Home / Reviews / First Drive / Mahindra XUV300 Petrol AMT – Closed Circuit Review

 

Earlier this week, we got a chance to get our hands on the Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT (automated manual transmission, or autoSHIFT as Mahindra call it). A comprehensive review is headed your way in the March issue of Car India magazine.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

Story: Joshua Varghese 

Photography: Apurva Ambep

A dual-tone Aquamarine Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT awaited us at a closed circuit near Mumbai for a series of handling tests. The officials at Mahindra had set up the course in such a way that it highlighted what was new about the car. Before we talk about the experience, let us take a quick look at what is actually new. The most obvious addition is the combination of this engine and transmission. The familiar 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine continues to produce 110 hp at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 200 Nm between 2,000-3,500 rpm. Of course, the highlight is that it now comes mated to a six-speed automated transmission; making the XUV300 one of the few cars in its segment that offers an automated variant for both petrol and diesel engines.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

The top-end W8(O) variant that we drove was equipped with Mahindra’s BlueSense Plus and an electric sunroof (available from mid variants onwards). Additionally, the Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT W8(O) will also be offered with two new dual-tone colours; Red and Aquamarine. There is also a new grey colour in the lower variants and the pricing starts at Rs 9.95 lakh (ex-showroom) for the W6 AMT model.

Mahindra BlueSense appMahindra BlueSense appMahindra BlueSense appMahindra BlueSense app

BlueSense Plus is the Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT’s connectivity technology that offers a range of functions when used via a smartphone. Some of the highlights of this feature include remote controls (lock/ unlock), live tracking and location sharing, geo fencing, document storage and tyre pressure among others. These functions are enabled using an e-SIM and the app is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The full list of BlueSense functions have been mentioned at the end.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

How is it to drive? We found out by dodging cones and sliding around corners. The course began with a low-speed slalom which we were asked to complete without once touching the brakes. The Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT has a creep function and that along with the “Comfort” steering mode helped me complete that course without breaking a sweat. Once past the cones, it was pedal to the metal and the AMT pulled out all the stops to propel the car towards the next obstacle. The XUV300 responded quickly to steering input as I slotted the car into a gap between the cones before entering the hairpin and the electronic stability control kept the car planted and composed. A quick tap of the brakes made the XUV300 respond to steering input and the car entered the corner with a hint of understeer. Thankfully, the AMT was quick to pick up the pace and sent the car towards a slightly faster slalom.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

Although the Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT darted in and out of the cones rather easily with the steering in Comfort mode, the same effort was a lot more precise when we attempted it again in “Normal” mode and we got the best results when we used “Sport” mode. In Sport, the steering allows for the most precise input and also returns the most feedback. The use of disc brakes all around made for good stopping power, so, no complaints there.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

The AMT itself is one of the best we have driven to date. The gearshifts are nice and smooth, and much quicker than its immediate rivals. In the city, its easy to use and does not cause the annoying lag that we generally associate with AMTs. Furthermore, it is also rather quick when it comes to overtaking. One of the interesting things about this AMT is that, you do not have to slot the gear lever into a gate to engage drive, that is done by a few nudges (literally). Nudge the lever to the left and you engage drive, once more in that direction will get you the manual mode. A nudge to the right will find neutral while a nudge to the lower right will engage reverse. Will the car go into reverse if you accidentally nudge the lever while driving? No, because a safety measure has been built in. There is Hill Start Assist as well to help with those tricky slopes.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

BlueSense Plus Feature List

Remote Vehicle Control Features: Remote door lock/unlock, remote hazard lamp on/off, search my XUV300 and remote park lamp off.

Location-based Features: Live vehicle tracking, find my XUV300, route deviation alert, share vehicle location, share a location, save places and routes, pitstop, and turn-by-turn navigation

Safety and Security Alerts: Unauthorized vehicle access alert, emergency alert, geo-fencing, time-fencing, door open alert, tyre pressure alert, speeding alert, high engine temperature alert, seat belt alert and device unplugged alert

Vehicle Information and Alerts: Low fuel alert, check distance to empty, parking lamp on alert, vehicle start-stop alert, check tyre pressure, check door lock status, check odometer, check a-c information and engine idle alert

In-Car Controls and Other Features: In-car a-c controls, in-car infotainment audio controls, document wallet, fuel diary, trip summary, my car info, insurance expiry, PUC expiry, weather information, e-manual, personalized pitstop recommendation and create enquiry.

Mahindra XUV300 petrol AMT

Also Read: Mahindra Thar first drive review

Story: Joshua Varghese

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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