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Mahindra TUV300 Hatchback Test Drive & Performance

Mahindra TUV300 Overview

Launched on September 10, 2015, the Mahindra TUV300 (Tough Utility Vehicle) sub-compact SUV is one of the toughest, frugal and affordable cars in its segment. Available in three trim levels – T4, T6 and T8 – the compact SUV comes powered with an all-new 80bhp, 1.5-litre mHawk80 diesel engine coupled with Micro hybrid technology. The Mahindra TUV300 has been designed at the company’s Kandivli, Mumbai office with inputs from Pininfarina, while, the production takes place at Mahindra & Mahindra’s Chakan plant. For information on contact details of Mahindra car dealers in Hyderabad 

Check for Mahindra TUV300 Price in New Delhi

Mahindra TUV300 Exterior

Taking inspiration from the ‘battle tank’, TUV300 has been shaped in a rather boxy manner which may or may not go well with the customer, reason being that some may find it tough and rugged while others may think that it is too plain jane to stand competition like Hyundai Creta, Maruti S-Cross, Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. Mahindra TUV300 pictures of the outside testify the company’s attempt to come up with a rugged vehicle, but what really works for the SUV is that despite its small size it manages to appeal customers and is not mistaken for an oversized hatchback. Despite its sub-four meter length, the SUV does not seem petite or compressed, probably because it is not feature clad on the outside, the unnecessary styling to make it look sporty has been skipped which works well for it. Front is bold, the engine hood is short and front apron is unusually wide. Radiator grille is reminiscent of Jeep and a hint of chrome is evident around the rectangular openings. Head lights are designed in such as way that fits well with the bold front end. Body coloured lower bumper gets square shaped fog lights featuring chrome surrounds. Air inlets are again wide that add to the aggressive stance. Wheel arches are rather rectangular than round, side view is simple, the black treatment around the window frame, dual tone power adjustable ORVMs, body painted outside door handles and window beltline altogether lends a suave look. Rear too has been designed in line with the rest of the body, a set of simple tail lights and mounted spare wheel are equipped on the tailgate. And the black painted roof rails have been atop appear sport

Mahindra TUV300 Interior

The cabin of the TUV300 is a mix of beige and black, with some dull silver thrown in. While it isn’t the best quality from the Mahindra stable, it does just fine for the price point. The space is enormous, and the cabin proportions felt exact. Taller/heftier members of our team had little to complain about during the drive.The all new dashboard layout is marvellous in our opinion, and Mahindra has perfected its beige-black combination with this particular model. The centre region is coloured in black, while the upper and lower halves are beige.The black design stretches all the way into the front console, extends around the instrument cluster and envelops the steering wheel as well. The centre console is laid out in a simple yet, eye catching manner. We personally feel that it is one of the best looking fascia designs in a Mahindra. The piano black finish for the console adds some zest to the look, and the silver garnish looks nice as well.

Positioned at the top of the console are two AC vents, and right below them is the 2 DIN audio system that comes with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity. The buttons to the radio are spread around the small screen.At the bottom of the fascia, you have three large AC knobs with chrome surrounds. A 12V power socket along with a USB and AUX-In port have been integrated in front of the gear lever, and resting between the front seats are cup holders and other storage options. Power switches for all four windows are also hosted in the console area between the seats, while a small storage pocket is present behind the hand brake. We personally felt that these small pockets wouldn’t hold anything substantial, but you could find them useful for keeping spare change or your keys.

Look up at the roof and you’ll find a cabin light console that resembles that of the Scorpio. Also included here are swivel lamps and a Bluetooth mic. Talking about the inner comfort, we were quite satisfied with the ergonomic build-up of the seating. The front passengers get the benefit of the individual armrests, while headrests for all of the seats further ramp up the comfort. The vinyl and fabric mixed upholstery quality is acceptable. The steering wheel inherits the standard Mahindra design that you can easily spot in other vehicles of the brand including the Scorpio and XUV500. The shiny emblem of the company rests at the focus of the wheel, and audio controls have been incorporated at the left.

The chunky steering wheel is nice to hold. For the top end variants, there is a silver garnish on the lower side of the wheel, which adds an upmarket touch. In front of the steering wheel, the instrument cluster houses the tachometer and the speedometer, and when you take a closer look, it feels as though the company never falls short of chrome. The dials have a chrome touch too.

Mahindra TUV300 Gearbox

The engine is called mHawk80, and it’s a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel that does bear some relation to both the Quanto’s 1.5-litre three-pot as well as the Scorpio’s 2.2-litre, four-cylinder unit. It’s pretty high tech too, using a dual-stage turbocharger and a dual-mass flywheel. So though its power output is just 82.85bhp (16bhp less than the Quanto’s), thanks to two-stage turbocharging, the TUV300 promises to have much better driveability and responsiveness.

And it does. There is an impressive lack of perceptible turbo lag, and it is smooth without much of a step in power delivery; thank that dual-mass flywheel. Mahindra says the motor’s max torque of 23.4kgm is made at 1,500rpm and sure enough, that’s where the surge begins. The best part is that it still feels punchy enough for if you need to make quick and sudden progress, and that’s helped by the somewhat short gearing on the five-speed manual gearbox; also related to the one in the Scorpio. It’s also a fair bit more refined than the Quanto, which itself was not too bad for a three-cylinder diesel, though you still get some vibration through the tall gearlever. This mHawk80 motor does, however, run out of breath quite early – around 3,800rpm – after which it’s all noise and no progress. And though the throw is quite short, the gearlever still feels too tall and utilitarian, and quite notchy too. Mahindra has also given the TUV300 its ‘micro-hybrid’ stop-start system, as well as two separate Eco modes – one for the powertrain and one for the AC, which dull performance for better economy. The result is an ARAI rating of 18.49kpl, which is just 0.16kpl better than normal mode, but Mahindra insists it works much better in the real world.

As you might be able to tell from the photos, we’re at Mahindra’s test track, and as a result, a proper ride and handling test will have to wait till we get the TUV300 out on real roads. What we can tell you, though, is that the suspension set-up feels much like the one on the new Scorpio, and even though it’s not identical, the two are similar. There’s definitely an inherent firmness that you can feel as the tall TUV rocks around if you cross a speed breaker at a slight angle instead of head on, or crashes if you hit a sharp bump too hard. And though the stability overall is quite good (thank that long wheelbase), you still get a little up-and-down movement over undulations. You’ll be thankful for the firmer set-up on the whole though, as a soft set-up like in the previous Scorpio would have led to loads of body movement. It’s a tall, body-on-frame SUV, so of course there’s loads of body roll, but you’ll be quite impressed with how eagerly the front end steers into corners. This is by no means a driver’s car, but it’s tidier than you expect something of its height to be.

Mahindra TUV300 Driving

The Mahindra TUV300 has a tight turning radius. It turns around in little space with ease. The airy feel of the cabin was also a major point in the feel good factor about the SUV. However, what we did not like was the fact that this vehicle rolls a lot over 60km/h. The ride is quite pliant and better than previous generation Mahindra vehicles. However the SUV feels a bit unsettled and skittish over bad patches on the road, especially when driven fast. Mahindra’s ladder frame construction is to be blamed for that , but it isn;t very bad either. The handling of the Mahindra TUV300 isn’t very impressive, it has a prominent roll if you push it too hard. The steering wheel is hydraulic and still light enough for easy manoeuvring around the town. It is a joy to drive it in town.

Mahindra TUV300 Safety

The braking system of the TUV300 is well calibrated. With strong braking capabilities, the compact SUV offers good stability across all rev-range. Under hard braking, when the vehicle hits potholes or bumps, the ABS (anti-lock braking system) instantly stops the car at a safe distance. The side tyres and relatively low centre of gravity than the Bolero also aid to its stability and braking performance.We’re quite impressed with the safety parameters that the vehicle employs. Safety features shared by all the variants include a collapsible steering column, side intrusion beams, a seat belt reminder lamp, an auto door lock function as well as a digital immobiliser.

Mahindra TUV300 Price in Mumbai

Mahindra Tuv300 Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 8,02,850/- (TUV300 T4 Plus) to 10,88,111/- (TUV300 T10 100HP AMT Dual Tone). Get best offers for Mahindra Tuv300 from Mahindra Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Tuv300 price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Mahindra TUV300 Verdict

However, while we’re sure there will be plenty of takers for this tough, rugged look and feel at a relatively affordable price, it seems a bit of an oddity in this segment, where nimble dynamics, refinement and driving ease are also valued highly. In fact, it’s reflected in the slightly awkward proportions, which seem to be trying too hard. And finally, though Mahindra has made great strides in this area, fit and finish is still some way shy of global competition. So, while it’s not perfect, we will say the TUV300 is one of Mahindra’s best efforts yet, and if you think monocoque SUVs are not ‘real’ SUVs, or you want the Scorpio’s tough, rugged appeal in a smaller, more affordable package, this is the way to go.

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