Despite the apparent state of decline being experienced by the Indian automotive industry, there seems to be a sudden surge of interest in the SUV segment, as exhibited by the increasing sales figures. One car that can be given due credit for this is the Mahindra XUV.
Launched in 2011, the XUV was one of the best-selling vehicles in the sub-20-lakh vehicle segment. Mahindra aimed to capitalize on the popularity of the model by releasing an updated version in 2013. Major features such as climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, SatNav, and steering-mounted music controls are carried forward from the previous model. Conversely, the front fog lamps have undergone a major makeover, giving it a slightly edgy look.
Loaded with a bevy of features focussed on the safety of the driver and passengers, the XUV 500 comes with brake assist, ABS, EBD, frontal airbags, traction control, and cruise control, among other features. However, side air-bags seem to have been surprisingly left out. The anti-glare rear view mirrors are however a nice touch, making sure driver using high-beams do not hamper with your driving. The updated brakes now provide better control under panic braking. Mahindra have improved on the steering, following which the feedback has greatly improved. Handling is easily much better than that of the previous model, allowing for easy city driving, but also providing extra stability for long-distance drives.
The XUV 500 retains the powertrain from the previous model, with the same 2.2-litre diesel engine providing a sturdy 140 bhp and 330 Nm of torque. However, the six-speed manual box is somewhat awkwardly located, and as in the previous model, gear shifts are somewhat notchy. The XUV manages to hit 100 kph in 12.54 seconds, and maxes out at approximately 175 kph when properly pushed to the limit. In terms of mileage, it is reported to give a healthy 9.8 km with regular city use and 13.5 on the highway for every litre of diesel, as is expected from an SUV of this size
Prices for the XUV start from Rs. 12.5 lakhs for the base model, W4, with Rs. 15.6 lakhs for the W8. The fully loaded sports edition will set you back by at least Rs. 16.8 lakhs (Note that all prices are approximate on-road prices in Mumbai). Although the XUV is a well-built car that should endure a ton of punishment, make sure you select the right motor insurance to go with it in order to protect it from any untoward accidents and disasters.
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