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Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Mahindra Thar, a Wrangler-Inspired SUV, Just Beat Jeep in Crash Tests


How’s this for irony? When Mahindra debuted their body-on-frame SUV, the 2021 Thar, people pointed out that it was more than a homage to the Jeep Wrangler; it was a downright clone. Regardless, it did prove that it does one thing better than the real Jeep: crash safety.

The 2021 Thar just scored an impressive four-star Global NCAP safety rating compared to the Jeep Wrangler which scored a dismal one-star safety rating at its Euro NCAP test.

According to the Global NCAP, the Mahindra offered good head and neck protection for the front occupants. In addition, the knee areas were optimized to reduce significant injuries. Furthermore, the structure was rated as stable, though the footwell area could use some improvement. It also meets the UN95 regulation when it comes to side-impact protection, though its performance there still isn’t enough for the Thar to achieve a five-star rating.

In comparison, the Wrangler scored poorly at its Euro NCAP test down to its lack of advanced driver assist features which carry a lot of weight there. This makes for an unfair comparison especially since the Global NCAP doesn’t put that much weight on advanced driver assist features. Regardless, even without them factored in, the Wrangler would score a 3-star rating which still puts it behind its Indian copycat.

According to its Euro NCAP test, the Wrangler’s A-pillar and trans-facia beam was damaged in a way that indicated the structure would be unable to withstand higher loads. Similarly, the footwell showed deformation that showed it had reached the limit of its integrity. Moreover, the dashboard itself was thought to present a risk to occupants of different sizes and those sitting in different positions.

Launched just last August, the Thar proved to be very successful for Mahindra. Just five days after the company opened pre-orders, bookings soared past 9,000 units. The Indian automaker has started delivering it to customers this month.

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