

Why should the consumer be bothered with internal company issues/ inefficiencies? It is upto the company to look after consumer needs as best as possible.

We do seem to have a marked tendency to throw up our hands and make excuses like "sorry not my fault but circumstances and internal issues have resulted in x,y,z". Frankly that is not acceptable from the consumer point of view.

It is time that dear old M&M started taking its consumers points of view and its quality a lot more seriously than it is at the moment.

The thing is for M&M to become "customer/consumer led" rather than remain "production led". Frankly as a consumer I really couldnt give a stuff what the factory and production chaps say - I am entitled to want what I want if I am to pay for the same.

There is an ad of IBM that says - "Dont sell what you have, sell what the customer wants." - M&M would do well to learn this concept.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Spikey, taking nothing away form you & the team who has worked on this, you just put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think: "why should a customer bother about internal issues/inefficiencies at Mahindra" and accept a product that is WAY below part in few areas.

Last edited by Amartya : 6th January 2011 at 17:33. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old 6th January 2011, 17:29   #133
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Default Re: review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Does CMVR cover poor driving position?
Good question. While not taking anything away from the R&D team's efforts, ergonomics is something that just cannot be retrofitted (unlike a hardtop and an A/C) and that in my opinion should be fixed first.

I am not referring to just the driving position (which is of course the main one), but the position of the control stalk that fouls with the centre console, the rear latch release and so on. It's easy to dismiss them as being unimportant on an off-road only vehicle, but this isn't supposed to be one. The product as it stands today (judging from the review and the pictures there-in), lacks that vital finishing touch, one that shows that attention to detail has been bestowed on the whole vehicle and not just the bare mechanicals.
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Old 6th January 2011, 17:31   #134
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
...If you read my comments carefully, you will understand everything.
....
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.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Alas, someone understands that.
...
Spikey, taking nothing away form you & the team who has worked on this, you just put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think: "why should a customer bother about internal issues/inefficiencies at Mahindra" and accept a product that is WAY below part in few areas.
...
DB Sir, I understand what you are trying to say. I know how it works. You had a budget to work with. But as a customer as khan_sultan has said "I simply do not care. I do not need to care". You did take a lot of input from this forum about what people expected from such a vehicle especially from the off-roaders.

Did the marketing department interact with the potential lifestyle vehicle buyers? Was good interiors not a part of their wish list? Can we not expect good fit and finish for a vehicle costing 7+ lakhs or rupees? I seriously doubt if such a study was done and if anything like a House of Quality was developed based on that. What was the weightage given to these factors?

Now coming to the example of adding the rubber strip to pass the Head Impact Test. I say that is a very poor way of having passed that test. It was a case of passing the test for the sake of it. I have never seen such a strip in the dashboard of any other vehicle. This clearly shows what kind of budget (and time) you had to work with. It does not look like that rubber strip is going to last long in its place. What purpose would it serve then? Having passed the CMVR test would have no meaning.

Things like the dashboard etc. are not something that a customer can easily customize or create himself. I do not like the tyres. Well I will change it. What do I do with the dashboard and other such stuff? How do I change the alignment of the seats so that it is in line with the steering wheel?

The fault is not with you or with your team. It is with M&M management (the ones who calls the shots) and their marketing team. These days you cannot push a product down the throat of your customers. And you cannot produce good quality cheaply. The management should understand that.

And you know why we are so vociferous. That is because we love the Jeep and would love to own it. A good piece of Jeep that is.

Last edited by pjbiju : 6th January 2011 at 17:40.
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Old 6th January 2011, 18:00   #135
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Cool Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejeshmp View Post
SPIKE,

My plan was Buy a set of Xylo Middle Row Seat and fit to the front and use the original front seat at rear.So I can fold the left front seat and make way to the rear seat. What was the problem with Bolting? I am sure, it was welded for the Export Thar. For Export its under driver's seat for us its under passengers's seat .
Where will you place the standard tools (Jack, Tommy etc ) then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
dear behram and spike

just wanted to ask why such sad quality of interior fit and finish. The Thar has several things in its favour that goes without saying, but it is irretrievably let down by this one thing - the poor quality and 'crude and basic' look and feel inside.

personally, while I love jeeps, I cant abide the poor fit and finish in the Thar - this is 2011 after all. I dont see why one has to pay biggish bucks and buy something which feels pretty much as crude as our old 1986 first gen MM540 (in comparison with the new benchmarks set by various manufacturers both in India and abroad today).
A gives 2 assignments to B. The assignments are C and D respectively. The target cost for C is XYZ, where Y=Z (both Y and Z are neither positive nor negative, but both are even numbers, X ~ arithmetic mean of 1 and 11), whereas target cost for D is <<<<<X. The time allotted for completion of this activity is E and F years respectively. E>>>>>F, with both these factors (time and money), assignment C and D are completed, but the level of performance (read quality) expected from both the assignments is the same. Where on earth is this justified? This is not an excuse, it is a naked truth! Shankar ji paisa bolta hai! Got the drift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Where? Can you point the checkered stickers in these pictures? We tried opening the 2 'black' rubber ones in the back, but they turned out to be "rivets". They are not the rubber drain-plug gromets. You still haven't pulled it enough, they are present.

Spikey, taking nothing away form you & the team who has worked on this, you just put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think: "why should a customer bother about internal issues/inefficiencies at Mahindra" and accept a product that is WAY below part in few areas. For me silence is the key.

I stand by my word. You can hold me accountable to it. Give me HT/AC & decent interiors at this price & I will buy it today.
However, do note that it will be my daily drive vehicle. My Gypsy stays for hardcore off-roading. The THAR will be just for mall-cruising :-)
My repy in bold above^^

Whether you off-road or not, you are buying na (provided...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Hi Spike,

Does CMVR cover poor driving position? Arka, driving position of Thar and all Boleros is the same. Everyone here knows many parts for Thar has been shared with Bolero, so is the seat and the seating position. If it was that horrible Bolero would never sell 70000 a year!

The Orginal Driving position of the MM540/MM550 is barely manageable, because at least the seats are aligned with the footwell and the steering is off-centre to the LHS, this position is very unforgiving in a Manual Steering and barely noticeable in a PS. Arka, have you checked the DI variant, please have a look and share your comments.

There is no confusion The Channel welded under the Original Body Mount of the MM540(Since 1985) is a BODY LIFT.

Hahaha, in your earlier post I thought you were joking. THAT IS NOT A BODY LIFT, THAT IS A REINFORCEMENT CHANNEL WELDED TO STRENGTHEN THE BODY IN THAT AREA. Someone on the forum raised a query that a nut / bolt is missing in this particular body mount, do you know the reason why? BECAUSE IT HOUSES A FLOATING NUT INSIDE IT!

http://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/mahi...ah-thar-01.jpg

If people like me Talk IFS your reply in Quantum Mechanics, I'm waiting to learn a new theory.

Please explain as to why it is like that. Because, I remember the proverb "You can take a horse near water, but can never force it to drink" Everyone here knows the advantages / disadvantages of an IFS / Solid Axle, why are you continuously harping on this?

Does CMVR/ARAI prevent you from fitting a Sump/crankcase Guard? Let me rephrase this query of yours:- You have all the money to throw away stock tyres and fit it with Mudzillas and stuff, then why not a Sump guard made of 3-4 mm thick gauge steel? Is it that costly?
My reply in bold above ^^. This is not an excuse, think again!

Spike

PS- Thank God, Khan Saab and Tejas did this review, or else this thread would also have been flooded with OKBJ, FFRA, Solid Axle, MRCBT and likes :-P
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