Thar or Jimny? A question that is now just as important as the Chicken or the Egg?
Yup, that’s the question many are asking themselves and also to people they think know about such stuff. Thar or Jimny? Remember, the 4th-gen Jimny made its global debut in June 2018, much before the second-gen Thar’s debut (October 2020). But Suzuki’s Indian arm Maruti Suzuki wasn’t sure of launching the product in the country while there was obviously a huge demand for such a lifestyle vehicle—proven by the Thar’s blockbuster success. I mean, the Thar stole all those who were anxiously waiting for the new two-door Jimny—which, unfortunately, never arrived. *sigh*
While the Jimny eventually went on sale as a 5-door model, the Thar had already established itself as a default go-to lifestyle off-road SUV (for pretty much everyone who likes such vehicles), despite losing some important features over time + inflation. Mahindra recently expanded the Thar lineup with RWD variants. But now that buyers have the option of Jimny, let’s try and resolve the option crisis.
Let’s start with the established one then, shall we? The Thar as you know offers two main variants: a hardtop and a soft-top convertible, which I think instantly gives the product more marks for just offering two different bodystyles.
As for powertrains, for the first two years, the Thar was available only as a 4WD model. Under the 4WD category, for those who want a diesel powertrain, there’s the 2.2L mHawk 130 (97 kW/132 metric hp and 300 Nm/221 lb-ft)—available either with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. The petrol aspirants are served with a 2.0L mStallion 150 (112 kW/152 metric hp and 300 Nm/221 lb-ft)—also available either with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. With the automatic gearbox, the petrol variant offers 20 Nm more.
The 4WD model offers features such as Electric Driveline Disconnect on Front Axle; Advanced Electronic Brake Locking Differential (LX), and Mechanical Locking Differential (was standard in both AX OPT and LX trims before but now an option only in LX diesel).
🤑 Ex-showroom Delhi price range at the time of publishing this story: INR 13.87 lakh to INR 16.77 lakh.
As mentioned, the RWD variants were added recently—in January 2023. Here, for reasons beyond our understanding, the mHawk 130 is substituted with the 1.5L D117 (87 kW/118 metric hp and 300 Nm/221 lb-ft)—available only with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The diesel RWD offers Electronic Brake Locking Differential. The petrol engine remains the same, but it is available only with a 6-speed torque converter automatic. I’m not entirely sure why this arrangement, but I guess the folks at Mahindra were trying their best to offer both manual and automatic options while safeguarding their business interests. No convertible option here either.
But still, a healthy mix of options overall, right?
🤑 Ex-showroom Delhi price range at the time of publishing this story: INR 10.54 lakh to INR 13.49 lakh.
And, did we mention that the Thar has secured a 4-star Global NCAP crash test rating?
Maruti Suzuki Jimny
*sigh* Well, the Jimny arrived late, but it came with two extra doors for supposed extra practicality over the Thar (I mean, the Thar barely has any luggage space behind the rear seats). But I think it’s important to remind you that Mahindra is busy baking a 5-door Thar—which I believe is not too far away from an official debut. Which means the Thar is gonna offer even more options while the Jimny most likely will continue to offer only one bodystyle and only one engine option (1.5L N/A petrol with 5-MT or 4-AT). 4WD is standard here and there’s no RWD option (yet). And that 77 kW (105 metric hp) petrol engine is no match for the mStallion 150. Having said that, the smaller K15B engine will offer you more kilometres per litre versus the larger mStallion 150. You see where this is going, right?
I mean, there’s no doubt that the 5-door Jimny is a capable off-roader, maybe just as capable as the 3-door model sold in all other markets around the world, but there’s also no doubt that the Thar offers significantly more—when it comes to power, capabilities, safety, and of course, options. Until the 5-door Thar arrives, people may look at the Jimny as a more practical option than the 3-door Thar currently on sale, however, as mentioned, the 5-door Thar’s debut is not too far from now, and when that happens, I think people are gonna start looking that way again—unless something interesting happens on the Jimny’s side.
🤑 Ex-showroom Delhi price range at the time of publishing this story: INR 12.74 lakh to INR 15.05 lakh.
The 5-door Jimny’s crash test rating remains unknown (yet), but the Euro-spec 3-door Jimny scored 3 stars in 2018.
There’s another important thing I think I need to mention: Maruti’s products have stereotypical beliefs such as being reliable, cheaper to run & maintain, fetching a better resale value, and apparently, can be repaired by any local mechanic. Well, like I said, these are clichéd stereotypes and I don’t really have a comment on those.
Bottom line: Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it all comes down to your personal preferences.
So, now that you know all you need to know, let me know in the comments down below: Thar or Jimny? And, if you’re into Force Gurkha, please feel free to comment about that as well.