Long Termer

Mahindra Thar CRDe (Second report)

9,000km report Let’s just say it’s transformed our weekends dramatically.

DETAILS
5
photos

Sunday mornings aren’t the same anymore. I wake up at 4am, drive 40km, meet up with a few jeepers, throw our respective off-roaders at some hill outside Mumbai and see what comes of it. 

I think getting covered in mud is a relaxing way to spend a Sunday and, as I’ve learnt, off-roading can be fun even at 5kph. The thrill doesn’t come from speed, it comes from clawing your way through/up/down/under a seemingly unconquerable hurdle. It’s an adrenalin rush like nothing I’ve experienced, believe me. 
 
As for my newfound friends, they pick the most impossible-looking obstacles this side of the Himalayas to drive over. It’s scary, heart-pounding, cold-sweat stuff, and wrong moves could result in falling off the edge of the narrow road or, worse, breaking something on the Jeep. 
Of course, I’ve modified the Thar a bit to keep up with the other Jeeps, and these basic mods have infinitely improved its off-road abilities. I’ve equipped it with Maxxis Trepador
mud tyres, fitted a set of Neo alloy wheels (Rs 32,680 for five), removed the side-steps and fitted a battle-ready front bumper (Rs 10,299). 
 
I’ve also taken the plastic fenders  off the wheel arches because  they’d limit wheel travel by a few crucial millimetres. The Trepadors are amazing. They make such a huge difference to the way the Thar behaves on loose stuff. Where the Thar used to sink in and spin its wheels on slush, it now claws its way through. They allow the Thar to take full advantage of its 105bhp and 25.18kgm of torque and it now takes really deep slush to stop the Thar in its tracks. What’s even more impressive is how they behave well on the road too. There’s little of the tyre roar usually associated with big-lug design tyres and the Thar’s ride has improved marginally thanks to the taller sidewalls.
 
I’m amazed by how tough the Thar is too. Over the past few months, I’ve crawled over huge rocks, waded through deep slush and Devesh even drowned the Thar in a trench once. Drowned, as in, got water into the cylinders. He towed it out, removed the injectors, cranked the engine over a couple of times till the water was expunged, fitted the injectors back on, started it and drove back to Mumbai. I don’t know any other car that can do that. We had to send it to the Mahindra workshop though. The turbo had taken in some water and we had to get it opened, cleaned out and change the engine oil and other fluids. The gearbox had been knocked out of alignment too – shifting gears had become tough – the gearbox mount had to be straightened out.   
 
Now, when you go driving through thick brush, body damage is inevitable. So if it was another car, I would be pained by the paint scratches and the light dings, but in the Thar, it’s just another battle scar. I think each ding tells an interesting story, much like the scars on a soldier’s face. 
There is one downside and it’s with the independent front suspension. The transverse lower arms hang quite low and dig into dirt rather than skate over it like longitudinally positioned leaf-springs would. To work around it, you need to keep your foot in and use the engine’s power to literally dig your way through. The lower arms are also prone to hitting rocks and I’m thankful they are tough enough to take the hammering they’ve received. So far at least. Still, I think the front suspension’s contribution to the Thar’s everyday usability (it bounces much less than the old Jeeps on the road) more than makes up for this surmountable off-road issue. 
I think the horns need to be placed higher as well. Their current position behind the front bumper means they drown at the first sight of water.  
 
I’ve used it as an everyday car (or should I say Thar?) since I’ve got it and the odo now reads 9,000. It means the first service at 5,000km cost a reasonable Rs 2,600 and the damage to the gearbox mount and the turbo repairs cost Rs 5,900. As with any car, you have to be prepared for repair bills if you use it hard. 
 
Just one small thing I’d like to mention. When I first started taking the Thar out, the off-road crowd used to laugh at me. They didn’t think it was capable enough to keep up with them. It has, mostly, and I laugh the hardest when they ask to sit in the air-conditioned comfort of the Thar’s cabin after a long day of hard-core mudding. I tell you, it’s great fun.
 
OUSEPH CHACKO
 
Odometer 9,039km
Price Rs 8.20 lakh  (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy 8.52kpl (overall)
Maintenance costs Rs 11,000
Faults Drowning horns

 

See more about:  mahindra, thar, long, term

Mahindra Thar CRDe (Second report)

notSet

With a whole lot of new cars being launched just around the corner, there’s a lot to be excited about in the coming months. Read our annual rundown of the most exciting cars worth waiting for.
What's in this issue?

Most Read
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

New Mahindra Scorpio review, test drive

New Mahindra Scorpio review, test drive

5 days ago
Mahindra has made massive changes to its popular body-on-frame SUV, the...
New Skoda Rapid diesel auto review, test drive

New Skoda Rapid diesel auto review, test drive

Sep 22, 2014
With the introduction of an automatic gearbox and a new option package, the...
New Volkswagen Polo GT TDI review, test drive

New Volkswagen Polo GT TDI review, test drive

Sep 22, 2014
The updated VW Polo GT TDI gets the new 103bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, but...
Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI India review, test drive

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI India review, test drive

Sep 17, 2014
We take the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz GLA compact luxury SUV for a spin...
Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 India review, test drive

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 India review, test drive

Sep 15, 2014
Mercedes GLA brings an added shot of panache to the compact luxury SUV...
Latest News
Mercedes GLA launched at Rs 32.75 lakh
The GLA 200 is powered by a 181bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine ,...
2 hours ago   4 pictures
Mahindra Gusto vs rivals: specifications comparison
The Mahindra Gusto matches up to able rivals in its segment, from Honda,...
2 hours ago   4 pictures
Verstappen to make FP1 debut in Japan
The Dutchman, who will race for Toro Rosso in 2015, had been waiting to find...
2 hours ago   1 picture
Harley-Davidson's southern rally garners 600 riders
This is the highest number of participants that the HOG rally has ever seen,...
2 hours ago   
Paris motor show 2014 preview
Here's what to expect at the Paris Motor show 2014 that starts this week.
3 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 182 | October 2014

With a whole lot of new cars being launched just around the corner, there’s a lot to be excited about in the coming months. Read our annual rundown of the most exciting cars worth waiting for.
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
Does brand Maruti Suzuki finally have the appeal to take on Honda's City with the Ciaz?


or View results
Yes
  49%
 
No
  51%
TOTAL VOTES: 1308

Vote now
View previous Polls »