2020 Mahindra Thar Vs Old Thar – Design, Features & Specs Comparison

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Check out our detailed, on-paper comparison of the 2020 Mahindra Thar with its older version (first-generation Thar)

On 2nd October, Mahindra & Mahindra will finally launch the second-generation Thar in India. The SUV has kept us all waiting a lot, due to numerous delays in its launch throughout the year. Enthusiasts have been waiting to get their hands on it for quite a while now, and with Mahindra’s claims of this being a much better SUV than before, we can see why.

How different is the 2020 Mahindra Thar compared to its predecessor though? Here, we do a detailed comparison of the design, equipment, and technical specifications to find that out.

Mahindra Thar Old Vs New – Exterior

The first-gen Mahindra Thar has an undeniably simpler design, very reminiscent of its ancestors, the Mahindra Major, and even the CJ3B. The seven-slot grille and the protruding headlamps give it a proper old-school appeal. The windscreen is extremely steeply raked, and exposed hinges on the doors add further character to the design.

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At the rear, the old Thar had a sideways-opening tailgate along with a spare wheel mounted on it. You get 16-inch wheels all around. Of course, none of the lights had LEDs in them.

As for the new Thar, is sheds its utilitarian appeal for a more refined design overall. The halogen headlamps are now seated deep in the front fascia. The bumpers are much thicker than before, and you also get a pronounced black cladding on the wheels arches.


You get LED DRLs, neatly integrated on to the wheel arches, and pretty-looking LED brakelights. Like the older model, the tailgate opens sideways, there’s a tail-mounted spare wheel, and the doors have exposed hinges. You also get new 18-inch alloy wheels.

Mahindra Thar Old Vs New – Interior

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The older Thar was an extremely crude vehicle, by all standards. The interior was bland and basic, with next-to-no creature comforts. You got manually operated windows and AC, and a music system wasn’t offered as standard. The instrument console looked nice though. The front row seats offered good comfort, but at the rear, you only got inward-facing bench seats.

On the 2020 Thar, things are completely different. It feels more like a car than a truck, unlike the previous model, and there are a lot of creature comforts available. There’s a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system on offer, with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Mahindra Thar 2015 facelift launched interior


You also get a multi-function steering wheel and an MID in the instrument console. While the base ‘AX’ variant gets bench seats like before, the ‘LX’ trim gets forward-facing seats, which are much more comfortable and convenient.

Mahindra Thar Old Vs New – Features

The old Thar didn’t have a lot on offer in terms of equipment. Air conditioning was perhaps the only luxury available, although Mahindra did have plenty of official accessories for it. As standard, it only came with a soft-top roof, with a hard-top roof available only as an accessory.

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The 2020 Mahindra Thar, on the other hand, gets a lot of features. The front seats get adjustable lumbar support, and the driver’s seat gets height adjustment. You also get roof-mounted speakers and power windows. The SUV also gets a new party trick – removable doors! You can also opt for a convertible soft-top, to get a proper, open-air driving experience. Other roof options include a fixed soft-top and a fixed hard-top.

While some would feel that due to all the electronics, it would be a pain to clean the new Thar’s cabin after a ride in the mud, but hey, Mahindra thought about that too! The interior is IP54 dust and water-resistant. You can gently hose the cabin to clean it! There are also drain plugs on the floor, to let the water out.

The newer model also gets a lot of safety features, like dual front airbags, rear parking sensors, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS, EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts, a roll cage, and speed-sensing door locks. It also gets brake-locking differentials on all wheels, and a mechanical locking differential on the rear axle.

Mahindra Thar Old Vs New – Specifications

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The old Mahindra Thar was available with a 2.5-litre CRDe diesel engine, which generated a maximum power of 105 PS and a peak torque of 247 Nm. It came paired to a 5-speed manual transmission only. The SUV was available in both 4×2 and 4×4 variants.

The new Thar is available with two engine options – a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel unit. The former is an ‘mStallion’ powerplant, capable of developing 150 PS and 320 Nm. The latter is an ‘mHawk’ mill, which can belt out 130 PS and 300 Nm. You can choose between a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox. A transfer case is offered as standard, with rear-wheel-drive, regular 4WD, and low-ratio 4WD drive modes available.


Overall, it’s pretty easy to see that the second-generation Mahindra Thar is much superior to the previous model, in almost every single aspect. It is also a much better vehicle to live with, and can double-up as your daily driver.