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 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 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.
The Innova has one of the most plush interiors in the MUV segment. It is spacious and even the seats are comfortable. After the recent facelift, there is no complain of missing brownies as it now has all the frills. The features on offer on the Innova and even the styling is at par with the Evalia and the Stile. Innova being a successful product, not many changes have been made on the inside either. Same styling has been retained and the fit and finish is still first-rate. The quality and the feel of the materials are decent. The instrument panel design is simple and elusive. It feels a bit aged, when compared to the interiors of some of its competition, but it is one of the most easy to use.
The range topping Innova now has a touchscreen infotainment system. This in-dash system has auxiliary and USB connectivity, reverse parking camera and also telephonic and music Bluetooth connectivity. We loved the quality of the music that floated in the cabin through its speakers. Even the instrument binnacle has been refreshed. The rest of the kit remains identical.
The seating is still the same, with ample space for the front and middle row passenger. The second-row seats do not have sufficient support for thighs. The third row of seats is meant for children, as there isn’t much legroom. In the top of the line, the Innova gets roof-mounted air-conditioning vents for the second and third row occupants.
The boot space of the Innova is decent, when compared to competition. Some of its competition lacks a boot with the third row of seats. Even folding the third row of seats is simple and easy.
GX:The GX version also comes with seven and eight seating options and it gets additional features like power steering, power windows, keyless entry and immobiliser. This version is also available in petrol and diesel engine options. It gets a lot more features like electrically adjustable mirrors, ABS, driver airbag, in-dash music system with four speakers, rear wiper, defogger, height adjustment for the driver’s seat.
VX:This version on the Innova and is available with petrol and diesel engines. The VX version is a completely loaded variant that comes with even passenger airbag, in-built music system with touchscreen, six speakers, Bluetooth, aux and USB connectivity.
ZX:This version is the new top of the line that gets leather seats other than the regular features on the VX. The other two variants have seven or eight eat options, but the ZX gets only seven seats.
The 2.5-litre engine on the Innova produces only 100bhp and there are more powerful engines available on other MUVs. But nothing comes close to the drivability of the Innova. This makes it a hot seller, even after being introduced in 2005. No changes are made in the recent facelift.
Innova is propelled by a 2.5-litre diesel engine that powers the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission. This engine produces 100bhp and 200Nm. The Innova comes with Bharat Stage IV and Bharat Stage III norms engines. The Bharat Stage IV norm oil burner gets an intercooler, however the BS III goes missing on the same. The engine is noisy, especially on cold starting and is also loud even at engine speeds. The drivability of the Innova is astounding. It has a strong low and mid-range. This means it will pull cleanly even when lugged into a higher cog without any hiccups. Overtaking isn’t an issue in the Innova and driving it is a breeze further in city or out on the open road. The Innova comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The gear stick is long and shifts are wee bit notchy. But the gearing is just spot-on for city and highway driving.
The ride of the Innova is plush and most of the jolts are irons out by the suspension. The handling of the Innova is decent and the body roll is less, despite its large size.
The ride of Innova is supple and composed. The suspension of the MUV irons out most of the jolts on uneven road surfaces as well. Innova is a multi-utility vehicle and has been made for superior the ride quality, as compared to the handling characteristics. The dampers absorb most of the shocks keeping the ride smooth. Considering the length of the vehicle, the body roll isn’t much. One might not lose control, unless you do something that is stupid. The handling of the Innova is decent for its size. The steering wheel is also light and it weighs gradually with the increase in speed.
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