Mahindra XUV300 diesel review road test

I got to tell you this. If you aren’t interested in reading long reviews, I wouldn’t blame you. After all, there are many who prefer answers in one line or perhaps in a yes or no format. Is the Mahindra XUV300 diesel worth buying then? Long form answer, you will have to scroll down and see. Short form answer; yes. Now that you know the answer, you can choose to read the entire story on why or just leave the page thinking its a paid deal from the manufacturer.

Mahindra XUV300

Mahindra XUV300 diesel drive experience

You start the retuned 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine and be ready to be amazed by the refinement on offer. Right from the days of the TUV300’s engine, Mahindra has more or less mastered the craft of lower NVH levels. The clutch effort for most of their diesel offerings too now is on the lower side. Both these factors contribute to lower stress levels while driving.

Unlike the Marazzo, the XUV300 diesel needn’t be prodded to get it moving. It moves ahead smartly. The 6-speed gearbox too is perfect. It slots in neatly and smoothly. I made a friend who owns a Brezza drive the XUV300. This was the first thing that he mentioned to me after the drive. His words, “How did Mahindra make such a smooth gearbox?” Pretty sure that this is testimony to the efforts made by Mahindra engineers. Getting back to the engine. It is tractable and for the most part, in the city, you will end up using second or third gear. This was the same case with the XUV300 petrol as well. The sudden stalling experienced with the Marazzo too is gone.

If you spot a gap in the traffic, the diesel engine is happy enough to oblige and close the gap. This without even having to flex all the 115 horses or making lot of noise. The 300Nm torque does the trick here. The punchy bottom and mid-end of this engine ensures that long distance hauls will not be a problem with the Mahindra XUV300 diesel. I found the top end to be a bit lacking. However, more often than not, the XUV300 will be used as a city vehicle and it outshines here.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the XUV300, being a heavy vehicle than others in its category, delivered a combined mileage of 18.7kmpl. In the city, the efficiency is around 13.6kmpl while out on the highway it marginally increases primarily due to low traffic conditions.

Ride and handling of the Mahindra XUV300 diesel

The SUV is set up a bit stiffly. This translates to a not-so absorptive ride quality if you travel solo. However, with a shotgun in place, the ride quality miraculously turns supple. I was dropping a friend and family to the airport. At one stretch near the airport, we decided to explore the ground clearance and rugged DNA that Mahindra is known for. Only the two of us sitting in the front saw the roads ahead while the rest at the back were sleeping. Even through that rough surface, the ones at the back slept through it. They didn’t even realise that we went through innumerable potholes. All this while carrying around speeds of 20-25kmph.

In terms of handling prowess, the XUV300 is not the sportiest in its class. This though isn’t going to be bothersome either. The Mahindra XUV300 does roll around a bit if you carry more than average speeds but it isn’t alarming. The steering gets three different modes. Normal, Comfort and Sport. These alter the steering weight in a slight manner. It is more noticeable if you’re driving on the highway. In the city, it is barely registers. Manuevering the XUV300 diesel is even easier than say even any Hyundai hatchback. You know what I am hinting at here. Yes, it is the ultra light steering wheel.

Moreover, cruising around at 120kmph will barely take the rpm needle to around 2,200. At this speed, only the hardest of bumps filter in. Space in the cabin may seem at a premium, however the XUV300 boasts the largest wheelbase of the compact SUVs. For a person as tall as me, the legspace or even the headroom may not be enough. However, if you are an average sized adult, the XUV300 will not disappoint you. The cabin has good width, so three abreast will not be uncomfortable. The boot while not being cavernous, is still large enough to carry two suitcases and at a pinch, few more bags.

Negatives of the XUV300 diesel

If by now you realised, I love the XUV300. However, no vehicle is perfect but the XUV300 is as close to perfection as it gets. That being said, Mahindra could have added rear AC vents. In the Mumbai heat, the cabin takes a bit longer to cool and rear vents would have helped immensely. The music system is average and it is highly recommended that you upgrade to better speakers.

Verdict of the XUV300 diesel

Many a reader or even the guest drivers who drove the car commented that the Rs 14.89 lakh on-road Mumbai price for the W8 (O) is too high. I would have agreed with them. However, if you look at the equipment on offer as well as the fun-to-drive characteristics of this SUV, you will immediately want to buy it. Well, if you wonder why I haven’t spoken about the styling or even the features, then there are multiple stories that I have done before on the same. To sum it up, the vehicle looks very compact, almost like a hopped hatchback. The feature list is too expansive that it will even put those bigger SUVs in the same price bracket to shame.

If you’re in the market for a compact SUV, do drive the XUV300. After driving the petrol a couple of months ago, I was certain that the diesel will not hold anything special since it has the same Marazzo engine. However, to say that I was blown away by it is an understatement. To me, the XUV300 is the complete SUV. That ruggedness it brings along is a welcome change too. The Brezza may be a corner carver but who really goes doing that everyday. I guess, the Mahindra XUV300 will be the new king of the small SUV segment then.

Things we like about the Mahindra XUV300 diesel

Diesel engine, very easy to drive, equipment list

Things we don’t like about the Mahindra XUV300 diesel

No rear AC vents, average music system, dealer network

Images by Donald Dsouza

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