Mahindra XUV 3OO AutoSHIFT Road Test Review

Mahindra launched the XUV 3OO in early 2019 as their 1st proper fully loaded and equipped Compact SUV. The model was well received and is one of the better equipped choices in the segment in terms of features and safety. Now Mahindra has got a new variant powered with the trending turbo petrol engine mated with a Automatic transmission. We drive the latest Mahindra XUV 3OO AutoSHIFT that also gets the latest BlueSense Plus Connected SUV technology. Read on to know all on it.

Exteriors

As you know the XUV 3OO is based on the Ssangyong Tivoli which is a good looking SUV model from the Korean car brand owned by Mahindra. In terms of exteriors there is no change on the Mahindra XUV 3OO AutoSHIFT except for the addition of the badging that comes on the bootlid. The car still looks very robust flaunting typical boxy styling like a true blue SUV.

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The W8 trim that we drove comes with projector headlamps, unique styled DRLs, chrome studded grille, dualtone body color, roof rails, electric sun roof, diamond cut alloys, LED tail lamps, front and rear park sensors, heated wing mirrors to name a few.  The SUV looks pretty smart and the build quality is excellent with loads of road presence.

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Interiors

Like the exteriors there is no change also on the interiors of the XUV 3OO. The SUV comes with a very well appointed cabin which gets white faux leather upholstery, dual zone climate control, touchscreen AVN system with all the connectivity options, dual tone dashboard, leather wrapped steering with MFD buttons, engine start stop butto, cruise control, 6 speaker audio system and loads more.

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The comfort level is excellent inside the cabin area and so is the sound damping of the insides.  Loads of space is available for the occupants also on offer are many cubby holes and storage bins neatly placed around the cabin area. Innovative features like the tyre position indicator has always been our favorite and continues on this trim.

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The automatic transmission offered on the XUV 3OO Turbo Petrol is a 6-speed AMT unit which comes with its unique shifter which we think could have been better designed. Never the less We love the interiors of the XUV 3OO for its feature, premium feel and comfort.

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Engine – Drive – Transmission

Powering the XUV 3OO AutoSHIFT is the same 1.2L Turbo Petrol 3 Cylinder BS6 engine which makes 110PS of power and 200Nm of torque. This engine was only offered previously with a manual transmission option but now also gets mated to a 6-speed AMT automatic transmission.

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On the move the engine is highly refined and silent, does not feel like a 3 cylinder pot at all. The shift pattern on the AMT stalk is different and you will need atleast 10-15 minutes to get the hang of it. You have the Auto shift or manual shift mode on the left, tiptronic mode if you toggle the stalk up or down, neutral on the extreme right and the reverse mode if you shift right and down. Pretty simple to use if you get used to the pattern.

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This transmission also comes with Creep mode that enables the driver to move forward or reverse at a very slow speed without the use of the accelerator pedal which as we found out came very handy during bumper to bumper traffic conditions. Other features in this transmission include the hill start assist, creep mode disable with door open, drive and reverse lock. On the move the car feels very peppy with the turbo kicking in very smartly. The AMT transmission shifts are not the fastest but then AMT gearboxes have come a long way now and are a lot better than the older ones.  Though this lovely Turbo Petrol engine deserves either a CVT or a DCT transmission to get best of performance the AMT transmission is here to keep the pricing low.

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The steering has the unique Normal, Sport or Comfort mode setting which again we love and is a breeze to drive in all traffic conditions. Once you in the turbo zone the car drives very nicely except for the AMT shift that is evident, apart from that the ride quality is unmatched, highly refined and one of the best in its class.

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BlueSense Plus

Mahindra has upped its ante and got the trending connected car feature on to the XUV 3OO with the BlueSense Plus. This is a mobile app for IOS or Android which promises a great in car experience of convenience, accessibility and information to the owner at all times. Once the app is installed and you register it with your vehicle you get more than 40 features which include remote vehicle control features, location bases features, vehicle information and alerts, safety and security alerts, in car control etc. We tried them all and they were a breeze to use, you can remotely lock or unlock the door, remotely start your hazard light, track your XUV 3OO in live mode, Geo fence it, share vehicle location, save places and routes, turn by turn navigate, share your location with the car if you are away in location based features.

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In terms of vehicle information the BlueSense Plus gives you low fuel alert warning, distance to empty status, parking lamp on warning, vehicle start stop alert, tyre pressure check, door lock status, odometer status, climate control status, engine idle status to name a few. In terms of safety features the App gives you unauthorized vehicle access alert, emergency alert, weather alert, time fencing, over speed alert, engine high temperature alert, seat belt alert, door open alert to name a few. In car control features on the BlueSense Plus app include infotainment control, fuel diary, trip summary, E-manual, car info, PUC and documents wallet etc.

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Safety

The Mahindra XUV 3OO is one of the safest cars with 5 star Global NCAP rating. The car comes with 7 air bags, all wheel disc brakes, ESP with roll over mitigation, ABS with EBD, corner brake control, ISOFIX seat anchors, panic braking signal, front and rear park sensors to name some.

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Verdict

The Mahindra XUV 3OO has always been that proper SUV looking feature loaded model with excellent features, build quality and safety parameters. Now with the AutoShift AMT model the comfort and convenience level is further extended to a broader perspective buyer base. Well the AMT transmission may not be as smooth or swift as the CVT or DCT but then it does its job nicely. If this is not enough for you to decide on the XUV 3OO then let us remind you that it is the safest car that you can get in its class with 5-star crash and child protection rating.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar

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