Mahindra Marazzo review road test

“This doesn’t feel like a Mahindra at all.” These were my first words when I drove the Mahindra Marazzo MPV at the company’s Nashik test track, While that drive lasted hardly for 15 minutes, it did give me a fair idea of how different the Marazzo was from its ilk. Mahindra claimed at the press conference before the drive that the Marazzo is an all-new product and that it’s North American design team too had a hand in developing the car. So do my first impression as well as Mahindra’s pep talk stand good? Read on to find out in the Mahindra Marazzo review.

 

Mahindra Marazzo review (design and looks)

Inspired by a shark they say. We all know that  the name itself is a spin off from the Basque language. It means shark in the Spanish sub language. The Mahindra Marazzo gets golden brown shark tooth inserts in the grille. This is done in typical Mahindra fashion and is a common element in almost all of their cars. The projector headlights look nicely shaped while the DRLs are placed as an extension of the fog light enclosure. They look nicely done and are lit up even with the handbrake on (Hyundai cars don’t). Mover over to the side and you will notice the well fashioned 17-inch alloys as well as the kink in the design. At the rear, the lights seem inspired from the Lodgy but are a tad bigger.

Mahindra Marazzo review

 

Mahindra Marazzo review

Mahindra Marazzo review

By default, I ended up searching for the boot handle under the thick chrome slab. However, its position is slightly below that of the chrome slab. Overall, I liked the way the Marazzo has been styled. There are shark derived inspirations every where for sure including the antenna. During the Mahindra Marazzo review, we found a chunk of the population being inquisitive about the product. It is a good sign.

Mahindra Marazzo review (interior)

Step into the cabin and you will easily be mistaken that this has come from something higher up and not. The leatherette seats as well as the white overall upholstery amplifies the spaciousness of the cabin. The front two seats have lumbar adjustment dialled in and have their own arm rests too. Finding an ideal driving position isn’t an issue here. The upper part of the dashboard is done in gloss black with a few graphic elements thrown in. You will also notice the aircraft-styled lever masquerading as a handbrake. There are a couple of USB as well as charging slots in the cabin. There is also the Nexon-styled sliding storage space behind the handbrake.

Mahindra Marazzo review

The instrument console of the Marazzo too is new and features a purple outline. These dials are informative and provide for a lot of information too like range, distance to empty, trip meters, speed and more. There is also a speed alert which chirps for a couple of times at 100kmph and then goes off. The multi function steering wheel too is new and has got cruise control, trip meter reset, Bluetooth calling and the likes.

Mahindra Marazzo review

One can opt for a seven or eight seat configuration with the Mahindra Marazzo. However, the top-spec M8 trim doesn’t come with an eight seater option. There are captain seats in the second row and a bench at the rear. About seating space, the Mahindra Marazzo definitely doesn’t lack in space. The second row even with the driver’s seat set to my preference had enough legroom. Even the last row is decently comfortable, however the rising beltline might make one feel claustrophobic.

Mahindra Marazzo review

Mahindra has used roof mounted AC controls which have the vents placed to the sides and not at the centre. This unique arrangement works in real life and the second as well as third row passengers will have no issues whatsoever. There are also cup holders on the sides for the third bench passengers as well as proper seat belts. With all the seats in place, the boot capacity is 190 litres.

Mahindra Marazzo review

Mahindra Marazzo review

In our tests though, the climate control system failed to cool the cabin adequately. This could be a one-off issue with our test unit. Less air flow was also noticed from the driver side vent.

Mahindra Marazzo review (features explained)

Before we explain what Mahindra offers with the Marazzo, let’s see what they have missed. For starters, there is no door request sensor, no push button start, auto dimming mirror, dedicated door lock/unlock, powered driver’s seat and height adjustable front seat belts. Heck, there isn’t even auto headlights or wipers either.

Mahindra Marazzo review

What Mahindra offers as part of standard features in the M8 trim are a cooled glovebox, multiple USB ports, climate control. sun shades for the second row as well as power windows with the driver having auto up and down function. The 8.0-inch touchscreen music system has got haptic as well as capacitive touch sensitivity.  It has got six speakers, Android Auto, navigation, Eco Sense, climate control display and voice recognition system. Of course, it will also play music through Aux and USB as well. Navigation menu can also be seen between the twin meter dials as well. There is a sunglass holder as well as a separate conversation mirror provision.

Mahindra Marazzo review (features glitches)

The issue with the music system is that it randomly turns off the display when the headlights are switched on. This seems to be a minor electrical glitch but is noticeable. Music quality too is passable but not the best in class. The handbrake is a tad hard to operate and fouls with the USB ports or devices that need to be plugged in. The open tray on the top of the dash is a tad hard to reach and since it is without a lid, things kept there will definitely get baked in the sun.

Mahindra Marazzo review (engine and transmission)

Mahindra has used an all-new engine in the Marazzo. This engine is from the Falcon series, first seen in the KUV100. Its cubic capacity is 1,500cc and it makes 123PS of power and 300Nm of torque. Mahindra claims its Euro-VI or BS-VI ready but not compliant at the moment. A slick shifting 6-speed gearbox sends power to the front wheels. Mahindra claims a fuel efficiency of 17.3kmpl from the Marazzo. There is also the Eco mode that restricts power to 100PS. However, there is no Eco start stop button.

Mahindra Marazzo review

In terms of driveability, the engine isn’t as torquey as the other Mahindra vehicles. In fact, it is easy to stall the car when getting off first or even when trying to get over a speedbreaker in second gear. The clutch is super light and the gear shifts positively as well. However, the gear throw is a bit long. Engine noise too is well suppressed and given the strides Mahindra has taken in this aspect, we salute their efforts. Around 1,800rpm, the engine comes into its own element and manages to move the car ahead in a hurried fashion. While I am not cent per cent sure, moving six people around will take a bit of shifting gears more often in traffic.

We tested the vehicle using Indizel diesel. Indizel’ is a drop-in fuel which is made from bio-oils like UCO, non- edible oils and others and on a standalone basis meets an existing high-speed diesel specification without any modifications. 

It meets the engine manufacturer’s fuel quality standards like EN 590 (European), BS-VI (Indian), World Wide Fuel Charter Category 4 Diesel standards and Euro 6 emission norms. The company claims that it can be used in the vehicles without any limits as a stand-alone fuel. All engine manufacturers extend the warranty on this the fuel as it meets the diesel standard as opposed to a biofuel standard.
The result was a 0.4kmpl increase in fuel efficiency over regular fuel. There however was no perceptible difference in the smoothness of the powertrain. The overall efficiency we got from the Marazzo using Indizel was 14.4kmpl. The top speed was around 157kmph, after which the engine becomes a bit loud in operation.
Mahindra Marazzo review (ride and handling)
Mahindra has used a body on frame chassis for the Marazzo. Typically, this arrangement is famous with ruggedness, however in the process it adds on weight as well. As you know, more weight means more power expended in moving the mass. This in turn affects the fuel efficiency and lowers it. So Mahindra engineers used a hybrid chassis which combines the good bits from a monocoque as well as ladder frame. The engine as discussed earlier sends power to the front wheels thereby gaining on the fuel efficiency front. This has also helped with the ride and handling aspect.
Mahindra Marazzo review
The steering is very light at city speeds, a surprise for a Mahindra product. This helps immensely when negotiating traffic or while making quick turns. The visibility from the cabin all around is fantastic too. However, the steering wheel becomes only slightly heavy even at higher speeds. This kind of takes away the confidence of piloting this car at the top of its performance band. Handling this 4.5-metre long vehicle is as easy as it gets. Push it though and you will be greeted with body roll that will ask you to take things in an easy manner.
Mahindra Marazzo review
Ride quality from the  double wishbone and twist beam suspension at the front and rear respectively is very good. At low speeds, you will think that the suspension is a bit stiff. However, load the car and the 246mm travel from the rear suspension will suppress potholes without a whimper. It is still no Tata Hexa but better than both the Maruti Ertiga as well as Toyota Innova Crysta.
Mahindra gives all wheel disc brakes on the Marazzo as standard. These work fantastically to bring the Marazzo to a halt quickly. However, pedal feel is a bit spongy towards the end of the travel. ABS with EBD are part of the standard fare too.
Mahindra Marazzo review (safety features)

Mahindra has given the Marazzo the aforementioned features along with cornering lamps, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking sensors, rear camera with dynamic guidelines as well as dual airbags. The latter are standard across the range. The rear view camera may not have great resolution, however it will tell you how much to turn the wheel if you are parallel parking. A display on the infotainment system will also show possible combinations. Speaking of which, after you have parked the Marazzo and haven’t straightened out the wheel, the vehicle will warn you once you restart it. It will tell you which way to straighten it as well. This was earlier available only in a few Hyundai vehicles.

Mahindra Marazzo review

Additionally like Ford vehicles, this one too has an emergency calling feature should the car be involved in a crash. This will send out emergency distress signals to pre-fed numbers from the driver’s contact list.

Given that the Marazzo is a big vehicle, Mahindra could have added four additional airbags in the top M8 trim. The company though says that the vehicle is compliant with all the norms that are expected to set in 2020. This includes, side, pedestrian as well as frontal offset collision norms.

Mahindra Marazzo review (verdict)

Buy it I say!It is the best option you got at the moment considering that the Maruti Ertiga is small while the Innova Crysta is out of reach. Mahindra says that the Marazzo doesn’t have a competition at the moment and it is right. The Renault Lodgy is not doing as well as the manufacturer wants it to and Mahindra is set to take advantage of this for sure. The Mahindra Marazzo is priced between Rs 9.99 lakh to Rs 13.90 lakh, ex-Mumbai. There are four variants – M2, M4, M6 and M8. The difference between prices of the seven and eight seater variants is Rs 5,000. The Mahindra Marazzo colour options are Mariner Maroon, Poseidon Purple, Aqua Marine, Iceberg White, Oceanic Black and Shimmering Silver.

Mahindra Marazzo review

This is one of the best and well rounded Mahindra products to have come out in a long time. It has got a refined engine, clean shifting manual gearbox, decent mix of ride and handling as well as is very comfortable. Couple this with the three years/unlimited kilometres warranty. There are also a host of genuine accessories to choose from as well. These will however bump up the Rs 16.5 lakh on-road Mumbai price to around Rs 18-20 lakh depending on the package chosen. But, I tell you, it is the best people mover you can find at the moment and perhaps the best product from Mahindra so far.

 

Things we like about the Mahindra Marazzo

Comfortable interior, decently kitted, brilliant ride quality

 

Things we didn’t like about the Mahindra Marazzo

Could have more features, few niggles exist, engine tends to stall if one isn’t careful all the time

 

Trivia: A birdie in the know told me that the Mahindra Marazzo development which began four years ago was inspired by many other cars. These cars may not necessarily be competing ones but their features were studied in detail and incorporated into the Marazzo.

Images by Donald Dsouza

 

 

 

 

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