Mahindra Thar: Mud-wrestling

Being motoring journalists, we often get asked by friends and friends of friends for advice on buying a car. But it can get tricky sometimes.

Say, for instance, someone’s in the market for a Rs 15-18 lakh SUV and they ask me for suggestions. I say, “Why don’t you look at the Yeti? It’s a very capable car”. Their expression changes to one of confusion. A lot of people don’t consider it, largely because they’ve never driven this Czech marvel. It’s a gem, albeit an overpriced one.

Here’s another example. “Hey, I want to buy an SUV, it should be a really good off-roader. The road that leads to my farmhouse is broken all the time; I need something that can tackle that kind of extreme torture”. This is a tricky one. Is he looking for a proper off-roader or just another vehicle with lots of ground clearance and torque?

They’re two completely different things, and that distinction is generally not well understood. To explain this, we went to Igatpuri, just off the Mumbai-Nasik highway, to an off-road track designed and owned by Mahindra.