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Bought a new Mahindra Thar to replace my Ford Endeavour

The Thar will be able to handle all the off-roading and dune-bashing trips as the Ford Endeavour.

BHPian roby_dk recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Late Post:

Took delivery of my Thar Petrol AT on 22-Oct. I have no idea why I bought the Thar it was a decision that my wife and I took after we planned to sell our Endeavour. Somehow we were not able to find any replacement for Endeavour and we convinced ourselves to get a Thar instead of spending huge money in the 40-50L segment and repent later.

Why Thar?

The first question that comes to everyone's mind is why buy a car like Thar. Let me tell you one thing this current generation Thar is miles ahead of the old one and can be really considered as a daily drivers car barring you are fine using the front two seats. If I remember correctly I have hardly driven my wife's Polo GT TSI more than 10-15 times in the last 2 years of ownership. The rear seats are still wrapped in poly which came with the new car as no one sat there. So one thing was clear if we take Thar there will be no issues with the poor 2nd-row access. We will not use it for highway drives the usage will be limited to the city and either one of us can drive it anytime. The rest of the duties can be performed by Endeavour till we find a suitable replacement for it.

How Thar?

We took a test drive of the following cars before we finally took the decision to buy Thar. Now, these cars are from different segments but somehow the test drive of these cars helped us to convince ourselves to get Thar.

Toyota Fortuner

This was the first car that came to my mind when Ford announced to leave India. I was almost sure to buy this and convinced everyone in the family to sell Endeavour and get a Toyota in the family. Took several extended test drives but was not able to convince me and my family I to replace Endeavour with Fortuner. I know it has improved a lot but it still lacks in many areas. Be it comfort, features, drive experience it doesn't look like a 45-50L car. The only thing which I liked was the new and improved engine & gearbox performance. Apart from that, every other thing was a big turnoff. Maybe one should drive Fortuner with horse blinders/blinkers so that he just see the road ahead.

Me, brother and my wife took a good 30-40 minute test drive of Fortuner AT while everyone was impressed with the initial pull and solid feel similar to Endeavour but the interior was pathetic. I prefer the beige interiors rather than the all-black ones. No idea maybe the quality of the black interior can be decent but the layout is mediocre. My mother simply refused to go for a test drive, she just sat in had a glimpse of the car's interiors and simply came out with a sheepish smile. She said our 2017 Endeavour is far better than the 2021 Fortuner. There is no reason to buy this car after selling Endeavour it is a clear downgrade in every aspect.

MG Gloster

Leaving the Chinese sentiments aside this car is an actual VFM product from MG motors. The interior is so good especially the centre console and area near the gearbox including the gear lever. It definitely looks like a next segment car. The space is humongous in all rows you can even adjust with three small/mid-size adults in 3rd row. With all bells and whistles, it was still cheaper than the Fortuner by a good margin. It also specifies my personal criteria the bigger the better. I am fond of huge dimensions and specifically lookout for the longest/widest/tallest cars in a particular segment. The test drive experience was exceptional I had this car for a good 2-3 hours where all family members experienced this car thoroughly.

The only thing which went wrong with this car was its MUVish looks. Even with its huge dimensions it still doesn't look like a proper SUV. The front is not as imposing as the tall boy SUVs and the rear is too flat for my liking. It is definitely a much better family car though but will not look good for a solo driver. Barring a few occasional trips in a year I hardly use the 3rd row of Endeavour. In short, Gloster was rejected for the Van type looks it possess.

Mahindra XUV700

Well this car landed me at the Mahindra showroom where I checked out the Thar in person. My BIL was looking out for a family car and we went to check out the newly displayed XUV in the Mahindra showroom. While I had no interest in XUV I spotted a Thar in the showroom and kept drooling it for a long when my wife said this is looking good and macho SUV. We just stepped inside and though the interiors were utilitarian they still doesn't look cheap considering the price. I casually checked with the sales advisor about the waiting on Thar to which he replied 2-3 months for Petrol and 9-10 months for diesel. Well, we took a test drive of XUV 700 and made up our mind to book the top-end diesel AWD variant without a second thought for my sister. The SA promised me to send the Thar next to my home for a test drive.

Mahindra Thar Petrol AT

As promised the SA came up with a sparkling black hard top Petrol AT Thar the next day. My wife and I sat acquired the front seats and SA went in the 2nd row. He started explaining features and other things while the car was started. I didn't even realize the engine was on it was extremely silent no clatter no noise creeping inside the cabin. Even the AC blower at the lowest setting is louder than the engine noise. Tested the various modes 4x4 high, low while it's all mechanical now vs the Endeavour but still, it does the job pretty well. Basically in Thar, we never cribbed for anything vs Fortuner/Gloster since it is a much cheaper car. We were happy that we are getting in accordance with what we are paying. Coming back to a driving experience I was simply bowled by the Petrol motor's refinement. We do have the Polo at home but getting a similar feeling from SUV like Thar was not expected. The car is eager to move forward as soon as the gear is slotted in Drive mode much similar to diesel engines which have good low-end torque. Push the pedal and Thar pulls like anything trust me both of us felt the raw power to be much better than the German 7-speed DSG motor. Polo behaves differently in Sports mode but if we compare drive mode Thar drives better. Wife also drove it and liked the Thar, she is anyways driving the Endeavour occasionally so the size was not a problem. Yes, the bling factor was missing but then Thar is not a fancy car it is a lifestyle product. There is something special about Thar be its old school Jeep-like shape, the spare wheel on the rear door (I miss my Safari Dicor), bigger and broad tyres etc. it's definitely a looker.

After the test drive, I made up my mind to consider Thar as a secondary vehicle till we get a replacement for our Endeavour. I am not planning anything soon as of now but now I can easily dispose of cars (Endeavour or Polo) whenever I like. The good thing is with Thar I can even switch to luxury sedans and still can do the occasional off-roading/snow drives/Dune bashing trips with my Endeavour group.

Attaching a few pics of the Thar with Endeavour and Polo:

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