Mahindra XUV500 review, test drive ~ Auto Review

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mahindra XUV500 review, test drive

We just drove the new XUV500, the largest SUV from Mahindra Scorpio. This SUV is the first modern Indian SUV to be built around a monocoque chassis car-like. This of course means that it is lighter than a conventional ladder frame SUV, has a modern car-like independent suspension and a lot of usable space between the long wheelbase and 2700mm.

Under the hood:

The XUV is the familiar 2.2-liter engine mHawk with a variable geometry turbocharger similar to the Scorpio. However, it is now more power and torque - 140 hp and 33.33 kgm of torque - and is placed transversely. Mahindra offers two versions - one version with front wheel drive and a single four-wheel drive. We drove them and we are impressed. The engine mHawk has always been known for its responsiveness, strong mid-range power and refinement and there is more of the same here. There is a hint of lag below 1500 rpm, the kicks, shortly after turbo and the engine gets its own red line. The meat of the power is between 2500rpm to 4000rpm - keep the engine running in this range, and you will find effortless performance. With its user manual six-speed, three-speed cruise figure is a piece of cake and without a hint of turbo whistle the engine is refined. The lighter weight also helps XUV lively performance and fuel economy as well. The figure for energy efficiency ARAI XUV is a 15.1kpl its class.

Ride and handling:

The suspension of the XUV is a luxury sedan as very MacPherson strut front and multilink independent setup at the rear. With the performance on tap, it's good that the XUV have none of the high-speed Scorpio capricious ways. It feels stable in a straight line, the direction gives you a lot of confidence and low center of gravity and longer wheelbase XUV goes a long way to make you feel safer. The XUV is uses a full-time all-wheel drive that detects slippage and directs torque to the wheels that have grip, so it feels safe enough in the corners too. However, the XUV is Hardcore off-road - there is no case of low-range transfer, but it has a differential lock down and control for light off-road duty version four-wheel drive.

Our short test allowed us to drive more than a few rough patches, but they were enough to prove that the XUV is both flexible and comfortable. However, there is a certain amount of lateral movement, especially on any irregularities.

The style, substance?

The design is very forward looking, too, and, perhaps, the style is good point to mention here. First, the position of the car is there. Almost like the Mitsubishi Outlander in the way he carries his weight, wheelbase, tapered roof and rising beltline gives the car a very dynamic and modern. The best part is, however, that the awkward stand-up of the Scorpion is gone, and it's fantastic.

Yet look closer and you will see many picky details on any vehicle. Especially the nose too many cuts, wheel arches are slightly oversized and exaggerated the back is especially true for those strakes on the D-pillar. There are a few keys so attractive, especially the Range Rover Evoque as the beltline up and blackened pillars.


The XUV has a sturdy construction. The doors open and close with a thunk impressive, the interior has a very strong sense to them and the design is quite impressive as well, combining both traditional and modern quite well. There are usually large wheel Mahindra, a pair of dials impressive dish detailed and 'V' shape in the center console has a touch screen on top. And like any good SUV there are plenty of storage space, too.

And is comfortable on the inside too. The seats are wide and supportive of the cabin space of three rows is phenomenal and it makes a good car for XUV spend long hours in. The second row bench, however, is not mounted on rails, so you can do not slide forward to give third-row occupants more space. What is good though, is that the floor is flat and the center console does not encroach on passenger space average over the second row. With seven passenger But there is absolutely no room for luggage.

The attention to detail and level of fit and finish are a bit disappointing. There are lots of shiny plastic parts, certain joints and shutlines are visible in places and some buttons and made feel bad.

Mahindra has piled on the features though. This upscale version W8 gets a unique feature - voice commands for the audio system. Other goodies are the standard rear parking sensors, air conditioning vents for all three rows, Bluetooth connectivity and a touch screen, satellite navigation (it has voice guidance in eight regional languages). This top-line version has many safety features as well. There ESP or anti-skid control, you get the tire pressure monitoring and six airbags, you should be pretty well protected. It also has a touch screen, satellite navigation, alloy wheels and remote locking.

True Value :

Mahindra has made a giant leap with the XUV500. It's spacious, comfortable and attractive. But the best bit is that Mahindra has given an overwhelming competitive price. The base two-wheel drive starts at Rs W6 10.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) Rs 11.9 lakh goes on to high-end two-wheel drive W8. There is only one version of four-wheel drive, the W8 premium for Rs 12.88 lakh. However, these are introductory prices and up to two or three months.

With the combination of the XUV frankly unbelievable price, long list of equipment and diesel engine sound, it is clear that Mahindra got another winner on its hands.

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