The 2020 Mahindra Thar has been winning people’s hearts and minds ever since it was first revealed. Now, the butch-looking SUV has also proven itself to be as safe as it looks. In a recent crash-test routine at Global NCAP (GNCAP), the all-new Thar scored a remarkable 4-star safety rating. What is even more impressive here is that the 4-star rating is for adult and child occupant protection.
In a market where safety standards are still not at par with several of its international counterparts, such type of news is definitely good news. Mahindra has been struggling to cope with the massive demand for the new Thar, even resorting to halting bookings. However, with a welcome news like this, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness increased customer demand for the Thar.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary-General of Global NCAP, said,
“Mahindra’s commitment to safer cars is once again displayed for consumers and shows that it is possible to offer good safety performance in the Indian market. It is encouraging to see manufacturers that also offer high levels of protection for children traveling in their vehicles. The Thar demonstrates the capacity of Mahindra to improve its fleet safety.”
As with its other crash tests, Global NCAP followed an identical process for the 2020 Mahindra Thar as well. This means a frontal-offset collision against a deformable barrier at a speed of 64 kmph. But before we proceed with the results, there is something you should know. While GNCAP generally uses the entry-level variant for all of its crash tests, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Instead, it went for the range-topping LX variant with the hard-top roof. However, I don’t think that this was because they were sponsored by Mahindra in any way. Chances are that the organization might be changing some of its policies and pre-requisites for such tests.
It is a fact that the range-topping LX variant of the Thar is the heaviest of the breed – tipping the scales at over 2 tons. Due to stuff like physics, a heavier vehicle puts more stress on its structure than a comparatively lighter one. This also means that it will be easier to spot structural issues and failure points on Thar’s LX variant than those lower down in the range.
As for its test results, GNCAP reported that the Mahindra Thar’s structure was stable and capable of withstanding further loadings. It was also found that there was good protection for the driver’s head and neck, with the chest region indicating adequate protection. Meanwhile, the driver’s knees showed only marginal protection as they were prone to striking dangerous structures behind the dashboard.
The testing further revealed that the protection to the driver’s tibia or shinbone ranged from marginal to adequate. As for the front passenger, their safety was even better than the driver’s. GNCAP’s test results show that the protection of the front passenger’s chest was good.
Meanwhile, safety for the front passenger’s knees ranged from marginal to good. The Thar’s front passenger also scored an ‘adequate’ rating to protect their tibia or shinbone. However, GNCAP noted that the footwell area of the Thar was unstable. Overall, the 2020 Mahindra Thar scored 12.52 out of a maximum of 17 points for adult occupant protection.
Incredibly, the new Thar’s child-occupant protection is good too. On that front, the Mahindra SUV scored 41.11 out of 49 points. This means that the 2020 Thar currently holds the title for the highest points for child-occupant protection out of all Indian cars tested by GNCAP. That surely is a commendable achievement and worthy of praise. To allow for this, the LX variant of the Thar is equipped with front-facing rear seats that come with ISOFIX anchorages and three-point seatbelts. GNCAP noted that, in the case of the 3-year-old, there was no excessive forward movement during an impact. Meanwhile, protection for the 18-month-old was found to be satisfactory as well.
Moreover, Global NCAP also tested the 2020 Mahindra Thar’s side-impact crash protection. Thankfully, it managed to pass that challenge without much fuss. However, since the Thar didn’t score a 5-star rating for its frontal impact protection, GNCAP didn’t publish its findings for the SUV’s side-impact test.
What GNCAP did publish, however, was the Thar’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The report found that the Mahindra SUV’s ESC system did not work as well as expected and that the vehicle’s dynamic behavior was unstable. Being mostly a software-related issue, this is something Mahindra can (and should) work on and improve in the future.