Mahindra Thar diesel AT: Ownership experience of our first-ever SUV

The SUV replaced our Fiat Punto and shares garage space with a Honda Civic, Honda Brio and a Volkswagen Vento.

BHPian NTO recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Choices in life are what make it interesting.

The choice starts with snoozing the alarm or getting up right after it goes off.

The choice to wear a black or a white shirt to work.

The choice to get married or stay single.

The choice to take the longer scenic route or the shorter boring route.

The choice to live in one’s comfort zone or to “Explore the impossible”

And the most interesting of all for me is the choice to drop into my low slung sedan or climb up to the mighty Thar!

Sit back relax and travel with me through the journey to know how the Thar found me.


Before we go any further, posting a picture of my Thar

and the choice I was talking about.


As some of you might be aware, we have only owned hatchbacks and sedans in our family and the concept of an SUV was never even thought about. However, two of the recent incidents made me think, why not?

The first incident:

I was travelling to Tirupati from Chennai in my civic, after the long and well-pronounced spell of monsoon 2021. The distance of 165 km took a humongous 5 hours to cover one way. Despite being extremely careful, the underbelly of my Civic was touched by the Ginormous craters of road imperfections created by the rain. Also, on the return, the high beams on the narrow two-lane highways burnt a hole in my retina. While sharing this incident with a close friend of mine, he suggested I take his Harrier whenever I was aware that the roads were less than perfect. I could trade him my Civic for the period. Fair enough and if I have this offer, I do not need a tall car that can handle the rough stuff.

The second incident:

I dropped my brother off at the Chennai airport on 30th December 2021. On the return journey, there was a sudden downpour and the roads were flooded. My civic was sailing like a boat for a while and stalled at one place where the water level was very high. I managed to push the car to safety and cranked it up and it started immediately. Thanked all my lucky stars and reached home after quarrelling with the traffic for almost 5 hours. After a couple of days, the car started to smell bad from the inside. Figured that all the floor carpet was wet. I did not realize this immediately as I use 3D mats. I took it to speed freaks to get it checked. Water had entered through the doors and there was almost half a bucket of water in the car after removing the mats. Got the mats dried, cleaned and brought my car back. Again, thanks to my lucky stars, the water did not cause any further damage to the car.

A video of water in the cabin. A thorough check ensured no further damage was done.

Both these incidents only made me realize why the world is moving towards SUVs, if I may, or cars that are higher off the ground.

Punto had become an excess car at home and, as many of the Punto owners may agree, the car is very temperamental and if it does not get the care it requires, it starts to show some trouble or the other. We thought of letting go of Punto and Vento and getting a car that is higher off the ground. Still, we did not act on anything immediately and the search to buy a car was passive.

The Booking (with a lot of twists), PDI & Delivery

The booking

The Thar has always been desirable. When I was in Gurgaon, I was hellbent on getting the first-gen Thar and later when the new Thar was revealed in October of 2020 and I wanted to buy one badly. But, I always held myself back thinking that there would be a better time to buy a Thar.

One fine day in January, we got a call from Automotive Mahindra, Chennai saying that a Black Thar, Diesel Hard Top AT was allocated to us against the booking we made. The car is currently being shipped from the factory. We said we were not interested in taking delivery of the Thar and if by any means they could deliver an XUV700 quickly, we would be interested. The reply was obvious and there was no way to get a 700 that quick. The conversation ended there and we carried on with our lives.

We booked the Thar in July 2021 after a long test drive. The AT diesel was not available for a test drive. We test drove the manual Thar for 20 – 30 km and realized that we could live with it and hence went ahead and booked the Thar for Rs. 21,000. All of us absolutely loved the Thar and my parents simply enjoyed the high-up seating position. The booking was done with the thought that we have a waiting period of 6 – 9 months and let us see how we are positioned when the car actually arrives.

Later in November, we badly needed another car for my wife and purchased a used Brio AT. Her office opened up after lockdowns and she was asked to report to work. She couldn’t drive the manual Vento or Punto and the Civic for her was too big a car to commute to work and back in the traffic. Once we bought the Brio, the usage of Punto became further less. We thought of letting Punto go and live with three cars. However, my dad said he would like to use the Punto for a few more months and later think about selling it. So, we sorted the parking issues for the 4th car. We also realized that the Thar would be redundant and very less used. It was okay to continue to have an old car and not use it much versus spending big money on a new car and not using it as much. So, we went ahead and “cancelled our Thar booking” in November 2021.

How did we get a car allocated for a cancelled booking?

It is still surprising to me but, this is what I could decipher. The dealer apparently placed a booking in my name in Mahindra but, paid us back the booking amount when we cancelled the booking. The booking was still live in Mahindra’s database and hence, we got our car allocated to us in order.

The dealer asked us to write an email asking them to transfer the booking to someone who is next in line. They also said that we can transfer the booking to someone in my friends/ family circle who might be interested in buying a Thar. I asked around and a friend agreed to buy the Thar. Once it was taken over by my Friend, I forgot about the Thar and started to move on.

I got a call from the dealer again after a week saying that the loan process did not go through and asking me if I would consider the Thar again! How many times a man can refuse and say no? I guess my answer to the question was 2 and I yielded the third time. I immediately transferred 50K to the dealer’s bank account and said I will pay the balance once the PDI is complete.


The PDI was a straightforward affair. My sales advisor coordinated and ensured that everything was arranged and I just have to go there, check the car and give a go ahead with the entire process. I PDI’d 4 vehicles (My Friend’s Harrier, My Brother’s Triumph Trident, My Interceptor and another Friend’s Honda City) in under a span of one year and kind of memorized the PDI checklist of Team-BHP. Here are some of the pictures from the PDI.

Engine and Chassis number under the front driver’s seat. Also Validated the month and year of manufacture to be Jan’2022

Once the PDI was completed to my satisfaction and I ensured that there were no red flags, I made sure all the money for Thar reached the dealership’s bank account by the next day. The only place where I could negotiate was the insurance. I brought it down from an initial quote of Rs. 102,000 to Rs. 68,000 with the same set of features. In addition to this, I opted for 5 years warranty (extended by 2 years) and selected mud flaps, and floor rubber mats from the accessory list. I also purchased an underbody rubber painting plus a Teflon coating pack from Mahindra. Both these have 10 top-ups over a period of 5 years.

The OTR for Thar at the time of Purchase in February’22 was 18,86,000 with the highest insurance configuration. I do not exactly remember the accessories cost but paid Rs. 20,000 for the extended warranty. The net was Rs 19,06,000 inclusive of the extended warranty.

In the meantime, found a buyer who was looking for a well maintained Punto for over two months to no avail. He contacted me from the OLX ad I posted for my Punto and sold the car to him for a very good price. As a good gesture to a fellow Punto lover and for all the love we had for the car, I got it serviced completely and gave the car to the new buyer in top form. It was hard to let Punto go but the excitement of Thar superseded all the hard feelings.

The Delivery

The delivery was a straightforward affair. My only gripe was that I was not available. I committed to my riding gang that I would ride with them to Rameswaram and Dhanushkoti and hence I was unavailable for the delivery. My brother, my parents and my son went for the delivery. My 2 year old (soon to be 3) son has named our car “Kabbi Seat” after the famous Punjabi song by Ammy Virk and simply loves the Thar the most among all the other cars we have.

My Mom told us that the best delivery experience so far was Vento’s and nothing has surpassed the overall experience. I take her for her word and sincerely thank Abra Motors and Mr Subramani for creating such lasting memories in our lives. That said, there was nothing wrong with the Thar’s delivery at the same time there was nothing to write home about it.

The delivery

First fill at our trusted BPCL COCO outlet

Customary Puja

We couldn’t get the number plate on the day of the delivery. Hence got a temporary sticker placed to avoid any issues.

Continue reading BHPian NTO’s Thar diesel ownership for more insights and information.

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