Interiors – Getting inside the Mahindra Thar Daybreak is a bit of a struggle since the doors don’t really open very wide and interestingly the company has decided to plonk in Sparco racing seats with proper motorsport seatbelts. However, once you are seated, you realise how supportive and comfy the seat is. The ergonomics aren’t the best though and are carried forward from the regular Thar. What you do get is red accents on the dashboard and a large touchscreen audio system with a reverse camera too. Considering how everyone has been going off-roading in the Daybreak, we weren’t surprised that the screen wasn’t working. You also get four waterproof speakers. There are no other major changes on the inside and the placement of the pedals, gear levers, etc. continues to remain the same.
Getting in and out of the Thar Daybreak will be an interesting affair for many
A soft top is provided as standard with the Daybreak but we’re unsure about its quality and, fit and finish levels. The Daybreak also doesn’t get any windows at the rear and on the sides so it will be an issue driving this SUV in bad weather. The hard top is offered at an additional Rs. 1.5 lakhs and we totally recommend buying it. Talking about the AC, it cools well and the blower at settings 3 and 4 was a boon since I was driving this car in sweltering heat without a roof. There is no safety equipment on offer but Mahindra has fitted a remote locking system which rings an alarm if someone tries to open the door locks manually when the car is locked. Still, you cannot leave any stuff in the car because it is pretty much vulnerable.
Performance – No mechanical changes have been made to the Thar Daybreak. It gets the same 2.5-litre CRDE engine from the Thar and it gives out 105 horses at 3800 RPM along with 247 Nm between 1800-2000 RPM. The powerplant is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and you also get a proper 4WD system. The motor is noisy but at the same time you can make out that the clatter isn’t too irritating. Step on the gas and the mill responds quickly. There is a small amount of turbo lag and after 1800 RPM, the vehicle accelerates briskly till around 2500-3000 RPM, post which power delivery starts tapering off.
The engine is good but the large wheels bog down the performance significantly
While the regular Thar easily did speeds of 130-140 km/hr, the Daybreak struggles to cross 80 km/hr and that is largely due to the heavy weight of the wheels. On a really long stretch of empty road, we crossed 90 km/hr but the SUV just couldn’t reach 100 km/hr. According to our VBOX tests, 0-80 km/hr came up in a boring 5 centuries. Gear shifts are very rough and fuel efficiency has also gone for a complete toss with the Daybreak. However, this car is largely targeted at serious off-roading and that is where it shines like none. We had a lot of fun chucking it on rocks, broken, uneven, slippery surfaces and the Daybreak tackled everything with ease.