Home / Reviews / First Drive / Mahindra XUV300 AMT First Drive Review

 

We did review the Mahindra XUV300 earlier this year, and if you read that story you would know that we consider this Mahindra to be a worthy rival to the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Honda WR-V in the compact SUV space. It shares a platform with the Korean SsangYong Tivoli and is built around a modern monocoque chassis, rather than the dated ladder-on-frame layout, keeping it technologically abreast of its rivals in the class. What the Mahindra XUV300 didn’t offer was the convenience of an automatic transmission option, but this has been rectified with the introduction of an AMT system to manage the six-speed gearbox mated to the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel. The petrol variant, however, will continue to be offered with only a manual transmission.

Visually no different from the car launched this February, the Mahindra XUV300 AMT still looks sharp and contemporary. The narrow grille and large air-dam up front give it a unique visage, while the angular headlamps and vertical daytime lights add a touch of aggression to the design. Stylish 17-inch alloys fill up the wheel-arches nicely, while the black cladding along the lower edges of the doors, blacked-out pillars and roof-rails up top give the impression of a fun, outgoing personality.

The AMT system in the Mahindra XUV300 has been sourced from Italian automotive firm Marelli (Previously Magneti Marelli), and is a step up from the systems used in the TUV300 compact crossover and the NuvoSport SUV. The 1.5-litre motor is punchy and pulls strongly anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm, and the AMT system compliments the engine perfectly. Drive with a light foot and shifts are executed smoothly, and with much less head-nod than on older systems. Get heavier on the gas pedal and the car holds on to gears longer to provide stronger acceleration, but this is when the delay between ratios becomes a little more pronounced. I found it best to drive in a relaxed manner, taking advantage of the 300 Nm of torque on offer, and going to full throttle to activate the kickdown when I wanted to car to drop a gear or two for a quick overtake. Mahindra have also incorporated a hill-hold mode that automatically engages the brakes when the car senses that you are attempting to set off from a standstill up a steep incline.

Mahindra XUV300

With the introduction of this AMT variant, Mahindra have made their extremely competent car even more approachable and easier to drive, especially for new drivers and in crowded urban surroundings. The company is yet to announce the price of the AMT-equipped XUV300, and we expect it to be positioned aggressively to eat into the sales of the better-established players in the segment.

 

About the author: Anosh Khumbatta

 

 

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