Mahindra Verito

The Verito has always been an impressive car. It had acres of space, a refined engine, a comfortable ride and great fuel efficiency, all at a price that was very tempting. However, the boxy interior and exterior design, below-average fit and finish, and quirky ergonomics marked it down. But now, with the refreshed Verito, Mahindra has tried to address its weaknesses. The company has heavily updated the design, and it’s safe to say that it now looks more rounded and is much easier on the eye. The Verito – formerly the Logan – still looks boxy, but thanks to the completely redesigned front and rear, it has got a softer edge. The front, now with multi-element headlamps and a chrome grille, lends it a more upmarket look. The new bumper, with its large front air dam. Looks aggressive, and the overall effect is quite positive. At the rear, the new tail-lamps and rear bumper are tighter-looking, thus reducing the visual bulk. The crisp creases that run from the bootlid and merge with the tail-lights add to the appeal too.

The good news continues when you enter the cabin. The updated two-tone dash looks richer and the ergonomics have been improved drastically. The power window buttons have been moved from the centre console to the door pads. The old single-Din music system is now replaced by the two-Din one from the Xylo and, thanks to this, you get more modern features like Aux-in and USB ports. Even the air-con controls are new and more modern-looking. Space and practicality, the Verito’s trump cards, still remain and at this price and size, it doesn’t get any better. There is loads of space up front and even six-foot-plus people will fit comfortably. The driver’s seat, however, doesn’t get seat-height or steering adjustment, so you have to live with the high driving position. The rear bench is very comfortable too and the low window line and large glass area gives it an airy feel. The Verito’s wide dimensions also mean sitting three abreast is not tough. You won’t complain about the large 510-litre boot either. However the cabin still feels below average, and even the door-shut doesn’t feel solid and makes a very hollow sound every time you close them.

As the updated verito is more or less the same under the skin, it feels very similar to drive. You get the same 65bhp 1.5 DCI diesel engine, which means there is no hesitation from the engine at low revs and driving it in traffic is very easy. The jerky and slightly heavy clutch now feels much lighter and more progressive, and the engine feels smoother and better insulated. But, once past 3500rpm, the power tapers off and it’s best to upshift and stay in the powerband. This is one of the most efficient engines around too.

Keeping with the car’s practical characteristics, the suspension is now slightly raised and feels more pliant; bump-absorption is much better too. The suspension also works more silently and this makes the car feel more refined.

The updated Verito, with its more upmarket image, is surely a step forward. But the cabin still feels a bit low-rent and it still seems old next to the modern-day Maruti Dzire. But when it comes to space, practicality and economy, there are few cars that come close to it. And at Rs 7.14 lakh the Verito is a car which you’d buy with your head than your heart.

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