15 January 2016 The latest “Kool” entrant from the Mahindra family got launched in January 2016 and it’s none other but the very compact crossover hatchback- the Mahindra KUV100. It joins a family that comprises its bigger siblings XUV500 and TUV300.
Mahindra offers two engine options with this compact utility vehicle. The G80 petrol unit churns out 82 bhp at 500 rpm and has 11.7 kgm torque from 3500- 3600 rpm. The D75 diesel engine on the other hand makes 77 bhp at 3750 rpm and 19.37 kgm torque at 1750 rpm – 2250 rpm. The engines are mated to 5 speed manual transmission. There is a buzz in the market that an AMT version will be introduced later.
At the very first sight, this vehicle is nothing short of stylish and appealing with some bold, sporty curves. The sweptback headlamps that run all around the fender are particularly eye catching and render a unique stature to the overall look of the car. Headlamp cluster comprises halogens, side-turn indicators and LED daytime running lamps (DRLs). Interestingly, the actual headlamps are not very large - it is plastic strips on the sides that give this impression of them stretching back a long way. The company compares them to ‘sunglasses’.
With a length of 3675 mm, KUV100 is shorter than Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10. There is excessive styling on the sides with creases, prominent wheel arches and more character lines. The 14 inch wheels look rather small for this car.
The protruding tail lamps add to the meaty and defining shape of the vehicle. When seen from the sides, the pillar mounted rear door handles give it a two door vehicle look. An integrated spoiler is common to all variants.
On the inside, the KUV100 is a spacious built with the double toned upholstery giving it a roomier feel. A flat floor and broad seats add to the comfort of the passengers. The gear is placed higher on the centre console, thus making space for an extra person to fit into the space between the two front seats on an extended front seat. Ample storage spaces have been provided in the form of bottle holders on each door and cup holders on the arm rests and a spacious glove compartment.
The steering wheel is chunky and offers a firm grip to the driver. The centre console is also not cluttered and looks evened out with the climate control and stereo knobs. The instrument console behind the wheel looks interesting with a curvy outline and the little coloured indicator lights make up for a very interesting panel. Ample boot space (of 243 litres expandable to 473 litres with the seats folded) makes this vehicle ideal for long drives and family vacations.
Once the car is out on the road, it makes for a good ride in the city as it deals efficiently with the potholes with a 170 mm ground clearance. It gets a little unstable though, when taken out to the high roads, owing to the tall designing.
The KUV 100 comes in both petrol and diesel engines subcategorised into four variants- K2, K4, K6 and K8. A commendable initiative on part of Mahindra is the inclusion of safety features for all variants even though the base trim has them as optional. It is available in 7 colours - the orange, red, grey, aqua blue, and the inevitable silver, white and black.
This ‘Young SUV’ will cost you between Rs. 4.45 lakhs and Rs. 5.99 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi) for the petrol variants. It is priced between Rs. 5.34 lakhs and Rs. 6.90 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi) for the diesel versions.
Unique in many ways, the Mahindra KUV100 will be loved for its city friendly engines and admirable gearshift quality. While the styling may look overdone to many, it can appeal to younger buyers who are the targeted customers here.