2019 Mahindra XUV300 Test Drive Review
- Published On: 5 February 2019
- 7 min read
The XUV300 is a compact SUV from Mahindra with feature-loaded interiors and punchy engines.
The compact SUV segment has seen a lot of action lately and buyers are now spoilt for choice with a plethora of options. Now Mahindra is entering the segment with a monocoque offering (it already has body on frame sub-4-metre SUVs to compete with the established rivals). The Mahindra XUV300 is a compact SUV which boasts of the most torque and features in the segment but is it enough to unsettle the top-selling Maruti Vitara Brezza, the enthusiast's choice Ford EcoSport and India's safest car the Tata Nexon?
Exteriors - The design of the Mahindra XUV300 has a lot of pleasing elements, right from the bold look with strong lines on the side to the projector headlight which has a DRL along with another DRL which joins the fog lamp on the bumper. The top-spec W8 trim gets 17-inch wheels which look really good while our test car came equipped with a dual-tone colour scheme. The XUV300 gets a floating roof appearance the body cladding all-around reduces the visual bulk to quite an extent, this car is indeed a looker.
Interiors - The Mahindra XUV300 has an attractive cabin with the dual-tone dashboard having plenty of buttons in the centre. The instrument cluster's lights can be changed with 5 colours available and can be set individually for day or night. The car also gets many segment first features such as a dual-zone climate control AC with memory function, 7 airbags including a knee airbag for the driver, heated rearview mirrors, front parking sensors, rear disc brakes, seat belt reminder for all seats and a smart steering system.
The XUV300 also gets a sunroof, alloy wheels (the spare wheel is a steel wheel though), reverse parking camera with voice and text guidance, passive entry, push-button start, micro-hybrid system, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, etc. The vehicle's artificial leather seats offer a good amount of comfort but under-thigh support is lacking while space at the rear is decent, it's not the segment best in spite of the car boasting of the most legroom in the segment. The boot space is less and a parcel shelf is missing too.
This Mahindra comes with a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system which gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, audio quality is just about average which is a bit disappointing considering the XUV300 wows you over in all other aspects. There is also a BlueSense app which works with smartphones and smartwatches, enabling you to control various parameters along with giving you an Eco score. The vehicle also gets 3D maps for navigation.
Performance - The Mahindra XUV300 is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol engine (110 BHP, 200 Nm) and a 1.5-litre diesel engine (115 BHP, 300 Nm), it has the most torque in the segment. We tested the oil burner which is by far the best in the segment as it feels very punchy and offers great performance right from the get-go. Low-end lag is well contained, the mid-range is the strongest part of this powertrain as it pulls strongly between 2000 to 3000 RPM, post which progress dulls and there isn't much of a top-end. The motor is quite refined but gets vocal as you push it in the top-end. The 6-speed gearbox isn't the smoothest with shifts but the clutch is light. Owing to the higher power, the XUV300's mileage isn't the best in the segment, it's expected to return between 12-15 km/l.
Driving Dynamics - The XUV300 uses the X100 platform with Mahindra having achieved a great balance of ride and handling. The vehicle absorbs most of the bumps in its stride and the suspension is very compliant. Meanwhile, the handling is good too and the body roll is well contained. The steering also offers good feel with the modes making a difference to the feedback on offer. The XUV300 remains stable at speed and the brakes are extremely good.
Verdict - The Mahindra XUV300 is a compact SUV which offers a whole lot of bang for the buck. It performs well, the diesel engine gives exciting performance and the dynamics are excellent too. Certain things could have been better like the plastics are too hard, the audio system's output isn't great and rear AC vents are missing too. But for those who want a fun to drive compact SUV without compromising on equipment, the XUV300 is difficult to beat, it is one of the best cars in the segment.