The biggest and most highly anticipated launch for 2021 the Mahindra XUV700 has been finally unveiled. The SUV has a huge task on its shoulders to prove itself and to take ahead the lineage that the XUV500 has always been known from. Will this be the car model that will change the future for Mahindra? We try to find out as we head south to Chennai and hit out to the brand new Mahindra Proving Grounds to test drive the Mahindra XUV700 and get you this review.
Food for Thought
With many firsts to its name the Mahindra XUV700 becomes the first car model to sport the new Twin Peak brand logo, infact Mahindra kind of designed the new logo and released it in time for the all new SUV. Mahindra XUV700 is built on the all new W601 platform. The XUV700 also becomes the 1st car from the Mahindra line up to feature the Alexa based AdrenoX connected voice feature. The XUV700 also becomes the first car from the Mahindra family to sport the new six vertical slat grille.
In terms of styling the XUV700 looks very sporty, macho, stylish and dominating at first look. The SUV comes with the all new sic vertical slats Mahindra family grill which is large is size. Further enhancing the styling of the face on the XUV700 are the clear lens all LED head lamps that come with a stylinh dual boomerang style DRL that remind you of the XUV300. The front bumper is large in dimension and houses rectangular shaped fog lamps comes with dual boomerang LED DRL’s that extend into the bumpers adorn the face along with the all new six slat Mahindra grill finished in chrome and glossy black along with the brand new twin peaks Mahindra logo. The bonnet is flat and large in size and comes with soft flowing character lines that define it.
Coming to the sides the styling here is largely taken care by the SUV styled fenders with round wheel arches adorned with fiber cladding that extend themselves along the running board of the SUV. The door panels get smooth rounded styling while the glass area is large and comes with blacked out frames with the lower section also getting a chrome beltline. The most interesting feature probably on the XUV700’s exterior are the flush door handles. These handles are styled into the bodylines and when the car is unlocked come out, when locked they go back into the bodyline position something we never seen on cars this segment or even a segment or two higher. Just below the D-pillar is the flexed body styling that reminds you a lot of the XUV500 and rightly so taking ahead the genetic design. The XUV700 drives on 18 inch dual tone alloys mounted on R18 MRF Wanderer SUV tyres. The roof gets a roof rail and a shark fin antenna, you also get a panoramic electric sunroom on the XUV700.
Coming to the rear, this like the front is the interesting and well designed profile. The all LED arrow design sharp tail lamps define the rear end of the SUV. The boot lid also heats a hump insert in the middle that runs across connecting the stop lamps, this section reminds a lot of the BMW X series SUV’s. The rear also gets a spoiler while the bumper is styled in dual tone color along with a large faux skid plate and slim style reflectors. The exhaust of the XUV700 is hidden under the car body while the large rear glass makes the car look larger and also allows getting in more light. The bootlid also adorns the XUV700 and the trim badging which in our case was the top of the line AX7 trim.
Step inside the XUV700 and you are instantly welcomed by a rather spacious cabin area. The ashboard is large and flat finished in black while the crash pad area gets padded leather insert while the lower section is finished in silver. The key highlight here is the twin 10.25 in screens that make up for the AVN touch screen unit and the digital instrument cluster that are placed together besides each other making a single large wide screen that reminds a lot like the ones seen on the Mercedes cars. The AVN unit comes powered with the latest processor and is powered with 6GB of RAM. This unit comes loaded with all the connectivity features which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, Navigation, FB radio etc. The instrument screen is high in contrast and very clear on the eyesight displaying all the tell tale to the driver. The steering gets a three spoke design and a flat bottom styling. Leather wrapping with glossy and metal inserts further enhance the steering that also comes with the MFD buttons on it along with the new Mahindra logo. AC vents also get chrome inserts around them while the XUV700 gets a dual zone climate control unit. The centre console gets the transmission shifter finished in leather, also placed here is the control dial for running the AVN system along with the electronic hand brake and hill hold button. The centre console reminds a lot again of the BMW range of SUV’s. Behind this is a deep cooled storage box that is closable and also doubles up as your armrest.
The seats get white faux leather upholstery along with some nice dotted design that gives the you a look of seat ventilation but the XUV700 misses out on this feature. Driver’s seat gets full electric adjust with memory feature too. The front seats offer generous support and excellent comfort. The electric seat adjust buttons are placed in the driver side door pad again reminding you of the ones on the Mercedes range of cars. The door pads also get thick wood finish inserts that run horizontal that look classy and very rich. You also get a wireless mobile charging along with two USB charge ports on the dash.
The XUV700 gets a Sony audio system that features 12 custom-built speakers – including a subwoofer along with a 445W 13-channel amplifier positioned around the cabin. This high end Sony sound system also offers multiple audio modes such as Immersive 3D, Stage, Party, and Breezy, after spending a full day listening to it all we can say is that Sony makes some real good sound systems and this is one of them.
Coming to the second row here you get 40-60 split seats with three individual head rests. Getting inside here is pretty easy thanks to the large door opening. The seats offer good support and the back angle can be set as per comfort. You also get a folding arm rest cum bottle holder on the arm rest. The seating is perfect for three passengers with loads of knee, head and leg room. Padding is excellent and the middle passenger gets good leg room thanks to the flat floor. Here you also get two USB C charge ports and AC vents that add to the comfort.
The XUV700 is available as a 7-seater that we drove and also as a 5-seater configuration. Getting into the third row of the XUV is pretty easy mainly due to the large door opening and the double tumble fold seats on the middle row. You just need to climb in and reach for the third row, once there you can pull back up the middle row seats and you are set. Seating here is pretty comfortable for two passengers with decent leg room but limited head room. You get AC vents with fan speed adjust, bottle holders, speakers and mobile charge ports here making life for the occupants very good.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
The Mahindra XUV comes with two engine options to choose from. You get the 2.0-litre mStallion turbo-petrol with 200 hp of power and 380 Nm of torque and a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel making 185 hp and 420 Nm. Both engines come mated with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. You also have an option of going for the AWD version of the XUV700 only on the Diesel version. There also is a slightly lower tuned version of the diesel engine that makes 155PS of power and 360Nm of torque.
We drove the 2.2L Diesel Manual AX7 trim for our test so let us tell you all on it. First things first this engine feels very refined and super silent. The engine makes loads of power from the word go which is so very typical of a Mahindra engine. There is tons of torque also available across all powerband. The manual gear shift felt pretty smooth and positive. The clutch too was easy on the foot and after all day of driving the leg didn’t hurt at all. The steering feels pretty well balanced and evenly tuned offering good feedback that you expect from an SUV. The key highlight on the XUV700 is its excellent and well sorted ride quality. We just fell in love with the way this SUV drove. The ride quality is easily one of the best in class. Handling is also top notch as we put we put the XUV under some heavy cornering on the test track the SUV did it perfectly and easily. We did some high speeds too around the track with the XUV offering excellent in cabin drive quality.
We also did some simulated off road test on the track with sharp inclines and drops and everything was taken astride by the SUV rather handsomely. You also get these preset drive modes to play with- Zip, Zap, Zoom which is tuned same as Economy, Comfort and Sport drive modes. The throttle response gets altered in these modes and you also get a custom mode as the optional one.
Advanced Safety features
The XUV700 comes equipped with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) which includes, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Brakes Using both camera and radar FCW will warn of a possible collision and if you don’t react the AEB system is designed to automatically apply the brakes. ADAS system also features: Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive cruise Control, Smart Pilot Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and High Beam Assist. Apart from that the XUV700 comes with Driver Drowsiness Detection which nudges the driver in case he is feeling drowsy. Yes we did get a chance to try out all of these features and they worked flawlessly. The XUV700 also comes with 7 airbags which includes curtain airbags (extending up to 3rd row occupants), driver knee airbags, driver side airbag and passenger side airbag keeping up with its safety promise, in addition to standard dual frontal airbags, Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) is also standard. Also included on the package are more than 60 connected car features along with adaptive cruise control, automatic booster headlamps to name a few.
The XUV700 won us over by its unmatched ride quality and the way it drives. The SUV looks very sporty and premium too. It is the perfect car model to take ahead the XUV legacy but it now also takes the Mahindra brand into next level and lets it flex its muscles of what actually they are capable of. The car comes loaded with some mind boggling safety and driver aid features that premium cars boast of. Engine options make it the segment best and also most powerful but the icing on the cake remains its starting price that of Rs. 11.99 Lakh for the base petrol 5-seater trim. Do we recommend it? Oh yes we very well for recommend the Mahindra XUV700 outright.