2022 Mahindra Thar Exterior Review – Design & Features
In this Mahindra Thar exterior review, we’ll explain the Thar’s exterior in detail to help you decide if you should buy this off-road SUV. We’ll comprehensively explain the Thar’s exterior front, rear, side and boot related details and provide a final overview of the Thar’s exterior design. Please note that we compiled this review after driving the car Mahindra loaned to us for a few days.
Exterior Front - Mahindra Thar Review
The Mahindra Thar is a sub-4m SUV but it’s so wide that it looks like a much bigger car from the front as well as the rear. In fact, it’s wider than even some C-segment SUVs. Besides the wide and squarish front face, it has a muscular design with extended wheel arches and sharp contours, thick cladding and a tailgate-mounted spare wheel.
The grille retains the traditional vertical slats and it gets a pair of skid plates and wheel-arch mounted indicators. The headlamps, fog lamps and front indicators are halogen reflector type. So, there’s good scope for easy upgradability, repairability and aftermarket replacement accessories.
During our night drives, we noticed that the headlights have good throw and illumination for city driving but for frequent highway driving, you may feel the need to upgrade. The small DRL strip is the only LED element on the front and you can turn it off from the infotainment if you want.
To open the Thar’s bonnet, you need to unlatch the hood and also unlock it from the inside. The bonnet’s underside has a layer of sound deadening material, which works quite well. The Thar’s diesel engine is fairly silent when idling and is pretty smooth too by diesel engine standards.
Exterior Side - Mahindra Thar Review
From the side, the Mahindra Thar retains its old-school charm with 2-door layout. With the black roof, it gets a natural dual-tone appearance. You’ll also notice the Thar’s black outside mirrors and black door handles with the flap-type mechanism. While it may look out of place on a car costing around Rs. 17 lakh on-road, they do add some level of rugged and utilitarian appeal to the Thar’s style.
The Thar also gets external bolts to easily remove the doors for a closer-to-nature driving experience on the trails. Underneath the doors, you get wide footsteps, which will help with easy ingress and egress. While 6-footers can directly climb into the cabin, it does slightly interfere when entering and exiting the vehicle. If you use the side steps, then it not only becomes easier to get in and out of the car but it also doesn’t rub against the lower legs.
The Thar has its fuel lid on the left and it doesn’t have a button to electronically open it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even have a lever inside the cabin. The only option is to remove the key from the ignition and hand it over to the petrol pump attendant.
The top LX variant we drove had 18-inch alloy wheels while the lower AX Optional variant gets smaller 16-inch steel wheels. Besides the larger alloys, the Thar LX also gets 1-size wider, 255-section tyres and has 7mm better ground clearance than the lower AX Optional variant. With the 18-inch alloys, the Thar looks quite muscular and they complement the Thar’s side profile.
Exterior Rear - Mahindra Thar Review
The biggest notable feature of the Thar’s rear is its tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Unlike some cars, which get a space saver and only 4 alloys, the Thar gets a full-size spare wheel with an alloy. The other thing that will catch your attention are its rectangular taillights. The tail lamp cluster gets LED marker lights and halogen reflectors as brake lights. They nicely contrast the Thar’s round lighting setup on the front with just enough LED elements to add a modern appeal while retaining the old-school charm.
The Mahindra Thar gets parking sensors but no rear camera. Thankfully, the sensors work quite well and factor in the spare wheel into the car’s length. So, you just need to follow the warning beeps and you can park the car in reverse just right without any additional help.
The Thar’s boot door swings to the right and the windshield opens up like a hatchback. The rear windshield gets a defogger but doesn’t get a washer and wiper. The boot space is small and enough to only hold 2-3 laptop backpacks.
Realistically, if you're planning to take the Thar out for a road trip, then it’s at most suitable for 2 adults and 1 child. Because of the flat folding split rear seatbacks, you can fold down one of the rear seats and fill that space up with luggage. Under the boot floor, there’s a small cubby, where you’ll find the jack. The spanners and warning triangle sit around in the boot with only velcro to hold them in place.
Verdict - Mahindra Thar Exterior Review
It’s certainly a tough-to-ignore car. Whether you see it in your rearview mirror or you follow it on the road, the Thar’s width gives it a big-car road presence, which probably no other car can offer for under Rs. 30 lakh. Moreover, its imposing front design commands respect on the road as we often found people giving us space when we were driving the Thar in the city. In fact, on one occasion, the toll booth attendant on the Bhiwadi-Alwar state highway opened the boom barrier before I could reach for my wallet. It’s worth noting that the Thar is only about as big as an XUV300 sub-4m SUV. So, even if you have a parking space for only a small car, the Thar will most likely fit in it without a problem.