After the launch of the Thar, a lot of debate has ensued in the BSM office, some rather heated. Has the Thar gotten too soft, or will the new kid on the block thrash the stuffing out of the older jeeps? We just had to find out, so we took what we think is one of the best examples of the Mahindra jeep – the Classic – and pitted it against the Thar. Yep, we did all the hard work for you, so enjoy!
If you’ve ever wanted a wind-through-your-hair feel from a car, but wanted to go almost anywhere in it, you probably already own a Mahindra Classic. I have wanted one for the longest time, but have never got around to even driving one. Till today. I jump into the Classic, okay, I wriggle in one limb at a time and realise that this jeep wasn’t built for people like me. My knees hover too close to the steering wheel and there’s no other place for my left foot but the clutch pedal. My right knee is somewhat better placed, pointing out of the jeep. I move the bucket seat as far back as it will go, but it’s already reached the stop. Compared to the jeeps of the same era, the Classic’s interiors are relatively plush. You even get a distinct dashboard, with a hoard of tell-tail lamps clustered on the left in a rectangle, which intrigue me. There’s a light for everything, including one to perhaps guide lost aircraft home. There are 15 of these things in there! I twist the key, wait in anticipation for the heater light to go off and crank the engine over. What I am greeted with is the pitter-patter of the Peugeot 2112 cc IDI diesel motor. I look around at the chrome-ringed gauges – a full tank of fuel, healthy battery charging and about three bars of oil pressure – and I’m good to go.
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