The Force One gets spacious interiors and the plastic quality is decent. If you have a chauffeur to take you around, the Force One will be extremely comfortable option.
The Force One is an extremely spacious SUV, and Force claims it to have the maximum amount of knee room in the second and the third rows, which are generally tight. We were impressed by the space that the Force One offers in all the three rows, generous enough for six footers. The boot is also decently large enough.
The plastic quality and the overall fit and finish isn’t something phenomenal. We like the space, and the features on offer. It gets steering mounted audio controls, integrated music system and leather bolstered seats. It however misses out on airbags, even on the top variant.
EX: EX is the base model of the Force One. The base model misses out on daylight running lamps and doesn’t rear fog lamps either. The roof rails and the alloy wheels too go missing on the base model, however it retains the electrically adjustable mirrors. There is no integrated music system and even the seats are wrapped in fabric. All three rows still have air-conditioning and multi-information display too. This comes with a 2.6-litre diesel engine only.
SX: This is the original launch model of the Force One and it gets leather seats, music system, steering mounted audio controls and other frills like rear wiper and defogger, remote key access, reverse parking sensors and also side indicators on the ORVMs. The ABS version of this vehicle comes separately.
LX: This is the same as SX ABS when it comes to features, however this gets 4x4 with electronic shift on fly.
The interiors of the XUV500 are the place to be, it is a great proposition for all the moolah that you spend on it. The first two rows are spacious and the bells and whistles that come loaded with it are mostly found on vehicles that are a segment higher.
The interiors of XUV500 are designed ergonomically and a lot of features are added by incorporating a lot of buttons, without adding too many buttons. The XUV500 comes embellished with various bells and whistles, which are mostly available on cars that are a segment higher. Touch-screen, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and six airbags are to name a few. Even the quality of plastics on the XUV500 is decent, though there are some bits that could have been better.
Space in sufficient in the first two rows, when you consider the head room and the leg room. The third row is a bit cramped for knee room, whereas the head room is still decent. The leather seats are also well strengthened with ample of support for your thighs. To our dismay, there is no space in the boot, unless the third row of seats has been folded.
The Mahindra XUV500 comes in two trim levels, one is the W6 and the other is the W8. The W8 is the top of the line model and comes loaded with all the frills. The W6 is the base model, yet it gets loads of goodies like 6-inch monochrome display with in-dash music system that plays music through its four-speakers, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, dual airbags, ABS, all disc brakes, electrically adjustable ORVMs, multi-functional steering and cruise control. This is indeed a long list, and the product is good proposition for all the money you pay.
The W8 model on the other hand has these features and all gets an addition of 6-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, six airbags, ESP and hill descent control, alloy wheels, telescopic steering, DVD player and tyre-pressure monitoring system. This is the only vehicle that is available in this price with so many features.
The powertrain is one department that Force Motors has got things spot on. This is due to the fact that it uses Daimler engines to propel its vehicles.
The Force One comes with two engine variants, one is the 2.2-litre and the second is the 2.6-litre. The 2.6-litre is available only in BS III compliant cities. The 2.2-litre produces 140bhp of power and 321Nm of maximum torque. The engine is highly efficient and we like the way in which it delivers power. The torque produced is sufficient to pull the vehicle even at low revs, the drivability of this engine is good.
The 5-speed manual transmission on this engine is rubbery and has loads of vibration. The 4x4 variant comes with limited slip differential and the 2.6-litre engine produces only 82bhp. This engine is shared with the Force Gurkha.
The 2.2-litre mHawk mill on the XUV500 is a tried and tested product, with high levels of refinement. There isn’t much of turbo lag and the gear ratios are also well spread out. It is the shifts on the transmission and the play of the clutch pedal that we aren’t in favour of.
XUV500 comes plonked with the 2.2-litre mHawk engine that also powers the Scorpio and the Xylo. Here however, the power has been bumped up to 140bhp and an extra cog has been added. The XUV500 churns out 140bhp at 3750rpm and produces a torque of 330Nm between 1600 to 2800rpm. Engine refinement levels are good, albeit it does get a bit loud as the revs climb up. The engine is peppy and is responsive to the throttle movement.
The XUV500 is drivable even when lugged into a higher cog, but things shape up better once past the 1900rpm mark. One needs to downshift for quick overtaking, and the sixth gear is a boon for cruising on the highway. The simple stick shift on the XUV500 feels notchy and even the travel of the clutch pedal is a lot. So, driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic can get painful. The XUV500 was the first vehicle in its segment to get a 6-speed manual transmission. As per the ARAI cycle, the XUV500 returns a fuel economy of 15.1kmpl.
The ride on the Force One is well sorted, however the handling isn’t something one can boast about. The Force One’s suspension’s fine-tuning was done by Lotus engineering and the team had tweaked the set-up for good ride, which it does. The ride is fairly composed and it doesn’t feel jittery. But one does feel the speed, and this trickles down to the poor insulation from the outside world.
The handling of the Force One isn’t something one can boast about. Considering the dimensions of Force One, it will be have some amount of body roll.
The ride of the XUV500 is well sorted and smooth like a premium SUV. The handling isn’t something you can boast about, but it isn’t bad either. There is some amount of body roll, but this taken care by the ESP in the W8 model.
XUV500 being a monocoque has driving dynamics than the older ladder on frame chassis. Being a monocoque, it has independent suspension. The front gets the McPherson type with anti-roll bar, while the multilink type with anti-roll bar springs the rear.
The ride suppleness of this vehicle is good and the suspension does a fair job of ironing out most of the jolts and rebounds on uneven roads. It crashes through potholes with a muted thud. The ride is smooth and well composed. The occupants aren’t jittered around.
Having softer springs and being taller, the XUV500 has some amount of bodyroll. The front-wheel drive version also has massive understeer, when pushed around the bends. However if you have the W8 model, then the ESP takes care of it. The all-wheel drive version is more fun to drive than the front-wheel drive as it doesn’t lose out traction.