Home / Home / Mahindra XUV700 Diesel AT Tested – The Napoli Black Elephant

 

Mahindra have given the XUV700 a few minor updates to keep it in contention with its rivals. We took it for a spin around the outskirts of the city and here is how the drive went off.

Story: Charan Karthik

Photography: Apurva Ambep

Soft-roaders are those do-anything, go-anywhere, all-round cars that the automobile industry has imagined and produced. Yet, in my personal opinion, they are in close competition with wagons for the top spot. Anyway, the point is that the new Mahindra XUV700 now gets a blacked-out treatment to its exterior. Called the Napoli Black, the new shade just drips under the sunlight. Our crew had a good time photographing it because the car looked so splendid. Apart from the colour, the additions include an all-black treatment to the front grille and roof-rails along with 18-inch rims that have also been painted in the same shade, although this is specific to the AX7 and AX7L variants.

The car continues to be powered by the same 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine known for its effortless performance. It has enough power and is adequately refined. Just a few additional facts: the AX7L variant that we drove gets the mHawk in a higher state of tune and has a peak of 185 hp and a chunky 450 Nm of torque which is available from 1,750 rpm. It is paired with the smooth six-speed auto which makes the car perform satisfactorily.

Stepping inside the airy cabin, the white leatherette seats form a stark contrast to the exterior. The panoramic sunroof also makes the cabin feel very roomy. The XUV700 now gets ventilated seats in the front row, which is good for handling both during sweaty summers and cold winters when you need that little bit of extra ventilation when the sun does not shine. The seats continue to have memory function and now, in addition, the wing-mirrors are also linked to that, making things that much easier.

Looking ahead from the driver’s seat, the twin 10.25-inch infotainment screens have information and access to everything from Alexa to the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The AdrenoX software in the dashboard has received a few updates, 13 to be exact, and includes features such as the “M Lens” which allows users to scan buttons and warning signs that pop up on the cluster. A few more enhancements have also been carried out via Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) updates. The screen and software both continue to be easy to operate with the provision of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Built on a monocoque chassis, this soft-roader continues to handle well, with body-roll being minimal, and sort of envelops you in its cocoon. We took it to a tight and twisting ghat section and drove it at a moderate pace, where the gearbox felt a little slow in upshifting but, otherwise, point the car where you want it to go and it will shoot straight off the line, albeit with the front tyres screeching upon sudden acceleration. The manual gearbox variant would surely be more fun to drive. I found the brakes to be a tad too spongy and they also lacked feedback when applied. It took me some time to understand that and get used to them. I somehow also had an opportunity to experience the ADAS doing its job when it emergency braked while a pedestrian suddenly walked in front of us on the road.

The ride quality remains the same, with the front passengers being more comfortable than the occupants in the rear. But that should not be an issue for the second-row occupants because they get captain seats. Yes, the AX7 and AX7L trims now come with the option of six or seven seats. The front passenger seat fore and aft adjustment can be accessed from the rear seat with the lever that’s provided on the front seatback. This increases leg-room by a comfortable margin; like boss mode activated. The captain seats in the second row also get a recline function to keep the occupants even more relaxed. Lastly, coming to the third row, every aspect remains the same as its predecessor, right from the head-room and knee-room to the air-vents.

This XUV misses out on a powered tailgate and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The latter, surprisingly, is available in its smaller electric sibling, the XUV400.

The new Mahindra XUV700 AX7L is priced at Rs 25.94 lakh (ex-showroom) for the diesel-auto front-wheel drive (six-seater). There is one more trim that sits above this one which is equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) and is available as a seven-seater only, priced at Rs 26.99 lakh (ex-showroom).

The Mahindra XUV700 is a good alternative to the flagship Tata SUVs as it gets a more powerful diesel engine with the option of a petrol motor as well. The XUV700 also gets an AWD system and is a proven off-roader.

 

About the author: Charan Karthik

 

Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Cars over anything!
IG: charankarthikk

 

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