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.
Ed’s take: The Terrano’s interior get an upgrade in quality and even the fit and finish of most of the materials is good. However, there is some plastic which will remind you of the Duster.
The interiors of the Terrano have revamped if you are thinking to compare it to the Duster. The instrument panel skeleton is the same, but a major revival has happened. The musix system, the air-con vents and even the steering wheel has been replaced on the Terrano. The quality of the replaced bits is better, however the other parts have the same styling. The Terrano is also available with the option of six-inch touchscreen infotainment system and also steering mounted audio controls too.
The interior quality is a lot similar to the Duster, and when you are seated behind you do not feel much of a difference between the Renault and Nissan badge even existing. The seats are large and comfortable. The Terrano has spacious interiors and even the seats are comfortable for long journeys. There is space for four people and even the boot is large for a weekend getaway.
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.
Ed’s take:The Terrano comes with three engine variants, one is a petrol and other two are diesels. The pick of the lot is the 1.5-litre diesel with 108bhp.
1.5-litre diesel, 108bhp:
This engine comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This engine has the typical diesel clatter and it is wee bit louder than one’s liking. However, Nissan has worked on the insulation and there isn’t much intrusion of sound into the cabin. The power delivery is fairly linear, however there is some amount of turbo lag present in it. The Terrano’s power is decent and it does a good job when it comes performance and even fuel efficiency. The sixth gear is tall and it makes it easy to cruise on the highway. The six speed manual transmission feels rubbery to shift.
1.5-litre diesel, 83bhp:
The 83bhp 1.5-litre diesel comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This is the same engine block, with a detuned engine. However the power delivery is linear and one doesn’t feel much of a turbo lag. It is this oil burner that is perfect for city driving. You do not even have to downshift most of the times to overtake or even potter around in city conditions. The five-speed box is also more slick than the six-speed that feels a bit rubbery. The shifts are also a lot more smooth and short.
1.6-litre petrol, 102bhp:
The 1.6-litre petrol produces about 102bhp of power and has low NVH like any other petrol engine. Most of the power is developed in higher rpm, however the engine feels to be tuned for better fuel economy. The petrol motor needs some extra pushing to extract some good performance out of it. The engine is extremely quiet, however one needs to downshift to overtake.
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.
Ed’s take:The 83bhp has a softer rear and the focus is more towards better ride, however the 108bhp is more fun to drive with a stiffer set-up for the springs.
The handling of the Terrano is good and the good thing is there isn’t much body roll despite the ground clearance of 205mm. The 83bhp has a softer rear and it can be felt while taking corners. The steering response is a bit vague and it isn’t as light as other Nissan’s are. We do miss that.
The ride on the Terrano is sorted and pliant. The underpinnings of the Terrano do a good job of ironing out most of the road bumps and shocks. The ride is good even when you drive on bad roads. The steering feedback is vague and doesn’t feel like Nissan, which is generally extremely light to use.