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Mahindra and Mahindra XUV500
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / 65,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
12.31 Lakhs-19.48 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • Enhanced equipment 
  • Smart interiors
  • Improved ride quality 
     

Weak Areas

  • Pricey top-end
  • Poor handling 
  • Mediocre rear space 
  • Average Performance 
  •  
Mahindra and Mahindra XUV500
 
 

Mahindra XUV500 Goes Up on the Style Quotient

The facelift for Mahindra XUV gives it new looks along with an array of upgraded equipment.  Its competent 2.2 litre diesel engine is already a plus for the SUV and so the changes can help it to become more saleable in the market.

 


Author

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ecardlr.com National

Brand Mahindra dominates the market of utility vehicles just like Maruti Suzuki leads the segment of hatchbacks. Bolero and Scorpio sell in huge numbers and in the more premium section, the XUV500 has also become popular. It has been earlier reviewed as a well engineered SUV that has value-for-money proposition. 
 
                 
 
Initially launched in India in 2011, the XUV500 got some updates in 2013. And now it has had a full-fledged makeover that gives it more mature styling along with better equipment. 
 
There are no changes in terms of mechanicals. So this SUV is still powered by 2.2 litre diesel engine that churns out 138 bhp and has 33.6 kgm of torque. It is mated to 6 speed manual gearbox. 
 
Ecardlr delves into the design upgrades brought by the facelift and also checks the performance to re-emphasize the feel of driving this car: 
 
The Exteriors 
 
The basic silhouette has not changed but the flared bonnet edges make this version’s nose look longer. There is change in the grille design and this new one is more in line with that of Scorpio. Headlamps have been improved with new Z shaped LED light guides. The bumper has also changed losing the ‘whiskers’ design that are seen on the earlier model. Re-positioning of the fog lamps has also given the front bumper a new look. Because of the thick chrome outline around them, the fog lamps look bigger on this new model. 
Hardly visible from the front, the skid plate below the bumper is simply a silver-coloured thin plastic cover on the black plastic moulding. So it does not really add to the SUV ruggedness. 
 
         
 
On the whole though, the old design of bumper has been changed to a rather sober and functional look. It is just the dollop of chrome around fog lights that may not be to the liking of some. But in the pre-facelift version the fog lamps were not very functional and here they do look and feel practical. The two thick creases from the centre of the bonnet are gone now. Instead, it has those beefed up edges. But the ones who have driven the older XUV feel that this can obstruct view or misguide judgement in tight traffic conditions. There are pneumatic struts on sides and these help in lifting the heavy bonnet.
 
            
 
You won’t see big modifications in the side profile. There is a new chrome lining implying that the weather strips on the window are partially chrome and partially rubber for this new car. The door handle design has also been modified a little and the front doors have request sensors to help with keyless entry. The set of logo-projection lamps is a new accessorizing concept. There is a new design for the 17 inch wheels and chrome lining for the window line. 
           
 
At the back, we see no significant changes in the tail lamps. But the tribal design has gone to give place to a simpler pattern. The rear view camera has been integrated smartly with the tailgate appliqué. It will allow the driver to see the edges of the bumper more clearly. There is also a zoom function with the camera even though it won’t be used frequently by experienced drivers. 
 
The Interiors 
 
Upon ingress you realise that the cabin does look different. It has a black and beige colour theme giving it a brighter and more premium feel. Although yes, the very light shade of beige can be difficult to keep clean in Indian conditions.
 
                  
 
So, the colour has changed and a closer look reveals that the hood over the touchscreen and the one over dials are the only major panels that have been revised on the dashboard. The varied textures continue to be there and there is a new texture for the redefined cowl and waterfall type centre console under it. It is black instead of having the glossy wooden finish as on the earlier model. Also, the silver outlining of the waterfall console on the older XUV 500 has been eliminated from the top part and there is a different, darker shade for rest of the part.
 
            
 
The icy blue backlighting for the twin pod instrument cluster looks funky. The cowl over the instrument cluster is now integrated with the dashboard and therefore does not rattle. The driver information system displays the gear currently engaged, the odometer and 2 trip meters besides the digital fuel gauge. A significantly improved feature is the 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system developed by Visteon. Its touch interface is very smooth and has superior functionality wherein it doubles up as a display for the rear view camera. And Mahindra’s updated Blue Sense app lets the occupants link their smartphones to the system for audio and AC settings.
 
            
 
Beige seat upholstery is a combination of leather, fabric and vinyl on the W8 & W10 trims. The driver’s seat is 6 way power adjustable. And the door grab bars now have a dull grey coating instead of glossy finish seen in earlier model. There is icy blue illumination for the door handle. Features like keyless entry and electric sunroof make it appealing for the new generation of buyers. 
 
On the second row of seats three adults can sit comfortably. Three lights are also positioned on the roof for this part of the cabin. There is no sliding function on the second row and to get to the third one, you use the 60:40 split feature. The smaller seat will flip forward to give room for going to the last row. Out here while the cushioning is satisfactory, headrests are adjustable and three point seatbelts are also provided, the space is restricted. Headroom and legroom are good only for children.
 
               
 
With all the seats in place, there is no such thing like a ‘boot’ in Mahindra XUV 500. You may just be able to squeeze in a laptop bag behind the third row of seats. Folding down the third row of seats (which anyways does not have much space to sit on) you get ample room for large suitcases and holiday luggage. The new XUV 500 has improved with regards to design and functionality – as any facelifted model will be expected to be. Just to get a renewed feel, we also decided to try its performance even though the engine remains the same as in the pre-facelift model. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
The 2.2 litre mHawk engine of XUV 500 generates 138 bhp at 3750 rpm and builds 33.6 kgm of torque (from 1600 rpm). It is coupled with 6 speed manual transmission. As you start driving the one thing that impresses you about this engine is that there is hardly any turbo lag. Even if you drop it to 1200 rpm and press on the accelerator, the SUV is pulled without any hesitation. The driveability in city is amazing. It makes 20 bhp more than the Scorpio and has 6 gears to utilise that power. Furthermore the facelifted XUV500 is about 60 kgs lighter than its sibling. The short first and second gear ratios make for easy commuting on city roads and you don’t need to frequently downshift for a gap widening in traffic. 
 
          
You will feel a strong pull from the engine after 1800 rpm and it stays right up to the redline. The power
delivery is linear in XUV500 and there is no sudden gush at any point. The diesel engine revs freely and goes up to 4200 rpm. If you still press on the A pedal it will go up to 4800 rpm but then the motor begins to feel strained.  The best thing to do is to work up the torque and up shift before the needle touches the 4000 rpm mark. 
 
Acceleration is strong and this car cruises over the highways effortlessly. The 0-60 km/hour takes 5.24 seconds and 0-100 km/hour dash is achieved in 12.97 seconds. And at 100 km/hour in 6th gear, the engine tickles at about 1800 rpm. The 6th gear is good for expressway touring and increases the fuel efficiency too. 
The clutch of pre-facelift was not heavy but it was really effortless to use. The model that we drove now has a lighter clutch. 
 
          
 
Cabin is well insulated from external sounds. However, the engine makes a buzzing noise which is evident from 1500 rpm and continues all the way to last shift point. The suspension was not silent in the older car and the issue persists in the facelift. On poor roads, you may hear it working and if the rear seats have no occupants, they too tend to rattle a little when the XUV500 is in action. The dashboard however is tightly packed together and there was no creak or rattling in our tests. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
The monocoque design of Mahindra XUV500 (it is the first monocoque chassis based vehicle produced by the company) gives it a good balance of ride and handling. There is some firmness at city speeds but the ride never feels uncomfortable. Increase in speed continues to keep the SUV flat even on poorer highways. You don’t need to slow down as it can swallow big potholes without causing vertical movement inside the cabin. The ride experience in Mahindra’s vehicle turned out to be even better than in Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. 
 
Besides the monocoque construction, the low centre of gravity and wide stance also contribute to the handling characteristics of XUV500. The body roll is well contained and considering that it is a large utility vehicle, it feels composed while cornering. Even when we pushed the car into sharp corners, there was hardly any nervousness.
 
            
 
The straight-line stability is also commendable. It feels rock-solid at triple digit speeds in 6th gear. Those who have driven the Fortuner will feel the difference instantly. The steering is neither too light nor too heavy at city speeds. It weighs up with increase in speed but you need to maintain a strong hand when if you’re going real fast on highways. The amount of feedback it gives you is nevertheless satisfactory and the turning radius of 5.6 meters makes it easy to maneuver in parking lots and at U-turns. 
 
Handling broken roads without fuss is a known strength of Mahindra’s utility vehicles. This is why the Bolero and Scorpio sell in huge numbers in India. But this one is a monocoque design and although it did not scrape its underbelly on most of the rough patches, it is not as robust as the models with body-on-frame build. The XUV500 has four disc brakes across all trims and there is a range of electronic aids for further help. Braking capability is stronger in the new model. Even while the absolute stopping power is adequate, the brake pedal still has little dead play initially. You will feel this at low speeds as there is little delay before the brakes bite – it will take some time before you get used to this. Mahindra’s engineers need to make the braking more linear, progressive or predictable. The amount of nose dive under braking is also high, even at medium speed. 
 
Fuel Efficiency 
 
The ARAI fuel economy is slightly more for the facelift model. It has gone up to 16 km/litre from 15.1 km/litre. We had an average mileage of 12 km/litre driving under varying traffic and weather conditions for about 3 hours. 
 
Verdict 
 
Priced between 11.21 lakhs (W4) and 16.19 lakhs (W10 AWD), the XUV500 will be liked for its revised looks and well-engineered mechanicals.  It looks more feminine in comparison to the pre-facelift model but this styling is also mature and more in tune with the changing preferences of SUV buyers. 
 
There is lot of space on first and second row of seats but no luggage carrying capacity if all the seats have occupants. The competent engine delivers good drivability in city as also on the highways. Safety kit comprises six airbags, electronic stability program with rollover easing, ABS + EBD and all-wheel disc brakes.
 
The enhanced feature list – new infotainment system, cruise control and sunroof – will make the XUV500 more attractive for buyers. 
 
Comfort: 4/5
Refinement: 3.5/5
Safety: 3.5/5
Ride: 4/5
Handling: 3.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5 
 

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