Mahindra KUV100 NXT Performance & Test Drive
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview
When Mahindra & Mahindra MD Dr Pawan Goenka was introducing the 2017 Mahindra KUV100 NXT compact SUV at its launch, he was quick to address the big question: Why such an early refresh for a new model launched only last year. At the time, he noted that shorter timelines are the new norm with manufacturers in India launching new vehicles in quick succession and shortening shelf lives of existing products. There is a push to capture the constantly growing sub-4m compact SUV market. At the same time, the KUV100 NXT facelift is Mahindra’s attempt to capture a market that had hitherto been buying only small cars – the first-time car buyer.
You see, as diverse as its portfolio of utility and sport utility vehicles as well as the odd sedan may have been, Mahindra has never before had a vehicle for this particular customer. And the manufacturer seems to have done things right, as the original Mahindra KUV100 has attracted around 60,000 customers over the past 21 months. Of these, close to 50 per cent have been first-time car buyers, and 15 per cent women customers, Goenka had said.With a diverse, new customer base, Mahindra now looks to keep the ball rolling with the 2017 Mahindra KUV100 NXT facelift that gets 40 new features. It is also of essence for Mahindra to popularise its smallest SUV platform, which is slated to become the first Mahindra SUV to be electrfied in a year’s time.View offers on Mahindra Cars from Mahindra dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Style
The Mahindra KUV100 NXT is a sub-four-metre car and measures in at 3,700 mm in length, 1735 mm in width and 1655 mm in height high. Compared to one of the closest rivals, the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the KUV100 NXT lags in terms of length, but leads in other parameters like width and height. Design as mentioned in the beginning is inspired from the much bigger XUV500. Mahindra have crafted the front profile assertively with most of the attention paid to the bumper. The front fascia of the KUV100 NXT gets a very lean radiator grille with vertically placed chrome finished fillets. The pulled back head lamps are wide from front and get tapered towards the end almost covering the hood length. Black plastic cladding is draped all around the KUV100 NXT to give it that SUV-ish feel.
The rectangular shaped fog lamps in front are tucked well within the black cladding. The overall look of the SUV is enhanced by this thick black cladding that lends KUV100 NXT the much requisite butch front profile. The Mahindra KUV100 NXT’s side profile is marked by the square wheel arches and sharp creases emerging from the A-pillar and tail lights among others. The grab handle for the back door is mounted on the rear quarter glass. The rear does bear some resemblance to the Hyundai Grand i10, but the designers at Mahindra have tried to make it as unique as possible. The rear cladding features chrome finished fog lamps and side skirts. Rear gets an integrated spoiler atop, captivatingly designed tail lamps and a very sharp line running over tail lights which is stretched until the wheel arches. Rear profile appears more like a hatchback which could be a put off for the SUV.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Space
The raft of design refinements continues on the inside of the KUV as well. Layout-wise, the dashboard will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s driven the earlier car; however, the lighter colour plastics and fabrics around the interiors have made way from a much darker theme. Honestly, I think the KUV looks all the better for it, and while the plastics in use are far from soft-touch, the textures in play, especially on top of the dash, do lend it a modicum of premiumness.
The most apparent change is the addition of a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, available in both the mid and top variants. While it’s been borrowed from other contemporary Mahindra SUVs, it’s a welcome addition to the cabin. The infotainment experience is quite good, with a host of connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB and aux, all controlled through a touch interface that’s intuitive, extremely responsive and fairly legible even in harsh sunlight. And it even gets a full-fledged built-in navigation system. Also Read – Mahindra KUV100 NXT Launched At Rs 4.39 lakh
I wouldn’t particularly like to pick nits here, but in this day and age, I believe Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should’ve been included as well. This screen also features a new driver information display that can show mileage data, range to empty and even visual feedback from the parking sensors. You don’t get a reverse parking camera, even in the top-spec car, although Mahindra tells us that the system is fully compatible with one and it can be easily installed at dealer level as an accessory.
Right below the new infotainment system are new air-conditioning controls. No climate control here, but the controls feel much improved and easier to use, and the new air-con system is completely electronic, which Mahindra says has gone a long way in reducing the dashboard’s wiring complexity. I would like to mention that the top-spec K8 variant we were driving featured a remote opening tailgate that can be triggered only using the button on the key fob, with no apparent mechanical failsafe – a strange choice if you ask me. The rest of the cockpit pretty much follows what we’ve seen before and there are no surprises here.For Mahindra KUV100 NXT check getreadyoregon.org
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine
The KUV100 facelift remains mechanically unchanged, so you still get the same 1.2-litre petrol (G80) and diesel (D75) engines as before. We drove the KUV100 NXT’s diesel iteration which still makes 78PS/190Nm and comes paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The primary change here is the improved NVH by employing more silent engine mounts and adding more cabin insulation material. It has worked and the vibrations are certainly better controlled than before. However, noise insulation levels aren’t too great, and there’s still a noticeable amount of engine noise that creeps into the cabin.
Otherwise, the diesel engine’s nature remains unchanged. The clutch is light and bites in just where you’d want it to. Power delivery is linear and it doesn’t have the surge of power that one expects when the turbo kicks in (like in the Swift for example). Turbo lag is well controlled and the engine has a nice low end. It even feels quite relaxed at 100kmph and is capable of going faster. That said, this is a low displacement diesel that’s been designed for the city so past 100kmph, the signs of strain to creep in.
This engine also gets the micro-hybrid tech for better urban efficiency, along with the ‘Eco’ and ‘Power’ drive modes. There is a perceptible difference in throttle response when you shuffle between the modes. While the eco mode will work alright in the city, better stick to power mode on the highway.
The petrol motor (83PS/115Nm) is an all-aluminum unit. While this contributes greatly in keeping the overall weight of the engine down, it does not suppress the engine noise too well. The petrol motor has a lot of vibrations on startup and idle.
The low-end grunt isn’t a strong point for the petrol motor and you will need frequent downshifts to keep the revs in the mid-range where the actual performance lies. The peak torque is generated at a relatively high 3500rpm; you really need to step on it to extract any sort of performance. The engine is quite peppy when kept on the boil, though, nowhere close to that of the Swift.
Outright performance simply isn’t the petrol motor’s cup of tea. It will cruise at 100kmph all day long, but progress beyond that is slow. This engine is best suited to the confines of the city and it does feel strained on the highways.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Driving
The KUV100 NXT gets no structural alterations or changes to the suspension. It still rides and handles like before and while it’s no enthusiast-pleaser, it does well for general point A to point B transport duties.
Parking or taking quick U-turns are quite easy and they’re one-handed affairs. It does weigh up nicely as you speed up. The steering isn’t particularly communicative though. This is a tall-hatchback and behaves like one too. Throw it into a corner and there’s evident body-roll, and since the steering won’t tell you much, it’s best to not get overzealous in the ghats.The little Mahindra gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The brakes bite in very early and stopping power is adequate. However, there is a certain amount of nosedive under braking.
The suspension on the KUV100 is on the softer side. While this does cushion out most of the bumps and undulations on the road, it also manages to toss the passengers around a fair bit. For example, going over a speedbreaker at around 10kmph saw all occupants in the car sway side to side. As you’d expect, it’s a comfort-centric setup and not one that prioritises dynamics.To summarise, the KUV100 NXT, like its predecessor, does just fine for the city and the occasional highway stint. Just don’t push it too hard and you won’t have much reason to complain.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Safety
The Mahindra KUV100 NXT comes available with dual airbags on the plus variants in the entry and mid-level along with the range topping variant. Other safety features available on the KUV100 NXT are child safety locks on the rear doors, anti-slip clips for driver side door mats, ISOFIX child seat mount on rear seat, engine immobiliser, anti-theft security alarm, automatic hazard warning lamps on crash and speed sensing automatic door locks.
Mahindra has spared no expense to make the KUV100 NXT stand out amongst the crowd and which is why you see it filled to the brim with features. Among the various features incorporated outside and inside here are a few notable ones worth a mention. On the outside the KUV100 NXT gets follow me home head lamps and lead me to home head lamps, head lights height adjuster, rear wiper, rear defogger and manually adjustable ORVMs. The cabin gets a 12V power outlet, door pockets, 1 litre bottle holder in all doors, interiors rear view mirror, rear parcel tray, LED interior lamp etc.
Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,22,325 to 8,72,834 for variants KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol and KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Diesel respectively. Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt is available in 12 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt variants price in Hyderabad. Check for KUV100 NXT price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Conclusion
In terms of competition, the Mahindra KUV100 NXT is a unique proposition, as it primarily competes with hatchbacks such as the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Maruti Suzuki Ignis, Hyundai Grand i10, Honda Brio as well as compact sedans such as the Volkswagen Ameo and Ford Figo Aspire given its Rs4.39 lakh to Rs 7.33 lakh price range. Goenka, meanwhile, said that the NXT’s features are available at a better price than larger compact SUVs Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Tata Nexon. However, as to whether customers looking to pick up their ‘first SUV’ will choose the NXT over the larger competitors remains to be seen.Tags: Mahindra