Very few are aware of the fact that the Compact SUV segment was started in India by Premier Ltd with the Rio SUV. The company launched the diesel variant in 2012. The Premier Rio is a rebadged Zoyte 2008 produced by Zotye Auto in Zhejiang, China. The Rio is a sub 4 metre SUV with a seating capacity to accommodate 5 passengers. It is manufactured in Chinchwad, Pune. To make it compatible with emissions and also to make the diesel variant feel more acceptable, the company sourced diesel engines from FIAT. It has a high ground clearance of 200mm and is the best rugged solution available at a budget. Mahindra, the face of growing SUV scene in India, wanted to prove its existence in every possible SUV segment and with the boom in compact SUV segment, launched the Quanto, which was a cut down version of Xylo. The latter too didn’t make it to the top with its quirky design. Let’s take a look at both these offerings.
Mahindra Quanto Vs Premier Rio
Exterior and Interior Design: Mahindra Quanto Vs Premier Rio
The Mahindra Quanto is one of the least appealing compact SUVs to be sold in India with its odd-design. The designers felt the need to launch a more upmarket vehicle and thus gave the Quanto an updated Xylo’s face. It does have some distinguishing factors but very minimal in nature. It has started looking dated with other modern contemporaries parked in competition showrooms. Also, they made it feel ‘tough’ with an additional spare wheel mounted on the door. The spare wheel makes no difference at all. It tries hard to distract the onlookers from its weirdly styled tail door but fails miserably.
The Premier Rio, which rolled out in India way back, is clearly an underdog in the segment. It looks way better than Quanto as the overall design proportions make complete sense. The face lifted Rio was even better looking as it had impressive headlights, tweaked radiator grille, plastic claddings on the front bumper with fog lamps. The rear instantly reminds of the earlier generation Honda CR-V with tall pillar tail lamps. The spare wheel gets a cover too.
Performance: Mahindra Quanto Vs Premier Rio
Mahindra Quanto is offered in a three cylinder 1.5L mCR100 diesel engine, which also gets twin stage turbo charger. This engine generates 100 bhp of power at 3750 rpm and makes 240Nm of torque between 1600 to 2800 rpm. This diesel engine comes mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Quanto also features micro hybrid feature which shuts down the engine once it detects that the engine has been idling for more than 2.5 seconds and then starts again at the press of clutch. The top end C8 variant gets ABS and Airbag for safety.
Mahindra Quanto Vs Premier Rio
The Premier RiO gets a four cylinder 1248cc common-rail turbo-diesel engine which makes 72bhp of power at 4000rpm and 183 Nm of torque between 1800-2400 rpm. This one too comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. It rides on 2015 / 70 R15 tyres. Unlike the Quanto, the RiO doesn’t get airbags but then ABS with EBD comes as standard on all variants.
Conclusion: Mahindra Quanto Vs Premier Rio
Premier RiO is a great choice on paper for someone looking for a simple yet rugged SUV but then the fit and finish is discouraging. In addition to that, Premier doesn’t seem to be pushing the RiO with lack of after sales support. The Quanto, which is not the best looking compact SUV comes with Mahindra’s tried and trusted service and support, which makes it the obvious choice over the RiO.