Mahindra & Mahindra have taken the covers off its global SUV, the XUV500, yesterday and while the appearance had everyone nodding in appreciation, it was the prices that made jaws drop. The base variant W6 is available at Rs 10.8 lakh. The W8 variant with front wheel drive is priced at Rs 11.95 lakh and the W8 with all-wheel drive is available for Rs 12.88 lakh. All prices ex-showroom, Delhi.
"The XUV5OO can become this mythic, iconic vehicle," said Dr Anand Mahindra at the launch of Mahindra's first global SUV. The XUV is based on the thematic styling of the cheetah, one which is poised to leap. The XUV has a very beefy looking front with the grille, the air dam and the fog lamps right at the bottom combining to give it a very aggressive look. Projector headlamps and daytime running LEDs (a first for Mahindra) add character to the front.
From the side the first thing that you notice is the well-pronounced wheelarches which along with the offset curves above them give the XUV a very muscular profile. The tyres are 235/65 17-inch Bridgestone Duelers with five-spoke alloys. Another unique thing in the XUV is that it has vertical door handles which is unlike what you see on cars these days. The XUV looks powerful from the back too with its twin oval exhausts and the big XUV5OO badging. And for the artistically inclined, there are tribal motifs etched on the taillamps. It will be powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk engine capable of producing 140PS of power mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
While the exteriors are attractive the interiors will create quite an impression. The first thing you will notice are the quite funky looking clocks. The speedo and the tacho have a digital meter housed within them which gives details like which gear you are in and other such information needed by the driver. Mahindra have chosen a red lighting theme for the clocks and the centre console and that definitely makes it look attractive. The centre console features a wood panel finish which gives it a rich feel. It has a full colour and touch infotainment screen. The angular handbrake juts out rather awkwardly from the centre console but though it may not appeal to everyone, it will definitely have the adrenaline pumping in those with some rally blood in them. There are two glove boxes and also a cooled air box under the centre armrest. It also has a wire mesh pouch on the centre console next to the driver's left foot to keep those toll receipts or some other essentials.
The interiors have a beige-brown finish. There are three rows of leather seats and while it looks like three people might have to squeeze in the middle, it doesn't look like a tight squeeze. The last row of seats can be folded completely into the floor to create substantial boot space. But if the seats are up then all you can put there is a framed painting.
Before the launch Mahindra had announced that the XUV will be loaded with features and they have kept true to their promise. It has safety features like ESP, hill descent control and six airbags. It has climate control and cruise control. It will have automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. And there's much more. It also has fancy bits like a small rear view mirror just behind the lights at the top, which pops down for the driver to see the people sitting at the back of the vehicle.
The W8 model, the top-end model will be available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. The all-wheel drive option will be engaged only when the vehicle senses a requirement for it, rather that it being activated the whole time.
We were bang on target with the XUV unmasked picture weren't we? Looks exactly like we predicted it would. On the whole it definitely looks like a SUV that would interest the Indian market and with these extremely competitive prices, it looks like Mahindra have another success story like the Scorpio.