Mahindra Thar CRDe
The legendary MM540 is back with a new heart and body. Does that make it a more likeable beast?
The Thar has retained the bodyshell of the 540. Underneath all that is a thoroughly revised chassis, beefed up to take the new 2.5-litre 104bhp common rail diesel from the Scorpio.
The biggest change apart from the engine is the independent front suspension (IFS). The earlier metal dashboard has been replaced by a derivative of the Bolero’s dash. Not sure if that’s a good thing because for a lifestyle vehicle, it could do with classier-looking interiors. The Thar is currently available only as a soft-top, but Mahindra does offer a hard-top as a customisation option. Either ways, it would be wise to invest in a good quality gear lock.
Start her up and the first thing you notice is the refinement. You’d be surprised how quite the engine is. Slot her into gear and boot it, and you’d come out even more surprised, because the Thar has shed all its weight and lunges forward with the agility of a big cat. We ran out of a straight stretch of road but the Thar did manage to touch 128kph in fourth gear. Even better, the Thar doesn’t rearrange your organs every time you hit a bump like its predecessors did.
Overall, the Mahindra Thar strikes the right balance between off-road and on-road manners.