Mahindra Scorpio-N Road Test Review – Can it Sting?
Mahindra has got its tail up lately with the huge success of the XUV7OO that has been received extremely well. Now it wants to cement its dominance and to do this the iconic Scorpio has got a rebirth as the Scorpio-N which also is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a brand within the Mahindra brand. The all new SUV has been developed by Mahindra not using a single nut bolt or any component from the outgoing Scorpio and it promises something that the Scorpio has never done, keeping its traditional USP’s intact plus offering premium, up market and trendy features with high safety levels along with best in class dimensions on the final package. We drive the heavily anticipated Mahindra Scorpio-N trying to understand it better and in return getting you our detailed road test review loaded with details on an SUV that is as big as the Toyota Fortuner but has its prices starting at only Rs. 11.99 Lakh. Read on to know all on the talk of the town SUV the Mahindra Scorpio-N as it is all set to sting not one but 5 segments.
Food for Thought
Mahindra had first introduced the Scorpio SUV 20 years back in June 2002 which also was the 50th anniversary for the brand. This was Mahindra’s very first model for the Global markets and the total cost for its development was Rs. 500 crores. The Scorpio was the first SUV for its time to offer sedan like features. The Scorpio was designed and developed in-house with some assistance from AVL Austria and consultants from Japan. The Scorpio was the first model that made Mahindra visible on the Global automotive markets. The Scorpio has had a huge fan following and has become a cult model among buyers. The original Mahindra Scorpio came with a 2.6-litre SZ2600 turbocharged diesel engine and also with the Renault-sourced 2.0-litre petrol engine. Mahindra launched the Scorpio in 2002 at Rs. 5.5 Lakh which was extremely good value for money for its time. Mahindra wont phase out the original Scorpio which will be sold alongside the New Scorpio-N as the Scorpio Classic.
Well if you know what the real meaning of the word Attention Grabber is then you will understand the way the Scorpio-N really is from the outside. The SUV is the largest in its class in terms of length, width and height. In terms of styling the Scorpio-N retains the typical boxy SUV stance. The SUV stands at 4,662 mm in length, 1,917 mm in width and 1,870 mm in height and its wheelbase stands at 2,750 mm.
The face adorns a large Mahindra six vertical slat grille finished in chrome and black and flaunting the twin peak Mahindra logo boldly. Large bumper comes with muscular character lines and a big faux skid plate in silver along with a wide air dam finished in matt black. Head lights are flushed into the bodyline but come with muscular shape to them. The get twin barrel projector glow with white glow and a lot of detailing on them along with follow type LED turn indicators. The projector fog lamps with white glow are placed on the bumper surrounded by C shape white DRL’s.
The bonnet is long and tall with flexed character lines that run towards the windshield. The front glass is placed at a slight angle as compared to the older Scorpio which had a much upright positioning. Coming to the sides, the muscular character lines run across the waist and ankle lines. The fenders get sharp styling and adorn fiber inserts along the rounded wheel arches. The large sized door handles get a dash of chrome on them adding to the premium appeal. The glass area on the sides is large with a huge fixed quarter glass in place. A chrome line runs around the lower glass line and ends on the quarter glass area which signifies the tail of the Scorpion.
The butch SUV appeal is further highlighted with the practical heavy duty step board and the fiber cladding in silver and black on the lower section of the doors. Wheels are of 18 inch size and come with multi spoke design alloys in dual tone finish. Large wing mirrors get body colored housing and electric adjust – auto fold feature. There is a neat hump in the waistline and glass area just around the C pillar that reminds you off the XUV 7OO. Roof gets practical load bearing roof rails finished in silver and a wide electric sun roof along with a shark fin antenna.
The rear profile is also pretty interesting on the Scorpio-N with a large flat tailgate in place that opens sideways in typical Scorpio style. The LED tail lamps are placed vertically again in typical Scorpio style. The rear door handle also gets chrome insert along with a request sensor. SCORPIO-N branding gets the N in red and the tail gets further highlighted with a large sized spoiler with a stop lamp placed in it. The rear bumper is flat and low placed again in typical Scorpio style which gets unpainted black finish along with subtle chrome inserts, large faux silver skid plates and reverse lights. The rear profile looks a lot like the Volvo XC SUV’s especially the tail lights. The spare wheel is placed under the body of the Scorpio-N.
Stepping inside the Scorpio-N what you realize instantly is the tons of space around and the silent cabin once you close the doors. The cabin gets a mix of black, beige and coffee brown color theme with brushed metal colored inserts all around. The dash is flat and comes with faux leather padded wrap along with hand stitching. The centre dash houses the latest generation 8-inch touch screen AVN system that comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, inbuilt GPS, FM radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, in built apps which include India Today, Zomato, Tickertape, What 3 Words, built in Alexa with voice command. The Scorpio-N also comes loaded with more than 70 connected car features.
The sound system here is a 12 speaker unit sourced from Sony which includes a centre speaker placed on the dash with Sony branding on it. The climate control is a dual zone unit with rotary type control unit for the temperature setting. Around the centre console suns a thick band finished in brushed metal that looks very premium.
The instrument cluster is an ana-digi unit with the RPM meter dial on the left and the speedo on the right. A neat MFD display sits between these dials displaying out all the various readings which can be toggled as and when needed. The steering unit is the sourced from the XUV7OO, this three spoke unit gets leather wrapping and manual adjust for height only. You also get grab handles in typical SUV style placed on both sides on the A pillar. The SUV also comes with wireless charging and two USB ports. The centre console houses the transmission shifter which comes finished in leather and gets metal surrounds behind which are the can holders and the centre arm rest with storage space under it. The door pads get the coffee brown treatment along with brushed metal grab handles. Glove box gets cooling feature too. Cabin lights are all white LED glow units.
Seats get leatherette upholstery finished in coffee brown and black inserts on the edges. Driver’s seat comes with electric adjust with manual lumbar adjust. Seats in the front have loads of space, support and padding making life here very comfortable. The middle row seats get 40:60 split folding along with two adjustable headrests and a fixed one in the middle. The comfort level is enhanced with the folding armrest, rear AC vents with 3-speed blower speed and USB C type charge port. Seating here is very comfortable with the seats having a good incline angle, loads of leg, knee, and shoulder and head room. The seating angle is pretty commanding too.
Getting into the third row seats which are now front facing type you need to tumble down the middle row seats and step into them. The tumble action is pretty easy and once you into the third row seating is strictly for lean people or kids. Legroom is tight but headroom and shoulder room is pretty decent. You don’t get AC vents or charging sockets for the third row.
The Scorpio-N gets a overall boot capacity of 786 liters with the third and middle row folded down.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
Powering the Scorpio-N are the Thar and XUV7OO sourced Diesel and Petrol engines but in a retuned state. You get the 2.0L Diesel option that makes 175PS of power and 400Nm of torque. The Petrol unit is a 2.0L turbo option that makes 200PS and 375Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed torque convertor automatic units. You also get 4×4 on the Scorpio-N as an option.
How is the Scorpio-N to drive?
We drove the Diesel Automatic variant of the Scorpio-N and what you instantly notice is the super light effortless steering that it now comes with. This makes life very easy while maneuvering a SUV of this size. The power delivery is pretty quick with abundance of torque generated at all speeds from this oil burner. The driver has a commanding view and the feel behind the steering is confidence boosting. In cabin sound damping is excellent and the overall ambience feel is very premium. Mahindra has used the next generation body on frame platform which offers an excellent ride quality cutting out the extra body roll which is now near to extinct as compared to the older Scorpio.
The SUV offers a very premium ride quality and the in cabin comfort levels are as good as the XUV7OO. At high speeds the rear wheel drive SUV feels safe, secure and planted always. We did some high speeds and the vehicle felt super fun and confidence boosting. The all wheel disc brakes aided with ABS and EBD has a good positive bite to it.
The suspension setup is aided with Mahindra’s Frequency Dependent Damping (FDD) that helps absorb harsh bumps and undulations with ease. Overall ride quality is very much like any premium SUV of higher segments and the ride feel that it offers brings a smile to your face.
In terms of safety Mahindra cars have set a trend of winning 4 or 5 stars at NCAP crash tests, the Scorpio-N comes with 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, ISOFIX points, ESC, hill hold, driver drowsiness detection, TMPS, park sensors with rear camera,
The Mahindra Scorpio-N competes with a lot of models in various segments due to its pricing and size. It starts with going up against the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue and on to the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos then to the Tata Harrier, Tata Safari and also gets to the Innova Crysta in terms of size.
The Scorpio is an iconic model from Mahindra which now gets a rightful successor with the Scorpio-N that takes ahead its lineage in style. The Scorpio-N has everything going for it in terms of style, looks, road presence, off-road capability, drive feel, features, safety, cabin space and lots more. The SUV has been priced at a mind boggling Rs. 11.99 Lakh while the top end model comes in at 19.49 Lakh undercutting a lot many SUV models in terms of price and VFM that it offers at this size and capability making it an excellent choice if you want a true blue SUV that can do anything and everything in style and comfort.
Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar