2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift Review
A growing family needs a larger vehicle and a typically boxy looking three row seat car should do just fine. Its utility aspect can range from buying grocery, weekend getaways or even transporting a budding sports team. Pair it with adventure lifestyle and an SUV makes complete sense.
India’s favorite SUV maker is back with a new form of their erstwhile segment leader XUV500, which proved to be a real game changer for the brand post its launch in 2011. A unique cheetah inspired design, host of features inside and an aggressive price made the XUV500 a poster boy of SUVs in India.
The 2015 upgrade gets a revised design with more premium trims. Retaining the mechanicals, the new facelift is the first important change since its launch making it more modern in terms of overall appeal and also to unify the language seen on their new generation SUVs, which started with the new Scorpio. Our first impression on the new age Mahindra XUV500 is here.
It was the Mahindra XUV500 which brought in a fresh take on SUVs in terms of design. It drew wild inspirations from Cheetah making it look very unique. The facelift carries forward the same inspiration but with revised profiles on the front face. The dual barrel headlight cluster features new LED guide lights, which are not DRLs; it replaces the previous LED strip seen under the headlights. It also gets static bending cornering lamps neatly placed behind the halogens, light up only while steering the vehicle to either sides.
There is a brand new and more upmarket radiator grille finished in piano black with chrome accent. To make it shine a bit more than before, there is more chrome around the new fog lamp housing along with glossy black angular inserts replacing the whiskers of the cheetah for a cleaner front. The front bumper gets more of rounded contours than cut edge scoops as seen earlier. This gives it a more muscular and well defined look. There is also an aluminium finished bash plate under the front bumper.
The new bonnet design has given the messy lines a miss for a tidy layout. It gets a subtle bulge on both the sides running parallel to the strong and macho front wheel arch. Importantly, it gets a hydraulic assist removing the need to flex your muscles and lift it. There is a minor change on the new door handles design. The distinct shoulder line, which gives the side a bold profile, gets a mild chrome line running along the glass area.
Blackened pillars with a larger greenhouse area makes the side look longer than it actually is. There are new multi-spoke 17 inch alloys to give more character to the side. Special mention of the new puddle lamps tucked inside the ORVMs, a premium and useful feature, projects the brand name on ground surface.
The rear doesn’t get much of a change except for a new chrome appliqué above the number plate. See it closely and you would notice the multiple tribal logos on the tail lamp, seen earlier, have been replaced by only one now. It continues to get twin exhaust pipes placed under the rear bumper. The new XUV500 is available in seven shades, with two brand new shades names Sunset Orange and Pearl White. My favourite still remains the Opulent Purple.
The inside of the earlier XUV500 was not much of a mood pleaser as the walnut coloured trims felt out of place and the same experience went a bit further with those red ambience lights. However, it is not any similar in the new age XUV500 with the new scheme of things.
The dashboard now adopts a more refreshing and premium dual tone beige and black colours, running all along the cabin. It surely has made a lot of difference as it is no longer is an eye soar. It feels more airy too. There are not many changes in the overall structure but the quality of buttons and knobs has improved. The earlier rough edges around the buttons have been replaced by well finished ones.
Twin pod instrumental cluster doesn’t get any update except for a new colour of backlight. It is the central infotainment which has got many new additions. Firstly, the size of the screen has got larger and importantly, the user interface has got a complete makeover. It looks the best in class with detailed view of every option. The 7” touchscreen infotainment screen has a better resolution and is very convenient to operate. It helps occupants connect phones, pair music, use navigation and also gives detailed information regarding periodic servicing of the vehicle with the help of Mahindra Apps compatible with any smart phone.
Among the new features inside the XUV500, there is a 6-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat. Sure, it has added to the convenience bit. Accessing the buttons might not be easy but is still doable. The seats, stitched in beige leather, are very comfortable with enough support all over. The second row seat has sufficient legroom. It is the third row seat where the lack of space if felt. Use it for stowing luggage or make kids sit and the issue is sorted.
Tiny bits which again contribute to make the cabin feel more engaging include racy looking aluminium pedals and illuminated scuff plates with XUV500 etched on it. Also, now a standard, the top end variant is offered with a sunroof. The features list of the XUV500 is simply impressive as none in its league can match up to the sheer number of options offered.
The earlier version had a fine working engine but owners weren’t too happy with the way the XUV500 handled on highways, it was too lethargic to be driven in city as the low end power band felt numb and yes, the braking wasn’t all that great. Mahindra has tightened all these loose ends to make it suit the tag in a better way.
The figures remains same as the mHawk 140 Diesel Engine makes 140 bhp of power and 330Nm of torque. It comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is a new engine cover with strong lettering to make it look tidier than before and a new hydraulic assist much like more premium SUVs, small yet effective touch there.
Shifting through those gears wasn’t an easy task earlier as it felt heavy and notchy. They have addressed this issue by improving the shift quality and also better the final ratio. This has affected the efficiency numbers, which has gone up marginally and also made it easier to drive inside the city with a stronger delivery at lower engine revs.
The top of the line W10 variant gets push button start/stop with keyless entry, voice activated commands and alerts and Electric Sunroof with Anti-pinch. It also gets Brake Energy Regeneration working in tandem with the alternator to make use of the energy generated while breaking of the vehicle.
The motor doesn’t feel any different too drive except for minor refinement. Unlike its closest SUV rival, this one feels more on toes when the throttle is whipped. It generates sufficient power to bring motion of a higher momentum without making the outer shell roll and swivel in random directions and there is a simple reason behind it. The XUV500 makes use of a monocoque body and thus, everything is bind together strongly.
To make it feel more stable on highways and to further improve the potential of its suspension setup, the shock absorber springs have been tweaked to a great extent. Throw it on a pothole, make it climb uneven surfaces and then do a sudden steer, everything is dealt with great ease except for the last one, where the body roll interrupts the well found dynamics.
Even the in gear acceleration feels a lot better. The shift quality could have been better as the lighter clutch makes it eager to shif often. Impressive is how the motor keeps generating strong numbers, no matter what gear you hooked on to. The steering compliments this by being correctly weighted at lower speeds and then getting a bit heavy at higher speeds. Giving the occupants enough confidence are the four break discs mounted on all four wheels and also the parallel running stability programme, to make sure you are in safe hands or paws always.
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 3750|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||330 / 1600-2800|
|Gears||6 - MT|
|Wheel base mm||2700|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||NA|
|Ground clearance mm||NA|
|Fuel tank capacity L||70|
|Tyre Spec||235 / 65 R17|
|Features||W4||W8 / W8-AWD||W10 / W10-AWD|
|Dual Airbags (Driver + Passenger)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Side & Curtain Airbags||No||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Rollover Mitigation||No||Yes||Yes|
|Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control||No||Yes||Yes|
|Fully Automatic Temperature Control (FATC)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically Operated Temperature Control with Dual HVAC||Yes||No||No|
|Tilt Power Steering||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|18cm (7") Colour Touchscreen Infotainment Display with GPS, USB (Audio/video), Bluetooth Audio, Handsfree Call, ipod Connectivity & Picture Viewer||No||Yes||Yes|
|15 cm (6") Monochrome Infotainment Display with USB, Bluetooth Audio, Handsfree Call, ipod Connectivity & Integrated Music System with CD (MP3)||No||No||No|
|Single Row LCD Display||Yes||No||No|
|Static Bending Headlamps||No||Yes||Yes|
|Projector Headlamps with Light Guides||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cruise, Audio, Phone & Voice Commands on Steering||No||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||W10 AWD||Pride 4x4||110 PS RxL AWD|
|Power in PS/RPM||140 / 3750||147 / 4000||108 / 3900|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||330 / 1600-2800||320 / 1500||248 / 2250|
|Gears||6 - MT||5 - MT||6 - MT|
|Wheel base mm||2700||2850||2673|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||NA||NA||1290|
|Ground clearance mm||200||200||205|
|Fuel tank capacity L||70||60||50|
|Tyre Spec||235 / 65 R17||235 / 65 R17||215 / 65 R16|
There was no stopping the Mahindra XUV500 as even after four years post its launch; it enjoys a unique dominance with no equal rivals. The new list of features with added oomph on the outside surely makes it more desirable than before. The new age XUV500 is available at a price of Rs 11,13,033 for W4, while the fuly loaded W10 AWD comes at Rs 15,85,406 (ex-showroom Mumbai)