Mahindra has always brought in vehicles to the Indian automobile market with a variety of engine options. For example Mahindra Scorpio has a direct fuel injection based diesel engine whereas the Mahindra Bolero has a variety of three different engines. With the launch of XUV500 earlier this year, Mahindra has stepped into the segment of a fine crossover SUV which many car manufacturers want to get into. Right now this SUV comes in three different variants. In next couple of months a low price XUV500 may make its way into the market. Engine and gearbox will remain the same but there seems to be a change in the exterior and interior portion of the SUV in the new avatar.
The current Mahindra XUV500 comes in with a mHawk type 2179cc direct fuel injection technology with variable Geometry Turbocharger which makes it even stronger than the mHawk engine installed in Mahindra Scorpio. The six-speed manual gearbox is developed in house by Mahindra where an automatic variant may pop up for the international edition. The maximum strength of 140 bhp at 3750 rpm with a peak torque of 330 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm is something to be proud of by the owner of XUV500. With Micro Hybrid technology equipped engine this vehicle is more efficient in terms of fuel compared to the other SUV’s of Mahindra in India. With an all-wheel drive option the engine performs equally excellent off road and on road. There are two-wheel drive models available on the Mahindra XUV500 as well.
With a torque rich and powerful engine, anyone would love to stretch this SUV to its top-speed which requires finest braking mechanism. XUV500’s front and rear brakes are made of disk and caliper. With a monocoque design based suspension system where all four wheels got their own independent suspension to give the passengers comfort even on the rough roads of India, where large potholes are a common thing. With anti-roll bar at front, it has a McPherson type suspension and on the rear it has Multilink type suspension with anti-roll bar. The handling of this 2450 kg SUV is very easy with a turning radius of 5.6 meter and on a high torque at a low rpm the vehicle works well in the city limits as well as with the 140 bhp of output it runs equally good on the highways as well. ABS (Anti-lock braking) system works simultaneously with the front and rear braking systems at times of panic braking. With the Hill Hold and Hill Descent control it is suitable to maneuver on the hilly terrain.
Double airbags for the front passengers, curtain and side airbags, and side impact beams to ensure the safety of the passengers on an event of head-on collision to side impacts. There is also a robust crumple area to protect the passenger and vehicle in an event of crash. Intellipark system assists the vehicle in parking in the most cramped lots. The intelligent wipers and headlamps turn on automatically whenever there is water on the windscreen because of rain or otherwise, while the other turns on wherever it becomes dark while entering a tunnel or a dark area in particular. XUV500 is also thief proof as its digital immobilizer makes sure that the engine would turn on only with its own key. The 17-inches five-spoke alloy wheels with size P235/65 R17 tubeless and radial tires make sure the SUV runs smooth on any terrain without hassle. With the Tire Tronics system the SUV monitors the pressure of the tire and alerts if there is an exponential decrease in the pressure to ensure perfect pressure in the tires for best mileage and safety. ORVMs are electronics enabled for adjusting and folding.
The interior of Mahindra XUV500 has been well taken care of by Mahindra. Small details have not been missed in it for making it more spacious and comfortable, luxurious is the word I prefer to use here. It is an umbrella holder as well which is found nowhere on an SUV. Because of the mHawk engine there is almost no NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) inside the cabin. There is seating arrangement for seven passengers but the last row may turn into a boot by folding the seats. Only driver’s seat is adjusting enable eight-ways with a height adjustment feature as well as only the front seats have seat belts adjustable in accordance to the height of the passenger sitting at front. Between the front seats there is a cool box with two cup holders in the middle of the cool box and gear knob. Door handles with lights on background for highlighting them for easy access when it’s dark. The cabin lamp has the same-shade lighting to it. There is a conversation mirror right above the internal review mirror for enabling the driver to talk to the passengers on the rear without bothering himself to turn his head. A sunglass holder is placed just above the internal review mirror. A laptop can be kept in the spacious glove box of the dash. A 6-inch monochrome DIS infotainment system which keeps record of all the information related to the vehicle. A color touch-screen is available in the higher variant XUV500 W8 4WD. This gadget activates on voice command. Base variant of XUV500 has a CD/Mp3 player while the W8 and W8 4WD have a DVD player. Volume control is installed on the steering wheel, whereas the vehicle comes in with four integrated speaker, one on every door apart from two small loudspeakers which are designed for the reproduction of high-frequency sound installed on the dashboard. The AC has a FATC (fully automatic temperature control) with double HVAC. The three rows have lamps for reading as well as charging points for mobile. Door open lamps, puddle lamps and entry lamps help in dark.
It will be a sure shot challenge for Mahindra and Mahindra to reduce any of this in the new low cost version and still retain the charm of Mahindra XUV500.