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Mahindra has claimed a strong spot in the country's Auto market, and the core of the brand's success lies in its handling of the SUV segment. From the long-running Bolero to the intimidating XUV500, the company makes quite an impression with its larger, huskier vehicles. We have reason to believe that this new release could be no different. Just recently brought out into the market, the KUV100 bears the weight of high expectation. Prior to its release, the model had sparked quite a bit of buzz among news outlets, and it feels as though the stakes are higher for Mahindra this time than when they had released other SUV models before.
1. Exterior design is striking.
2. The inner treatment was upto the mark.
1. The lack of an AMT unit could be seen as a downside.
2. Its power value of 77bhp tags behind rivals such as the Ford EcoSport which unleashes 99bhp.
1. It comes with a large and spaciously laid out cabin, and this is sure to delight many customers.
2. The presence of ABS and EBD across all variants is definitely a strong factor.
The model has been built on a completely unique design template, and one can sense this gazing at it from the outside, as well as seated within. It's no doubt that Mahindra has paved a whole new road with this model: Standing in front of the machine, it's almost hard to tell whether it's a small SUV or a large hatchback. This innovative spark that fuels the design can easily ramp up sales and customers for both this model and many others. Currently, this model will have to brace for heavy competition from the likes of Ford Ecosport and upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. As we got a firsthand taste of what this vehicle feels like, we were happy with many aspects and let down by some others.
What's very clear about its body profile is the distinctive effect it attempts to make. Despite being a compact SUV, the model has a subtle, feminine touch to its look that makes it appear all the more cleaner. We found the front to make the most lasting impression, with the signature Mahindra grille and the slender air dam at the bottom well aligned in a sound position. The grille has been tweaked for a more aggressive edge, and it has silver accents that blend into the black honeycomb mesh perfectly. When you look at the sharp headlamps that pierce into the side, you can feel a bold demeanor emanate from the machine. The masculine identity of the vehicle is molded by the wide bonnet, while the clean lines on it infuse a softer touch. For this Mahindra KUV100 mFALCON D75 K4 variant, there are dual tone bumpers, and we felt that this adds some ingenuity to the front look. The puffed up wheel arches by the side raise the standard of the build, and they go in unison with the neatly designed steel wheels. The prominent lines that stand out by the side add a stronger character to the design, and you're sure to love the thick line that swipes down from the rear. We were quite impressed with the balanced layout of the vehicle, for the tail-section has been aligned with the rest of the body in a streamlined format. An element that brews true delight with respect to the rear, is the sporty design spoiler, which we're sure will go well with younger car lovers of the day.
The layout of the cabin reflects a state of serenity and calm, and when you step into it, you're sure to be taken by this healthy ambiance. We were more than satisfied by the inner measurements, and the taller, bulkier and broader members of our group could also settle in without strain. The spacious elegance is attuned to a dynamic environment filled with comfort and entertainment. A central locking system, together with easily operable power windows save you quite a bit of time and patience. Going along with this, the car maker has programmed it with an electric power steering facility, a tilt adjustable steering and an air conditioning system that comes along with a heater. You're sure to appreciate the holistic aura that is presented with numerous comfort aids, including power windows, a storage area under the driver's seat, an illuminated key ring, a door ajar warning, a 1-litre bottle holder, a rear parcel tray, door pockets and an LED interior lamp among many interesting facilities.
The driving force behind this majestic machine is an mFalcon D75 power-plant which displaces 1198cc. The engine has been packed along with a turbocharger that helps to boost performance. It produces 77bhp of maximum power at 3750rpm and a hammering torque of 190Nm at 1750rpm to 2250rpm. The engine's fuel mechanisms have been taken care of with an efficient common rail fuel injection. The company makes it a point to flaunt the engine's 'lightweight' construct, which is healthy for its working and performance. The engine's power goes through a 5-speed manual transmission that we didn't have too much trouble handling.
Ride and Handling:
The massive vehicle is pulled to a stop with the help of well affirmed braking discs at the front and drums at the rear. The braking process is quite smooth, but if you're going to slam the brakes in a jiffy, the weight of the machine would definitely give you slight toss. Handling is equally good, although every now and then, bumps and shudders would hamper what could have been a much more graceful ride. Nevertheless, the company has done a great job of harnessing its suspension to meet the harsh requirements of Indian streets. The front axle has been melded with an independent McPherson strut, and we could feel that this works in perfect harmony with the semi independent twist beam coupled at the rear arm. The brand has also thrown in dual path mounts, coil springs and hydraulic gas charged shock absorbers into the chassis arrangement to cement ride stability even further.
The vehicle's body has a tough composition that enables a level of protection in case of a mishap. The strong halogen lamps were also notable elements, and they help to keep up a good visibility throughout the drive. Aside from these, a host of other conventional features would help to ease anyone's mind, be it the airbags, seatbelts and central locking system. A collapsible steering column definitely aids with safety, along with child safety locks on the rear doors. You could also count the tough tubeless tyres as a factor that cements safety, for they helped to maintain a stable and safe ride. ABS and EBD are present across all variants, and this is sure to hike the variant's appeal for many of today's audiences.
The KUV100 K4 can be the machine of preference for many people, and not so for others. On the upside, here is a vehicle with a game changing outer design, well styled interiors, a reasonable amount of comfort at a very nominal price. However, you're going to have to put up with some itchy elements, such as large size, lack-luster performance, and a mileage that could have done better. If you're in need of a large vehicle with some good looks, fine style and sound handling, but can do without much of anything else, then this should be a good choice for you.
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