Mahindra XUV700 first test: India-designed, tech-driven, driver-friendly SUV


Mahindra and Mahindra have brought to our home market some of the best-selling and most recognized SUVs of all time, from the Scorpio to the Thar. But there is one product that Mahindra has put a lot of energy into, making it a flagship in the brand’s rich heritage, spanning nearly 75 years. Not only is this the very first SUV to carry the brand’s new logo, but it also highlights Mahindra’s dramatic transformation from a rustic SUV maker to a brand at the forefront of technology. . I’m talking about the Mahindra XUV700, an SUV that promises a new era for Mahindra and also for Indian manufacturers. We recently had the chance to test this new SUV on another technological marvel from Mahindra – the new Mahindra SUV Test Track (MSPT). Here is our first review of the Mahindra XUV700.

Design

Now, before I talk about the design of the XUV700 in detail, I must point out the new Mahindra logo. This new double-peaked, chrome-treated 3D design looks crisp and youthful, something Mahindra wants to associate with its SUVs in the future. But that’s what the future holds for Mahindra. The present is the XUV700 and it will not disappoint you with its looks.

The size is more or less the same as the XUV 500, but the new elements make it look more premium. At the front are the large C-shaped LED daytime running lights with LED headlamps and a grille with large vertical slats. The sides receive 18-inch alloys on the top trim and a set of body lines to emphasize the sporty stance. The rear receives arrowhead LED taillights with sequential indicators front and rear.

Mahindra XUV700 gets the new Mahindra logo. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

But the highlight of the XUV700 has to be the flush door handles, or in layman’s terms, the door handles recessed into the bodywork that pop out with just one push and give the car a clean, modern look. We’ve seen these design cues on expensive luxury vehicles, but kudos to Mahindra for bringing it to a mass segment vehicle. Although they take some getting used to and increase the effort to open the door, they are fun to use and watch.

Cabin

While the Mahindra XUV700’s exterior is new and eye-catching, it seems Mahindra’s goal was to make the XUV700’s cabin as attractive as possible. What Mahindra has done here with the cabin of the XUV700 is something exceptional and unheard of in the mass segment. You get a lot of top or best-in-class features like the dual 10.25-inch smart displays, one for infotainment and the other for the digital cockpit, plus Mahindra’s very first connected technology called AdreNOX, Sony’s very first integrated surround sound system and so on. .

Mahindra XUV700 cabin. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

And the list of features is endless! The door-mounted electronic seat buttons and screen layout remind you of Mercedes-Benz cars and how cool it is for a sub-Rs 20 lakh vehicle. You also get a panoramic sunroof, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Alexa connectivity, built-in navigation, dual-zone air conditioning, electric parking brake, and a 12-speaker surround sound system.

Even the dashboard layout and trims are pleasing and soothing to the eyes. You get leather and soft-touch materials throughout and a two-tone cabin with a wood finish on the dashboard and door panels. The fit and finish is also commendable given the previous Mahindra cars we’ve seen. Although there are still improvements to be made, as the doors need a strong push to close properly.

Mahindra XUV700 middle row seats. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

Mahindra also played it well by offering two seating configurations in the XUV700 to cater for a large audience, a 5-seater cabin and a 7-seater cabin. We had the chance to drive the 7-seater version in a 2 + 3 + 2-seater configuration. The seat in the last row was not suitable for my height (5’10 “), it should be called 5 + 2 seats, as there is enough space for 2 children at best.

The only gray area I have encountered with the XUV500 and now in the XUV700 is the boot space. It’s negligible with the 3rd row up. But the good news is that the rear seats can be folded flat in the 7-seater variant for more space. The middle row offers generous leg, head and shoulder room, while the 3rd row has its individual climate buttons. On the practical side, it’s not a very generous vehicle, but does its job to a decent standard.

Mahindra XUV700 trunk with 50:50 split third row seat. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

Motor

There are two engine options in the XUV700, a 2.0-liter petrol engine and a 2.2-liter diesel engine. Both get a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. While the gasoline unit produces 200 hp and 380 NM across the board, the 2.2-liter diesel gets various combinations of horsepower and torque depending on which variant you choose. The base MX version gets 155PS and 360NM of torque while the AX series gets 185PS and 420NM for the manual versions and 450NM for the automatic versions.

Although there is an optional all-wheel drive system, the diesel engine has four drive modes – Zip, Zap, Zoom, and Custom. To be quite frank, I was impressed with the overall driving dynamics of the XUV700 and found it quite powerful, mellow, and driver friendly. The ergonomics are not the best in the class, but you get used to it quickly.

Mahindra XUV700 6-speed manual gearbox. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

The steering is a bit lighter for my taste but does its job well for a vehicle of this size. The element of surprise was the levels of body roll and NVH, especially in the diesel engine, both of which were kept at bay and a welcome change from previous Mahindra cars. The gear ratio is a bit low for the manual unit and you need to change gears quickly to avoid a stall.

Security

Let’s also take a moment to talk about the unsung hero, vehicle safety tech and the XUV700 gets a lot of it including 7 airbags, driver drowsiness alert and much more. The advanced driver assistance system is also offered, making it the most affordable car in India to get ADAS with features like emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, assist keeping the way among many others. Other technologies include a 360 degree camera and a blind spot monitor on the instrument screen.

Mahindra XUV700 rear quarter. (Image: Arjit Garg / News18.com)

Verdict

We’ve seen the best of Mahindra, we’ve seen the worst of Mahindra, but after driving the XUV700 I can easily say we see a completely different Mahindra. Put simply, the Mahindra XUV700 is basically a more sophisticated version of the XUV500 and has all the tech imaginable in a vehicle under Rs 40 Lakh, as well as exceptional driving dynamics. At a starting price of Rs 11.99 Lakh, Mahindra has also made the XUV700 a value for money offering, openly targeting all 5 and 7 seater SUVs in India priced between Rs 10 and 20. lakh.

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