Mahindra lately is at its all time high with all its SUV models in super high demand with everything they doing turning into gold for them may it be the Thar, XUV 700, Scorpio-N, Bolero Neo, Scorpio Classic. Now the car maker wants to taste some blood in the all Electric SUV segment. Their first all electric SUV which is all set for launch in January 2023 will be the XUV 400. We went to Chennai to drive the All Electric XUV 400 at the Mahindra Proving Grounds to dig deep under its skin and here is what we have to say.
Note – The Mahindra XUV 400 that we drove is the pre production version of the Electric SUV, some functions on the AVN system etc are not in the final stage yet.
Food for Thought
Mahindra has based the XUV 400 EV on the XUV 300 but has given it more length of around 200mm as the XUV 300 was a sub 4 meter sized SUV to get the tax benefit while the 400 is an EV with no tax benefit on sub meter dimensions. XUV 400 has its IP67 rated battery pack completely developed and finished here in Bangalore India. The XUV 400 is the largest sized Electric SUV in its class with the largest boot capacity to that of 418 liters.
The SUV also gets the best in class drive range in a single charge that of 456kms. The Electric Suv also is the fastest to reach 100kmph in just 8.3 seconds when a top speed of 150kmph. Mahindra says that it has extensively used High Strength Steel for the XUV400 EV’s architecture, making it safer in an event of a crash and giving better protection to the SUV’s battery pack. Overall, the XUV 400 EV’s structure features 10 percent Ultra-High Strength Steel, 5 percent Advanced-High Strength Steel and 30 percent High Strength Steel.
The XUV 400 stands at 4200mm in length, 1281mm wide, 1634mm in height and 2600mm of wheelbase. This makes it the largest Electric SUV in its class. In terms of design the XUV 400 EV is based on the Engine version XUV 300 with lots of changes to its styling to suit its Electric nature.
The Mahindra XUV 400 gets a completely redesigned front face with all new projector headlights with integrated DRLs and a closed-EV front grille, copper twin peaks Mahindra logo at the front, exclusive copper inserts and piano-black, diamond cut 16″ alloy wheels with high contrast surface treatment, LED tail lamps with Satin Copper inserts.
Sides get inserts around the wheel arch, cladding on the lower section with copper inserts, roof rails and electric sunroof along with the top finished in copper shade.
The rear also gets a all new design large bulging out LED tail lamps with copper inserts, large spoiler in copper color, redesigned bumper and a large rear windshield with wash wipe and defogger.
In terms of interiors the XUV 400 gets and all black cabin finish. Key highlights of the insides include a 7 inch touch screen AVN system with first-in-segment exclusive application for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. XUV400 also gets the Mahindra Blue Sense+ mobile app with 60+ connectivity features along with smartwatch connectivity. The ac vents get satin-copper inserts and blue back-lighting on the foot-well.
The knobs on the central dash come with copper finish on them while the single zone climate control does not have vents at the rear.
The instrument cluster is same as that of the XUV300 with two analogue dials on the sides and a mfd display in the middle. The cluster lights change as per the drive modes. The steering is a leather wrapped unit with adjust for height and comes with copper inserts along with mfd buttons placed on it. The switchgear is also the same as that on the XUV300. The transmission shifter is an all new unit with copper finish and loads of piano Black surrounds.
Seats get faux leather upholstery but miss out on seat ventilation. Driver seat gets height adjust while all the seats come with blue hand stitching signifying it’s Electric heart. Storage bin under the centre armrest along with bottle holders in the door pads are more than accommodative. The drive mode preset button is placed on the centre dash next to the climate control unit.
Rear seats get loads of leg and knee room due to its extra 200mm over the XUV 300. Seats get excellent padding, three adjustable headrests and foldable armrest. What we missed at the rear are ac vents, USB charging ports and pepper map pockets. But the enhanced leg and knee room makes up for all.
The XUV 400 gets a boot capacity of 416 liters which is again the largest in the segment.
Electric Motor – Drive – Suspension
Powering the Mahindra XUV 400 electric SUV is a 39.4 kWh Lithium ion battery pack that powers its synchromesh motor. The EV delivers best-in-class power that of 150PS and torque that of 310 Nm which can propel the SUV from 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds with a top speed of 160 km/h. Mahindra claims that the Mahindra XUV 400 electric SUV can deliver a range of up to 456 km in a single charge. The car comes with first in class drive modes with a unique combination of throttle regeneration and steering response – Fun, Fast, and Fearless.
How is the XUV 400 to drive?
Electric cars have a different vibe to them, they are super silent, fast and very agile. The XUV400 is one hell of an fast Electric SUV which at a tap of the paddle can zoom off to High speeds in matter of seconds.
The drive modes change the way the power is delivered and the brake re-gen along with the steering weightage is also altered.
Power delivery is instant where you get all the 310nm at as low as 20rpm
You also get a special Lively mode “L” which is the single pedal drive mode on the SUV. Here when you get your foot off the accelerator the motor tends to go into the braking and regeneration mode which is super helpful during traffic busy conditions as you do not need to use the brakes at all.
The overall drive quality is excellent due to the frequency dependent damping FDD tuned suspension that Mahindra has already mastered on its current existing SUV lineup. The EV feels very lively and is super fun to drive in all the three drive modes.
You can charge the Mahindra XUV 400 in 50 minutes to 80% using an 50kW DC fast charger while if you use a 7.2kW AC charger it will take 6.5 hours and around 13 hours while charging it using a 16A domestic plug point.
In terms of safety the Mahindra XUV 400 electric SUV comes with six-airbags, IP67 rated best-in-industry dust and waterproof battery pack, all wheel disc brakes, rear-view camera, ISOFIX seat anchorage, crash complaint structure, Pyro switch for the safety of the battery, ABS and EBD.
The Mahindra XUV 400 Electric SUV goes up against the segment leader the Tata Nexon EV and EV Max, MG ZS EV and the Hyundai Kona.
The Mahindra XUV 400 EV is a bit late to the party but it comes loaded with just all the right bells and whistles that make it the best in class Electric SUV for now. The eSUV also has a best in class single charge range that of 456kms which should make it your choice as an Electric SUV when it is launched in January 2023.