Mahindra Thar as Family Vehicle, City Driving & Daily Use?

by Vargis.Khan

When I was considering buying a Mahindra Thar 18 months ago, everyone told me to reconsider my plans, think about it again and look at other available options. Mahindra Thar as family vehicle? My folks could never imagine that and they just thought I was wasting money. I was told things like “It is an acquired taste, not everyone’s cup of tea, it is a lifestyle car” etc. None of this made any sense really at that time and all I thought was that it is just another car and a stylish one for that matter actually.

I had driven Thar a few times, took it out for a short test drive as well and even though it did feel a little different than driving any other car, I just couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. In the end, I simply chose to ignore everything that everyone said, went ahead with my plans, bought a Mahindra Thar and now after driving it around for over a year and a half, I know what everyone was trying to tell me.

mahindra thar as family vehicle

Mahindra Thar as Family Vehicle, City Driving & Daily Use?

Mahindra Thar is a true head turner without any doubt. No matter where you take it, it will catch everyone’s attention. People will admire and enquire which I doubt happens with any other car available in Indian market as of today. The most frequent questions that I get asked apart from about performance and maintenance are,

  • How comfortable is Mahindra Thar for daily use?
  • How is Mahindra Thar for city driving?
  • Can you use Mahindra Thar as family vehicle?

Before I jump into answering these questions, let me first admit that I totally love my Thar. Though I may sound like I am bitching about it here, cribbing and complaining, but the fact is that I do not regret my decision at all. If rolled back in time and given a choice, I would still buy it 18 months ago. Secondly, what I say here is my honest opinion, my own thoughts as a Thar owner that others may or may not agree with.

Coming to answering the three questions above; I have been using Thar in Delhi’s bumper to bumper traffic, commuting to work and back in peak rush hours. Even though I own a couple of other cars as well but ever since Thar was added to the garage, it became my first choice of commute. I take it out every alternate day, if not everyday, and have had no problem so far. True that the overall experience of driving it is worlds apart from any other car.

Also Read: Mahindra Thar CRDE vs DI – Which One to Buy?

The steering feels different, seating positing is different, gear lever needs effort while shifting, braking sometimes feels inefficient, the hand brake is untrustworthy, canopy is annoying, rattles like crazy, the entire interior feels like a cheap “jugaad” but all this is just a few days story. Once you get used to it, after you start knowing your Thar, none of what I stated above will matter. Once you get used to the raw power and torque it offers, the retro jeep styling, the solid combination of engine, gear box and chasis, you will start ignoring your others cars like I did.

Mahindra Thar Daily Use

Even though the steering wheel is a little big, the nimble power steering & zero turbo lag makes light work of driving it around in the city. Take it on the highway and it is effortless cruising all the way. The engine is really smooth and you will hear very little engine noise in the cabin which I believe is quite surprising for a jeep running on Diesel engine with no sound damping under the bonnet and a soft cover.

Mahindra Thar for City Use

While the overall look feels huge and bulky, surprisingly the overall length of Thar is shorter than some of the shortest sedans in the Indian market today. Running at a total length of 3920 mm, it is shorter than even a Honda Amaze which has a length of 3990 mm. In terms of width as well, at 1710 mm, it is shorter than even an I20 which has a total width of 1734mm. Measurements I mentioned are of CRDE model, DI is even shorter than this.

With these proportions, handling a Thar in city traffic or finding a parking spot too for that matter is no hassle at all. On the contrary, it actually makes it quite a fun to drive city car with 2498 CC engine, 105 bhp and 247 NM torque with zero turbo lag. The power steering is nimble and responsive which makes the maneuvering in city traffic quite effortless. There is a lot of space in the front cabin and a very commanding view from driver’s seat.

Also Read: How to Keep your Mahindra Thar Safe?

Mahindra Thar as Family Vehicle

Things however change when it comes to using it as a family vehicle. In the end, it all boils down to the fact that Mahindra Thar is a remodeled, made-to-look-fancy jeep and a big compromise on comfort. Using it as a family vehicle means a lot of modifications after which your folks will still complain. The front seats are really hard on back and butt and not really designed to sit on for longer duration. The parallel rear seats are a catastrophe at a whole another level. There is no comfortable sitting position for people sitting in the back and it would just feel like they are sitting on a flat bench. Ride too, while it is smooth for front passengers, can get a lot bumpy for rear passengers.

Mahindra Thar Comfort & Convenience

Convenience is another problem. There is no central locking available and all three doors will have to be opened one by one. Opening the canopy and climbing in the back feels like you are getting on an Army truck. There is absolutely no space to keep some of the basic daily stuff you will be carrying or groceries that you will be bringing home after shopping. You will just have to put them down either on the rear parallel seats or on the floor and in both cases everything will just be rolling around at every turn. Even the tool kit and puncture repair kit is inside a box under the passenger seat with nothing holding it firm. At even the slightest of bump, it will move and continue making an annoying noise.

At every bump and speed breaker, Thar rattles like everything is going to fall apart which can get very annoying. Windshield wipers look like a joke. It is missing some of the very basic accessories like power windows, central locking, remote opening etc which are present in even the base models of all cars in the market today.

Mahindra Thar Canopy

It is surprising to see that a company that big couldn’t even get the canopy right for the price. After a year or so, it will just start to tear apart. Come the rain and you will have water leaking inside the vehicle through the canopy. The zip locks too will give away after a few months. Accelerate Thar over 70 kmph and the canopy will start fluttering and making so much noise that you won’t even be able to enjoy the music.

Canopy is also a big hindrance while reversing the vehicle and you will have to practically get down, clean it with water after it gets dirty or you won’t be able to see anything.

Mahindra Thar Interior

Though they made several changes in the newer 2015 released model but the entire interior is still a big letdown. Everything feels just plain and simple basic and not like sitting inside a Rs. 10 Lakhs car. The rubber mats on the floor looks appalling. Dashboard too isn’t really that great or fancy and looks like made of cheap plastic.

Also read: Mahindra Thar Soft Top vs Hardtop – Which One is Better?

Mahindra Thar Security

Security is probably the biggest concern. It is not a car that you can just leave and go shopping. You will have to install some additional security measures for your peace of mind. Getting in the vehicle is a child’s play with the soft top; and even the locks of the front doors aren’t that thief proof or provide peace of mind. You will have to definitely get some more additional security measures; like gear lock, chor-switch, steering lock or even a tire lock.

Mahindra Thar Driving Comfort

The steering wheel is off-center forcing you to hold it with your hands slightly to the left. Finding a perfect driving position too is tricky. If you slide the seats a little too much, you will have to stretch out for the steering wheel and gear lever; which will start hurting your shoulders after some time. If you slide it forward to find a resting position for your arms; you will have to keep your knees bent. Springs under the rear seats stick out; which can cause hurt if you are not careful, a hazard with kids and family. Things I mentioned here are just a few over the top of my head. If you look closely, this list can be endless.

Is Mahindra Thar Worth Buying?

So in the end, to answer the three questions,

  • Can Thar be used for city driving, absolutely Yes. The company promotes it as an off-roader but it is a bliss to drive it even on the city roads.
  • Is Thar suitable for daily use? Yes but only if you install some additional security features; mostly use it as two seater and preferably opt for a hardtop.
  • Mahindra Thar as a family vehicle? A big NO. It can be a great addition to your garage but cannot be the only car in your garage. It is no way a family car but if you do want to use it that way;, then you must spend a little money getting it accessorized that way; like central locking, additional security measures, power windows; wall to wall carpet, front facing rear seat, hard top etc. However even after doing all this, it will still fall short and will never truly be a family car.

I hope this information regarding Mahindra Thar was helpful. Once again, it was an honest to the point review. I totally still love my Thar but cannot really ignore the problems that come with it. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.

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Akhil Reddy January 4, 2021 - 6:56 am

Will it be Comfortable to Drive Thar from Hyderabad to Ooty on national highway (900 KM)?

Sanket Karjagi August 15, 2020 - 3:18 pm

Looks like Mahindra heard our prayers 🙂

Varun August 13, 2020 - 3:23 pm

Hilarious account on your experience. Very happy with the description. Thar was always a fantasy but never a choice to buy. I was just browsing on what is the use of a Thar in a city. Thanks for such a wonderful review.

Suresh Nayar December 19, 2019 - 7:09 am

Very well written review. Thank you.
I wonder how the clutch has held up after so many years of driving.
Has become hard over time, to an extent that it painful in stop and go traffic?
I struggled with the clutch in my Safari Dicor, and hence my question.

makemywheels July 9, 2019 - 9:52 am

Hello Sir,
I want my black thar modifiying so can you please suggest me which color is best for the black thar and how it cost.

Dipesh March 22, 2019 - 8:56 pm

I bought a hard top 4×4 crde which gives me immense pleasure to drive…the only thing I would love to replace in the car is bench seats and get front facing sofa seats fitted…your reviews are up to the mark Vargis bhai …m also using thar in my daily routine life…

Vargis.Khan March 23, 2019 - 12:26 am

Thanks Dipesh Bhai

Ashish sharma January 29, 2019 - 6:22 pm

I want to put steel rims not too wide 6.5j or 7 J whichever is available , will this affect highway driving as that’s what I do in my thar ?

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Pemmaiah m u August 27, 2018 - 12:15 am

I have a soft top..planning to change it to hard top or is it better to have security systems installed in it..pls let me know on [email protected]

PRASHANT SARASWAT August 15, 2018 - 6:07 am

Vargis ji , too good description. I have been wanting to get a thar for a few years now.Your details are really good for a city guy.

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2018 - 12:38 pm

Hello Prashant Ji – Thank you so much for taking the time to drop a note.

SHRIRAMAR S August 1, 2018 - 5:43 pm

Hi varghis….how about the maintenance… it like the usual car service or does it give some issues often?? Because my friend used to say it has to be maintained often and gives you work frequently… that so??

Vargis.Khan August 1, 2018 - 8:32 pm

Hi Shriramar – I have been using it for last 3 years now and to be honest, I haven’t incurred any huge maintenance expenses (fingers crossed). It is just the usual servicing and minor wear and tear that happens with every machine. My other cars have costed me more in terms of maintenance actually.

shri October 29, 2018 - 10:11 am

Thank you. And i have a doubt whether it will be suitable for 6’2″. As i am in that height i felt little difficulties in getting out of driver seat. Is that so?

Vargis.Khan October 29, 2018 - 1:53 pm

I don’t think it will but best would be to take a test drive and decide for yourself.

sid June 14, 2018 - 5:53 pm

sir i want to know that thar have height adjustment feature in the front seats in the top variant and what will be the milegae in city of thar crde????

sid June 14, 2018 - 6:22 pm


sid June 15, 2018 - 9:06 am


Vargis.Khan June 15, 2018 - 3:03 pm

Hi Sid, No there is no option to adjust the height of the seat.

sid June 18, 2018 - 9:21 am

sir my height is 6.3 would i feel problem leg space while riding thar?? is it will comfortbale for me???

Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 1:52 pm

Bhai a better way would be to first take a test drive and then make the decision. Mahindra Thar is an entirely different deal than any other car. It is not just about the height but several other things so first drive it around a few times and then decide whether or not to buy

Tushar K. June 11, 2018 - 2:43 pm

Hey Vargis – Great article and inputs.. I’m in awe of it. I’m looking to buy a used 2013 (or 14) CRDE for more so fun, not off-roading per say at my farmhouse area, and it will not be our only vehicle. This is a modified one ready for offroading with big wheels, lights and the whole 9 yards.. The curious question is I think: 1) Is it a good buy – year and price wise around 6ish, and, 2) Will I need to maintain a separate set of wheel for regular city/hwy driving as it currently has the big off-roader one’s. Appreciate your inputs in making me pull the trigger or not. Thanks Bud.

Vargis.Khan June 11, 2018 - 6:18 pm

Hi Tushar, If the wheels are a bit too big than it will definitely affect the city handling of the vehicle. Lights too may have to be taken off if they are on the roof as those are not allowed in city, unless covered. My honest advice would be that you go for the newer model. The stock tires will be more than enough for driving around at farms as well as in the city.

Aaditya May 27, 2018 - 11:44 am

Excellent review Vargis bhai jaan.
I’m extremely tempted to buy a Thar, but just a query remained unanswered for me even after many reviews and opinions, probably you can help.
“How is Thar, for a longer drive, say 1k kms or so, on highways???”

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2018 - 12:41 pm

Hi Aaditya – Sorry I just realized that I never responded on this comment. Thar is perfect for longer drives. I have been to both Ladakh and Spiti in it and several other trips and it never gave any problem anywhere.

Amit May 9, 2018 - 9:01 am

Hi Vargis..i found this blog today and really it helped a lot reading your blog. I want to buy the Thar CRDE but bit worried about the upcoming BS 6 compliance, If by 2020 they target to outdate all BS 4 engine and Mahindra may come up with new BS 6 engine then its a big loss if i buy now..Any clue on that

Vargis.Khan May 9, 2018 - 1:45 pm

Hi Amit – I wish I had an answer to that brother but no one does as of now. I doubt though that they will target to outdate vehicles in such rushed manner though.

Rohit R April 28, 2018 - 9:31 am

Perfect! I was keen too but after reading your review I am having second thoughts. I basically wanted a ladder frame rear wheel drive or 4wd. Not too keen on offroading but wanted a tough go anywhere vehicle. Would you recommend the Bolero? Power is less but it has good low end torque which is all I want .

Vargis.Khan April 30, 2018 - 7:41 pm

Hi Rohit, A lot of people suggested me Bolero but I was not too keen on its looks. So yes, if you are OK looks wise then Boloero will be great. None of the imperfections from Thar and almost the same power.

rohit r May 12, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Thanks Vargis

Vargis.Khan May 12, 2018 - 8:56 pm

You are welcome !!

Vishal October 5, 2017 - 2:06 pm

Very well written review, to the point and annswers the FAQs about Thar CRDe .

Vargis.Khan October 5, 2017 - 2:56 pm

Thanks Vishal

Dharmen September 10, 2017 - 4:01 pm

Hi Vargis, excellent review. I have been considering however have not been able to take a call yet. I have no intention of off-roading however smitten by its looks. Took test drive of crde but not DI, they are unable to organize DI model. As it will be my occasional outing car, I was thinking to optimise on budget and go for DI 4*4. I understand there is no Ac in DI so will do after fitment. Needed you advice. I am not aware of the behaviour nor have seen the new DI model. Need you advise please.

Vargis.Khan September 10, 2017 - 10:38 pm

Hello Dharmen – If you are from Delhi then you cannot buy a DI. It is not allowed by law in the city and you must go for CRDE.

Comparing both, CRDE does have a greater dimension though. CRDE is 3920mm in length, 1710mm in width and 1930mm in height. DI is 3760mm in length, 1640mm in width and 1904mm height. In terms of engine, DI is 2523cc,63 bhp @ 3800 rpm and torque of 182.5 Nm @ 1500 Rpm. CRDE is 2498 cc, 105 BHP @ 3800 RPM and torque of 247 Nm @ 1800 RPM.

I have driven both, (My uncle has a DI back in my hometown in UP) and to be honest, I do not really like the DI version. Not much of a different while driving but for some reason, it just doesn’t look appealing to me. It really looks like one of those jeeps the locals use as shared taxis. CRDE version kind of has a charm around it. I know it sounds silly but I couldn’t find better words to put it.

Only buy Thar if 1. you are ready to compromise on comfort 2. have another car in garage 3. ready to shed a bit more to get a hard top, some modifications and fitting some basic accessories. Security is a concern as well. Hard top I mentioned because canopy will start to give in about a year later.

mithun September 1, 2017 - 6:42 am

Very nice review about the vehicle. Thar is in my mind ever since i got to know about it. How is the back side seating? I’ve heard that the passengers can feel Vibration or jerking in the back seat? Is it true

Vargis.Khan September 1, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Thanks Mithun- Back seats are very uncomfortable. Thar has leaf springs and the entire ride gets very bumpy. Its like sitting on flat benches. I had to get those replaced with a front facing sofa seat.

Abhinav August 25, 2017 - 6:06 am

I’ve been considering the Thar as a daily city runabout for a little while now but had so many reservations.

Your post was perfect! It answered all of those questions! Many many thanks for sharing.

The dilemma sadly still remains: to buy or not to buy.

Vargis.Khan August 28, 2017 - 2:05 pm

Thanks Abhinav. Only buy it if you are ready to compromise on comfort big time and ready to shed about another 1 lakh at least to get it customized and water proof.

TianTian August 9, 2017 - 4:14 am

Very detailed review. I would recommend you making a video review. That too driving around Delhi. 🙂

Vargis.Khan August 9, 2017 - 1:57 pm

Thanks Bro and yes, a good suggestion. I will definitely do that.

Ajay Singh August 3, 2017 - 8:38 am

Quite a helpful and educative article.. Very well written. Kudos to vargis khan bhai

Vargis.Khan August 3, 2017 - 2:33 pm

Thanks Ajay Bhai

spikz July 6, 2017 - 6:26 pm

Wow, very useful ownership experience. The drawbacks far outweigh the positives. Think I will give it a pass unless Mahindra make the Thar better

Vargis.Khan July 7, 2017 - 5:24 pm

Thanks Bhai

HARSHAD DILIP DONGRE June 11, 2017 - 8:32 am

Hey Vargis,
Thanks for a detailed perspective, recently been to Spiti, and finding it difficult to get “Thar” out of my mind. Respect your honest opinion, and will rethink on my decision, but after reading your blog still a bit oriented towards it, and thus will keep a copy of your blog for mental preparations just incase.


Vargis.Khan June 12, 2017 - 8:50 pm

Thank you Harshad Bhai. After all said and done, I too totally love it, drive it everyday to work and if given a choice, would still buy it 2 years ago. It is definitely an acquired taste.

Sam June 8, 2017 - 7:11 pm

Hi, highly informative blog. Was planning to buy one but now after reading your blog rethinking. I heard thar is about get an update…. Pls share if have any input on this
Thanks again

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2017 - 3:27 am

Hey Sam – Thank you.

As far as I know, there wont be a remodeled Thar anytime in near future.

Dr Hitesh Bathija January 27, 2017 - 7:48 am

I loved the way you wrote your views about the Thar..very truthful and logical..I too bought a Thar 2 yrs back and modified it to suit our needs.

Vargis.Khan January 27, 2017 - 4:00 pm

Thank you Dr. Bathija. Loved your blog …. Will love to hear more about your experiences after driving it around for 2 years.


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