Mahindra and Mahindra have tread the sedan route earlier but then it was a joint venture. Now since it has been dissolved, Mahindra have got the alimony for it in the form of having the manufacturing rights of the Logan minus the Renault motif and the Logan brand name. Mahindra have finally shedded the Logan’s taxi image and have made it a rather homely vehicle for the families. I know its too early to say this but then what Renault cannot do, Mahindra have done. Don’t believe me. Visit any Mahindra show room and the buzz around the “new” Mahindra Verito in India is tremendous. Maybe after sometime, this car would command a waiting period. However not deviating from the topic, since it is a sort of new car claimed by Mahindra, it was inevitable that we reach there and book a test drive for ourselves.
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It looks very much a Logan but with more of the Etios cues embedded into the boxy design. I mean how much can they change the design of a matchbox and make it all the more attractive? You guessed it right, by putting up more stickers and adding on some slap ons. The new Mahindra Verito in India gets a new logo (the Mahindra one) and also a slight bumper revamp. Welcome addition of fog lamps and also alloy wheels on the top end variant add up to the points which eventually stamp the fact that this is a sedan for the families and not for tourist operators. Roof rails on all the variants plus chrome ringed ones on the top end diesel also make it stand out against the Logan. The Mahindra rear chrome appliqué however is standard for all the variants. Except for the base petrol and diesel variants, all other variants get body colored mirrors and door handles. Oh well, did I forget to tell you that the Mahindra Verito also gets a spoiler at the rear as standard.
As far as interiors go, the Mahindra Verito in India has been certainly revamped. Gone are the Spartan interiors of the Logan and in comes a feature filled cabin. There are silver finished bezels, louvers and garnish. The central fascia is available with 3 different options and those options are limited to the variant selected. The base one gets Claire Greige, the middle one gets Painted Silver while the topmost spec variant gets wood. There is a new center console storage space and rear door trim done in fabric. A cigarette lighter is also present on the top end diesel variant. However what I particularly didn’t take a fancy to was the ulta style for the aircon controls. Mahindra should have taken these things into heed while redesigning the interiors of this car. Moreover, the indicator stalks are still on the left hand side and the bonnet release mechanism, on the front co-passenger’s side. Seems that Mahindra wants to encourage smoking for its customers who prefer diesel vehicles as cigarette lighter as also an ash tray is given to only the top end diesel variant. The luggage compartment now gets a full carpet on the mid and top level variant.
Remote operated fuel tank lid and aircon with heater is standard on all the variants. The 4 speaker music system which by the way had passable music quality was present only in the top end diesel variant. The quirky positioning of the rear power window switches has been retained. Theatre style dimming internal lights are also present on the top end D6 diesel model. As far as comfort goes, the Verito is as comfortable as the Logan was and this means first class leg room, head room and shoulder room. Unfortunately the steering wheel is still non adjustable which makes it a chore to get in for taller drivers. The Mahindra Verito still retains the good ride quality that the Logan was known for and the steering wheel too is a joy to use. Though not as communicative as it should be, it is more than enough to handle the daily chores of traveling. The handling is neutral and shouldn’t upset anyone on the way. Visibility is also fine however with the rear spoiler now, it feels a bit hampered. The rear head rests can now be adjusted and that’s a good thing. The boot space of 510 liter is very good and spacious with minimal suspension mount intrusions.
The engines have remained unchanged and those are still the 1.4 liter petrol engine with 75 Bhp of power and 110 Nm of torque while the diesel gets 65 Bhp of power and 160 Nm of torque. Both are mated with a slick shifting 5 speed manual transmission. The driving pattern or rather the performance of the engines especially the diesel is very good in city speeds while up on the highway, it’s the petrol which actually struggles with a full load of passengers. Both are able cruisers, moreso the diesel on which miles can be logged in without any discomfort, either to the man or machine.
Now, what Mahindra have done is reduce the price of this offering inspite of increasing the number of features. Two variants of the petrol are available while there are 3 variants for the diesel model. Only the top end diesel gets driver airbag and ABS along with EBD. Collapsible steering is part of the package for all the variants. In my personal opinion, Mahindra should have atleast offered air bags, ABS and EBD as an option on lower end variants. The two variants for the petrol are G2 and G4 while the diesel has got D2, D4 and D6 variants. The Mahindra Verito price in India has been lowered from that of the Logan and it now starts at Rs 4.96 lakhs for the lower end petrol while the top end diesel retails at Rs 6.86 lakhs. Prices quoted are ex-show room, Thane.