Who is the king of SUVs? Mahindra? Nope, as the sales charts show Hyundai and Maruti raking in huge numbers with the Brezza and Creta. The best selling SUV in India is a Maruti. Mahindra has been known for making rugged SUVs but who wants to go through forests or no roads? When most hardly take their SUVs out in the wild.
For most, the SUV presence and driving position is desirable but they want the space, comfort and features of a car. Mahindra tried it otherwise with the TUV300 with its rugged old school charm and the KUV100- both did not do well. Finally they have followed the trend and raided the SsangYong model family for a compact SUV and modified it for India. Say hello to the Mahindra XUV300. Is it good? Read on.
Whoever first sees the XUV300 says the SUV looks much bigger than rivals and mimics the Brezza too. Well, imitation is best form of flattery and the Brezza like square proportions work wonders and makes the car look bigger and appeal to a bigger audience. Mahindra took the SsangYong Tivoli and shortened it and also added some Mahindra attitude.
It works as the XUV300 looks fantastic. The cheetah inspiration is there and the headlamp detailing is also much like the XUV500. I like the way the grille and headlamp connect and how a wide stance it has with broad shoulders. The wheel-arches are well defined plus the big 17inch wheels fill it nicely. The floating roof makes the side interesting while the rear gives away to being more of a crossover with its hatch like tail-lamps. The paint finish and quality is a new high for Mahindra.
Inside, more than the exteriors, Mahindra has left much of the Tivoli untouched and that is a good thing. This is unlike any other Mahindra product and fit plus finish is very good. There is a lot of silver used, which along with the light coloured cabin, lends the whole interior an airy feel. The instrument cluster is less cluttered than other Mahindra cars and displays all the info you need. More importantly ergonomically it is much better than other Mahindra cars and by that we mean pretty good space in the door pockets, storage is good and overall quality is for eg a lot better than even Scorpio!
The XUV300 has the longest wheelbase and is also the widest which reflects inside. Shoulder room is amongst the class best with three sitting at the rear easily. The seats though lack a bit of comfort. A slight disappointment is also the small boot which is below rivals.
No contest. The XUV300 races ahead and brings many first in class features plus you can say it has more than cars costing double. There is a 7inch touch-screen which is slick and pretty good in its use-ability while it has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, cruise control, rear camera etc. The big stuff includes an electric sunroof, front parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system, dual-zone climate control, all round disc brakes, heated mirrors, engine modes etc. In safety it has 7 airbags, ISOFIX / Child Seat Anchors, Corner Braking Control, ABS with EBD etc.
We drove the diesel XUV300- the petrol review will come soon, as and when we try to get it early for you. The diesel is the same Marazzo 1.5 unit with 115 bhp and 300Nm. While the petrol is a 1.2l turbo with 110 bhp and 200Nm. Compared to other Mahindra cars, the Marazzo was a big leap and the same is here on the XUV300. Refinement is better than its rivals and stuff like vibrations when using the gear lever is absent.
Speaking of which the 6-speed manual being standard (no auto) is again much improved and the smoothest gearbox yet on a Mahindra. At low speeds the steering is light and so is the clutch.
More so the engine does not have lag so in the city you can drive around without shifting down too much. However on the highways is when you enjoy it. The XUV300 has the most torque in its class and it shows. You can overtake and cruise at big speeds easily- it is stable. The ride does not have the choppiness of previous Mahindra’s and is polished and while there is roll, it is controlled. The XUV300 feels agile and nimble for its class. The steering modes, though feels like a gimmick and no real change was felt in the sportier mode. In terms of mileage it delivers 20 kmpl for the diesel.
Variant to buy
There are three variants on offer and interesting some of the talked about features like the sunroof or 7 airbags are on the option pack available on top of the W8 trim. That said the W8 offers the best value as the features really make the car. Talking about the color options, Mahindra XUV300 is available in 6 mono-tone colors and 2 dual-tone colors – Check all available Mahindra XUV300 Colors.
Prices of the XUV300 start at Rs 7.9 lakh for the base petrol and stretches all the way to Rs 12 lakh for the top-end diesel. The Brezza is cheaper with a price range of Rs 7.7 lakh to 10.7 lakh. The Nexon is the cheapest with a starting price of Rs 6.3 lakh to Rs 10.8 lakh. The XUV is also more expensive than the EcoSport (Rs 7.8 lakh to Rs 11.8 lakh).
Yes, The XUV300 is more expensive than rivals but the top-end has features others do not have. One advantage others have on the XUV300 is the automatic as the XUV is manual only. The Nexon and Brezza are offered in AMT while the EcoSport has also a superb automatic. Compared to rivals the XUV offers a bigger look, more space and features while also having the most torque.
Safe to say, that this is the best Mahindra yet. The XUV300 scores in all areas and crucially like features, looks, engine, space- it does very well- more than rivals. It is exactly what the modern day compact SUV buyer wants. The XUV300 is an all rounder and currently the best compact SUV to buy. Over to you Maruti…
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Check out the full photo gallery of new XUV300 below: