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Mahindra TUV300 - hit or miss ?

Another SUV in the market…. Not really…. Mahindra has come up with a new acronym – TUV.. and what does it mean ??
Answer – Tough Utility Vehicle

But as we all know, Mahindra is known for its tough vehicles and even if the acronym was absent, we would have made that out..

Mahindra TUV300 is the latest entrant into the sub-4 meter SUV segment … a segment which only had the Ford Ecosport till date. However, the overall SUV segment is abound with new launches and so all eyes are on what the Mahindra has to offer with this new car.

Looks and design
Plain straight lines with a box like design is the best way to describe this car. There are absolutely no curves whatsoever. So a menacing, aggressive stance is a given. However, when we compare the car to the only other car in the sub 4 meter SUV segment – Ford Ecosport, the car appears much bigger.

This is because, though the length is marginally smaller by 4mm, the height, width and wheelbase of the car is much bigger. (See Table below)

The car is clearly designed to attract the rural crowd and the buyers of cars like the Bolero. It will not attract buyers who like the Ecosport, Duster, Creta – cars which are technically SUVs but with softer and more curvaceous designs.

From the inside, the finishing is much better than expected. Not the bare bones finishing but a more updated, refined look almost at par with global standards expected.  The clean lines from the exterior are carried forward to the inside of the car too. The plastic knobs have been given an aluminum finish, with the dashboard in piano black and beige.

But the most attractive part of this car is the space. Mahindra has done an excellent job in providing space in the middle row as well as a third row in the form of jump seats. As a result, 7 people can fit into the car. The second row has a lot of leg room, but as expected in a sub-4 metre car, the jump seats are a bit short of space and passengers need to seat with their legs intertwined.

The boot space is ok at 384 litres and can be expanded to 720 litres.

Drive and Ride

The TUV300 is fitted with a new 1493cc mHawk Diesel engine. It has only 3 cylinders but delivers 85 PS of power, due to the 2 stage turbocharger. The torque is fantastic too and there is no lag experienced while driving the car. The car has a 5 speed transmission with options for Manual and AMT available. Currently, only a two wheel drive option is available. But the main attraction while driving the car is power outlay. So as the other side of the coin, the drive is not refined and smooth but tough and jerky at high throttle.

The car is based on a ladder frame chassis and hence needs to be centered well so the body roll is less. Ground clearance being higher also adds to the problem. However, it is not a big problem and not noticeable at normal speeds. Only, if you turn corners at a screeching speed the body roll becomes obvious.

What is a drawback for this car is the low fuel efficiency numbers. In today’s age, when cars claim to give fuel efficiency above 23 kmpl and actually give somewhere around 23 kmpl, the TUV300 gives a fuel efficiency of around 13-14 kmpl.

Overall, the ride quality is good, but a bit heavy.

Verdict :

Looks wise, not everyone’s cup of tea. People looking to replace their old Scorpio might consider buying this car. But not the flashy youngster, nor the small urban family. The car is expected to replace the Quanto.

On the end note, we are not expecting this car to give a tough competition to the Ford Ecosport and that says it all.

Technical Specifications

  Mahindra TUV300 Ford Ecosport
Engine Displacement 1493 cc 1499 cc
Engine Description 3 cylinder mHawk Diesel engine with 2 stage Turbocharger 1.5 TDCi
Fuel Type Diesel Diesel
Power (at rpm) 84bhp @ 3750rpm 67 KW @ 3750rpm
Torque (at rpm) 230Nm @ 1500-2250 rpm 204 kgm @ 2000-2750 rpm
Mileage Overall NA  
Boot Space 384 litres (expandable upto 720 litres) 346 litres (expandable upto 705 litres)
Suspension Front Double Wishbone Independent MacPherson Strut with coil spring and anti-roll bar
Suspension Rear Rigid Axle Multi link Semi-Independent twist beam with twin gas and oil filled shock absorbers
Tyres 215/75 R 15 195/65 R15
Brakes Front Disc Ventilated Disc
Brakes Rear Drum Drum
Kerb Weight 2225 kg 1222 kg
Transmission Manual & AMT Manual

Now moving onto dimensions

  Mahindra TUV300 Ford Ecosport
Length 3995 mm 3999 mm
Width 1835 mm 1765 mm
Height 1839 mm 1708 mm
Ground clearance 191 mm 200 mm
Wheel base 2680mm 2520 mm
Fuel tank 60 litres 52 litres
Body Type and no. of doors 5 door (Tough Utility Vehicle) 4 door SUV
Passenger Capacity 7(5+2) 5
Price starting from (Rs.) 6.90 lacs 7.89 lacs

- Jainee P. Gordhandas
   Automobile Analyst

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