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We reviewed the diesel-powered Mahindra XUV300 a few months back and were impressed with the package on offer. There is more than ample punch on offer from the diesel engine and it makes the XUV300 a fun to drive compact SUV. But is this true for the petrol version as well? We drove it for a few days in and around Delhi and here is our verdict.
We won’t divulge too deep into the design or the interiors of the petrol model as there are no changes here. We discussed this in length during the diesel model’s review in Feb earlier this year. The XUV300 is a bold and muscular looking compact SUV and is based on the SsangYong Tivoli. SsangYong is a Korean brand and Mahindra holds a majority stake in this global manufacturer. The version you see here is the top spec W8 model with the Option Pack that adds in smarter 17-inch alloy wheels and other exterior details like a dual tone color scheme for the roof rails.
Step inside the XUV300 petrol and the cabin continues to give you a good initial impression. This is a wide SUV and sense of space is definitely visible. While we love the comfortable seats and overall visibility, quality of materials could have been better in our opinion. Passengers continue to be pampered with class leading features like dual zone air-conditioning, smart watch connectivity, sunroof and leather seats. However, as stated by us in the diesel review, there are no rear air-con vents, audio quality is average and the XUV300 suffers from lack of enough space in the boot.
But the talking point here is the heart of the matter. The diesel XUV300 impressed us with its punchy performance and this is why we had high expectations when this one arrived at our office. This is the same 1.2-litre petrol mill that powers the little KUV100 but is in a completely different state of tune. This along with a turbo-charger means power and torque figures have gone up immensely. While the same engine makes 82 bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque under the hood of the KUV, in here it makes 110 horses and 200 Nm of torque. That’s a hike of 35% and 74% respectively! Second change is the gearbox with the XUV300 getting a 6-speed transmission as compare to 5 on the KUV.
Impressed already? So, while the 1.0 turbo-petrol of the EcoSport makes more power at 123 bhp, the petrol Nexon has the same power rating. But it's the torque that matters here with the XUV300 beating its rivals hands down. It even manages to churn out 30% higher torque than the Creta 1.6 petrol! And these figures are just not visible on paper but in real world driving scenarios too. We had the car with us for a good four days and drove it in various driving conditions. For starters, you will appreciate the light clutch and easy gear shifts. Next, the steering, in comfort mode, is feather light and this combined with the peppy engine makes this a fuss-free car in terms of driving.
The XUV300 petrol picks up speeds easily from as low as 1200-1400 rpm and just when it hits the 1750-2000 rpm mark, it gains a new found momentum, pushing you back into the seat and gaining speeds very quickly. For the record, we got a 0-60 time of under 6 seconds and a 0-100 km/h sprint was dispatched in 14 seconds. For a car that weighs a lot and has a 1200cc engine, these figures are more than acceptable. During daily office commutes too, owners will appreciate the fact that you don’t need to downshift often to gain in on gaps in traffic.
Another area where the XUV300 petrol scores a lot is the refinement department. This is a 3-cylinder motor and exhibited no unwanted vibes or harshness that is often associated with a 3-pot mil. Of course, it does sound like one and even pedal to metal, the cabin remains devoid of any ‘sporty’ music whatsoever. So, while insulation inside is terrific, enthusiasts will miss the sound of a typical four-cylinder engine. Lastly, the company claims this one delivers 17 km per liter of fuel under test conditions and given the ample torque lower down in the rev range, you should expect an easy 11-13 kmpl in typical driving scenarios.
Prices for the petrol XUV300 start at Rs 7.9 lakh which is about 61,000 less than the diesel line-up. There isn’t a much difference in terms of pricing as you can see but this one will appeal to petrol heads. Its smooth enough, has ample torque on offer and delivers decent fuel economy too. So, if your monthly running is less than 1500km or so, the petrol XUV300 definitely should be on your priority list in this segment.
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