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Old 7th September 2017, 23:09   #1
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Default The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

So it is - a third car in a family of 2.

Well, actually a 4th car in a family of 3, but that family member and her car are on another continent, in another country, and we are not counting that.

And then it started.
  1. SS-da? Impossible!
  2. Why did you buy it?
  3. You already have a 4-wheel-drive. You don't need another one! (This one)
  4. Are you getting your midlife crisis now?
  5. So this is your project car?
  6. What mods are you planning for it?
  7. You must get an Ironman suspension!
  8. Alloy wheels are a must! And you need a new set of tyres.
  9. Don't get a hardtop - it totally spoils the look. Leave it as a softtop!
  10. Do you even realize how bad the ride quality of a Thar is?
  11. No extra lights? You need to install LED bars!
  12. So you decided to earn yourself some bragging rights?

Through all this, the one quotable quote came from Distinguished BHPian BlackPearl. When you drive a Thar, you suffer from a lot of physical stress. But when you drive any other car, there is a lot of mental stress. He would know...

A late 2012 DL-registered red Thar that has been driven 10,650 km. Bone stock (apart from a not-so-good Sony single DIN HU and a couple of rather incongruous speaker boxes). Never been off the road. Well looked after. Original tyres and battery. The canopy shows signs of weathering, a few broken buttons, the zips on the rear flap have ripped, a broken tailgate handle. A missing mudflap behind the right front tyre leaves a splatter of mud all over the footboard and door.

But who cares?

The Red One came home on 28 August.

The AC works well. The engine starts at first crank. The 4wd system works fine. The brakes and the clutch bite well (the B-pedal needs a heavier foot to stop than my other cars). The canopy is still waterproof enough to keep us dry in a heavy downpour. And The Red One has a shorter turning radius than the H-4.

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-thar.jpg

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-thar_1.jpg

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-thar_2.jpg

In the first 2 days, I drove it over 200 km. That IS a lot, considering that my monthly driving these days doesn't exceed 3 figures. And then, the Thar bug bit. The combination of torrential rain and a muddy ditch were never this inviting! No 4wd engagement required though...

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-thar_3.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th September 2017 at 20:26.
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Old 8th September 2017, 11:40   #2
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First impressions:

I've been in a Thar, and I've driven one around a little, earlier. I knew what I was getting into.

Coming from a Swift ZXi (2006) and a Scorpio VLX (2009), the ergonomic disaster that a Thar is, becomes apparent to me in the first few seconds. Not that discussions on this forum have overlooked any of that over the years, but my first irritant turned out to be the wiper stalk - jammed up against the dashboard, with no swipe functionality, and a rotary switch that is almost impossible to operate unless one has dainty fingers. Oh well, it won't rain all round the year in my part of the country...

The gear lever isn't too badly located for my reach, but the handbrake is. It needs a chimpanzee's arm length to reach and pull. But it works, and that's all that matters! Maybe my left arm will grow longer with regular use of the handbrake lever.

Storage space. Uhh... where do I keep my phone? My bottle of water? Any pointers to availability of aftermarket storage consoles between the seats would be welcome!

Those seats at the back are a safety hazard that terrifies me. Anyone sitting there would rocket through the windscreen on hard braking, breaking the front seat occupants' necks while flying by. So my first modification is already decided - forward facing second row seats, with inertia reel seatbelts. You want seatbelts in the back seat? Why? Because my neck is precious! Found someone who has promised to install those legendary third row seats from the Innova, along with motor-wala(!) seatbelts this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
  • You already have a 4-wheel-drive. You don't need another one! (This one)
It was suggested that it might be interesting to compare the Scorpio VLX 4wd with the Thar CRDe 4wd.

Both vehicles have many similarities, but on the road, they are as alike as chalk and cheese.

The similarities:
  • Both cars from the Mahindra stable, a brand I have faith and trust in
  • High and commanding seating position
  • A turbocharged common rail diesel engine that is torquey and reasonably powerful
  • On-demand 4wd system
  • 235/70R-16 tyres
  • Independent front suspension
  • Body on frame construction
  • Aerodynamics of a brick
  • Reasonably easy & inexpensive to maintain

But then come the dissimilarities:
  • The ride feel is entirely different. Straight away, one notices the Thar's body roll on turns and pitching on braking is far less than the Scorpio's. Despite the rolling and pitching (now better controlled in the Scorpio's third avatar), the ride comfort in the Scorpio is superior to that in the Thar - so says the wife. Maybe I am driving the Thar a little harder than I do the Scorpio... My score - 6/10 for the Scorpio, 7/10 for the Thar. Wife's score - 3/10 for both! She rates the Swift as 8/10.
  • Driveability is fairly different between the Thar and Scorpio. Where the Scorpio's mHawk 2.2L likes to have the revs maintained above 2000 rpm for most situations (there's a faint feeling of the engine being lugged below 1800 rpm), the Thar's 2.5L engine is happy at a tad under 1500 rpm. So in the city, I can trundle along in the Thar in a higher gear than the Scorpio, which is probably a good thing, because the gearshift on the Thar is notchier than the Scorpio's. Not yet taken the Thar on a long highway drive, but I suspect the Scorpio will easily outrun the Thar on a straight, while the Thar would be a better handler on mountain roads, with its engine delivering more torque at lower rpm, the turning circle being better, and the car cornering flatter. In the city, Scorpio would get a 6/10, the Thar with less gear-shifting, at 7/10. But the notchier and tougher gearshift of the Thar takes away one point, so they are both back to 6/10. Clutch is equally weighted in both, while the Thar's brake needs heavier pedal pressure for similar braking performance (not that it feels like the brakes are inadequate). Not comparing and rating them on the highways and mountains yet. FE for the Scorpio is ~11.5/13.5 kmpl (city/highway), and I am yet to get an idea of how thirsty the Thar is.
  • Ergonomics: The Scorpio scores a 9/10 for me, while the Thar scores a dismal 2/10. Handbrake, gear lever, wiper stalk, seat belt, glove compartment, storage space, where the ICE unit is located... nothing seems to be within reach. The Scorpio has those little push-button switches located low down on the centre console (fuel flap release, rear screen demister, auto wiper, auto headlamps, Microhybrid on-off) and they are confusing - else, it would have been 10/10).
  • Visibility from the driver's seat: The Thar scores 4/10 here, while the Scorpio gets 8/10. The Thar's vertical window glasses tend to reflect light from adjacent cars at night, and the translucent plastic of the canopy is a major drawback in looking over one's shoulder. The vertical ORVMs do not have an adequate field of view, leaving huge blind spots, and I am wondering what to do - stick on convex blind spot mirrors, or replace them totally with something else - but what? The IRVM is going to be replaced with something which has day-and-night mode, and I think the Bolero SLX's mirror would be a direct fit. The Scorpio's large convex ORVMs do an excellent job of removing blind spots - there are not many cars I've driven, that have such a wide angle of rear view. The Scorpio's IRVM could have been a little bigger, so also the rear windscreen - but M&M in all their wisdom has made the rear windscreen even smaller in the newer generation Scorpio.
  • Noise: The Thar should have come with noise cancelling headphones as standard fitment. So many things creak, rattle and flap, that it is difficult to hold a normal conversation between the front seat occupants, never mind listening to music. Add to that, road noise that comes in at full volume and horns that seem to be blown right next to one's ear, and it is certainly physically stressful to drive on a crowded street. If not for the security of the car's contents, I would get me a hardtop just to keep the road noise out. Thar - 3/10 (in its present state), Scorpio - 7/10. The Swift gets a 8/10, despite the fact that it is a rattly car.
  • Street cred and anti-bullying properties: A truck is king of the road, with a 10/10 rating according to me (I am not considering battle tanks here). The Swift on the other hand, probably rates 3/10 (bicycles fare worse). The Scorpio rates around 6/10; that front bumper looks butch, but is a lot less tough than it looks - and scratched paintwork is highly avoidable. The Thar OTOH, with its mean black steel bumpers, keeps most unruly drivers (especially cabbies, e-rickshaws and 3-wheeler autos) away. Drive in your own lane, and those cabbies trying to cut in need one beep of the horn to suddenly swerve away! The Scorpio doesn't have that kind of deterrent effect. 8/10 here for the Thar!
  • Safety is a word that should not be used with automobiles in this country. But since the nut holding the steering wheel of my cars is the biggest safety factor, I tend not to worry excessively. The Swift (ZXi) has 2 airbags, 4-channel ABS with EBD and gets 7/10; the Scorpio didn't come with airbags at the time I bought it, and has 3-channel ABS, so gets 6/10; the Thar gets 3/10, mainly because, apart from the lack of airbags and ABS, those side-facing rear seats without any way to belt up are a serious safety hazard and no government agency had any business allowing such seats to be installed in any vehicle.

A few words of explanation about the rating system I have used:
10/10 is what I expect from a particular category of vehicle at a given price point. So, a 9/10 is not a rating for one of my vehicles in comparison to, say, a Prado; it is related to what I expect, for all the vehicles of a similar type that I can buy within a given price band.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th September 2017 at 14:18.
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Old 8th September 2017, 21:51   #3
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Default re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Bouncing along:

The Red One felt terribly bouncy as soon as we started driving on Day 1. Almost like a Gypsy. And the next morning, here's what I found...

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-thar-tp.jpg

All tyres inflated to 42-44 psi. Aired down to 30-31 psi, and all was well.

Talking of tyres, I am going to go against my own best-practice advice here. TRO is shod with OE Bridgestone Duelers, and they are just about 5 years old, but hardly worn. Ideally speaking, one ought to be replacing these ASAP. Yet, knowing the history of the car, especially the fact that it has remained parked in a covered garage, I am going to maintain a close watch and assess how the tyres behave over the next few months. There are no cracks or signs of damage at all, and I am not setting off on a cross-country trip in this one immediately. A few more months won't hurt.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th September 2017 at 20:26.
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Old 11th September 2017, 16:55   #4
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 12th September 2017 at 09:57.
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Old 11th September 2017, 17:22   #5
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Many Many Congratulations dada for getting a cure for the Jeep bug itch. The colour looks great. What about customisations. Have you thought of any other modifications other than the Innova seats.
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Old 11th September 2017, 21:37   #6
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Congratulations SS Da for The Red One. As I had told you earlier, it is good for us Thar owners because you will now be our SME for all Thar related queries
Regarding bullying capability of the Thar, I realised that even auto drivers look at the rear view mirrors after I started driving one
Hope to meet TRO soon and wish you many miles of trouble-free ownership!
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Old 11th September 2017, 22:09   #7
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Many hearty congratulations on the new toy, Dada! Hope to meet up soon and get a ride around town

Just a thought, that as an after-market accessory, the new Thar's centre console should ideally be a direct fit. I've searched around Kashmere Gate, but couldn't source one for a friend. The MASS should be able to help here. Else I know the guy in Kashmere Gate for the custom centre consoles, at unbelievable prices (please do not buy online!).

As for the mirrors, I suppose the Force Traveller mirrors should be great, or you may get the universal ones, and Badal can fabricate a mount, like he did for my car (stock bolt holes, no shakes or shudders).

Let's meet soon. Can't wait to see it in person!

Last edited by JKDS : 11th September 2017 at 22:11.
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Old 12th September 2017, 01:25   #8
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

After seeing the recent developments, I will need to postpone/skip my Delhi trip now. Congratulations !

Spike
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Old 12th September 2017, 07:09   #9
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car-img_20170911_154044.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacho9000 View Post
Many Many Congratulations dada for getting a cure for the Jeep bug itch. The colour looks great. What about customisations. Have you thought of any other modifications other than the Innova seats.
Thank you, tacho9000 for the good wishes. I wouldn't have selected that colour if I had a choice, but then I can always claim now that I am simply pandering to my MLC urges. The Jeep itch is something I never had, and unless required to reach a destination or recover from some stupidity, I don't usually engage 4x4. As I keep telling everyone, for me it's just insurance.

Re modifications: Innova seats with seatbelts, a hardtop, and central locking with alarm should be good for now - probably add a centre console in the near future.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Congratulations SS Da for The Red One.
Regarding bullying capability of the Thar, I realised that even auto drivers look at the rear view mirrors after I started driving one
Hope to meet TRO soon and wish you many miles of trouble-free ownership!
Thank you, BlackPearl. I don't usually bully other road users (the option to install steel off-road bumpers was always there with the Scorpio), but the Thar does have a habit of clearing the way on its own - and when an opportunity presents itself, why not take it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKDS View Post
Many hearty congratulations on the new toy, Dada! Hope to meet up soon and get a ride around town
Thank you, and you're welcome for the ride as long as you keep the information confidential.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKDS View Post
Just a thought, that as an after-market accessory, the new Thar's centre console should ideally be a direct fit. I've searched around Kashmere Gate, but couldn't source one for a friend. The MASS should be able to help here. Else I know the guy in Kashmere Gate for the custom centre consoles, at unbelievable prices (please do not buy online!).
Kashmere Gate - ah, that hallowed zone for all car modifiers! Centre console is currently second priority, after seats, HT and central locking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKDS View Post
As for the mirrors, I suppose the Force Traveller mirrors should be great, or you may get the universal ones...
The Force Traveller mirrors are h-u-u-u-g-e, and disproportionate to the size of the car. Let's see what other options are there - else those cheap little convex circular stick-on mirrors are always there for temporary use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
As I had told you earlier, it is good for us Thar owners because you will now be our SME for all Thar related queries
Now see how upset you've made Spike - he refuses to come to Delhi and meet me now. Want an SME? He's the go-to person (as far as I am concerned) - sadly, the Father of the Thar passed away, but (one of the) Uncle is still right here!! Remembering BD...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
After seeing the recent developments, I will need to postpone/skip my Delhi trip now. Congratulations !
Thank you so much, Spike! Your congratulations will have to be backed up by a visit to Delhi soon! You can't postpone / skip the trip.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th September 2017 at 07:21.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:52   #10
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Congrats SSda on your latest acquisition. Just hoping that Hawk on fours does not develop a complex and show its tantrums on you. Reminds me of an incident that happened to my father. We he got married in 1967, his father in law gifted him a hand wound Tissot wristwatch. As a child and a young adult I have never seen my father wear any other watch, neither did he buy an additional one. In 1982, my father was gifted a Rado wrist watch as a farewell gift from his colleagues at Libya. Some days later, on some occasion, my father wore the Rado. The next day, my father got ready for work, to his horror, his Tissot was not working. It simply failed on him after 15 years. There was a Tissot dealer at Rajiv Chowk, where Dad gave the watch for repair - it just needed some lubrication, not a single part was replaced. In the family, we all say, Tissot got jealous because of the Rado!! Just hoping the Scorpio does not do the same!!!
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Old 12th September 2017, 11:49   #11
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Wow, congratulations on your Thar'D car SS Sir!

Lovely write-up and am sure there will be lots more coming from you on the know-how and maintenance.
Its crude as crude can be, yet has a pull which many a siren may crave!

Enjoy Sir!

Cheers,
Trojan
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Old 12th September 2017, 15:40   #12
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

@SS-Traveller - Congrats on the Thar ! Glad to find one more Toreador Red Owner on the forum. I have a 2012 Thar that I bought used and it is my daily drive for the past 5 years and covering over 55K Km. I need to update my thread soon.

Just one suggestion on the tires air pressure - try between 32 - 35 psi till you find your personal choice. I like to keep it mine at 35 psi (this is the recommended value). Am still on the stock Bridgestones and think they will last till around 60K for me.
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Old 12th September 2017, 16:10   #13
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
[b][*]Driveability is fairly different between the Thar and Scorpio. Where the Scorpio's mHawk 2.2L likes to have the revs maintained above 2000 rpm for most situations (there's a faint feeling of the engine being lugged below 1800 rpm), the Thar's 2.5L engine is happy at a tad under 1500 rpm. So in the city, I can trundle along in the Thar in a higher gear than the Scorpio, which is probably a good thing, because the gearshift on the Thar is notchier than the Scorpio's. Not yet taken the Thar on a long highway drive, but I suspect the Scorpio will easily outrun the Thar on a straight, while the Thar would be a better handler on mountain roads, with its engine delivering more torque at lower rpm, the turning circle being better, and the car cornering flatter. In the city, Scorpio would get a 6/10, the Thar with less gear-shifting, at 7/10. But the notchier and tougher gearshift of the Thar takes away one point, so they are both back to 6/10. Clutch is equally weighted in both, while the Thar's brake needs heavier pedal pressure for similar braking performance (not that it feels like the brakes are inadequate). Not comparing and rating them on the highways and mountains yet. FE for the Scorpio is ~11.5/13.5 kmpl (city/highway), and I am yet to get an idea of how thirsty the Thar is.[*]Ergonomics: The Scorpio scores a 9/10 for me, while the Thar scores a dismal 2/10. Handbrake, gear lever, wiper stalk, seat belt, glove compartment, storage space, where the ICE unit is located... nothing seems to be within reach. The Scorpio has those little push-button switches located low down on the centre console (fuel flap release, rear screen demister, auto wiper, auto headlamps, Microhybrid on-off) and they are confusing - else, it would have been 10/10).
Though I agree with you on almost all the points mentioned, I have a different take on these two -

1. Driveability: I feel the Scorpio is easier to drive than the Thar in the hills and one can drive at a higher gear than the Thar, may be due to different gear ratio (not sure). You will be able to tell better once you try the same slopes in the Thar and the Scorpio.

2. Ergonomics: I have had no issues with the handbrake, gear lever, wiper stalk, seat belt, glove compartment that you have mentioned, but storage space is truly a disaster and the position of the 4WD shift lever is quite bad. Maybe I have got used to these as the layout on the Bolero is the same.
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Old 12th September 2017, 17:44   #14
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Congrats Doc!! How did this come about? Did the Scorp feel lacking in prowess anywhere that planted this upgrade seed? Just asking.
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Old 12th September 2017, 19:00   #15
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Default Re: The Red One | My Thar'd... err...Third Car

Congratulations on 'The Red One' SS Da. I was quite surprised to know you bought a Thar since you were quite satisfied with H-4. Get ready to get all the attention on the road .

Wish you many miles on TRO. Keep us updated on the modifications you perform. I am sure a lot of Thar owners on the forum will flock to this thread to get ideas on practical & informative mods.

Regards

Pawan
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