Mahindra, in India, is one among the most well established home-grown brands, and although their product line-up is limited to SUVs, they certainly do cater to the customer’s needs. Buyers have loved Mahindras for their ruggedness, strong diesel engines and relatively low maintenance costs. And with the launch of the new Thar and its new petrol engine, sales have hit the roof while waiting periods for the jeep are having customers wait in anticipation. We highlight the best model models to buy between the ₹ 8 – ₹ 10 lakh range.
1) Mahindra Bolero
When Mahindra cars updated the Bolero to meet BS6 norms last year, it received some prominent changes to the exterior that included a revised front bumper, a new grille and restyled headlights, but the biggest highlight is the fact that the updated Bolero meets the new crash-test norms and the pedestrian safety norms. It is also the only vehicle with metal bumpers in India that clears pedestrian norms. Across most of the variants, the equipment remains the same, while the top-of-the-line variants get static bending headlights.
The Bolero is powered by a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel mHawk75 engine that produces 73bhp, paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. And there is no option of four-wheel-drive either.
The Bolero continues to be one among the top-selling cars in the country, and has been the brand’s largest-selling model. It was first introduced way back in 2000, with a lot of updates and facelifts done to it over the last two decades, and with this recent model, the Bolero is bound to look no different for the next couple of years. During the initial stages of the pandemic, sales had dropped significantly, but things are back to normal for most car manufacturers.
2) Mahindra XUV300
The XUV300 is undoubtedly inspired by the SsangYong Tivoli. It gets generous amounts of chrome, extended LED DRLs and a lot of creases that give it a good, muscular definition. The SUV appeal everyone wants is certainly apparent, but we found slammed-in rear a bit awkward. The flared rear fenders look nice, but the rear wheels reaching the very edge of the rear bumpers are a clear hint that this one was made fit within the sub-4m mark. You also get the option of dual-tone exterior colour themes and 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
Inside the cabin, the driver’s seat is very comfortable, and the white upholstery means you’re going to have to put in some more effort to get the stains off. The build quality is good, but the finish of plastics could’ve been better. The doors shut with a nice, solid feel. And the steering, dashboard and instrument cluster – all bode well. The touchscreen infotainment system is user-friendly. Space is in abundance, and five passengers can fit in with aplomb.
The engines impress with their refinement levels, both – the 1.2-litre turbo petrol and the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel that makes 115bhp and 300Nm of torque, with power being sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox. There’s also an AMT gearbox option available. The suspension soak in the bumps well, without a compromise on the handling front. It is stable at speeds, thanks to the rigid chassis.
3) 2020 Mahindra Thar
You just can’t help but love how the new Thar looks – it’s a proper blend of retro and modern design appeal. It is also wider because of the massive wheel arches that get plastic cladding. The seven-slot grille adds to its classic appeal, and while the old one looked boxy and aged, the new Thar appears just perfect and well-proportioned. You get the option of 16-inch alloys and 18-inch alloys, a soft-top and a hard-top, LED lighting, moulded footsteps and dual-tone bumpers. It is sold in six different, attractive colours.
Unlike the old Thar, the new one gets a significantly enhanced cabin with better plastics. Up-front, it has bucket seats and front-facing rear seats. The dashboard is all-new; so is the instrument cluster and it also features a touchscreen infotainment system that shows you details of the jeep. You also get steering-mounted audio controls and roof-mounted speakers. Space at the rear is alright.
The Thar now comes with a new petrol engine: an mStallion 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol motor that makes 150bhp and 220Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque-converter AT. Then there’s the mHawk 2.2-litre diesel motor that puts out 130bhp and 320Nm of torque with the same transmission options. Also, grab the latest info on the Kia Sonet, only at autoX.