The Thar dilemma | AX vs LX
The Thar is the most iconic car from the Mahindra stable. It is one of the most affordable off-roaders in the Indian market which is capable of playing dirty games with real poise. But off-roading is not its only USP. The Thar is also a style statement for its buyers. It’s ability to transform with the roof rolled down makes it a lifestyle choice as well. Therefore, with the off-roading buyers and the statement makers in mind, Mahindra has launched two distinct variations of the Thar which are the LX and AX trims. Now, which variant suits which buyer, is what we will explain through this assessment.
The AX trim is the most bare bones Thar with only the bare necessities. The AX comes with a fixed soft top or a hard top with four seats while the petrol AX only gets a convertible soft top. On the other hand, the Thar LX comes with an option for both soft and hard roof. The AX gets smaller 16-inch steel wheels (white) with 245/75 R16 tyres, whereas the LX receives bigger 18-inch alloy wheels with 255/65 R18 tyres. The roll cage comes as optional on the Thar AX whereas it comes as standard on the LX model. The Thar AX gets a mechanical locking differential whereas the LX gets a brake locking differential in addition to the regular unit as well. A mechanical locking differential is a regular differential whereas a brake locking differential uses the brakes to control speed of the wheels during when they're spinning.
The AX and LX trims both get two engine options, petrol and diesel. The 2-litre mStallion turbo-petrol engine makes 150bhp and 300Nm of torque. The diesel mHawk meanwhile makes 130bhp and 300Nm. Now the AX can be had with either of these engines but only gets a 6-speed manual transmission while the LX can be had with both, the aforementioned 6-speed manual and also the 6-speed automatic, for both petrol and diesel engines.
Now, this is where the air starts to clear out. The Thar LX is loaded with all the bells and whistles. It has Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with rollover mitigation, tyre pressure gauge, speed-sensing front door locks, follow-me-home headlights, 8-way adjustable front seats including height and lumbar adjustment, cruise control and many other bells and whistles which the Thar AX simply doesn’t have in its arsenal.
The Thar AX model starts from Rs 9.8 lakh and goes all the way to Rs 12.20 lakh, ex-showroom. The LX on the other hand, starts from Rs 12.49 lakh and moves up to 13.65 lakh.
The Thar AX is built for the customers who want an SUV that can tingle the ‘off roader’ in their hearts without burning a hole in their pockets. The AX is more than a capable off-road vehicle and can be used for that purpose pretty efficiently. But if the Thar is going to be an everyday car along with being a fun weekend car, then the LX is the way to go. The LX is geared more towards an audience that wants more features, the choice of an automatic transmission and the luxury of some modern bells and whistles.