Some time ago I read in an online article that buying a Thar is a matter of heart over mind. Back then, I was completely obsessed with the idea of owning a Jeep so did not try to dig any further or give any thought to this. I bought a Thar after seriously considering SUVs like Safari, Scorpio and compact SUVs like Duster and EcoSport. My biggest reason was that I wanted to own a vehicle which is not “common” and can really make heads turn. You may call it “show off” but it is really hard not to show off a 4×4 like Thar. Another reason was that I really wanted to buy a car that can handle the abuse. My criteria for buying was that it had to be a 4×4 and I should be able to take it out anywhere without a second thought. It has been a few weeks since I bought my obsession home and thought the aspect of “take it out anywhere” hasn’t really been tested yet, here is a small account of the pros and cons I have encountered so far.
To my sheer disappointment, within the first month I have already sent the vehicle to the Koncept Mahindra workshop three times and it is ready to go for a fourth one as well. The problems started in a matter of days, the door handle breaking off being the first one.
I was kind of shocked that something like this would happen in a brand new vehicle. I called the dealership and they sent someone to replace the broken handle with a new one. However the story did not end here. A few days later, the door locks started to get jammed, so badly that I just couldn’t get the doors open with the key from outside.
The only option I had was to open the canopy and enter the vehicle from rear side to pull open the locks. I called the dealership again and they sent someone to pick up the vehicle. Initial promise was that the locks would be changed however when the guy bought it back in the evening that day, I was told that they just “fixed” the issue and did not feel the need to change anything. The locks were pretty smooth at that time but that remained to be the case for only one day as they started to jam again on the very next, both on the driver and the passenger side. While I was still fumbling around with the doors, I noticed that the sprinkler on the bonnet had also come loose, on a brand new vehicle.
Along with the lattice they put in front of the radiator to protect it.
I called in the dealership again and they once more sent their driver to pick up the vehicle. I very specifically mentioned that I need the locks replaced however it still did not happen. While the sprinkler was replaced and lattice bolted tight, the locks they said need not be replaced and will not be a problem anymore as they have yet again “fixed” the issue.
A few days went by peacefully. One morning while I was driving back home from work, I started to notice a strange click sound from the rear wheels. The Thar was behaving as if something was underneath its wheels and the click sound was loud enough to be heard on the driving seat even with windows rolled up. While I was reversing it at the parking spot in front of my house, one time the sound was so loud that I was afraid that something broke. I immediately called the dealership and they told me to engage the 4×4 and reverse the vehicle. Their reason was that the 4×4 was not properly disengaged which did not make sense to me as I haven’t yet driven the vehicle in 4×4 mode, not even once. I still did what they told and as expected, problem was not resolved. The click sound from the wheels kept coming and every once in a while, it was alarmingly loud, especially while reversing and taking sharp turns. What’s more, while reversing the Thar, I could feel that something is wrong as it was taking quite an effort to go back. When I informed the dealership about it, they sent someone to pick it up a third time and this time; they kept it the workshop for an entire day. I was told that the 4×4 gear was making the noise and they had to readjust it. Nevertheless, problem was resolved and for next few days, I drove around in peace but then the door locks problem arrived again. At the time of writing this article, another pick up is scheduled for the next day as the locks have started jamming again, to the extent that this evening I again had to enter the vehicle from rear to pull open the locks.
So far, I cannot really comment on whether I am happy with my decision of buying a Thar or regretting it. I guess that verdict would have to wait for a later time when I have truly driven it for a while, tested it where I wanted to. I have only driven it in the city so far in Delhi’s notorious traffic and the only plus point that has come up so far is the road presence of the vehicle. No matter where you go, it is truly a head-turner.