Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha are the only two vehicles to compete in the off-road SUV segment. Both of the offroaders are approaching their new-gen launch date. Let's put these two cars into comparison to see which one will be the better option.
Due to the pandemic outbreak, Mahindra and Mahindra had to delay the launch of the second-gen Mahindra Thar until lately. After a long wait, 2020 Mahindra Thar was finally revealed in its full glory. Apart from the comprehensively updated exterior, the new Mahindra Thar also comes with a new turbo-petrol and diesel engine along with a new automatic gearbox.
Currently, after the discontinuation of the Maruti Gypsy, the space of capable off-road SUVs in India only has two options, the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha. Interestingly, Force is also about to launch the new Force Gurkha. First debuted at the Auto Expo 2020, the new Force Gurkha will receive an extensive exterior and interior makeover as well as comfort upgrade and revised underpinnings.
It will be interesting to see these two off-road models fair against each other under their new avatars. In the following, IndiaAuto will give you a detailed comparison between the Mahindra Thar and the Force Gurkha based on the revealed information of these two new models.
2020 Mahindra Thar vs 2020 Force Gurkha Design
Both the Force Gurkha and Mahindra Thar follow a similar design language that manifests the ruggedness and aggressive nature of powerful off-roaders. For the exterior, both of the new-gen models come with longer front overhangs, robust plastic bumper, and chunkier hood. These updates are added in regards to the new pedestrian protection norms.
Drawing inspiration from the new Jeep Wrangler, Mahindra Thar’s new design appears to be more rugged and contemporary in comparison with the new Force Gurkha which is influenced by the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon's look. Overall, the traditional boxy styling is still dominant in both the off-roaders.
2020 Mahindra Thar Rendered with Jeep Grille & Other Mods
However, taking the variety of options into consideration, we will have to agree that Mahindra Thar has an edge over the Force Gurkha. The new Thar is offered with three body style options, including soft top, hardtop and convertible soft top. On the other hand, Force Gurkha comes with hard top option only.
Coming to the inside, we will be taken by surprise by how far these two models have gone in terms of interior upgrades. Previously, the off-road vehicles usually underscored when it came to the convenience functions and creature comforts. With the new-gen upgrade, both Force and Mahindra aim to correct this deeply-embedded impression of offroad vehicles. 2020 Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha will both come with a host of new comfort features, which essentially makes them more family-friendly. On top of that, the enhanced features will offer better comfort and improve the overall driving experience for the car occupants.
With the addition of new features, the interior design of these off-roaders will also appear to be less simple and rudimentary. However, if we have to pick one model that really stands out in this aspect, it must be the new Mahindra Thar. Mahindra has pulled out a decent job by offering better fits and finishes as well as using high-quality materials for the interior of the new Mahindra Thar, marking a substantial improvement over the older version.
On the other hand, Force Gurkha is also given new updates that offer better comfort and convenience. However, the interior revision on the Gurkha is not as comprehensive as on the new-gen Thar. Apart from the major addition of the touchscreen infotainment system, the Force Gurkha retains the utilitarian design with a simple layout and basic equipment. In this aspect, the Mahindra Thar leaves the Force Gurkha in the dust.
2020 Mahindra Thar vs 2020 Force Gurkha Features
As for the features, as mentioned above, both of the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha are better equipped. Now, these two off-roaders are offered with a new touchscreen infotainment system, front power window and manual air conditioning.
Mahindra Thar is far better-armed than the Gurkha. Mahindra’s SUV is available with advanced features like cruise control, control-mounted steering wheel, coloured multi-info display, and remote locking, all of which are absent on the Force Gurkha.
With regards to the safety front, the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha will come with the compulsory features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors. However, Mahindra Thar will go beyond providing just these basic safety bits. The second-gen Thar will be offered with electronic stability control, hill start assist. In the case of the Force Gurkha, it is not yet confirmed if Force will deck out any advanced safety feature for the new-gen model.
That being said, Force Gurkha still fosters an edge over its main rival, Mahindra Thar. Despite missing out many comfort and safety features, Force Gurkha keeps a strong focus on its off-road appeal. The SUV sports differential locks for the rear and the front axle while Mahindra Thar gets the rear diff lock only. To compensate, Mahindra offers brake locking differential on the new Thar.
2020 Mahindra Thar vs 2020 Force Gurkha Engines
The previous version of the Mahindra Thar offered only diesel-manual powertrain combination. The limited powertrain option will no longer be a concern on the new-gen Mahindra Thar since it will be offered with multiple engines and gearbox choices. For the first time during its entire life, Mahindra Thar will be available with petrol engine and automatic gearbox options.
Mahindra’s first petrol engine is a 2.0-litre mStallion unit that makes 152 of maximum power and 320 Nm of peak torque. This engine comes with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. Otherwise, a 6-speed automatic gearbox is also available as an optional offering.
Along with the all-new petrol engine, Mahindra Thar also receives a new 2.2-litre mHawk oil burner. This motor belts out a top power of 132 Bhp and peak torque of 300 nm. The transmission options for the diesel engine are identical with the petrol engine’s offerings. Both the diesel and petrol version will get a part-time four-wheel-drive system and manual-shift transfer case as standard.
On the other hand, Force Gurkha remains a primitive diesel-manual powertrain offering but this time, comprehensively updated to meet the BSVI emission norms. The 2.6-litre diesel engine generates a top power of 90 Bhp and a maximum torque of 260 Nm. This engine comes exclusively with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Both 2WD and 4WD are on offer for the new Gurkha.
With only one powertrain option, Force Gurkha is likely to be overshadowed by Mahindra Thar’s multiple choices of engines and transmissions.
2020 Mahindra Thar vs 2020 Force Gurkha Offroad Capabilities
The off-road capabilities of the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha will be examined in the following table:
Water Wading Depth
From the table, we can draw a pretty assured conclusion that the Mahindra Thar sports better off-roading capabilities, compared to the Force Gurkha. Recently, Mahindra also dropped a new TVC for the Mahindra Thar showing off its excellent off-road performance.
2020 Mahindra Thar vs 2020 Force Gurkha Prices
The prices of the new Mahindra Thar and the upcoming Force Gurkha are not confirmed yet. It is expected that both offroad SUV will be available at a similar price range, from Rs 9 lakh to Rs 13 lakh. The similar pricing might be a disadvantage for the Force Gurkha. At the same price range, Mahindra Thar has more to offer on paper for the customers. However, it is still too soon to draw any conclusion since we have not yet tested the Force Gurkha on road. Let’s wait and see what the Force Gurkha can do in real-life performance.