Mahindra XUV500 has been a popular name in the Indian SUV market ever since its launch in 2011 and was probably the first SUV to enter a price segment that was dominated by sedans. Likes of Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia were a popular buy in this segment and with the increase in demand for SUVs, Mahindra was able to cater to consumer requirements such as SUV stance and 7-seat options with its XUV500. 7 years down the line, Mahindra’s leadership position in the UV space has been challenged by Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra has replied back strongly with the new Mahindra XUV500 facelift and increased its premium quotient.
Mahindra has started the new financial year 2018-19 in style, The XUV500 in its new avatar is fresh, bold and more powerful. Overall, Mahindra has rolled out the new version without investing a lot. This is also probably the last big update on the current generation XUV500. The overall shape of the SUV and its dimensions have not been changed but the changes on the exterior are subtle yet evident. The face of the XUV500 is now more aggressive and matured as the headlamp cluster retains the projector headlamps that also features LED DRLs. The front grille is finished in gloss black and is embedded with chrome studs and the grille also gets chrome lines on the top and the bottom of the grille. The fog lamp cluster also gets a new chrome lining towards the sides. There are no changes to the front bumper though.
Overall, some of the exterior changes on the Mahindra XUV500 look a bit aftermarket but will certainly appeal to the Indian buyers. The biggest change to the exteriors on the 2018 Mahindra XUV500 is done to the rear of the SUV. New taillights, a roof spoiler and a completely redesigned rear add a significant amount of freshness to the character and are worth the upgrade.
Inside the Mahindra XUV500 cabin, the company has now made some necessary changes and thankfully stopped before overdoing it. The all-black dashboard is now neatly designed with the central console finished in piano black. Good quality plastic has been used and leather seats with double cross stitching will appeal the buyer. The screen size of the touchscreen infotainment system is small, the touch response is decent and supports smartphone, smart watch integration, navigation and Android Auto. The position of tweeters is also on the A-pillar inside for enhanced sound quality.
The top-variants of Mahindra XUV500 also get convenient features like auto-headlamp on, auto-wipers and sun-roof. Safety duties are done by six airbags on W11 top-variants and dual airbags and ABS are standard offerings across the range.
There is some nice use of plastic around the cabin and leather seats add to the premium appeal but look more like an aftermarket treatment. The touchscreen infotainment supports smartphone and smartwatch support. Navigation, Android Auto is standard on top-variants, however, the screen size could have had been a little bigger.
The new version of Mahindra XUV gets a huge boost in its power and performance. The engine now makes 15 hp more than the previous model and makes 155hp of power and a maximum torque of 360Nm. Overall, the drive quality gets a big boost and other minor changes have helped the made the car a bit more responsive.
The increase in power has seen a slight decline in the fuel-efficiency of the Mahindra XUV500. The quality of the gear stick though is not impressive and takes away from the driving fun. The same monocoque chassis has been carried forward and there has not been any change to its suspension. The biggest problem for me personally was the not non-aligned handbrake. The handbrake lever inclines towards the driver's side and is not perpendicular to the centre console, which did trigger my OCD.
Mahindra XUV500 also gets a sunroof, auto headlamps and auto wipers, reversing camera with sensors, and six airbags. Mahindra has changed the position of its tweeters too for enhanced audio quality. With all these new features and upgrades the price Mahindra XUV500 has not changed radically but offers an improved experience for the driver and occupants. The diesel version now starts at Rs 12.32 lakh and this top version W11 costs Rs 16.38 lakh. There is also an option of AT gearbox on offer, which makes sense for buyers in large cities.
Mahindra has launched the facelift of the XUV500 ahead at least 2 months ahead of the launch of its rival Hyundai Creta that is due for a facelift in May/June 2018. The new update on Mahindra XUV500 brings some nice freshness on the SUV and while the Hyundai Creta might still find more buyers, the new additions, more power, more features and more chrome will certainly compel both new and existing buyers to upgrade to the new Mahindra XUV500.