The Small off-roader is touted to be a popular choice for Indians, but can it beat the new Thar which relies on power and refinement in its latest iteration.
The Thar has been launched by Mahindra, and what a time it has been for the fans of the true Indian off-road SUV. The car comes with the same body lines as the last one did, with improvements applied on every inch of the car, and has an even closer resemblance to the car it attempted to look like in the last generation- the Jeep Wrangler. But it is soon to face stiff competition when Maruti-Suzuki unleashes the Jimny into the Indian market, what would be interesting to see is how the internationally acclaimed car is going to fare here with a direct competitor now all geared up.
Let’s talk numbers, the Thar runs on two new engines, the 2L direct-injection turbo petrol engine which makes 152hp and the 2.2L diesel which makes 132hp. The Jimny will run on the K15B unit that it shares with the Brezza and the Ciaz, the 1.5L four cylinder unit makes 102hp on the Jimny and has a multi-point injection system, while having less power it should be important to note that the car is much lighter compared to the Thar, almost half a ton if compared in different scenarios and the frugal engine should be able to compensate. The Thar is also longer, measuring 3920 mm while the Jimny is 3,625 mm, but there’s a catch- there have been rumors that Suzuki will launch a five-door version of the Jimny in India, which could mean a longer body.
On the off-roading side, both can be compared, while the Thar has the big chunky tyres which are propelled by the powerful engine, the Jimny is lighter, and can use the small footprint to negotiate through difficult terrain without much hassles. Now while the Thar has also been designed to impress with its wide wheel arches and the addition of touch infotainment screen and comfortable seats go a long way in securing its spot, the Jimny is a functional car, with everything you need and nothing you won’t if you ever decide to venture out. The Suzuki comes with the AllGrip Pro 4×4 system which makes the Jimny a very capable off-roader.
The Two vehicles appeal to two types of individuals, and that is fairly clear, it would have been easier to compare the last-gen Thar to the Jimny because of the lack of comforts and ‘style’, but the new Mahindra also serves as a family SUV due to its refined interiors and updated infotainment systems, an alternative to the small-SUVs in the segment. The Jimny is utilitarian, and serves the purpose of being functional, the cabin is blacked out, a infotainment screen with smartphone connectivity and automatic climate control.
Both the cars have tasted success in the Indian subcontinent when they were first introduced with the Maruti Gypsy still being the majority carrier for the country’s military because of its robust build and dependable performance while the Thar is a sought after off-roader since it was launched, Mahindra gauged the market well and now offers three roof options, removing the need for the customer to customize it aftermarket. The Thar starts at INR 11.3 lakh (On-Road) while the Jimny is expected to be priced in a range of INR 8-14 lakh depending upon spec and features, it will launch in 2021.
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