8 reasons why the Thar RWD isn’t a good replacement for my Honda City

At city speeds the ride quality is quite bumpy. I felt there is not much difference in the way this drives compared to the 4×4: It retains the same DNA:

BHPian Abby28 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Checked out the Thar 2WD Diesel MT in person yesterday along with a couple of friends, and was lucky to get a 10 KM test drive (mix of a bad and patchy road in the city and about 7 kms of highway). Here are some observations as a Honda City iVtec (2010) owner, starting with the negatives:

  • Ergonomics: This is a jeep that you “climb-into” rather than get-into. Needs a grab handle near the door for easier ingress, a feature miss in my opinion. Seating comfort is OK (in standstill, but bad during drives for front passengers and worst for the rear ones). Gear shifts sometimes result into your hand brushing the front dashboard. Lack of armrest is an irritant, but Mahindra now has it as an optional accessory (this should have been provided as standard given the utility and low-cost).
  • 2nd-row access: This is pretty cumbersome, for most people even in their 30s and beyond. The space available to access the 2nd row is quite limited, so much so that most buyers will end-up using this as a solo drive or duo passenger car. Don’t know if a better engineering design would’ve been possible given just the two-doors and limited wheelbase, but this is a major ownership negative in my opinion.
  • 2nd-row seating comfort too is non-existent on long drives, or even anything more than an hour or two. If i had no kids and were to buy this car, I would have probably gotten rid of the 2nd-row seat and used it with the extra boot space as a couple tourer.
  • Ride comfort: At city speeds the ride quality is quite bumpy. I felt there is not much difference in the way this drives compared to the 4×4: It retains the same DNA: Everything in the form of bumps, craters, speed breakers, potholes felt inside the cabin and probably sway the driver in his seat a bit, but a large do-not-care attitude externally with the huge 18″ AT 255 profile tyres. Out on the highways, things improve a bit with straight-line stability being acceptable given this is a Jeep, but I was still not confident of taking this anything north of about 80 Kmph.
  • Lack of footrest beside the clutch is another miss from Mahindra.
  • Engine noise on startup: Audible and a brief bit of vibrate/shake on ignition, but settles down into a low thrum thereafter. Acceleration upto 2k-2.5k not perceptible inside the cabin. A plus in my opinion.
  • I was pleasantly surprised with the soft clutch, even though it had a slightly longer travel. This should make it an easy drive in the city.
  • Good NVH – Most of outside noise dampened out inside the cabin, and not much road/wind noise upto 70-80 Kmph (did not take the car beyond this speed during my drive).

I was looking to replace my ageing Honda city (2010) with the Thar (given my wife drives an i20 auto we recently bought and consider this good enough for in-city drives), but have decided not to go for it as I agree with common observation by most members here that this ain’t primary-car material, but a 2nd or probably even a 3rd car good for just those infrequent excursions off the tarmac to your farmhouse or weekend homes.

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