A larger vehicle is required for a growing family, and a conventional boxy three-row seat automobile should suffice. Its utilitarian component can include everything from grocery shopping to weekend trips to transporting a blossoming sports team. When you combine that with an active lifestyle, an SUV is a no-brainer.
India’s favourite SUV manufacturer is returning with a new version of its former sector leader XUV500, which was a game changer for the brand after its premiere in 2011. The XUV500 became the poster boy of SUVs in India because to its unusual cheetah-inspired look, a slew of goodies on the inside, and a competitive pricing.
The 2015 upgrade has a new design that includes more quality trims. While the mechanicals remain unchanged, the new facelift is the first significant update since its inception, bringing it up to date in terms of overall attractiveness and unifying the language used on their new generation SUVs, which began with the new Scorpio. Our initial impressions of the new Mahindra XUV500 are now available.
The Mahindra XUV500 was the first SUV to introduce a new design concept. It drew wild inspirations from Cheetah, giving it a distinctive style. The facelift maintains the same aesthetic, but with updated front-face profiles. The new LED guide lights, which are not DRLs, replace the old LED strip seen under the headlights in the twin barrel headlight cluster. It also has static bending cornering lamps neatly hidden under the halogens, which illuminate only when the car is steered to either side.
A new, more upscale radiator grille is available in piano black with chrome accents. More chrome surrounds the redesigned fog light housing, along with glossy black angular inserts that replace the cheetah’s whiskers for a cleaner front, to make it shine a little brighter than before. The front bumper features rounded shapes rather than the cut edge scoops seen previously. This gives it a more defined and muscular appearance. A bash plate with an aluminium finish is also located beneath the front bumper.
The chaotic lines have been replaced by a neat structure in the new bonnet design. On both sides, a modest bulge runs parallel to the robust and manly front wheel arch. It also has a hydraulic assist, which eliminates the need to flex your muscles and lift it. A slight alteration has been made to the new door handle design. A gentle chrome line runs down the glass area, highlighting the prominent shoulder line that gives the side a bold appearance.
The side appears longer than it is because to blackened pillars and a greater greenhouse area. New multi-spoke 17-inch alloys have been added to give the side more personality. The new puddle lamps buried under the ORVMs, a luxury and functional feature that displays the brand name on the ground surface, deserve special note.
Except for a new chrome appliqué above the number plate, there aren’t many changes to the rear. If you look closely, you’ll note that the previous many tribal logos on the tail lamp have been replaced by only one. It’s still getting twin exhaust pipes beneath the back bumper. The new XUV500 comes in seven colours, including two new ones called Sunset Orange and Pearl White. The Opulent Purple is still my favourite.
The interior of the previous XUV500 was not particularly enticing, with walnut-colored accents that felt out of place, and the same feeling was heightened by the red ambient lighting. However, with the new scheme of things, it is not the same in the new age XUV500.
The dashboard has been updated to provide a more new and premium dual tone beige and black colour scheme that runs the length of the interior. It has undoubtedly made a significant difference, since it is no longer an eyesore. It also has a lighter feel about it. The overall structure hasn’t changed much, but the quality of the buttons and knobs has. The rough edges that surrounded the buttons before have been replaced with well-finished ones.
Except for a new lighting colour, the Twin Pod Instrumental Cluster does not receive any updates. It’s the central infotainment system, which offers a lot of new features. To begin with, the screen has been increased in size, and the user interface has been completely revamped. It appears to be the best in class, with a full presentation of all available options. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment panel has a higher resolution and is more user-friendly. It uses Mahindra Apps, which are compatible with any smart phone, to allow occupants connect phones, pair music, use navigation, and provide precise information on vehicle maintenance.
A 6-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat is one of the new features inside the XUV500. Sure, it’s improved the convenience factor. It’s not easy to get to the buttons, but it’s not impossible. The beige leather seats are really comfy, with enough of support all around. The legroom in the second row is adequate. The limitation of space is most noticeable in the third row seat. Use it to store luggage or to force children to sit, and the problem will be solved.
Tiny details like racy-looking aluminium pedals and illuminated scuff plates with the XUV500 carved on them help to make the cabin feel more engaged. In addition, a sunroof is now standard on the top-end model. The XUV500’s feature list is absolutely amazing, as no other vehicle in its class can equal the sheer number of options available.
Driven by Results
The previous version had a good engine, but owners weren’t thrilled with how the XUV500 performed on highways; it was too sluggish to drive in the city since the low end power band felt numb, and the braking wasn’t terrific. Mahindra has tidied up all the loose ends in order to better suit the tag.
The statistics remain unchanged, with the mHawk 140 Diesel Engine producing 140 horsepower and 330Nm of torque. It’s mated to a manual 6-speed transmission. There’s a new engine cover with bold lettering to make it look cleaner than before, as well as a new hydraulic assist similar to that found in more premium SUVs, which is a modest but effective touch.
Earlier, shifting between those gears wasn’t easy because it felt heavy and abrasive. They solved the problem by enhancing the quality of the shifts and the final ratio. This has had a minor impact on efficiency ratings, as well as making it easier to drive in the city with a stronger delivery at lower engine revs.
Push-button start/stop with keyless entry, voice-activated orders and warnings, and an Electric Sunroof with Anti-pinch are all included in the top-of-the-line W10 model. It also has Brake Energy Regeneration, which works in unison with the alternator to utilise the energy generated when the car is breaking.
Except for modest refining, the motor does not feel much different to drive. When the throttle is blasted, this one feels more on toes than its closest SUV opponent. It creates enough power to cause higher-velocity motion without causing the outer shell to roll and swivel in random directions, and there is a simple reason for this. Because the XUV500 has a monocoque body, everything is tightly bound together.
The shock absorber springs have been heavily adjusted to make it feel more stable on highways and to further boost the capability of its suspension arrangement. Throw it on a pothole, make it climb uneven surfaces, and then abruptly direct it; everything goes smoothly, except for the last one, when the body roll disrupts the well-established dynamics.
Even in-gear acceleration is noticeably improved. The shift quality could have been improved due to the lighter clutch, which encourages frequent shifting. It’s impressive how the motor continues to put up great numbers regardless of which gear you’re using. The steering adds to this by being properly weighted at low speeds and then becoming a little heavy at higher speeds. The four break discs mounted on all four wheels, as well as the parallel running stability programme, provide ample assurance to the occupants that they are always in safe hands or paws.
There was no stopping the Mahindra XUV500, which continues to enjoy unrivalled domination four years after its inception. The updated list of features, as well as the added pzazz on the outside, make it far more appealing than previously. The W4 version of the new XUV500 costs Rs 11,13,033, while the fully loaded W10 AWD costs Rs 15,85,406. (ex-showroom Mumbai)