User Reviews: Mahindra TUV300

Mahindra TUV300 Price in India

Mahindra has emerged as a flourishing utility major in India with some of the most popular SUVs in its portfolio like XUV500 and Scoprio. Aimed at producing viable SUVs for the mass customer base in India, the company had rolled out a couple of models that failed miserably. One such model is Mahindra Quanto, this sub-four meter SUV just could not take off in the highly competitive segment. While most think that TUV is the replacement of Quanto, it may not be as what they believe, of course it is a sub-four meter compact SUV that aims at the mass segment but it is a new model that has indeed been built from scratch. The hint of Bolero is clearly evident in the SUV, but as speculated it is either not a successor to the model. So that pretty much clears that TUV300 is a new model and not a replacement to any of the above mentioned SUVs. Based on the all-new-ladder frame chassis, TUV300 features a 5+2 seating layout, there are two additional jump seats placed behind the second row. Available only in the diesel avatar, the SUV has been inherited with the same engine under the hood which powers Quanto. From the exteriors, TUV300 appears rugged and potent, Mahindra has rendered a rather deliberate boxy look to the SUV that to some extent defines its nomenclature ‘Tough Utility vehicle’. Cabin gets good quality plastic and material along with almost all the vital features inset for occupants’ comfort. Moreover, the availability of an automated manual transmission brings the SUV above others in the segment. As for the pricing, the Mahindra TUV300 price in India is affordable, even the higher variants have been tagged competitively.

 

EXTERIOR AND STYLE

The Mahindra TUV300 is definitely a far better looking SUV than the old Quanto which actually looks like a smaller version of the Xylo SUV. The TUV300 definitely has its own unique identity which is its biggest point. What also sets it apart is the fact that it actually shares its chassis structure with the new generation Scorpio.

Coming to the styling the TUV300 looks rugged and its design has been inspired from a battle tank. Towards the front it gets this huge and bold looking grille and clear lens headlamps with well designed turn indicators. The front bumpers get rectangular fog lamps and even a rectangular air dam. The front bonnet also gets a bold design which actually helps in giving the SUV a commanding road presence. Now if we take a look closely you will notice that the front grille takes some of its inspirations from Jeep which is totally acceptable because Mahindra has added their own flavors to it.

The side profile of the SUV’s styling somehow helps to distract your mind from the overall boxy design of this compact SUV because it gets slightly slanting B pillar which actually seems to have worked in Mahindra’s favor, plus the addition of blacked out B and D Pillar definitely adds the premium feel to the overall exterior. The rest of the side profile gets squarish looking wheel arches and an impressive ground clearance which helps it stick to its true blue SUV character. The side profile also gets stylish roof rails too which can help in easy mounting of lifestyle accessories and other useful things.

Towards the rear the first thing which will attract your attention is the spare wheel mounted on the tailgate while the large wrap around taillamps helps in giving the SUV contemporary styling.

 

INTERIORS AND 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.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

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.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Mahindra TUV300 has a tight turning radius. It turns around in little space with ease. The airy feel of the cabin was also a major point in the feel good factor about the SUV.  However, what we did not like was the fact that this vehicle rolls a lot over 60km/h. The ride is quite pliant and better than previous generation Mahindra vehicles. However the SUV feels a bit unsettled and skittish over bad patches on the road, especially when driven fast. Mahindra’s ladder frame construction is to be blamed for that , but it isn;t very bad either. The handling of the Mahindra TUV300 isn’t very impressive, it has a prominent roll if you push it too hard. The steering wheel is hydraulic and still light enough for easy manoeuvring around the town. It is a joy to drive it in town.

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SAFETY FEATURE

Safety features on the Mahindra TUV300 include dual airbags on most variants, while the base trims get it as optional. The SUV also gets ABS with EBD on most trims, which is missed on the base T4 trim. The top trims get ISOFIX mounts for child seats in the second row along with a digital immobiliser, seatbelt reminder lamp, auto door lock while driving and anti-theft warning.

The TUV300 gets ample of chrome garnish on the top variants that are sure to be liked by the Indian customers. The top trims get body coloured door handles, bumpers, electrically adjustable ORVMs and alloy wheels. The SUV is also equipped with static bending headlamps or cornering lights and Mahindra’s Micro-Hybrid technology as well as brake energy regeneration technology that are restricted only to the manual versions. The SUV uses a 2-DIN infotainment system with a display screen offering Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity. There is reverse parking assist as well, while you get Driver Information System (DIS) and Voice Messaging System (VMS).

 

CONCLUSSION

Mahindra has come with a boxy SUV which may be liked by many and may not be liked by some, but it has not over-styled it which makes it a winner for us. The space on offer inside the cabin despite confined length is something to learn from Mahindra engineers. Seven-seat option is again viable for large Indian families but does it really allow enough space for the last two passengers seated on the jump seats? Interior quality and styling is good, equipments embedded are ample and even the performance is appreciable. At this price, TUV300 is a complete package.

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Mahindra Tuv300 Ex Showroom Price in Ahmedabad ranges from  7,61,188/- (TUV300 T4) to  9,97,684/- (TUV300 T8 AMT 100HP).Mahindra Tuv300 has 7 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Mahindra Tuv300 comes in 9 colours, namely Bronze Green,Red Black Roof,Silver Black Roof,Dynamo Red,Verve Blue,Majestic Silver,Bold Black,Glacier White,Molten Orange.

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