Mahindra & Mahindra has launched updated version of its popular urban SUV, the XUV 500 in India at a starting price of at Rs 11.21 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This new version comes with host of external and internal changes although mechanically Mahindra has carried forward existing underpinnings of the older model. Up front there is a new grill flanked by new headlamp cluster on either side. Bonnet too, sports change profile and now looks more serene in its turnout. XUV also gets a new door handles which feels sturdier than before. Inside the cabin there is now a new color scheme of black and beige. Host of equipment has been added to feature list which includes power adjustable driver seat rear view camera engine stop start system large touch screen infotainment system etc. Under the hood of the new XUV there is similar 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder, m-hawk diesel engine which also makes force in other Mahindra vehicles. The unit is good for 140 PS of max power & 330 Nm of max torque, and now claims to come with fuel-efficiency of 16 km/l.
XUV500 is an SUV manufactured and marketed by the Indian auto major Mahindra & Mahindra. It was designed at Mahindra’s Design and Vehicle Build Centre in Nashik & Chennai. In India, the vehicle was first launched in September 2011.
Inspired by Cheetah, the XUV500, ever since its launch it has been one of the most hot-selling SUVs in India. The popularity can be felt from the fact that the vehicle clocked 8000 units of sales within 10 days of its launch in 5 cities. It also has several awards in its kitty that speaks volume about its popularity; Auto Build Awards 2011, Autocar India Awards 2012, BBC Topgear India Awards 2011, CNBC-TV18 Overdrive Awards 2012, NDTV Car & Bike Awards 2012 and Topgear Kerala Awards 2012 etc are only few to name.
The Mahindra XUV500 comes in 3 different variants namely W6 FWD, W8FWD and W8 AWD. The main competitors of this vehicle are Skoda Yeti, Tata Aria, Renault Duster and Toyota Fortuner.
The XUV500 is India’s first indigenously developed monocoque vehicle and the first traverse engine by Mahindra. In this construction type the vehicle body and the platform are integrated into a single unit thus offering an incomparable handling and excellent driving pleasure. It is equipped with 2.2 Litre mHawk140 engine that can deliver maximum power output of 140bhp @3750 rpm and an impressive torque of 330Nm @1600-2800 rpm. The presence of 5th generation turbocharger helps in instantaneous acceleration and achieving 0-60 kmph in just 5.4 seconds. It has 6-speed synchromesh manual gear box and an independent Suspension with McPherson type with anti-roll bar on the front and Multilink type with anti-roll bar in the rear. Other engine specifications include gross weight of 2450 Kg, fuel tank capacity of 70 Litres, turning circle radius of 5.6 m and P235/65 R17 radial tubeless tyres. The XUV500 has a top speed of 175 kmph and offers fuel efficiency of 15.1 kmpl (as per ARAI test).
The exterior of the Mahindra XUV500 looks like mighty warrior and stands true to its Cheetah inspired design. The front face has a heavy, jaw-like honeycomb grille which seems like having an innate desire of attacking anything that stands before it. The headlamps have a row of LED lamps and high intensity projector bulbs. The headlamps also have a unique ‘static bending’ feature that helps in automatically illuminating the curve path turn and improve visibility. On the side, there is a bold line that starts from the fenders ad end at the rear. The door handles has a paw like structure and can be easily operated with just 2 fingers. The alloy wheels seem to be in motion even when it is stationary and gives a dynamic look to the vehicle. The rear of the vehicle has a twin exhaust that reflects the assertiveness of XUV500. The high mounted tail lamps have been uniquely designed and look quite contemporary. The roof of the SUV has streamlined roof rails that add to the sportiness of the XUV500.
Step inside and you will get a feeling never before in this segment. The XUV500 has a seating capacity of 7 people: 2 at the front, 3 in the middle and 2 in the rear. The side seat in the middle can be folded. The 2 rear seats can also be folded and the space can be used as a boot. The tailor made leather seats grabs the attention immediately. The driver’s seat can be adjusted in 8 different ways including full lumbar support. XUV500 has a steering wheel that can be tilt and telescopic adjustment helps the driver to set it as per their own convenience. The vehicle consists of a state-of-the-art infotainment system that features a first-in-class, 6-inch LCD touch screen that houses music controls, temperature controls, navigation controls and more. It also has a stunning 2 DIN music player with DVD/CD/MP3 player, FM and full iPod connectivity. The infotainment system has a Blue Sense Technology that can pair up to 5 mobile phones using Bluetooth. There is a full-fledged integrated Driver Information System (DIS) that provides all the vital information about the car like the distance that the vehicle can travel from the fuel present, tyres air pressure and temperatures etc. The car also has GPS navigation with touch screen and audio support, tyre-tronics that helps in monitoring the air pressure inside the tyre and helps in improving fuel efficiency, better maneuvering and braking ability. The vehicle has a Fully Automatic Temperature Control (FATC) with dual HVAC and vents in each row. The FATC allows you to set a cabin temperature and then maintains it automatically. The vehicle also has a power foldable and adjustable ORVMs.
In terms of convenience, the Mahindra XUV500 has voice commands that together with Blue Sense Technology can vocally control the systems like radio, CD, USB, iPod, Bluetooth audio and Aux-in. It has a Follow-Me-Home headlamp that stays on even after parking the vehicle and can guide you in the dark and then it can be turned off using a remote key. The box on centre console can be accessed by all and can be used for placing our things conveniently. The interior also has a glove box which can be used to keep our laptops. Other convenient features include camping light, rear wash, wiper & defogger, digital immobilizer, door ajar and puddle lamps, key forgotten reminder, cruise control and remote keyless entry.
There are only few vehicles in the segment that matches to the safety features of XUV500. The vehicle has 6 Air Bags, Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with rollover mitigation, Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and rear park assist system.
Overall, the Mahindra XUV500 is of unmatched experience in its class.