Mahindra TUV300 Performance & Test Drive
Mahindra TUV300 Overview
With tall boy designs becoming successful, in 2015 Mahindra decided to launch their NBA player. Tall, muscular and very capable at the same time. This was the Mahindra TUV300, which TUV stands for Tough Utility Vehicle. And in 2016 the Mahindra TUV300 get an additional option of a more powerful engine and this is the mHawk100 engine. With ample of space, new and improved, more powerful engine and also the option of an automated manual transmission, also got the power bump. It seems like Mahindra went slam dunk. Now a sub four-metre vehicle I guess this is one of the if not only rear wheel drive compact SUV with a ladder-on-frame chassis, Mahindra yelled “Let the games begin”! So what does the new Mahindra TUV300 have on offer? Read our in-depth our Mahindra TUV300 and the 100bhp TUV300 review. View offers on Mahindra Cars from Mahindra dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop
When the pictures of the Mahindra TUV300 first surfaced with camouflage (a time when the vehicle was only addressed by its codename U301), everyone thought it’s the new Bolero because of the boxy design. After Mahindra announced the name, the TUV300’s uncamouflaged pictures surfaced and we were definitely not impressed. In person though, the car does look better but there is just too much influence from global car makers like Land Rover but mostly from Jeep’s Wrangler. The TUV does flash Mahindra’s new design language and the perception from the common man seems positive with many asking about the vehicle.
Mahindra has done a smart job with the dimensions of the TUV300 as it doesn’t look small in spite of tucking under the 4-metre length. The boxy design does give it that retro SUV feel and there are some macho elements like the big bumpers, high ground clearance, front grille with chrome inserts and the spare wheel mounted on the tail gate. Mahindra states that the design is inspired from a battle tank and while that might seem a bit too far fetched, the TUV300 does come across as a neutral looking car which appeals to a certain number of SUV lovers.
Mahindra TUV300 Cabin & Comfort
While on the outside, you certainly don’t feel that the Mahindra TUV300 is a sub 4-metre vehicle, the same can be said about the inside too. This is because the cabin is big, there is plenty of room all around and the design is also very pleasant. Starting with the dashboard, there is no denying this is the best we have seen in any Mahindra car till date, XUV500 included. The design theme is more balanced, nothing seems over the top and the colours blend in well, the styling of the interiors has finally matured at Mahindra.
The dashboard gets the dual-tone black and beige theme and the seats and other parts of the cabin are finished in beige for that airy feel. The 4-spoke steering wheel feels nice to hold and is chunky enough but audio controls are only on the left side and there is nothing on the right. There are silver inserts around the AC vents and the centre console gets piano black finishing, so does the surrounds of the gear lever. There are some storage spaces around the handbrake but the positioning of the power window controls there seems out of place and quite inconvenient to use. The instrument cluster is easy to read and also has a gear position indicator, the twin pods get a chrome surround on them. The front seats get an arm rest each while the rear misses out on them but the rear bench will easily accommodate three due to the wide cabin and almost flat floor.
The audio system gives out decent output, nothing great but better than average and there are charging ports for both front and rear seats. The glovebox is quite small, the door pockets will easily take a 1-litre bottle and on top of the centre console, there is space to keep your phone. Both the front seat back get magazine holders. The car has voice assist which will welcome you when you enter the car and warn you when you don’t wear your seat belt or when one of the doors is open or when you drive with the handbrake on. The commands take first preference and the reverse parking sensors buzzer and a phone call will be muted for the voice assist system to take over. The info function on the audio system also has distance to empty, mileage and a service due reminder. Equipment levels are good with useful things like static bending lights which are cornering lights (the headlight illumination is strong!) but a climate control AC should have been offered on the top trim. Other features include follow-me-home headlamps, reverse parking sensors, audio system with Bluetooth and BlueSense mobile app (doesn’t work flawlessly).
Space inside the cabin is the TUV’s USP as the second row is very accommodating with plenty of leg, knee and headroom, although under-thigh support is a bit lacking. Quality of the interior is good but not in the same league as other compact SUVs. Build quality as expected from a ‘Tough Utility Vehicle’ is well.. tough. The AC works well to chill the cabin but there are no vents for the rear, the AC gets an Eco mode too. The last row gets side facing jump seats to make the TUV300 a 7-seater, these eat into the boot space but the seats can be folded for extra space. The small jump seats are best suited for children but since there are no seat-belts here, it’s best not used by anyone. The tail-gate door does have a cup holder and a big pocket to keep odds and ends. The key of the vehicle has a button to turn on the hazard lights, neat.
Mahindra TUV300 Engine & 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.
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.
As you might be able to tell from the photos, we’re at Mahindra’s test track, and as a result, a proper ride and handling test will have to wait till we get the TUV300 out on real roads. What we can tell you, though, is that the suspension set-up feels much like the one on the new Scorpio, and even though it’s not identical, the two are similar. There’s definitely an inherent firmness that you can feel as the tall TUV rocks around if you cross a speed breaker at a slight angle instead of head on, or crashes if you hit a sharp bump too hard. And though the stability overall is quite good (thank that long wheelbase), you still get a little up-and-down movement over undulations. You’ll be thankful for the firmer set-up on the whole though, as a soft set-up like in the previous Scorpio would have led to loads of body movement. It’s a tall, body-on-frame SUV, so of course there’s loads of body roll, but you’ll be quite impressed with how eagerly the front end steers into corners. This is by no means a driver’s car, but it’s tidier than you expect something of its height to be.
Mahindra TUV300 Ride & Handling
The TUV300 will be Mahindra’s first SUV which will actually sit on the new body on frame chassis which has been developed for recently for the new generation Scorpio. The advantage of this new chassis is that it weighs much less than its earlier ladder on frame chassis, although the length of the Chassis will be actually shorter than that of the Scorpio for obvious reasons. For that reason expect the new TUV300 to also handle better than the compact SUV Quanto
Mahindra TUV300 Braking & safety
The TUV300 is offered with dual front airbags and ABS as optional on the T4 variant while the T6 variant gets ABS as standard. Airbags and ABS with EBD are standard offerings on the T8 variant. This is quite a good step taken by Mahindra since safety is quite a norm now and most customers have finally realised the importance of these features. In terms of service, well the automaker has a lot of service stations across the length and breadth of the country and there are service centres located in remote areas too. Hence, TUV300 buyers need not worry much when it comes to servicing their vehicles.
Mahindra TUV300 Price in Mumbai
Mahindra Tuv300 Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 7,97,448/- (TUV300 T4 Plus) to 10,87,069/- (TUV300 T10 100HP AMT Dual Tone). Get best offers for Mahindra Tuv300 from Mahindra Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Mahindra TUV300 price in Mumbai at Carzprice
Mahindra TUV300 Bottomline
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.Tags: Mahindra