The Mahindra Thar’s overall score for adult occupant protection was 12.52 points out of a maximum 17. Head and neck protection for both adult crash test dummies were noted to be good. Chest protection for the driver was rated adequate, while protection for the co-driver was good. There was good protection for the co-driver’s knees, but the report states protection for the driver’s knees is marginal, as they could come into contact with "dangerous structures behind the dashboard", in case of an accident.
The Mahindra Thar fared equally well on the child occupant protection front. Global NCAP has handed the Thar four stars and 41.11 points out of a maximum 49 for child occupant protection – the highest score of all cars tested so far. To put it into perspective, even the Mahindra XUV300 – which was the first Mahindra to secure a full five stars in the Global NCAP crash tests – had only scored 37.44 points for child occupant protection.
With the recommended child restraint system (CRS) for the Thar in place, movement of the three-year-old child dummy's head (sat in a forward-facing child seat) was well within Global NCAP’s 550mm limit. The Thar provided good protection for the head of the three-year-old as well as the 18-month-old child dummy (sat in a rearward-facing child seat).
In its report, Global NCAP further highlights that the Mahindra Thar comes with three-point seat belts as standardfor all passengers, and also has standard ISOFIX child-seat anchorages, which helped it secure a four-star child occupant protection rating.
Global NCAP also subjected the new Mahindra Thar to a side impact crash test, which the 4x4 passed. A side impact test is mandatory for a vehicle to be considered for a five-star rating, but it wasn’t considered in the final scoring as the Thar didn’t score enough points in the frontal offset crash test to be close to securing a five-star rating.
Top-spec Mahindra Thar LX tested
While Global NCAP has usually picked the base model of the vehicle in question for crash tests in the past, it appears to have used the higher-spec Mahindra Thar LX with a hardtop this time.
Like Global NCAP stated when it tested the Tata Altroz and the XUV300, most safety features are common across all variants of the new Thar, and the higher weight of the LX would’ve posed a greater challenge for it, along with its alloy rims, which are stronger than steel and would increase the impact load on the structure during the crash. With certain safety features becoming hygiene, it seems Global NCAP has dropped its usual policy of picking only the entry-level models and now chooses the variant it estimates will face the biggest challenge in the tests.
However, it’s worth noting that the Thar range included the base AX Standard and AX variants at launch, both of which aren’t on sale at this time. Both variants miss out on ISOFIX child seat mounts, 3-point seatbelts for rear passengers and even a roll cage, all of which are now being considered standard equipment with the AX Standard and AX trims missing from the lineup. The absence of these key safety features would have had a clear impact on the Thar's final crash test ratings.
Global NCAP also tested the Thar’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which is offered only on the LX variant. In its test of the ESP, Global NCAP said the Thar exhibited ‘unstable dynamic behaviour’ and that a review and improvement of the Thar’s ESP are needed.
The latest result will come as another morale-booster for Mahindra, and follows hot on the heels of mixed crash test results for the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Kia Seltos.
Are you surprised by the new Mahindra Thar’s impressive performance in the Global NCAP crash tests? Let us know in the comments.