2012 Mahindra Quanto in India first drive
At the launch Mahindra showcased the Quanto as an SUV to getaway on weekends with, laying emphasis on getting out into the open and having fun. We had the opportunity to drive the Quanto for a weekend and first impressions were a mixed bag.
To look at, the Quanto is very much a Xylo chopped down to size and on the move when looked at from the front one could easily confuse the Quanto for its older sibling. The design of the rear has received an update as well and this is where the SUV looks the freshest. On the top of the line C8 variant you get a nice 'half' cover for the spare wheel which is quite striking, though the smaller 15inch wheels do look a tad out of proportion with the rest of the vehicle. The interiors are virtually the same as the Xylo as well, but being the shortest ladder frame SUV available in the country today means that the seating has had to adapt. The rear seats are spacious but more upright and the jump seats in the boot can only be reserved for short drives.
The Quanto gets a new three cylinder 1.5 mCR100 engine making 100PS and 240Nm torque. It's actually a downsized 2.2litre engine with a new dual stage turbo and this makes all the difference. The engine is very smooth and effortless driving around town and the usual thrum and vibrations associated with a three cylinder configuration are pleasantly absent. The engine while being refined and extremely drivable around town is not quite as impressive out on the highway and as the revs climb over 2500rpm the engine starts to feel a little stressed. It will still cruise effortlessly on the highway at just over ton up speeds.
The ride quality at low speeds too is quite pleasant but we did find that small undulations in the road vibe their way into the cabin. It does fare quite well over broken roads and larger bumps. As the Quanto falls below four meters it does handle urban duties well, aided by the smaller 15 inch wheels and a tight turning circle. But while it has been shortened it is still a tall SUV and has inherited a lot of body roll and is much happier in town or on the long and straight rather than the twisties. Considering that that's where I would like to go on weekends means this would not be my choice of vehicle for a weekend jaunt. It's much more comfortable in an urban environment and this is where we expect most of its buyers will spend their time - getting to work. Not lying to their bosses and heading out for the hills as the commercial suggests.
Pricing starts at Rs 5.82 lakh for the C2 entry variant and go up to Rs 7.36 lakh for the C8 version we drove. These prices are all ex-showroom Thane. Check out our November issue for a complete road test and we also take a look at how the Quanto matches up against the Ertiga.