2022 Mahindra Thar Interior Review - Features & Usability
In this Mahindra Thar interior review, we’ll explain the Thar’s interior design, features and their usability in detail to help you decide if you should buy this off-road SUV. We’ll comprehensively explain the experience of getting in and out of the Thar’s front and rear seats and the comfort while driving. The final overview of the Thar’s cabin experience will help you decide if the Mahindra Thar SUV is a suitable car for you. Please note that we compiled this review after driving the car Mahindra loaned to us for a few days.
Front Seat Ingress Egress
The Thar’s cabin floor is 590mm high. So, most people will have a problem getting inside in one jump. Thankfully, the Thar gets side steps to make it easier for everyone. While 6-footers can still 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.
For the driver, the steering wheel makes for a good grab handle to grip while getting inside. For the front passenger, there’s a grab handle inside just above the door as well as a dashboard-mounted grab handle.
The two front doors and the boot door have a nylon strap to prevent it from swinging too far. While the doors have mild detents to hold them in a partially open position during ingress/egress, it’s not enough to keep them in place even in a mildly windy environment. So, if you want to keep it scratch-free, then you will have to carefully open and hold the door yourself if there are other cars or a wall next to the Thar.
Front Seats Review
Once you’re seated in the front seats, you’ll notice that they are adequately supportive. Thankfully, Mahindra offer fabric seats, which are infinitely more breathable than the leather or faux leather upholsteries in our hot and humid climatic conditions.
Both front seats get height-adjustable headrests. In the higher variant, you also get adjustable lumbar support with the front seats. A height-adjustable driver seat is available as standard with both variants.
The door armrest placement is appropriate for both front seat occupants but it’s not padded. More than a padded door armrest, during your everyday drives in the city or during road trips on the highway, you’ll miss a front centre armrest.
Especially with the automatic transmission, where the left hand has no duties during normal road driving, I missed a centre armrest to park my left forearm. Underneath the door armrest is a nifty door pocket on both sides with a bottle holder, which can comfortably accommodate a 1.0L - 1.5L bottle.
Between the front seats, the centre console has space for a coin holder, backlit power window switches, hand brake and 2 cup holders. Towards the front, we have the gear lever and drivetrain lever. Ahead of the gear lever, you get space for a phone along with a 12V power socket, backlit 2 USB A ports and a backlit 3.5mm jack. Speaking of backlit switches and ports, the steering-mounted controls, as well as the ignition keyhole, are backlit. However, the buttons on the steering wheel have a very dim backlight.
The LX variant of the Thar also gets steering-mounted media, telephony and cruise control buttons. The steering wheel is adjustable for height or rake but it’s not telescopic. So, you can’t adjust it for reach. People in our team of varying heights ranging from 5ft 8in to 6ft 2in tried out the driver seat and we didn’t feel the need for telescopic steering and found that the height adjustment alone was enough to get into a good driving position.
The air conditioning is manual but works well even on a hot day despite a roof with only basic insulation. The prismatic inside rearview mirror is also of the manual variety and it’s a bit of a stretch to flip it into day or night mode. Because of this reachability issue, we wish it had an auto-dimming inside mirror. But, using it without the roof in the convertible model could cause problems if it rains while the car is parked in the open. So, for the sake of reliability and durability, we understand why we get a simple prismatic mirror in the Thar. Speaking of mirrors, the outside mirrors are large and power-adjustable but they don’t auto fold. The outside mirrors are large and adequately cover the rear field of view.
The all-around visibility is good from the driver’s seat. You can not only see almost the entire bonnet but also from the side windows. The rear windshield doesn’t offer similar visibility because of the spare wheel position but the parking sensors make up for that issue as they work perfectly.
Rear Seats Ingress Egress
To access the rear seat, you have to flip and slide the front passenger seat forward. There’s a lever to do this in one go. This frees up some space to get inside and it’s a little difficult for tall passengers. Getting out is a bigger challenge though. The side step is a must-have for getting and out of the rear seats. There’s space for only 2 in the back seat of the Mahindra Thar.
Rear Seat Review
While getting in and out of the rear seats of the Thar is a little challenging, once you’re inside, there’s surprisingly decent space even for tall 6-footers like myself. There’s some space under the front seats to park your feet as well. The rear seats are split in half so you can fold one of them to store some luggage while a passenger can occupy the other. The rear seats of the Thar can recline and they get adjustable headrests, which further makes it reasonably comfortable for adults. At least for shorter trips, the rear seats are usable for adults as well as children. For longer drives, it’s suitable only for children or shorter adults.
Both the front seatback pockets offer some storage functionality as well for rear seat occupants as there’s nothing else available. While the rear seat passengers get nylon grab handles to hang on to during off-roading, they don’t get a side armrest to rest their forearm during smooth highway or city driving. There’s no charging point for rear seat occupants but the 2 cupholders in the centre console are easily accessible for all 4 occupants.
Just like the front seats, the rear ones also get a mix of fabric and leatherette upholstery. The high-wear-and-tear areas get the leatherette treatment while the seat base and backrest get fabric for better breathability. Despite the lack of rear AC vents, the rear passengers didn’t complain about the air conditioning while driving on a hot day in Delhi as the front AC vents are enough to cool down its compact cabin.
Since this is the Thar we’re talking about, you can expect rolling over during serious off-roading. In such situations, if the side doors are not accessible to get out of the car, you can use the boot door to exit the vehicle using the latch inside the boot door. However, if the Thar rolls and lands on its left side, then holding the boot door open may become a challenge. This is because of the heavy 18-inch spare wheel as the door swings open to the right.
Verdict - Mahindra Thar Interior Review
Overall, the Mahindra Thar’s interior looks and feels like a regular car. The driving position is also like any other car and the forward-facing rear seats also make the cabin experience familiar. It’s only when the Thar starts moving that you will begin to notice its capabilities on broken and smooth roads. It has enough features to feel like a modern car but not enough to overshadow its raw, muscular off-road SUV appeal.