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The Mahindra XUV300 competes with the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and has left us impressed like no other Mahindra SUV in the past

We headed to Goa to drive Mahindra’s all-new sub-four-metre SUV – the Mahindra XUV300. Mahindra is moving away from the body-on-chassis construction to monocoque construction for most of their products, including the XUV300, because according to them customers want the look and feel of an SUV but want the ride, handling, and driving experience of a sedan.

Design

The XUV300 is based on the X 100 platform of SsangYong and carries forward the Cheetah design language of its elder sibling, the XUV500. At the front, the high-set slim grille merges into the projector headlamps. The air dam has a big air intake for engine cooling. The projector headlamps have a strip of light-emitting diodes (LED) that run from the top of the headlamps down to the air dam and into the fog-lamps that are housed in the air dam. Muscular wheel-arches and black A-, B-, and C-pillars enhance the floating-roof effect and accentuates the sporty character of the SUV along with those 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The short spoiler and the wide LED tail-lamps give the SUV an all-around sporty look. The silver front bumper skid-plate, side door protectors, and the rear skid-plate add to its rugged look. The XUV300 has very good proportions and is one of the best-looking SUVs from Mahindra.

Cabin and Interior

The minute you get inside the car, you get the feeling of space and a bright cabin thanks to the glass area, which gives you the feeling that you are sitting in a big car and not a sub-four-metre SUV. As a matter of fact, the cabin space felt more like the Creta than the Brezza. The beige-and-black dashboard is well laid-out and the quality of plastics and overall fit-and-finish is very good. The perforated leatherette seats offer good comfort and the quality of the interiors is top-class.

Features

The multimedia system has everything that one would want and more. The leather-wrapped gear-shift knob and steering give a premium feel. Ergonomically, everything is in place and one does not have to reach out for any of the controls. The baby XUV also comes with class-leading features like front parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, heated ORVMs to keep them from foggin up, and smart steering with three modes. It also comes with a sunroof, which is starting to become the norm in this segment.

Safety

As for safety, the XUV300 is well-equipped on both active and passive fronts. It comes with seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and seat-belt reminders for all the seats. Then there are ABS and EBD with electronic stability programme with rollover mitigation and hill start assist. The suspension set-up is MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar at the front and the rear set-up is a twist-beam with hydraulic dampers with coil springs. Braking is taken care of by disc brakes all round, which is a first in the segment.

Engine

The Mahindra XUV300 gets two engine options this first of which is a three-cylinder 1,197-cc petrol engine developing 111.5 PS at 5,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. The Mahindra XUV300 diesel version is powered by a four-cylinder 1,497-cc oil-burner that dishes out 117 PS at 3,750 rpm and 330 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. Both these engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and the power is put down on the road via the front wheels. Soon, the company will be introducing the Mahindra XUV300 AMT in India, which we’ll get to review in the near future. For now, we test drive the Mahindra XUV300 1.5-litre diesel version.

Performance

A gentle press on the start-stop brought the diesel motor to life and there was hardly any clatter from this motor. The engine pulls willingly from 1,000 rpm and, as the needle goes past 1,800 rpm, the power delivery becomes stronger up to the 3,500-rpm mark after which it starts tailing off.

The six-speed gearbox is a delight to use with short throws and slick gear shifts and one does not need to shift gears very often because of the very good power delivery from the oil-burner. This is the best-handling, fun-to-drive car from Mahindra. I was throwing it around corners and the XUV300 behaved like a good handling sedan with hardly any body-roll. The feedback from the steering was very good and the ride quality excellent as the car flattened all the undulations and potholes on the way. The Mahindra XUV300 was flattening everything in its path.

Should you buy one?

The Mahindra XUV300 is a spacious SUV, which offers both petrol and diesel engine options to the customer. This compact SUV has managed to impress us in a way no other Mahindra SUV has been able to in the past. We feel proud to say that the Indian auto giant, Mahindra have a car that can take on the best in the business. And in order to take the fight to its rivals, Mahindra have slapped a sticker of Rs 10.80 for this, the top-end diesel.

(Also Read: Mahindra XUV300 India Launch)

 

About the author: Aspi Bhathena

 

 

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