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Mahindra has long been the dominant marquee in the SUV space here. This newly released model offers the company a chance to solidify its authority in the segment. The K4, a mid range trim comes with some nominal features to lull its customers, from sporty mud flaps, electric power steering, fabric upholstery and many more that stand out. The cabin has been decorated with a more serene aura, and we thought that the presence of numerous facilities hikes the splendour. Storage areas, bottle holders a rear parcel tray and many more functions of convenience ensure that the ride is as pleasant as it gets. Coming to the outside, we thought that this was as fascinating a body structure as it could get. The outer profile weaves together elements of hatchback and SUV design, and the resulting look is marvellous. All in all, Mahindra seems to have re-defined the template of an SUV, and younger audiences are sure to love it.
1. Highly efficient engine that delivers 22.25 kmpl mileage.
2. The design profile makes a more exclusive look.
1. Safety is not adequate. This variant gets no hazard warning lamps and security alarms, which are basic security needs.
2. This variant lacks the entertainment facilities such as Bluetooth, Infotainment system and many others.
1. The headroom and legroom of the cabin is more than sufficient for generously built people.
Mahindra's KUV 100 series joins Mahindra's growing list of SUVs, and this is a model that sets a unique new tone. The “Kool Utility Vehicle” gets an iconic crossover look that we thought was splendid. This variant operates with mFalcon D75 1.2 litre diesel engine that guarantees a strong fuel economy, along with passable performance. Apart from the inner dynamics, the cabin has been given a refreshing feel with a blend of colours and materials that suits the ride perfectly. Fabric upholstery dresses the seats, the steering wheel and the controls are ergonomically based. Overall, we thought this was a pretty neat machine, it does come with down-sides, and we're here to delve deeper to find out what those are.
The robust and muscular design platform does bring a more pronounced look, and we personally loved this. The face is aggressive with sharp lines and a more refined sculpture. The prominent hood with high belt-line brings the vehicle a more progressive look. The signature Mahindra grille is striking, and it goes along with the thin headlamps streaking into the side. Dual tone bumpers also bring a more polished look, and by the side, the mud flaps invoke a more sporty poise. By the side, the muscular wheel arches and the stylish wheel rims energise the look. Two creases on the side profile, one from the front lamps and the other on the C pillar flowing towards the tail-lamps bring a more awesome structure. This variant also gets body coloured front door handles and ORVMs which make for a well-integrated image by the side. The bulky layout of the rear goes in perfect proportion with the rest of the vehicle, and we thought that the tail-lamps were eye catching. The sharp lines piercing into the rear were fantastic, while the Mahindra label at the centre of the tail-gate wrapped off the amazing look.
Step inside the cabin, and you have a pleasant aura awaiting you. The quality of the cabin finish is impressive, and this effect is further enhanced with the support of comfort features. However the complete gray look is monotonous and can be a turn down. There is ample space in both rows, although people accustomed to larger SUVs may feel slightly confined. Broader and huskier members of our team had little to complain about. We thought that the seat cushioning was slightly hard: more shoulder support could have been offered. The vertical central console is within the reach of driver, incorporated with a music system, AC vents and a gear-lever. Being a middle end trim, this K4 doesn't get many entertainment highlights as the high-end variants. The 3-spoke steering wheel gives a suitable grip, but it lacks steering mounted controls as other variants have. In front of the wheel, the instrument cluster hosts a tachometer and speedometer with an information display that reads the temperature and fuel readings. This mini SUV offers a boot space of 243 liters which is expandable to 473 liters.
It is coupled with an in-house manufactured mFalcon D75 diesel engine which has fuel delivered through the CRD injection technology. This 1.2 litre engine displaces 1198cc and produces 77bhp of power at 3750 rpm. The maximum torque generated by the mill is 190Nm at 1750–2250 rpm. This KUV 100 variant gives better drive-ability than the petrol engine. We thought that the power delivery was smooth, enriching the drive experience. The engine noise might be a hassle at lower speeds, but the discomfort melts away at higher speeds. The 5-speed manual gearbox was smooth and eased, with evenly dispersed gears and a linear working. With a city mileage of 22.25 kmpl and a figure of 25.32 kmpl for highways, the engine does make for some solid fuel efficiency.
Ride & Handling:
The front axle is mounted with Independent McPherson Strut with Dual Path Mounts while the rear is embraced with semi-independent twist beam. We thought that the inner dynamics were better than most SUVs we've experienced. The vehicle effectively revokes jerks and other hassles during a ride. Nevertheless, at higher speeds, you're likely to be thrown around a bit. Both the front and rear wheels got shock absorbers and coil springs and this nullifies the effect of a rough road. The steering response was great, and an average drive should have no problem pushing the vehicle through corners and turns. Disc brakes and drum units cement the braking capacity, helping to further improve the fluidic ride quality.
This variant comes with nominal security features such as ABS with EBD, child safety locks on the rear doors, and anti-slip clips for driver. An engine immobilizer keeps the vehicle secure aside from the occupants. Apart from this, more conventional features such as door locks, seatbelts and a central locking system ensure that the occupants are kept stress-free during the ride.
This vehicle comes with a mixed bag of pros and cons. We're sure that youngsters would appreciate its quirky look, which sets it apart from the crowd. At the same time, families would relish the serene cabin atmosphere with the basic comforts and large storage. On the downside, however, this variant lacks entertainment facilities and many of the vital comfort elements that the other trims have. Those looking for some edgy performance would also feel put off. We'll sum it up this way: For those looking for a basic ride experience that includes a good mileage, an all new outer look and a strong modern theme would feel at home with this vehicle. On the downside, those who need an extra nudge in terms of performance, entertainment, luxury and comforts should try something else.
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