Bookings for the ‘AX’ variant of the 2020 Mahindra Thar had been closed last month, and now, the news of its discontinuation is official
The second-generation Mahindra Thar was launched in India back in October, and booking figures for the vehicle have been quite impressive since, even though the sales figures are far behind. The new model is a significant step-up in terms of comfort, convenience, off-road capability, and most importantly, safety. Global NCAP crash tested the new Thar, and awarded it a 4-star rating for both adult and child occupant safety.
The model sent for crash test wasn’t the base ‘AX’ variant though. On that variant, the Thar gets inward-facing rear seats (total passenger capacity of six), and a lot of other features were lacking, like three-point seat belts for rear passengers, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and an integrated roll-cage. Interestingly, the manufacturer had halted bookings for the AX variant last month, and news of the discontinuation of the base trim has been circulating ever since.
Now, the discontinuation of the 2020 Mahindra Thar AX has become official. The latest brochure of the SUV only lists the AX Optional and LX trims (both exclusively 4-seater), which makes it official now. The decision to the axe the AX trim seems to have been the result of two factors – low demand and safety.
Just a week into November, bookings for the Thar AX were closed because the demand for it was low, while the other trims had racked up significant bookings. Later that month, Global NCAP published the safety rating of the vehicle, after testing the top-spec LX trim.
By the time critics pointed out that the base variant of the Thar lacked a few critical safety features (and would thus score a lower rating), news of its discontinuation had already spread across the internet. Seems like the manufacturer has decided against selling an unsafe version of a respectably safe car. For people who want a 6-seater version though, there’s a potential silver lining.
Mahindra & Mahindra is also developing a 5-door version of the Thar, which will have a longer wheelbase and a completely new body. This version might have a 6/7-seater configuration, as it would help properly differentiate the 3-door and 5-door version of the new-gen Thar. This, however, is purely speculation, but it’s an extremely interesting proposition, right?