Home / Home / Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Test Review – Bruiser Cruiser

 

What’s everyday life like with the Mahindra XUV700? We find out if the car’s road manners match its impressive résumé

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Sitting high up in a roomy leatherette seat with 200 hp at my disposal, my aimless thoughts about life and related things take a back-seat, because it is more interesting to ponder over how the XUV700 fits into the life of its target customer. What we have here is an SUV that’s as big as a flat in Mumbai with an engine that uses 200 hp to get its way and a list of features longer than the queues at airport security.

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

Almost 4.7 metres long and 1.9 metres wide, this car is massive and just the right size to begin panicking about finding parking spaces. The XUV700 may be a large car but size matters to some and Mahindra have done a commendable job of retaining the familiarity of the XUV500 while channelling fresh aggression into a new era of SUVs. Marking the new dawn is a twin-peak logo and sophisticated design elements such as sabretooth-style DRLs, 18-inch wheels, a pronounced shoulder-line, and reworked tail-lights. The outcome of this combination is an SUV that feels at home while muscling its way through traffic as well as cruising on the highway.

The XUV700 charmed me with door-handles that emerged from the bodywork and further impressed with a roomy cabin. It won’t take an enthusiast long to see where the inspiration has come from, but it has paid off in giving the car’s interior a premium look. Leatherette upholstery in this top-spec AX7 Luxury pack supplemented the appeal but the inconsistency in plastic quality throughout the cabin kept me from being swept off my feet entirely. It’s more of an observation than complaint, because it is a rather nice place to be. The spaciousness of this seven-seater is amplified by the generous use of glass and a huge sunroof while air-conditioning zones for each row keep all its passengers equally at ease.

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

Of course, that’s no excuse to send tall passengers to the back. Leave the third row for a couple of diminutive adults or children, because the second row can accommodate up to three people abreast. Yes, the front seats are the most comfortable and the driver gets electronic adjustment too. There’s also a cooled storage space just within reach. Could have given us vented seats too, Mahindra. Thankfully, they have not compromised on boot space. The second and third rows fold away easily to accommodate anything from luggage to an overnight shelter. Should come in handy for camping trips.

For the modern family and their arsenal of electronic devices, Mahindra have made thoughtful accommodations for storage and connectivity as well. The latter is a mini brochure and the simple version is that the 10.25-inch touchscreen has more menus than one would probably use. Whatever form of entertainment you choose, the audio is relayed through a 12-speaker, 3D sound system developed with Sony and that speaks for itself.

Such puns may be in short supply 10 minutes into a long drive but the XUV700 is capable of munching many more before you need a break. Under the hood is a 2.0-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder mStallion petrol engine that dishes out 200 hp and a peak torque of 380 Nm. More importantly, it works well with the six-speed automatic transmission to deliver a smooth ride at low speeds and a thrilling affair at higher ones. The floodgates of torque were wide open early in the rev-range and I found myself at liberty to use the power as I saw fit.

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

After a bit of city driving and exploring the outskirts of town, a few things were clear. The light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre the car at low speeds and to park it in tight spaces, but cuts into the confidence to negotiate corners at a good clip. I was hoping the driving modes could fix that but they’re available only in the diesel car. Driving like a bat out of hell with the pedal to the metal is good for cheap thrills but the XUV700 is best enjoyed at a steady triple-digit speed with 4,000 rpm on the screen.

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

The suspension soaks up the roads’ deformities quite well and returns a plush ride that is all the more enjoyable thanks to the car’s admirable NVH levels. The trade-off is body-roll in the corners. I’d recommend making good use of the disc brakes all around to set a reasonable entry speed.

  • Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

Speaking of brakes, the XUV700 has collision warning and automatic braking in its list of ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) and both worked reasonably well during our tests. The automatic braking does take getting used to, especially in our traffic scenario, while the adaptive cruise control could come in handy for the highways. The tall and heavy XUV with front-wheel drive is not particularly at home on the rough stuff but it can tackle dirt roads and some mild off-roading.

Mahindra XUV700 AX7 L Tested

At Rs 21.89 lakh (ex-showroom), the XUV700 may not be the most accessible option in the segment, but it features the most equipment and power for the money. Plus, for a beast like this, the engine is claimed to be quite fuel-efficient too. The new XUV may have a few rough edges but it does make itself extremely desirable with its attractive price.

 

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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