Report: Joshua David Luther;
Photography: Mohd. Nasir
a hot and humid day. A light breeze is ruffling the long blades of grass. Slowly
edging towards its prey, the cheetah inches forward. Its heart is racing
because it hasn’t fed in days. The time has come for it to conquer, this time
it has to be crowned king. When the people at Mahindra decided to roll-up their
sleeves and give the XUV 5OO a makeover, they had one single vision in mind –
the crown. Surviving in the jungle would seem easier than winning in the SUV
segment of the Indian market. While XUV 5OO was never short of being the best,
it did not win the crown. But the new age XUV 5OO has all it takes to win and
took the face-lifted XUV 5OO for a review on the outskirts of Delhi. We knew
the terrain and it would rival the African Savannah. We were taking the cheetah
home or at least what home was meant to be. Gearing up for an afternoon filled
with off-road adventure is something I look forward to with ardour. The mild
fear of uncertainty and the thrill of adventures to come take hold of me. While
on tarmac the XUV was agile, it sprinted through the gears with ease and I
never broke a sweat driving in traffic or on the highway. However the real test
began when we took the cheetah off road. The terrain was unforgiving and a
slight mistake would mean being stuck in the jungle for hours.
2.2L, mHawk140 Diesel, 5th
Gen VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger)
6-speed, Synchromesh Manual
140bhp @ 3750rpm
330Nm @ 1600-2800rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity
Top speed (Kmph)
McPherson Type with Anti-Roll Bar
Multilink Type with Anti-Roll Bar
Disc Brakes, ABS with EBD
235/65 R17 Tubeless
On the Fly adjustable AWD
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
guess it would be my luck that I was driving the W10 variant of the XUV. The
top end W10 version has been packed with all sorts of driver aids. It comes
with ABS & EBD, Hill Descent Control, Hill Hold Control, Tyretronics and
ESP with roll over mitigation. All of those proved very handy with every
feature kicking in just when it was required. At first I was a bit nervous
taking on a few obstacles but the AWD (All Wheel Drive) XUV 5OO was at home and
at par with the elements thrown its way. The independent suspension system
worked beautifully even on rough stretches of grass land and pothole laden
roads. The 235/65 R17 tubeless tyres were quite handy when it came to a few
high speed stints on the open grass lands. The tyres gripped the ground well
and the ESP kicked in every time I would over steer. The W10 variant also has a
roll over mitigation programme with the ESP. Thus every time the ESP sensors
would detect an anomaly in the vehicles movement patterns it will break
individual wheels and reduce the driving torque to prevent a roll over.
the heart of the XUV is a mighty 2179cc mHawk140 diesel motor. It produces
140bhp @ 3750rpm and churns out a massive 330Nm @ 1600-2800rpm. In layman’s
terms the XUV is quick despite its size and weight. The vehicle can go from
0-60kpmh in a matter of 5.4 seconds. The 5th generation VGT is quite refined
giving an almost uninterrupted flow of power. The 6-speed synchromesh manual
transmission is smooth to say the least and gears fall seamlessly into place.
While on tarmac the disc and calliper type brakes are efficient and any previous
braking issues have been resolved. The independent suspension with anti-roll
bars in the front and rear facilitate a smooth ride and minimise body roll.
Like the cheetah, the XUV is not only fast but agile as well. It is quick
through the corners and handles well at high speeds. The ESP ensures adequate
traction and a stable ride.
fun doesn’t stop there, the XUV is packed with many more handy features like a
push button start/stop, passive keyless entry, 6-way power adjusted driver’s
seat, a voice messaging system, brake energy regeneration, reverse parking
camera with dynamic assist, fully automatic temperature control, steering
mounted controls with voice command and cruise control, electronic sunroof with
an anti-pinch function, etc. On the exterior of the new XUV you have a
re-designed headlamp cluster with static bending projector headlamps which
illuminate corners while turning. The XUV also has a follow me home and lead me
to vehicle function. The re-designed head lamps and tail lamps look more
aggressive than the previous options and have a sportier feel. On the inside
you have a 7 inch colour touch screen infotainment system which is quite easy
to operate and facilitates USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity seamlessly. It
also doubles up as a GPS system and a reverse camera with dynamic assist and
grid lines. The vehicle also offers internally adjustable and retractable ORVMs
with Logo projection lamps, rain sensing wipers, light sensing headlamps, fully
automatic temperature control and an electronic steering lock.
of the benefits of owning the XUV 5OO is the versatility it offers. It is not
just a comfortable vehicle for your daily commute but can also be used for
camping, off-road adventures and other such activities to break the daily
grind. This is one vehicle which will never leave you wanting for more and
dares you to take the road less travelled. Packed with a host of handy features
it also offers butch style and a brawny engine. The new age XUV 5OO is all bang
for your buck with a starting price of Rs. 15,99,000 (ex-showroom Delhi).
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