Mahindra TUV300 -Born Tough?
The demand for comapct SUVs is on a rise. Buyers are moving towards SUVs, as it has higher ground clearance and the choice is generally compact one, as it isn't very long making it easy to drive and even park in crowded cities. The Ford Ecosport was the first to start this trend and now the others are following. The Mahindra brand did introduce the Quanto, however it wasn't very successful with this compact SUV due to multiple reasons.
The Bolero is one of the biggest success stories for Mahindra. The Indian utility vehicle manufacturer’s most successful product has been the Bolero and the Scorpio, and now the Indian utility manufacturer has got the new TUV300. We lay on hands on this compact SUV. Has Mahindra learnt form its Quanto mistakes and what all has been implemented on the TUV300? We find out.
Mahindra has designed the TUV300 with inputs from Pininfarina, the Italian design house that has designed Ferraris and Maseratis. The design is fresh and retains Mahindra’s design characteristics. The front grille is made up of seven-vertical bars that are seen on all the Mahindra vehicles. Then there is a chrome The headlamps are pulled back and get narrower as you move towards the side. The square fog lamps are a new design and the bonnet is flat without any strakes add to the rocky styling.
The silhouette of the TUV300 gets a large bonnet, black roof rails and 10-spoke alloy wheels. The wheels do look small considering the height of the TUV300. The grab doors are chunky and nice to grip. The D-pillar is blacked out and it has chunky set of tail lamps too. The tailgate gets the spare wheel mounted at the centre and in the higher variants it also gets body colour spare wheel cover too.The rear styling somewhat remind us of the Skoda Yeti. The TUV300 does stand out in the crowd and Mahindra calls it TUV (Tough Utility Vehicle) as it looks like it is built like a tank (in styling).
The interiors of the TUV300 are a welcome. The dual-tone interiors are a welcome and the instrument cluster styling is simple and easy to read. The TUV300 gets black and beige interiors with some silver inserts. There is an in-dahs music system with USB, Bluetooth and aux connectivity. The quality of the plastics is good and even the fit and finish is decent, however it is look and feel of the plastic that doesn’t impress us.
The space on the TUV300 is impressive. You sit tall on the front row seats with an armrest for each one separately. There is sufficient headroom and legroom even for tall people. The side support on the seat could have been better. The rear seat space too is decent and three people sit without any squeeze. The centre tunnel for the second row is almost flat and makes it convenient for tall people. The three row has jump seats and these are good for thin people or children. Access to get in and out of the jump seats is a bit of a hassle.
The features on the TUV300 are in-dash music system, reverse parking sensor, dual airbags and ABS with EBD. The TUV300’s competition offers more features but the USPs of this compact SUV is its space.
The TUV300 comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine called as mHawk80 that churns out 84bhp of power and 230Nm of maximum torque. This engine has been redone completely as it has dual mass flywheel, which has reduced its vibration. The NVH (noise vibration and harshness) is something that Mahindra has to work on, as the noise is quite prominent. The engine is very smooth and it is the ease of driving that makes a strong statement for it. So driving this SUV in city will be easier and there will not much effort required as one doesn’t has to shift gears. We drove the five-speed manual version of the TUV300 and the clutch was light and easy to drive. The TUV300 also comes with a five-speed AMT (automated manual transmission), however we haven’t got our hands it yet.
The best bit about the TUV300 is the ease of driving in city. You do not require to downshift that often. There is generally enough torque to pull the TUV300 and overtaking is easier. The TUV300 has a good torque that has make it a lot drivable in city, on highway it feels a bit out of steam if you push it too hard. The engine refinement is excellent for a diesel engine and what we appreciate the ease of driving. One sits in a commanding position and there is a clear view of the road. The TUV300 gear box is a bit too notchy, especially for reverse, this is something that needs some work done.
It is a bit too early to say anything about the fuel efficiency and we will do a detailed review of the TUV300, where we will also get the fuel efficiency of this compact SUV.
Our only experience of the TUV300 was on Mahindra test track, which has sooth roads. So, we can’t comment in detail about the ride quality of this compact SUV. The handling of the TUV300 isn’t something to rave about. It is good within city limits, however on the winding roads you won’t enjoy it much. Considering the dimensions of the SUV, it has a high centre of gravity. There is a lot of body roll, and it very evident as well. The steering wheel is hydraulic and still light and good to grip. It is proper in size and even the road visibility from the driver’s seat is very good. You feel in a commanding position.
|Max. Power (bhp/rpm)||84/3750|
|Max. torque (Nm/rpm)||230/1500|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||60|
|Tyre size||215/75 R15|
|Intellipark Reverse Assist||Yes|
|Driver Information System||Yes|
|Static Bending Headlamps||Yes|
|Voice Messaging System||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Max. Power (bhp/rpm)||84/3750||90/3750|
|Max. torque (Nm/rpm)||230/1500||204/2000|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||60||52|
|Tyre size||215/75 R15||205 / 60 R16|
The range topping TUV300 costs Rs 9.12 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). This is a bit steep for its price vis-à-vis features. But what you get a tough product with good space and well-powered engine. If your driving is more in bad terrains, than the TUV300 should be your pick as the monocoque chassis competition might just not do well there.
For those who are out to buy something that is compact and rugged, the TUV300 fits in perfectly. This SUV ticks most of the correct boxes. Mahindra has ensured this SUV is safe and has used material is absolutely safe and it passes the current and future Indian crash test norms.