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Old 15th August 2022, 00:33   #1
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A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Unlike my previous car buy (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxur...-vs-glc43.html (Choosing a car for a flickering mind | M340i vs S5 vs 530d vs GLC43)), I was absolutely sure that there won't be any confusion this time round. But I guess matters of the heart are always tricky.

Quick Flashback, every story needs a backstory!
Open top Jeeps have been a childhood fascination and I have kept postponing the idea of buying one in the hope of finding a pocket friendly pre owned option and whenever I found something in budget, they weren't in a confidence inspiring condition (or involved the hassles of transferring across states). Over the years, I kind of accepted that probably I will never be able to take the risk of purchasing a pre owned Jeep.

With the arrival of the new Thar, I was almost sure that this is what destiny had planned for me. I could imagine myself driving to cricket matches on weekends with the top down and demotivate the opposition team just with the aura of my arrival

Present day
With the addition of a S5 in the family, I am planning to sell my 7 year old Skoda Rapid and thought it would be the right time to pursue my Thar dream. Some of the roads in Hyderabad pose enough off-roading challenges to make a SUV feel like a 'need' than a 'want'.

I test drove the Thar hard top variant last week (they didn't have a soft top TD vehicle) and was more than happy with the results. This was significantly better than the earlier variant I had driven a few years back.

All things were almost finalized, a diesel manual variant in Aqua Marine colour (my favourite rustic copper seems to be out of production now) and I was planning to pay the booking amount soon when a voice popped up in the head, my brother in law had bought a BMW 320d (2017 model) in about the same price last year and is very happy with the car. Questions like"Is the amount I am paying worth the price?", "Can I get a similar deal for something like a X3 20d which will be more practical for longer drives?" started plaguing my mind.

The current conundrum
- What do I need? An SUV to take care of the go anywhere anytime requirements. While S5 is going to be our primary touring vehicle, an SUV would offer more peace of mind for planning drives into unchartered territories. The budget is about 20 lakhs.

- What do I want? Probably a hard top convertible Thar , unfortunately in the absence of which, here is my conundrum:
- While the soft top Thar would be the ultimate yolo choice and would take care of all within city drives, it may not unlock new driving possibilities for us in terms of longer road trips due to some of its practicality issues.

- If not a Thar, then what? Something thats equally appealing to the heart but around the same budget. I have concluded that if not the thrill of an open top, then at-least the thrill of a luxury brand badge (and hence not considering any brand new SUVs in this price range)
Given the reliability that a BMW offers, something like a pre-owned BMW X3 seems like a good option. Is it reasonable to expect a not too old X3 in this price range? (My initial searches don't seem too promising). Any other suggestions in this category?

- The hard top Thar is another option but somehow is less appealing to the heart than the above two options.
While I am still leaning towards the Thar, please let me know what would be your recommendations and some reliable leads for pre-owned vehicles in Hyderabad would also be really helpful!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 18th August 2022 at 09:47. Reason: Two smileys/post
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Old 15th August 2022, 09:02   #2
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post
Open top jeeps have been a childhood fascination
Quote:
With the arrival of the new Thar, I was almost sure that this is what destiny had planned for me. I could imagine myself driving to cricket matches on weekends with the top down and demotivate the opposition team just with the aura of my arrival
You love Jeeps & Mahindra has made the 2nd-gen Thar way more user-friendly with its relatively better comfort levels, amenities, hard-top, Automatic gearbox etc. Agreed with YOLO, go with the heart on this one.

Go for the Thar Diesel AT (not MT). You can choose the convertible, or also the hard-top which can be opened in the winters. Here is a BHPian's Thar with the hard-top removed (you'll need place to store it):
Name:  IMG_9589.jpeg
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Quote:
Given the reliability that a BMW offers, something like a pre-owned Bmw X3 seems like a good option. Is it reasonable to expect a not too old X3 in this price range?
A good X3 for 20 lakhs is out of the question in today's market.
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Old 15th August 2022, 10:43   #3
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

I would say YOLO this one and just go for the Thar. You’ve already got a great German in the garage. If you want true “go anywhere” peace of mind, I think the Thar should be it. Its got a character like few / none others and this generation is truly much more sophisticated than v1.

If your running is low enough, I would actually recommend the petrol automatic. Automatic for sheer convenience (although this is personal of course - ultimately your call) and petrol for the peace of mind of being able to go anywhere, any time with no DPF issues to worry about. I have heard that a lot of folks with BS6 diesel vehicles had issues during their drives in HP during the winters. Given that you have a penchant for adventurous travels, buy a vehicle that will best handle whatever you want to throw at it. If FE is an issue, pick the diesel A/T of course.

Hard top is just more practical, because it’ll enable travel without limitations. Remove the HT when needed as indicated in the post above. But at least you know your car can safely do long journeys with the peace of mind that comes with a hard top.
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Old 15th August 2022, 11:13   #4
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Go for the Thar Diesel AT (not MT). You can choose the convertible, or also the hard-top which can be opened in the winters.
Thanks for the inputs. The removable hard top is an interesting option, I guess I just need to find the right workshop (assuming its not a DIY job).

Why do you recommend the AT? Better city drivability? I was skeptical because apart from the AT in Skoda or the big Germans, I have been disappointed with the others I have driven so far, specially on highway drives. Is the Mahindra AT good in terms of reliability, providing the right downshifts etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
If your running is low enough, I would actually recommend the petrol automatic. Automatic for sheer convenience (although this is personal of course - ultimately your call) and petrol for the peace of mind of being able to go anywhere, any time with no DPF issues to worry about. I have heard that a lot of folks with BS6 diesel vehicles had issues during their drives in HP during the winters.
Oh interesting, wasn't aware of the DPF issues. With my other car drinking up petrol for fun, I was just hoping to save on the fuel with this one and hence the Diesel choice by default but will definitely consider this angle. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 17th August 2022, 11:53   #5
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You love Jeeps & Mahindra has made the 2nd-gen Thar way more user-friendly with its relatively better comfort levels, amenities, hard-top, Automatic gearbox etc. Agreed with YOLO, go with the heart on this one.

Go for the Thar Diesel AT (not MT). You can choose the convertible, or also the hard-top which can be opened in the winters. Here is a BHPian's Thar with the hard-top removed (you'll need place to store it):
Attachment 2346190



A good X3 for 20 lakhs is out of the question in today's market.
Hey GTO

Apart from comfort, is there any other reason to get the AT? (Greater safety etc)
I've preferred the MT. (I've never owned an AT, although I've driven one for a short period of time)

And on a side-note, ATs are costlier to repair/replace too, isn't it?

Considering TCO, doesn't this keep adding up?

Last edited by som9729 : 17th August 2022 at 11:55.
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Old 17th August 2022, 16:31   #6
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post
The current conundrum
- What do I need?

- What do I want?
A Thar Diesel AT Hardtop in your choice of colour


Quote:
Originally Posted by som9729 View Post
Hey GTO

Apart from comfort, is there any other reason to get the AT? (Greater safety etc)
I've preferred the MT. (I've never owned an AT, although I've driven one for a short period of time)

And on a side-note, ATs are costlier to repair/replace too, isn't it?

Considering TCO, doesn't this keep adding up?
The Thar AT is amazingly tuned for that engine. Smooth, reliable and effective. Makes city commutes effortless, highway cruises simple and off-road excursions fun-filled.
The AT on the Thar has been battle tested by many since it's launch and it looks like it is a bullet-proof unit.
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Old 17th August 2022, 23:21   #7
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post

The current conundrum
- What do I need? An SUV to take care of the go anywhere anytime requirements. While S5 is going to be our primary touring vehicle, an SUV would offer more peace of mind for planning drives into unchartered territories. The budget is about 20 lakhs.
Thar is just too uncomfortable. The plastics are cheap - both inside and outside. These two points are going to haunt you even more as you are driving S5 currently.
You can get a very good quality second hand Fortuner under 20L. If you are lucky enough to find a low-run AT 2016 version, that is a good deal. It would be reliable and comfortable.
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Old 18th August 2022, 08:29   #8
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

I would definitely buy a Thar diesel AT. A good german SUV from BMW/Mercedes will run a minimum of 40-65 Lakhs depending on the variant. Another option could be a good pre owned Pajero Sport. I have one that I bought new, it is almost a decade old and is close to 1.5L Km. The thug is absolutely bullet proof and a billy goat off road.

Last edited by imp! : 18th August 2022 at 08:31.
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Old 18th August 2022, 18:05   #9
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Quote:

- What do I want? Probably a hard top convertible Thar , unfortunately in the absence of which, here is my conundrum:
- While the soft top Thar would be the ultimate yolo choice and would take care of all within city drives, it may not unlock new driving possibilities for us in terms of longer road trips due to some of its practicality issues.
suggestions in this category?

- The hard top Thar is another option but somehow is less appealing to the heart than the above two options.
Used hardtop new thar + get it mod'ed ( sliding windows for rear row + sun/moonroof + plusher seats )? May pose warranty issues if you mod to that level (unsure), but surely if you buy a 2 year old vehicle you are looking at no more than 1-2 years of warranty voiding. Ticks your pricing box and other boxes.

Last edited by airguitar : 18th August 2022 at 18:06.
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Old 21st August 2022, 08:59   #10
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Go for the Thar. It is really unique vehicle and will make a great combination with your S5. The garage needs to have complementary cars not similar ones. The X3 will have good ground clearance but would otherwise give you a similar fuss-free driving experience as the S5 when it comes to city driving. While the Thar with its open top, high seating, hydraulic steering, relaxed (rather than fast) cruising behaviour and ease to turn and park due to short length, will feel very different.

Cost of repair and maintenance is another factor given the crowed roads. You will inevitably develop scratches and dents and I find the cost of spares and repair for the Thar to be a small fraction of what I used to pay for a BMW.

Also I second GTO's advice to get the AT. The imported AT box is just amazing when paired that beautiful Mhawk engine it is butter smooth and the shifts are totally seamless and well calibrated. The MT is notchy and the clutch travel is long and you get tired of it for drives any longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

Last edited by 84.monsoon : 21st August 2022 at 09:01.
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Old 21st August 2022, 10:27   #11
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Consider a used Tucson for 15-20L instead of X3. That would be a more meaningful comparison with Thar. I suspect a lot of guys are buying Thar and subjecting their family members to needless discomfort. Thar is a niche vehicle, great if you are driving solo or have like minded passengers. Given that every other dude is buying one, I doubt it will hold the charm for long. It’sa fantastic choice if you are genuinely into adventure travel, etc.
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Old 21st August 2022, 12:32   #12
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

I feel there is simply no comparison between the X3 and the Thar.

The x3 is a people-friendly soft roader best suited for city and highway runs, and can handle a bit of the rough stuff.

The Thar, on the other hand is a off-roader lifestyle vehicle that's meant to take you places that are otherwise not reachable. IMHO it is a 2-person car. Yes there are 4 seats. But, one look at the rear seats is enough to tell you it's not meant for anything more than ocassional short runs in and around the city.

If you want the best of both worlds, I'd suggest the Gurkha. It is an equally capable off roader compared to thar and also has sufficient space and comfort for 4 passengers. While it may not command the premium tag, it is still a niche on Indian roads and manages to get a lot of attention.

The other option is to go for a pre-owned Fortuner 4x4 or a Pajero Sport. Both are excellent all rounders and also command the luxury premium car tag - the Pajero Sport even more so.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by sdubey23 : 21st August 2022 at 12:34. Reason: Typos
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Old 21st August 2022, 12:58   #13
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

Agree with Androdev on the Thar. Quite a few very new Thars in the market today. Considering that the product itself is good, and not a dud with issues, it should not have been the case. People have bought it more on a whim and then found it is not suitable for family usage.

For the OP's question - why not a used Thar ?
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Old 21st August 2022, 13:23   #14
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

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Agree with Androdev on the Thar. Quite a few very new Thars in the market today. Considering that the product itself is good, and not a dud with issues, it should not have been the case. People have bought it more on a whim and then found it is not suitable for family usage.

For the OP's question - why not a used Thar ?
I bought my Thar D AT last year and I really like it, and I was planning on getting a 2nd car to take care of 5 door car needs but this option is not looking very viable. My parents are totally against the idea of a used car because of the lack of good options here. And off late, a 5 door car need has suddenly increased. So planning on getting the Scorpio-N if I get a good price for my Thar. Infact its already listed on Team-bhp Classifieds.

But not a lot of takers for a 3 door Thar back in my place, maybe because of the price or it's lack of practicality. Or not many guys like the idea of a used car.
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Old 21st August 2022, 13:30   #15
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Re: A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV

A thar AT convertible top any day. It's fun, takes care of mood swings and is so easy on maintenence that you don't really care much before venturing into roads less traveled. You need to get used to the flapping wind above 80 kmph ( and that's a part of the Jeep open top feel the wind deal). You need to reconcile that it's not a sedan but a reasonably good and a very fun to drove SUV.

Here are 2 pics of my mystic copper to allure you to take the plunge !
Attached Thumbnails
A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV-20220731_081130.jpg  

A soft-top Mahindra Thar vs a pre-owned German SUV-20220731_0833262.jpg  

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