It's another 4 star result for Mahindra! The all-new Mahindra Thar SUV has been crash tested by Global NCAP and has scored four stars for adult occupant protection. This makes the Mahindra Thar India's safest off-roader. The car has also scored the same for child occupant protection – a very significant surprise. The only other Indian made car (of all cars tested so far) to achieve the same was the Mahindra XUV300 – which also received four stars for child occupant protection. But the Thar's score is the highest yet. Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP told us, “(This test) 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.”
Also Read: Mahindra Thar Review
The Thar was tested with its standard safety equipment of dual airbags and ABS (antilock brakes). We'd like to clarify that the test applies to the soft-top version of the car too, as even it's retrofitted hardtop is not a structural element. In the frontal test, the adult crash test dummies showed the car offering adequate protection to the head, neck and chest area.
In the frontal test, the adult crash test dummies showed the car offering adequate protection to the head, neck and chest area
The driver side footwell though was rated unstable, and this was the only reason the Thar missed out on a likely 5 Star score. The footwell was not deemed as dangerous however, as Global NCAP clarified to carandbike. The result was some injury to the knee area. But overall the Thar's body shell did receive a stable rating – something we have failed to see in recent test results for cars like the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Maruti Suzuki S-Presso. Even the Kia Seltos managed to just barely get by on this front.
The Seltos, S-Presso and the Grand i10 Nios were crash tested recently
The car was also tested for side impact protection and meets the UN 95 regulation for the same.
Speaking exclusively to carandbike, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra said, " Safety of our vehicle occupants, has never been second priority to us, but if you go back, I believe XUV500, where ABS was standard. We were the first manufacturers to make ABS standard in the mainstream automakers. We were among the early adopters of airbags, so it's not that safety has suddenly become important to us, but what has changed is that we now have much better tools, and much better technical knowledge to put in safety in all aspects of the vehicle."
On child occupant the car came closer still to a 5 star score. The front facing bench offers ISOFX child seat anchors and 3-point seatbelts for rear passengers. Global NCAP says that ‘the only safe way for young children to travel is properly restrained in a child seat, the assessment checks how compatible the car is with the child seats recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test'. The Thar's test showed nearly complete protection for child occupants. The significant development here is that for the score to hold as valid, Mahindra must offer this configuration as standard, meaning the variant with side facing seats without seatbelts has now been phased out.
On child occupant the car came closer still to a 5 star score
While ESC or electronic stability control is not standard on the Thar, the car's ESC variant was tested for its stability. And here the result was not satisfactory. Although the car meets minimum regulatory requirements, it displayed an unstable dynamic behaviour that will need some improvement. Mahindra says it is already assessing the results to quickly make the changes necessary; and is considering making ESC standard on the car.
The car's ESC variant was tested for its stability
The Thar is the fourth Mahindra model to be tested by Global NCAP under its ‘Safer Cars for India' programme. The Scorpio was the first in 2016, and it received a zero star rating. But since then M&M has really turned things around, in fact even committing that no new model thereon would drop below 4 stars. The Marazzo was tested in 2018 and brought M&M its first 4 stars. And then in January this year we had the XUV300 get not only 5 stars, but also achieve the highest aggregate score for any Indian made vehicle.
Mahindra is considering making ESC standard on the Thar.
So Mahindra now has the distinction of having India's safest MPV, safest off-roader and safest car overall too. David Ward, President, Towards Zero Foundation and Global NCAP said, “It is very satisfying to see this growing vehicle safety trend in the Indian car market, which combines minimum regulatory requirements with the purchasing power of informed consumers, helping to drive demand for ever safer vehicles.”
The side impact test was also conducted on the Thar though it is not necessary for the 4 star rating