After a seemingly endless wait, the all-new Mahindra Thar has finally been revealed in full. The new Mahindra Thar is the debut of brand in new turbo-petrol and diesel engines and this 4X4 also gets an automatic transmission for the first time ever.
The second-generation of the Mahindra Thar would be directly competing with the upcoming Force Motor Gurkha SUV which we saw in the Auto Expo 2020. For the first time, the Gurkha also gets a new revamped look, along with completely modernized cabin, updated underpinnings and more creature comforts. The new Gurkha retains the classic Mercedes G-Wagen silhouette of its predecessor.
There is also a lot of similarity between the Thar and Gurkha, like the significantly longer overhang up front, which, along with the shift to plastic bumpers and a chunkier bonnet, was necessary to meet the latest pedestrian protection norms. The cliff-faced front end has also made way in both the SUVs along with the traditional round headlights. All this makes way for a question, whether to wait for the upcoming Force Gurkha or to have fun with the new Mahindra Thar, available on sale after 2nd October. We bring forward an in-depth comparison of specs to clarify all your doubts. Although Force Motors haven’t yet revealed the exact dimensions of Gurkha, unlike the Mahindra Thar’s similarity of dimensions with its older gen, we would use the current gen of Force Gurkha for dimension comparisons.
Engine and Transmission
The Original Thar was on offer only in diesel-manual configuration, whereas the new Mahindra Thar will come with multiple engine and gearbox options, including a petrol engine and also an automatic gearbox for the first time. The Thar debuts a new 2.0-litre ‘m Stallion’ petrol engine that gets a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard and also the option of a 6-speed automatic, its capable of producing 152 bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque.
The new Thar’s diesel engine is a 2.2-litre mHawk unit, which will be available with a 6-speed manual gearbox as well an 6-speed torque converter automatic, producing 132 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. A part-time four-wheel-drive system will, of course, come as standard with both, the petrol and the diesel versions, as will a manual-shift transfer case.
The new Gurkha also marks the debut of a heavily updated and BS6 version of Force’s Mercedes OM616-derived 2.6-litre diesel engine. It will come in multiple states of tune and power borrowed from group of Force Motors’ utility vehicles and mini-buses. This 2.6 litre diesel engine shall produce 90 bhp of power and 260 Nm of torque, A 5-speed manual gearbox will be standard fit. Sadly, the Gurkha Extreme’s 140 bhp, 2.2-litre diesel engine has been dropped from the range, which could be the reason for a lot of people to shift towards Thar due to variety of transmissions and more power.
In terms of off-road abilities also the Thar beats the Gurkha at every point, which can be seen in the table given below:
|off-road abilities||Mahindra Thar||Force Gurkha|
|Approach Angle||41.8 Degrees||39 Degrees|
|Departure Angle||36.8 Degrees||27 Degrees|
|Ramp-over Angle||27 Degrees||24 Degrees|
|Water Wading Depth||650mm||NA|
Although both the SUV look boxy and have a lot of edges around, still, thanks to new design revamp and inspiration of Wrangler, The new Thar looks more rugged and modern compared to the Force Gurkha, inspired from G-Wagon. After adding on some aftermarket wheels and auxiliary lights, both SUVs will stand out. But the place where Thar again stands ahead of Gurkha is the variety of options, the Thar comes in three body styles, fixed soft top, convertible soft top, hard top. While the Gurkha is offered with a hard top only.
Features and cabin is another area where the Thar beats the Gurkha hands down. It’s less rudimentary and more welcoming than the previous gen Thar. The cabin also appears to be well finished and quality levels have also taken a huge step up from its predecessor. We must also mention that the cabin is not only modern, but also IP54 water and dust resistant.
The Gurkha’s revamped interior, on the other hand, feels more rudimentary and basic. The touchscreen infotainment system is an aftermarket unit and the cabin has nothing much attractive and is more of utilitarian. It also falls short on features compared to Thar.
The common features, which both SUVs share are, they come with a touchscreen infotainment system, a manual air conditioning, and front power windows.
Other than that, the Thar goes far ahead of Gurkha with cruise control, steering mounted audio controls, coloured multi-info display, and even remote locking, making it serve more as a urban tech packed SUV with some serious off-roading capabilities.
On the safety front, both SUVs feature dual airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors. However, the Thar again get more with electronic stability control and hill start assist, which are still not confirmed to be available in the new updated Gurkha.
The only place where Gurkha is better is in terms of mechanical features, the Gurkha offers diff locks on both axles while the Thar has it only at the rear. But to compensate for the lack of front differential lock, the Thar comes with a brake locking differential.
Expected Price and Verdict
The pricing for Mahindra Thar is expected to be between 9.5 lakh to 13 lakh, while the Gurkha is expected to arrive in the same price bracket, around 13 lakh. The final verdict on the basis of specs, on sheet has a lot for Thar, over the Gurkha. Looks might be subjective to personal opinion, especially the big chunky grills in Thar. But the Thar has the better interior here, comes with more features, and you can also have it with a petrol engine or with an automatic transmission if you desire. Clearly, Mahindra is what we have tested on roads as well and believe to be far better, yet what we still await is to test Force Gurkha on roads and find its advantages.