The Mahindra XUV 5OO has become a brand itself, garnering a lot of cult following right since its launch way back in 2011. It has single-handedly shown the world the powers of Mahindra as a modern and trendy brand of today. The compact and mini SUV segment is one of the fastest growing currently in India, and Mahindra is all set to get its latest entrant here taking the XUV lineage ahead with the XUV 3OO.
We drove this extremely trendy-looking Mini SUV around some lovely Goan roads trying to get under its skin. Here’s our detailed and extensive roadtest review of the Mahindra XUV 3OO which is all ready to storm the segment.
Food For Thought
The Mahindra XUV 3OO is based on the Ssangyong Tivoli also known as the X100. Ssangyong has sold more than 2.6 lakh Tivolis globally across 50 countries since its 2015 launch. The Tivoli also holds 35% of the market share of its segment in its home country, Korea. Mahindra owns the Korean Ssangyong brand and the Tivoli was the very 1st model to be introduced under Mahindra’s ownership. The XUV 300 is wider and taller than the Ssangyong Tivoli that its based on. The Alturas G4 is the Ssangyong Rexton which is the other model to be sold in India sourced from the Korean car maker.
The XUV 3OO appears extremely sporty and trendy at the very first look. The XUV 300 stands at 3995mm in length, it is 1821mm wide and has an overall height of 1617mm while its wheelbase measures 2600mm. The face gets the signature Mahindra grill with chrome studs placed horizontally with the Mahindra brand logo placed in the center. The headlights come with projector beam, while the highlight of the face is the unique DRL (day time running lights) that extend themselves till the lower section of the bumper edges, starting from the headlights. The fog lamps also get a sharp edge design placed on the front bumper that has character lines defining it. The air-dam comes in a half round styling with 4 horizontal chrome strips running across around the front license plate. The lower section of the face gets a faux skid plate in silver, highlighting the SUV appeal. The bonnet comes with character lines flowing back towards the windshield giving it a neat, robust SUV look, that is best viewed from the driver’s seat.
The side profile is highlighted with the dual tone paint shade that the top end W8 trim we drove came with. Further highlighting the looks on the sides is the floating roofline styling and the silver alloy roof rails. The roof also comes with an trendy-looking electric sun roof and the stick type radio antenna. The front and the rear fenders come with soft character lines along with plastic cladding. The waistline also gets angular, muscular character lines on the rear and the front, making the XUV 3OO look beefy and pumped-up. The running board and the lower sections of the doors come with plastic cladding, enhancing the SUV looks. The A-B and C pillars get glossy black masking, while the electric wing mirrors come with a unique heating feature. The XUV 3OO drives on 215/55 R17 Apollo Alnac 4g tubeless tyres mounted on 17 inch diamond cut alloys.
The rear profile of the XUV 3OO is highlighted with the near oval tail lights in all LED glow that extend themselves into the boot lid. The rear spoiler in roof color extends itself outward, giving a tough look to the rear profile. The twin character lines on the boot lid give it a perfect chiseled look. The rear bumper comes with stop lamps placed on the corners along with the faux skid plate.
Hop into the XUV 3OO and you are welcomed with a bright cabin in a nice off-white theme. The dash comes in a dual tone shade with the top in black and the lower section in a white shade. The steering gets manual adjust for height and comes with leather wrapping along with multi-function command buttons with silver inserts on it. The instrument cluster is a twin pod design with the outer rings glowing in color. You can customize this glow colour, choosing between red, yellow, blue, white and sky blue colors. Placed between the twin pods on the cluster is the MFD screen reading out the time, temperature, trip meters, speed, fuel and engine temperature, gear shift etc. The center dash houses the 7 inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, Radio, GPS navigation to name a few. This screen also acts as a display for the unique tyre pressure and tyre temperature monitor.
The infotainment system also comes with the Mahindra Ecosense and Blue sense app. You can also connect your smart watch to the XUV 3OO using their app and control various functions like climate control, vehicle overview, audio control, location services and emergency assist. The XUV 3OO comes with the segment’s 1st dual zone climate control unit, where you can have different temperature settings for the front left and right zones. Like the steering, the gear shifter also comes in a rich-looking leather wrap. The seats look classy in off-white leather upholstery. The front seats are very well sculpted and offer excellent support to the back. The driver’s seat comes with height adjust. The rear seat comes with 40:60 split configuration, also getting 3 adjustable head rests and a folding center arm rest. Rear seats offer good seating comfort with near to perfect backrest angle and under thigh support.
Overall knee room, head room and shoulder room is excellent all around the XUV 300. There are tons of storage spaces spread across the cabin area. Just above the glovebox lid you get a neatly scooped out storage area on the dash. You also get storage space below the center armrest between the front seats, can and bottle holders in the center console and doors and a unique magazine or document holder behind the front seats. The XUV 3OO comes with 257lt boot space with a wide loading area. We also loved the fine touches given to the cabin area like the glossy black inserts on the dash, door pads, silver metallic finish window buttons, making the ambience feel and appear more premium.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
The Mahindra XUV 3OO comes with two engine options to choose from, one Petrol and one Diesel. The Petrol version comes powered with the 1.2-Litre turbocharged unit which makes 110bhp @ 5000rpm and 200Nm of torque between 2000rpm – 3000rpm. The Diesel version of the XUV 3OO that we drove gets its power from the 1.5-Litre CDRI engine, which makes 115bhp @ 3750rpm and 300Nm between 1500rpm – 2500rpm. This is the same engine that also powers the larger Mahindra Marazzo MPV. Both the engines come mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
We are told the engine on the XUV 3OO is differently tuned to suit it, as compared to the state of tuning on the Marrazo. First things first, push start the engine and you would be more than surprised with how silent the cabin feels with the engine running. Upfront on the instrument cluster you see the direction the front tyres are in via the tyre direction monitor system, this is an extremely helpful feature especially for them who cant judge the tyre direction when they are just about to move out from parking. Shift to the 1st gear and the XUV 3OO glides away in style. Power buildup is excellent and precise. The clutch and brake pedals are very light and should help in offering comfort during those long drives or busy traffic commutes. Another unique feature on the XUV 3OO is the 3-mode steering system that can be preset to Comfort, Normal or Sport mode at a push of a button.
The modes make the steering heavy or light as per the mode set. We drove mostly in the Sport mode, making the steering firmer and much more in control. The XUV 3OO feels spirited to drive and is always planted. The gear shifts are precise and with a positive action. The XUV 3OO feels extremely comfortable to drive over bad roads, thanks to the tyre specs and its India spec suspension setup. The overall drive feel is confidence boosting and very positive. There is nearly zero body roll and seating on the rear seats is extra comfy during any speeds.
Mahindra has loaded the XUV 3OO with a long list of safety features, many of which are the segment first. The XUV 3OO comes with 7 airbags (2 front, 2 curtain, 2 side, 1 driver knee), ABS with EBD, corner braking control, all 4 disc brakes, ESP, Hill Hold assist, ISOFIX child seat restraints, seatbelt reminder for front and back, front and rear parking sensors, seatbelt height adjust, Tyre direction monitor system.
The Mahindra XUV 3OO will compete with the segment leader Maruti Suzuki Brezza,Tata Nexon, the Ford EcoSport, Honda WR-V while the top end variants would also compete with the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Renault Captur to some extent.
The Mahindra XUV 3OO is a complete revelation in itself, in terms of equipment levels, safety features, engine and transmission, and comfort. Mahindra has got the package just perfect with a long list of segment first features, mostly safety ones, making this the safest SUV once launched. With a well sorted drive and handling quality, Mahindra does have a winner with the XUV 3OO in its segment. We expect Mahindra to launch the XUV 3OO with a starting price of Rs. 8 Lakhs and the fully loaded version coming in at Rs. 12 Lakhs and shake up its competition. After experiencing and testing the XUV 300 we can be sure this is the perfect product to take Mahindra’s brand name to the next level.
Photography – Dr Anand Narvekar