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Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

We test drive the Mahindra Marazzo, the latest MPV in India that comes with a new platform and 1.5-litre diesel engine and will fill the void between the Toyota Innova and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

Design

The Marazzo looks quite different from its siblings and credit has to be given to Mahindra-owned Pininfarina SpA. The sharper, shark-like silhouette has been developed with inputs from the renowned Italian car design house, just like several other bits which make it look refreshingly new in the Mahindra line-up. The front design is narrow and sleek and helps form an aerodynamic shape. It still has a familiar chrome-toothed grille and the Mahindra logo, which are flanked by projector headlamps equipped with LED daytime running lights. The bonnet has a couple of prominent creases which try to imitate a shark’s fin.

The side profile is the usual multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) number with a stretched wheelbase and elongated stance. The A-pillar has been stretched and brought forward to carve out more cabin room. With a clean body line and a few creases on the side, the Mahindra Marazzo looks sober and yet muscular. The thing you must notice is the massive expanse of the glass house and, with the C-pillar pushed further back, the unusually large size of the rear doors. These ensure that there is plenty of outside light and visibility for the passengers of the Marazzo and the massive door opening area makes ingress and egress to the second and third row convenient. We were driving the top-end M8 trim which comes with large 17-inch shark-tooth inspired alloys wheels; the middle variants get 16-inch alloys and the base models come with 16-inch steel wheels with stylish wheel-caps.

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A rather up-right D-pillar with black highlights creates a floating roof-like impression. The rear design with the shape of the large tail-lamp seems very similar to some of the MPVs in the market. The Marazzo gets a large boot-lid which creates a decent size opening to the luggage area. I would have liked to see the boot unlocking button to be hidden neatly under the chrome strip just below the rear windscreen, instead of being positioned in a prominent cavity further below.

For a large sized MPV with three rows of seating, the Mahindra Marazzo manages to steer away from a bulky or gawky appearance, but it doesn’t look radical of futuristic either. Without ruffling any feathers the sober design has a friendly and approachable appeal.

 

Cabin and Interior

Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

The high ground clearance will make getting in the Mahindra Marazzo easy even for the elderly. Since this segment is all about driving with the entire family or gang of friends, the first step makes a good impression. With the transversely mounted engine powering only the front wheels, the engineers have managed to get rid of the intrusion of the propeller shaft. This makes the floor of the car rather flat and convenient. The only issue here is the high floor translates into limited under-thigh support on the second and third rows of seats.

Overall, the cabin appears more premium than all other Mahindra MPV models available currently. The dashboard has a piano black finish and comes with white sporty graphics and sleek air-vents. The top half of the dash is black and also has a cavity to stow lose change and toll tickets. The lower half is beige and has a floating centre console which houses the a-c controls and the gear shift, and there’s even a strip of off-white ceramic-like plastic highlight, which, personally, is a bit of an overkill.

Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

The seats are well-contoured, offer all-round bolstering and are perforated for more comfort. The driver’s seat is electrically powered and can be adjusted in eight ways. Both the front seats come with folding arm-rests and manually-adjustable lumbar support. There are decent sized bottle holders on the door panel and storage with a retractable lid in between the front seats. Interestingly, the Mahindra Marazzo gets a aircraft-inspired hand-brake lever, which isn’t the most convenient to use. The driver’s seat can be adjusted for height, which again, is a small but useful feature. The steering wheel can only be adjusted for tilt and not for reach. The steering adjustment latch wasn’t flush-finished and remained protruding out a bit, which can rub against the knees of taller drivers.

The Marazzo is available in seven and eight seating options and we got to drive the seven-seater with captain seats. A single touch mechanism topples over the captain seat to give access to the third row. The captain seat behind the driver is fixed and cannot be folded, though. Mahindra have yet again managed to get the packaging spot-on as the cabin is extremely spacious and roomy. They claim to offer best-in-class shoulder room for the first and second row of seats and it seems right. The large windows also ensure that even passengers in the third row don’t feel claustrophobic. All the seats are comfortable with ample knee- and head-room. Yes, even the third row is usable for adults. I managed to fit into the third row with the second row pushed to its farthest seating position. The drawback of having a usable third row in a 4.6-metre long car is that there is limited luggage space of 190 litres. With all three rows in place, the boot can hold two small bags or one full sized suitcase. Fold the third row and you have all the space you need.

Features

The all-new Marazzo is offered in four variants, the base being the M2, followed by the M4, M6 and the top-end M8, which we drove. Our test car came with a 7.0-inch touchscreen similar to the one seen on the XUV500. The haptic-touch user interface is fairly user-friendly and intuitive. You can link your smartphones via Andriod Auto and stay connected as you drive. Sadly, there isn’t an Apple CarPlay for iPhone owners as of now. The screen also works as the display for the rear camera and comes with guidelines and park assist while reversing. Up front, there are a couple of USB ports along with an AUX port. The second row passengers get one USB port but there are none for the third row.

Mahindra Marazzo First Drive Review

The MPV also gets automatic air-conditioning with a unique airplane like ceiling-mounted vents running vertically through the cabin. The air draft can be directed on to passengers or can be defused as in an aircraft. The second row passengers also get window-blinds and reading lights and ISOFIX child seat mounts. The driver gets a sunglasses holder and an extra wide view “conversation” mirror.

Then, there’s the convenience of electrically-foldable ORVMs which come equipped with turn indicators and Entry Assist Lamps. An interesting new feature is the Emergency Call assist which alerts and shares the car’s location to friends/family in case the airbags are deployed. The car comes with ABS and EBD, dual front airbags and disc brakes on all four wheels as standard. I wish it also came with a push-button start. With these features, the Marazzo claims to meet safety regulations of October 2020.

 

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