With the second-generation Mahindra Thar, the Indian SUV specialist has positioned the model as a lifestyle product that makes a statement, rather than being just a utilitarian off-roader. Mahindra has gone to great lengths to ensure the new Thar appeals to a larger audience – from its design and powertrain options to its interior and level of equipment. Read on to know how those efforts have paid off in terms of the 2020 Thar’s interiors.
New Mahindra Thar positioned as lifestyle product rather than utilitarian off-roader
2020 Thar interiors reflect this with a modern yet durable feel
Safety kit, creature comforts and tech also make the Thar feel up to date
What does the 2020 Mahindra Thar look like on the inside?
Step into the cabin of the new Thar and there’s a marked difference compared to its predecessor. The dashboard design is uncomplicated and the touchscreen infotainment system mounted high brings the Thar’s cabin into the 21st century. A thick grab handle on the dash for the front passenger adds to the off-road appeal. The new instrument panel doesn’t quite have the same flair as the original’s, though it is uncluttered; the dials and MID are easy to read too.
Circular air-con vents sit almost at the edges of the dash while the central AC vents are situated below the 7.0-inch touchscreen. A rubber-lined cubby is placed just ahead of the gear lever.The power window switches have been placed between the front seats as the doors are removable.
Next to the small, lockable glovebox is a commemorative metal plaque with the car’s serial number on it. The large, tilt-adjustable steering unit gets buttons to operate the infotainment system and cruise control; those who own newer Mahindra cars will find them familiar. There are speakers mounted low on the dashboard on either side, as well as a set mounted on the roof just above the front seats.
What is the 2020 Mahindra Thar’s interior like on quality?
While the 2020 Thar is not luxurious or plush, the quality of materials and general fit and finish is excellent and the plastic bits such as the switches feel built to last. As we found out in our review of the new Thar, even the rubberised texture of the chunky centre console feels nice.
Overall, the interiors feel hardy, comfortable and modern. Mahindra claims you can hose down the cabin to clean it out too, underlining the hardy intent. The cabin even comes with removable drain plugs, and the touchscreen is supposed to be ‘drizzle resistant’ too. The hard plastic floor covers do become slippery when wet, which makes operating the pedals a bit difficult.
How does the 2020 Mahindra Thar’s interior score on space and comfort?
The new Mahindra Thar is far more comfortable than its predecessor but there is still room for improvement. At the front, shoulder room is a bit tight and the footwell is narrow. However, the front seats are large and come with good side bolstering. The seat cushioning feels inconsistent though and a little lumpy.
Getting to the rear seats is a bit of a chore. The front passenger seat folds to aid ingress but the entrance is quite narrow. The 50:50 split-folding, forward facing rear seats, which are standard on the Thar LX and optional on the Thar AX, make for a significant improvement over the previous model’s side-facing seats but are not the last word in comfort. There’s only seating for two at the back and the seats themselves are too low-set, but legroom is adequate.
What features does the 2020 Thar get?
While the cabin isn’t luxurious per se, it’s not bare bones either. The more lifestyle oriented Thar LX gets 8-way adjustable front seats including height and lumbar adjust, fabric upholstery, cruise control, power adjustable outside rear-view mirrors, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with USB connectivity, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and navigation, 4 speakers and 2 tweeters and a colour multi-info display in the instrument cluster.
Safety kit on this top-spec Thar variant is more than decent too. Dual-front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, a brake locking diff, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with rollover mitigation, a tyre pressure monitor, three-point seatbelts for all four passengers, hill-start and descent assist, Isofix child seat mounts, a roll cage, speed-sensing door locks, follow-me-home headlights and a manual inside day-night rear-view mirror are standard. Here’s the complete list of features available on the Thar AX and LX.
How practical is the 2020 Mahindra Thar?
Boot space in the new Thar isn’t much to write home about but with the rear seats folded, there’s room to carry quite a lot. Although rear passengers won’t find convenient places to keep bottles and odds and ends, there is space in the centre console large enough for a smartphone and other nick-knacks. There are also cupholders placed behind the power window switches.
Those who owned the previous-gen Thar will definitely find that the new model is light years ahead in terms of comfort, technology and general fit and finish. Mahindra is making a statement with the 2020 Thar – it’s a proper mud-plugging 4x4 that can also serve as an everyday runabout, with style.
2020 Mahindra Thar first look video
2020 Mahindra Thar image gallery
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