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Mahindra KUV 100 NXT First Drive Review

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Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Overview

Mahindra & Mahindra has been known to be a maker of robust and rugged passenger vehicles, since a long time. However, with the advent of the compact crossover/SUV market and its subsequent fame among the Indian consumers, it is obvious that Mahindra also had its own offering/s in the segment. Mahindra KUV100 marks Mahindra’s entry into the lower spectrum of the compact SUV segment. With dimensions in-lined with crop of premium hatchback the Mahindra KUV100 brings compact SUV design language to lure customers into the Mahindra’s fold.

Coming in with a contemporary take on tallboy masculine hatchback design, the Mahindra KUV100 is shorter than 4 metres in length, thereby utilizing the excise duty benefits, yet staying true to traditional flow lines of Mahindra. Mahindra KUV100 is flamboyant and has a striking design for the segment with its huge wraparound headlamps combined with a rather sleek grille that a neat Mahindra & Mahindra logo. From exterior styling to cosy interiors and stuffed cabins, Mahindra KUV100 have it all. With the KUV100, Mahindra believes it has created a comparatively more muscular and stylish compact crossover in this new segment. Looking at the design the Mahindra KUV100 will entice a lot of the younger breed of customers. Thereby, furthering Mahindra & Mahindra’s reach into younger India consumer.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Design

At exteriors, the majority of the design elements remain unchanged, yet the muscularity and aggressiveness is a notch above. The most obvious change can be seen in headlight cluster which now features dual chambers for low and high beam along with restyled indicators and DRLs. The revamped front bumpers make way for distinctive air dam and revised fog lamps, while the grille too gets nice chrome treatment. The contrasting silver skid plate at the bottom is well defined and gives the car a more rugged look.

Further solidifying KUV100’s look is the inclusion of 15-inch sporty diamond cut alloy wheels and new ORVMs with integrated turn indicators. The door handles at the back are now black in colour and looks nothing like before. Other visible changes at the back are in the form of restyled bumper, new integrated spoiler and revised tailgate with new creases running across. The tail lights get a clear lens covering while the dual tone colour scheme makes the car more palatable to senses. For more info on Mahindra KUV 100 NXT  check Igc2016

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Cabin

The cabin has been carried over from its predecessor, which means we still have a spacious interior with good headroom, knee room and shoulder room in both rows. The grey upholstery is now black, which looks better and goes well with the piano black inserts on the dashboard. However, nothing has changed on the ergonomics front. The pedals still are off-set and the centre console fouls with the driver’s left leg.

Sure, the front centre back rest doubles up as an arm rest, but the cup-holders are still set far behind. Visibility still isn’t great. Besides, the manual air-con control knobs are replaced by buttons, which I am not really fond of. The earlier ones were simpler and less confusing. Thankfully, the plastic air vents are of better quality now, but then again, the door latches still feel flimsy. The seats continue to lack contours for lateral support even if they provide good thigh support.

The biggest improvement, nonetheless, is the addition of a 7-inch touch screen system in place of the 2-DIN audio system seen earlier. The new one integrates USB, mp3 and bluetooth with in-built navigation, while also providing info on the car like fuel efficiency, DRL settings etc. It’s quick, easy to use and the touch response is good too. If only it provided support for Android and Apple CarPlay too. Otherwise, in terms of utility, the KUV still scores high for its unique under seat and rear floorboard storage options. Features like electronically foldable OVRMs, puddle lamps, switchable interior LED lighting, start-stop function to save fuel, power and eco mode, rear parking sensors, etc. are quite handy. Though the car gets ABS and dual airbags, it still misses out on push button engine-start/stop and a rear view camera.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Gearbox

The KUV100 NXT continues to be powered by the same 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines that power the outgoing model, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. What we have here is the diesel one with the three-cylinder mFalcon D75 turbodiesel motor producing 77bhp and 190Nm of torque. The engine makes little sound, if at all any, and still settles into a thrum if not clatter at idling. However, rev it beyond 3,000 rpm and it gets noisy and starts to feel coarse. Its refinement is nowhere close to the four-cylinder mill housed by the Swift or the Figo. Nonetheless, the power delivery is linear, turbo lag is minimal or almost nil thanks to the smaller turbo. This, paired with the generous torque available from as low as 1,800rpm, helps the vehicle pull away nicely without any fuss. Trudging along in traffic becomes easy due to a minimal need to change gears constantly.

It’s only while driving out on the highway, you realise that the engine starts to lose its fizz post 3,500rpm. But once you get a hang of it and manage to keep the revs in the meat of the power band (2,000-3,200rpm), the KUV100 can make swift progress to achieve triple digit speeds. You will still have to shift to a lower gear to manage a quick overtake. The five-speed gearbox feels notchy, but is easy to use with the short throws. However, it is the clutch pedal with its tight spring action, which will make it a tiresome job for your left leg on long drives or in traffic.

Now, the KUV’s suspension has been tuned to be on the softer side. Since it also has a good ground clearance, all uneven surfaces are taken in its stride with ease at low speeds. However, side-to-side rocking gets prominent and at higher speeds the rear kicks out on harsh bumps. The vertical movement also increases, making the ride floaty. The ride doesn’t settle until it finds a flat stretch. Likewise, the steering is another aspect that sits firmly in the list of cons. It is big for a compact car, lags a bit and feels vague. It makes more than three turns from lock to lock which makes parking a tedious job despite having such a compact footprint. One can steer through a corner at low speeds, but at higher speeds, its entire dynamics undergo a change. The car understeers and the body roll becomes pretty evident at that point to the extent that it will make all the occupants feel uneasy. Thankfully ABS is available, but still the car doesn’t feel surefooted under hard braking.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Driving

The steering is light and quick with every response made to it. Moreover, making a quick U-turn is not at all difficult even if it is done single-handed. The engine is not that special, but it is good enough and the engine responds well to the throttle. Overall, driving the Mahindra KUV100 is fun, but going too fast through the corners can be a silly act. Check for HDFC car loan at Fincarz.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Safety

The disc upfront and drum at the rear provides the needed braking force to the car. The braking mechanism is further supplemented by anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution. Further, the car’s safety quotient is strengthened by dual front airbags which are available across the trims, save the base K2 variant. Other safety features include ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking sensors, child safety locks, speed sensing auto door locks, anti-theft security, automatic hazard warning lamps among others.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Price in Chennai

Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 5,56,832 to 9,05,540 for variants KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol and KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Petrol respectively. Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt is available in 12 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt variants price in Chennai. Check for Mahindra KUV100 NXT price in Chennai at Carzprice.

Mahindra KUV 100 NXT Summing Up

The KUV100 NXT will be preferred by people who love SUVs, want a spacious cabin and still want it to be of a compact size. The refreshed KUV also adds some new features to the package. However, this particular K8 variant is priced at Rs 7.46 lakhs, thereby putting it in the same price bracket as that of the Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi and the Ford Figo Titanium Plus TDCi. While both of them are more refined with a four-cylinder motor, the Figo also gets a more powerful engine.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT is available in five different variants- K2, K2+, K4+, K6+ and K8 to select from. In terms of pricing, KUV100 is competitively priced with its base variant K2 tagged at Rs. 4.51 lakh and the top range trim K8 5STR available at Rs. 7.56 lakh,ex-showroom, Delhi. Mahindra KUV100 falls altogether in a new segment but it can be compared to the likes of Maruti Ignis, Hyundai Grand i10 and Maruti Swift taking price and practicality in mind.

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