Mahindra TUV300 Overview
Mahindra’s latest crack at making a compact SUV, and two things stand out in this statement. ‘Latest’ because, as you may remember, 2012’s Mahindra Quanto was also marketed as a compact SUV, with not a lot of success. And ‘SUV’ because, unlike the Quanto, the new Mahindra TUV300 is not derived from an MPV, nor is it a monocoque crossover like its main rival, the Ford EcoSport. It has been engineered from the grounds up to be a tough, ladder-frame SUV – albeit a compact one – and that’s its USP.
Okay, it does share its chassis architecture with the new Scorpio, and that means a hydroformed frame, independent double wishbone suspension at the front, and a non-independent, multi-link, coil-spring setup at the rear. Interestingly its 190mm ground clearance is 10mm more than the Scorpio’s, and the generous 2,680mm wheelbase is identical, but the commonality ends there; this is a clean-sheet SUV. Just for reference, however, though the clearance is more than the Scorpio’s, it’s 10mm less than the EcoSport’s. Similarly, though it’s lighter than the Scorpio, it’s still about 300kg heavier than the Ford! View offers on Mahindra Cars from Mahindra dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.
Mahindra TUV300 Look
Mahindra projects the TUV300 as a tough and rugged vehicle. The styling is said to be inspired from a battle tank. It doesn’t get any more butch than that, does it?Sitting at the centre of the front is a wide 5-slat grille with chrome inserts to add a premium touch. Perched on either side of the grille are square-ish headlamp clusters. We wish Mahindra gave the TUV300 daytime running lamps. More so, considering the cheaper KUV100 has them! Foglamps are tucked away in the bottom half of the bumper. The foglamps too get a chrome surround. As you’d expect from a Mahindra, the face has been aggressively styled. It definitely grabs attention for both; the right and the wrong reasons!
The square shaped wheel arches make for an old school design approach. It does look rather quirky. What it also does is leave a large gap between the arch and the wheel. On that note, the TUV300 could have done with a better set of wheels. The 15” alloys look rather small and out of place on a car where everything else is so big and bulky.
The sidesteps in black add a functional element to the look, and this goes along with the black ski racks at the top.The beefed up effect of the rear portion brings some balance to the overall look. While this is the most conservatively designed profile of the car, we like it for its sheer simplicity. The slim wraparound tail lights are decent in design, while the spare wheel is offset towards the right side of the tailgate.
Mahindra TUV300 Comfort
Yes, some additional features on offer have enhanced the look and feel inside. The dashboard looks better with the combination of a faux leather. The off-white and black leather looks good. The upholstery seems to be good enough in looks. There is an all new 7-inch touchscreen system too. This has bluetooth, navigation and reverse parking sensor. There is no reverse camera also. Now, when you look at the other elements, they haven’t changed on this SUV. Everything else is just the same. The power windows are located on the centre, there are sufficient storage spaces too. The centre has cup holders, storage for coins, bottle holders in the door pads. The seats have good enough comfort, and are suitable for long journeys too. Each of the seats has its own individual arm rests too.
The Moving to the second row of seats, there is sufficient head room. The knee room is tight. The back support could have been better. There is minimal padding for the rear passengers. This makes it difficult for long trips. The seat does feel uncomfortable. The third row seats are jump seats and these also feel uncomfortable. The shoulder width is limited and there isn’t much of room for two to sit. Tall passengers at the back means limited knee room also.
Mahindra TUV300 Gearbox
The engine is called mHawk80, and it’s a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel that does bear some relation to both the Quanto’s 1.5-litre three-pot as well as the Scorpio’s 2.2-litre, four-cylinder unit. It’s pretty high tech too, using a dual-stage turbocharger and a dual-mass flywheel. So though its power output is just 82.85bhp (16bhp less than the Quanto’s), thanks to two-stage turbocharging, the TUV300 promises to have much better driveability and responsiveness. For more info on Mahindra TUV300 check orsp.in
And it does. There is an impressive lack of perceptible turbo lag, and it is smooth without much of a step in power delivery; thank that dual-mass flywheel. Mahindra says the motor’s max torque of 23.4kgm is made at 1,500rpm and sure enough, that’s where the surge begins. The best part is that it still feels punchy enough for if you need to make quick and sudden progress, and that’s helped by the somewhat short gearing on the five-speed manual gearbox; also related to the one in the Scorpio. It’s also a fair bit more refined than the Quanto, which itself was not too bad for a three-cylinder diesel, though you still get some vibration through the tall gearlever. This mHawk80 motor does, however, run out of breath quite early – around 3,800rpm – after which it’s all noise and no progress. And though the throw is quite short, the gearlever still feels too tall and utilitarian, and quite notchy too. Mahindra has also given the TUV300 its ‘micro-hybrid’ stop-start system, as well as two separate Eco modes – one for the powertrain and one for the AC, which dull performance for better economy. The result is an ARAI rating of 18.49kpl, which is just 0.16kpl better than normal mode, but Mahindra insists it works much better in the real world.
Mahindra TUV300 Rideing
The ride is soft and good enough for city driving. At about 80km/hr, the TUV300 somewhat feels wallowy. It isn’t unstable but does seem to be a bit nervous. On bad roads, the ride is absolutely unsettled. The SUV has been tuned with a soft suspension and hence it has pliant ride on most of the bad roads, unless its gets really bad. The height of the TUV300 plays against it. The same goes for handling. The foot print is under 4 metres, width is just fine and height a bit more. Due to ladder frame, the centre of gravity is also much higher. In short, it has a good amount of body roll. But this vehicle in the city is a king. Short turning radius, excellent all-round visibility. Large wing mirrors. Seating is a high commanding position. You will love driving it in the city. No one will dare to come ahead of you or cut you at any point.
Mahindra TUV300 Safety
We’re quite impressed with the safety parameters that the vehicle employs. Safety features shared by all the variants include a collapsible steering column, side intrusion beams, a seat belt reminder lamp, an auto door lock function as well as a digital immobiliser.Dual airbags and ABS can be opted for irrespective of the variant you choose.
Mahindra Tuv300 On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 8,93,096 to 12,86,696 for variants TUV300 T4 Plus and TUV300 T10 100HP AMT Dual Tone respectively. Mahindra Tuv300 is available in 8 variants and 9 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Tuv300 variants price in Hyderabad. Check for TUV300 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.
Mahindra TUV300 Bottomline
Verito and e2o aside, when it comes to passenger vehicles, Mahindra is a maker of SUVs. Even the Xylo is butch enough to be counted as one. So it’s important for such a brand to fill every niche within the realm of SUVs, and as you’ll soon see, that is exactly the company’s plan. While the Scorpio and XUV500 are tackling the crop of bigger premium SUVs, the TUV300 wants specifically to wipe the smirk off the Ford EcoSport’s face, and as such, is the only other sub-four-metre SUV around, save for the slow-selling Premier Rio. And before you ask, the Quanto is being refreshed and repositioned to sell alongside the TUV. As much as we try to avoid sticking to a manufacturer’s marketing strapline, toughness is really what this car is all about. It gives you a sense of strength and hassle-free solidity that only a ladder-frame SUV can. Not to mention an all-encompassing driving position. It’s incredibly spacious too, and the engine is impressively refined and responsive, at least for urban use. This is also one of the best Mahindra interior designs yet, and shows how quickly the company is moving forward in this respect. Though we haven’t driven it yet, the TUV300 also has the option of an AMT gearbox, and 4×4 and petrol versions are a possibility in the future.
However, while we’re sure there will be plenty of takers for this tough, rugged look and feel at a relatively affordable price, it seems a bit of an oddity in this segment, where nimble dynamics, refinement and driving ease are also valued highly. In fact, it’s reflected in the slightly awkward proportions, which seem to be trying too hard. And finally, though Mahindra has made great strides in this area, fit and finish is still some way shy of global competition. So, while it’s not perfect, we will say the TUV300 is one of Mahindra’s best efforts yet, and if you think monocoque SUVs are not ‘real’ SUVs, or you want the Scorpio’s tough, rugged appeal in a smaller, more affordable package, this is the way to go.