The new XUV5OO has got the bulk befitting an SUV; it’s even got a more powerful engine and drives better, but the cabin design, and to an extent quality, still doesn’t match up to the competition
What is the XUV5OO?
First launched on October 1, 2011—and pronounced as XUV ‘5 double Oh’—it was a Mahindra vehicle that had been designed and developed around the global customer. While previously Mahindra made ladder-on-frame vehicles, the XUV5OO was the company’s first monocoque SUV—a vehicle structure in which the chassis is integral with the body, and thus is stronger structurally. A smart pricing strategy and an ageless design ensured sustainable sales.
How is new XUV5OO different?
Prominent exterior changes include a new grille with chrome inserts, LED DRLs, fog lamps with a refreshing chrome bezel, diamond-cut (235/60 R18) alloy wheels, and a redesigned tailgate with split tail-lamps and a new rear spoiler. The XUV5OO now looks far more menacing, somewhat bigger and slightly plusher.
Has the cabin been updated?
The cabin definitely needed to be worked upon. I drove the top-end variant and changes include black and tan interiors with quilted leather seats, soft-touch leather dashboard and door trims, and a piano black centre console. In addition, new silver inserts, the icy-blue lounge lighting, illuminated scuff plates and sporty aluminium pedals enhance the luxury quotient. However, despite all these changes, the cabin design, and to an extent quality, still doesn’t match up to some of its competitors, such as the Jeep Compass or even Hyundai Creta.
Does it get a new engine?
The engine is the same—the 2.2-litre mHawk155 diesel engine—but it now delivers higher power of 155bhp and torque of 360Nm. Boosted by the sixth-generation electronically-controlled Variable Geometry Turbocharger (eVGT), the drive is far more peppy and the engine is far more responsive. There are two gearbox choices: six-speed manual and six-speed auto. In addition, there is a 2.2-litre petrol engine option available only in automatic gearbox.
Is it loaded with features?
Call them features or gimmicks, the XUV5OO is loaded to the brim. The top-end variants get electric sunroof, ORVM logo projection lamps, smart watch connectivity, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment with GPS navigation, Arkamys sound system, voice messaging system, voice commands with voice recognition and SMS readout, and tyre pressure & temperature monitoring. Similarly, safety features include up to six airbags, ABS with EBD as standard, hill hold and hill descent control, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Rollover Mitigation, disc brakes on all wheels, crash protection crumple zones, side impact beams and more.
How does it drive?
I drove the diesel and there is a generation change in the way the vehicle behaves on the road. First, there is enough refinement in NVH levels and an enhanced suspension set-up ensures minimal vibrations are felt inside the cabin. Second, the engine power and torque delivery is far better than it was in the previous-generation vehicle—there is instant acceleration through the gears. In fact, even if you are driving at a moderate speed of 40kph in sixth gear, a slight push to the accelerator pedal makes the XUV5OO zoom ahead.
Is it a good buy?
It’s available in five diesel variants, including an optional pack—these are W5, W7, W9, W11 and W11 OPT—and one petrol option, the G AT. Prices of diesel start at Rs 12.32 lakh for W5 and go up to Rs 18.98 lakh for W11 OPT. The petrol G AT is priced Rs 15.43 lakh. Clearly, the best thing about the new XUV5OO is its unbeatable price-value equation. It continues to offer aspirational and high-tech features—some of which are not available even in vehicles that are far more expensive. That has been, and will be, this vehicle’s USP. And the new design ensures it manages to generate enough oohs and aahs.