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Old 14th April 2011, 10:13   #1
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Default Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Warning: its a long post!

Have tried to capture my initial experience so far with my Thar, with candor.

Some of the points here maybe repetitive in some form from the test drive posts, but have captured them to keep the flow. Kindly read this entire post as my experience & observations only and not any generic statement. You are welcome to comment on any observation or provide inputs to help me learn more.

Why Thar: I have been wanting a Jeep for a long time, but never did get down to buying one. When the Thar was launched, I fell for its looks first and then the mechanicals per description in the website. When I wanted to test drive, Mahindra folks helped immediately and that drive was the clincher.

Booking experience: Sireesh Auto were very professional in their approach. As an existing customer I did not expect anything less. +ve or -ve experience is a 2-way street anyways.

Delivery: About 2 months to get it from booking date. It was my B'day gift from my wife and got delivered around that. Really appreciate this gesture in spite of heavy demand as some folks in Mahindra did put this on expedite to meet the date as I understand. Without naming anyone, thanks to all there.

Run till date: 800kms by me as on date. It had run 500kms on delivery as it came by road from Dharwad. Net 1300kms till date.

What's good:

Ride quality is good. With the right tyre pressure, there are absolutely no complaints on the ride quality for me.

The steering is light and town driving is a pleasure. Thar Hates Tar? Not really!

Front seats are good, though a little more lumbar support can help.

The stability is very good. Most of the time I am driving alone with no other weight in the car. Its still stable. With weight, especially 2-3 adults in the car, it hugs the road and rides well.

The soft top is very good compared to what I have seen over the years on various other vehicles. I like the reinforcements provided on the frame with the broader channels.

The engine is quite silent and the NHV is better than what I expected.

Runs at 100-120kmph very smoothly. Last week I ran it at 135kmph for about 2 kms and its very stable.

Ran on a very curvaceous dirt & gravel road for about 4 kms net and it rode with confidence on the patch. The roll is significantly lower than the Scorpio on which I have run on this stretch about 20-25 times. The steering being light needs attention though due to low feedback. On a 35 degree gradient, which is also a turn of 70 degrees, the over-steer uphill and under-steer downhill was decent without losing traction.

The enormous power on tap is extremely useful and enjoyable.

Its a true head-turner, period.

When the AC gets fit, it will be the coolest one to drive:-). Now its my daily commute vehicle and suits me fine.

What needs attention and improvement:

The car assembly at the shop floor needs a more Tender Loving Care. This itself will solve a lot of issues, I feel.

The vehicle had a few scratches when I went to take delivery. Since I was desperate to get it, I waived my anger. I believe it's fixable and will be attended to on first service. Did mention this in the Mahindra feedback form though. Not sure if someone has looked at it since no one has called from their CS dept so far.

The body has uneven surfaces which can be seen in reflected light. This is not expected from a high-tech manufacturing facility like Mahindra's.

The fasteners on the door panels had been over-tightened leading to breakage in many washers. The panel is also of poor quality.

The door lock has disconnected twice till now due to slightly hard key turn, first time being on day 2 of ownership. Have had to fix it myself opening the door panel.

The beadings are unevenly fit in many places like the doors, window channel top, dash board, etc. This is only due to low attention I feel as there is nothing wrong per se with the beading or the channels/wedges. When I pressed them evenly, they did sit in. only the window edge beading is crooked and may have to be re-fit later.

The inside door lock handles are a little flimsy. I feel they will not last too long.

The window rollers are tight and maybe need to be smoothened. A little more care while assembling this entire part with the glass, will ensure the window shuts properly all the time. Right now, in my vehicle, the passenger side window is not well set.

There was a loud noise being generated from the passenger door side, which turned out that the door was not seated correctly, the roof frame above the door had to be re-fit and also the door itself was bent. Had it all corrected yesterday and things have improved. It still shuts with effort, but is way better. Many of the rattles and hums have also disappeared after yesterday's repairs:-)

A simple cover for the seat belt roller will ensure that dust and mud dont settle on it. I feel its not given due to carelessness, as cost will not be much. It can at least be in the options for those who want to buy it, right?

There are some wires hanging free under the dashboard and inside the bonnet. Using a tie-bind while finishing the vehicle will help.

Because of the alloy wheel spare tire, the rear-door operation is a little harder. Needs more pressure inwards to release the latch and open it. This is only an input for those who will buy with Alloys so that they dont think it was caused by faulty door/latch.

The blower was not fit properly and used to make a lot of noise. It was shocking to see that the blower was not even fitted into the airflow channels and was hanging loose. Had it corrected subsequently.

When the blower runs at Speed 3, the entire dashboard vibrates with a loud hum. The blower is mounted in the passenger foot-well and must be causing a lot of vibration at Speed 3. Its irritating and hence I run it at max speed 2! Hope it can be solved.

The air vent control on the driver side door has stopped functioning, it always open though! Am told the dashboard has to be removed to correct it!!! Will get it done

The Velcro bands for the holding the rear flap rolled up are of very poor/cheap quality. They dont hold it in place very well and need effort to get it right. Really takes a while to get it to hold the flap.

The glove compartment finish is bad. Period.

The carpet doesnt sit snug on the floor. Edges are raised in the inside ends. Looks bad.

The horn button on the right side does not function properly, needs to be pressed hard to make it work. Its an alignment issue I presume. Needs to be fixed.

Head-lamps are not aligned properly. They converge a lot and narrows the light band for visibility on the sides. Not sure whether factory is responsible or the dealer during PDI. It's been missed.

Braking is inadequate at higher speeds and I have to pump it to slow down in shorter braking distances (manual ABS?). Am used to this in the older Scorpio and hence am not uncomfortable doing it. For someone seated next to me its is "seat-squeezing" experience before the vehicle stops!

The finishing under the rear seats is not good. Has a lot of open clips and this can hurt fingers while folding or lowering them.

Here the big one for me in terms of poor quality control, so far:
There has been some oil leak noticed since day before yesterday in my parking floor and I asked the service center to check that. The gearbox seals needed replacement and it has been done last evening. Will have to monitor this for a while. I am terribly disappointed with Mahindra quality when I heard this issue post inspection. hope it's a one-off issue and others don't have to face it. Only Mahindra's candid feedback to all of us can confirm this.

Across 9 different vehicles I have owned in 12 years, this is the first time that a new vehicle of mine has visited the garage twice in 3 weeks from delivery. That bothers me since it's a Mahindra product and I have been happy with their other products for over 6 yrs now. I hope all our inputs help Mahindra and team improve the product.

I feel that someone from the Scorpio interiors team must be given
ownership to make sure the fitting/finish, using current materials itself, is done well. This may not affect cost and ensure higher quality on the finished product.

That's all for now folks. Hope this helps in a positive way.
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Old 14th April 2011, 11:15   #2
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Default re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Thanks for the review Tha'Red. Its astonishing to see that a brand new vehicle has come with so many things that need attention. I am sure a lot of them have been sorted out. Anyway, I would not want to buy a brand new car and keep vising the service centre so often. I wouldnt mind doing the same for a 2nd hand vehicle.

I think Mahindra really needs to take these feedbacks seriously especially since it is straight from the horses mouth. If they are selling something, they better do it right. I cannot understand how the THar has so many issues when the Scorpio or Xylo coming out from the same factory doesnt. Or is it that they also come with the same?

I have not bought a Mahindra vehicle yet as I always thought they will be as problematic as the Jeeps we have in our tea garden. And this just seems to confirm it. No wonder Dad went ahead with the Gypsy King even after the Thar launch! He just didnt see the justification for "paying 7 lakhs for a MM550 with just a new engine and suspension". Those were his exact words

And how about putting up some pics of your Jeep. any other mods planned?

Last edited by sarmarishi : 14th April 2011 at 11:16.
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Old 14th April 2011, 12:17   #3
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Default re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

That's a very balanced & nice report you have put in. Wishing you a very pleasant experience.

Do you plant to put the A/C? Have you talked to the dealer and what does he have to say?

Would like to drive your Thar someday in Bangalore.
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Old 14th April 2011, 12:57   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Hi Tha'Red,

Congratulations on your brand new Mahindra Thar. I am sure you will enjoy this vehicle for many years to come. Its rough and tough with a powerful engine. Please do post some pictures of your ride and keep this thread updated. Happy off-roading.
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Old 14th April 2011, 13:18   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

@sarmarishi - no mods planned as of now. have posted a couple of pics earlier on the other test drive thread. shall post more pics once i get some more in newer places. maybe if the Thar can get a sexy soft-top like the Wrangler - hugging a roll bar, i will not mind installing one. its high effort to get the current one off & on at will.

@khan_sultan - thanks. am waiting for factory to announce AC parts availability and will get it fit thereafter. i believe OEMs know their machine the best. you are most welcome to drive the machine anytime.

@bluevolt - thanks. will keep the info flowing and post pics on a later date. you bet! it's built tough and has a presence which is noticed by one and all. i love it.
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Old 14th April 2011, 13:38   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Hello Tha'Red. Innovative handle I must say. Congrats on the Thar. Take her out in her natural habitat and yes, some pics too!! Nice report, very precise.


Cheers!
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:30   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

@Tha'Red,

I must start with Congratulations because every new vehicle purchase deserves one.

You have put a honest and unbiased report which has confirmed many things.

Since you have owned a Scorpio as well, do you think it's a/c components will fit in Thar engine bay? It might clear some doubts.

Enjoy your new vehicle.
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:39   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
@Tha'Red,

I must start with Congratulations because every new vehicle purchase deserves one.

You have put a honest and unbiased report which has confirmed many things.

Since you have owned a Scorpio as well, do you think it's a/c components will fit in Thar engine bay? It might clear some doubts.

Enjoy your new vehicle.

@gthang

Thanks. Looking at the space in the Thar's engine bay, not sure where it can be fit. Since its an older Scorpio engine sitting there i am sure there is a solution!

DB Sir will be the right person to answer this.
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:53   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Congratulations on your new Jeep.

So many problems so early into the ownership is not a good thing. This is the only country in the world where you can sell such a poorly put together car/jeep and still get away with it. I don't like such manufacturers. I doubt if TATA is anywhere as bad as this. Never expected this from Mahindra.

The Thar is a very expensive vehicle and it deserves the same levels of refinement and quality that the Xylo and Scoprio get.
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Old 14th April 2011, 15:55   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Hi Tha'Red;
Its a nice report and coming from an owner its all the more appreciated. Your comments are really balanced and unbiased. Liked your comment on "seat squeezing" experience. Like you have said at the begining, the product definitely needs TLC.
Do you do off-roading? If so; kindly give a report on your experience off-road.
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Old 14th April 2011, 16:16   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartman View Post
Hello Tha'Red. Innovative handle I must say.
...
Unlike the Thar's, this handle will stay and not fall off.

Congratulations and thank you for starting this thread. Please continue to update this thread regularly. It will help many of us immensely.
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Old 14th April 2011, 16:36   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Congrats Tha'Red!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
So many problems so early into the ownership is not a good thing....
On the contrary I think it is a good thing. One, the euphoria of owing a brand new vehicle (mostly after a lot of research and deliberation) wont let you down. I mean, you will console yourself.

Second, the dealer will go that extra mile to fix problems in your vehicle, cuz a new customer is always pampered.
may be its just a very optimistic me.

Here is wishing you miles and miles of happy and safe driving. Enjoy your ride Tha'Red!!
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Old 14th April 2011, 17:51   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Congratulations on your new buy. A nice review Tha'Red.The niggles are not expected from Mahindra on a Rs 7 L MUV.The poorly put up tit-bits are all showing up within weeks of the delivery it appears.
Mahindra should sort out the horn issue with a better designed one. In most of their utility vehicles, enough palm pressure is needed to activate horns and not the finger touch. Even the older CJ3B,4A and the archaic CJ500D had finger touch horns. While traversing through our difficult traffic conditions, one should not need to strain his limbs to blow the horn.
The dash of the Thar is borrowed from the Bolero (about 10 years old design with very poor plastic quality) and looks awful. I feel the MM540 dash looked far better than this clumsily designed one. The meters are from the Scorpio.
I would suggest you to fit a roll over cage which they are offering as an accessory.
Happy off-roading and happy driving. Do post pictures.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 14th April 2011 at 17:54.
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Old 14th April 2011, 18:05   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Congrats Tha'Red.

The thar is a good on road jeep! Infact very good.

Any plans to offroad with her?
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Old 14th April 2011, 18:49   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - my initial ownership report

Tha'Red- Thank you for taking the time to post a candid review of your new Thar.

From what you say about the drawbacks, it looks like some members on the M&M design/assembly line did not get the memo on R.I.S.E.

Fingers crossed M&M will retrofit the improvements they make on V2 on to your vehicle (assuming that they do address the drawbacks you have pointed out).

Red really does suit the Thar, congratulations- it's an excellent b'day present!!
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