Mahindra KUV100 Gets A Sporty Makeover
It is available only in the top-spec K8 variant
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Mahindra KUV100 generated quite a buzz prior to its launch in online news portals. One can only be intrigued by what the vehicle has that brings the spotlight to it. Although Mahindra has had a commendable track record with SUVs, this vehicle seems to sway slightly from the brand's age old formula. First off, its body masks a strange new design theme that gives it the resemblance of an SUV more than a hatchback. Whether or not the new machine meets the expectations of the market is yet to be seen, and we examine it on a face-to-face basis to see where it could score well and where it doesn’t.
1. Exteriors have an exciting new flavour to them, and this is sure to draw new customers.
2. The Infotainment system present for this variant makes it all the more irresistible.
1. We fear that its engine performance might let market competitors such as the Ford Figo take the lead.
2. Being a mini SUV, many of its customers might be expecting larger and more spacious interiors.
1. It has many advanced features that other variants lack, and this is sure to dazzle customers.
2. Its exterior colour choices are sure to be found rather appealing, from pearl white and aquamarine to designer grey and midnight black
The Mahindra KUV100 mFALCON D75 K6 is the mid range trim in its series that stands out in terms of features. The mFalcon D75 engine that ploughs the machine is an admirable factor, together with its strong braking, suspension and safety aspects. All in all, we're happy to see that the car balances some of its downsides with factors favouring customer delight.
Most of us would have imagined a more down to earth model with respect to this micro SUV, but upon viewing it on launch, the spin that the company gave the model does take us by surprise. Although large and masculine in its shape, the vehicle's design does lean towards a soft and feminine orientation. We give the company credit for bringing out an SUV with a streamlined, graceful posture and a certain sporty aesthetic that does go well with a viewer's eye. At the front, Mahindra's characteristic grille has been given a slim shape, and this does go well with the front image. The chrome accents on the grille melt into the black honeycomb mesh perfectly. The slender headlamp clusters trail into the side profile, and we admire the sporty effect it creates. At the bottom, this variant has dual tone bumpers that give out a more vibrant atmosphere. By the side, the door-side cladding adds to the look, while neat wheel arch cladding flows around the large wheel arches to enhance its prominence. We thought that the black effect on the B-pillar brings a distinguished appeal to the machine. The spoiler at the rear was a welcome piece for the tail-side of the machine. We found ingenuity in the close shape of the rear lights, along with the gentle body lines that spread into the back from the side. With the marquee of the company posted at the centre at the tail, the manufacturer seals this bold effect.
The cabin comes with piano black inserts that we found to be a rather attractive scheme. The interior silver package goes along with this to create a plusher environment for the occupants. The design of the seats reflects a sound ergonomic discipline. The fact that armrests and headrests are offered for both rows is sure to delight many passengers, for it is an added bonus for comfort. Fabric upholstery has been laid over the seats for a more pleasant experience, and although this lacks the plush quality that leather might have, it is easier to maintain and clean. Fabric inserts on the door trim go along with this to project a more enriched image of the cabin. Most of us were comfortably placed within the cabin, including the huskier and taller ones, but we'd like to point out that this model's inner space would be a let-down for people who have owned rival machines, such as the Ford Figo and many others. However, the presence of many strong comfort elements, such as storage area below the driver's seat, pockets by the doors, a 1-litre bottle holder by the doors, a rear parcel tray and a cooled glove box would definitely make up for some other flaws.
Packed within the car is an mFalcon D75 engine that displaces 1198cc. Its performance is supported by the presence of a turbocharger, while a common rail direct injection keeps the fuel pumping without problems. The train gives out a power of 77bhp at 3750rpm, and this with a torque of 190Nm between 1750rpm to 2250rpm. Although this isn't ground-breaking in any way, it is moderate compared to other models in its class. Channelling the power of the engine is a 5-speed manual gearbox, which we found easy to operate and efficient.
Ride and Handling:
The suspension was found to be well equipped for the needs of Indian roads, although we're shielded from lazy bumps and jerks every now and then. At the front arm of the chassis is an independent McPherson strut that has been further rigged with dual path mounts for more stability. Meanwhile, the rear has been stationed with a semi-independent twist beam. We were glad to note that the coil springs and hydraulic gas based shock absorbers in both axles also played a role in keeping the ride quiet and mostly strain free.
We were quite impressed with the safety section in this variant, with ABS and EBD, a collapsible steering column and speed sensing automatic door locks. Safety is reinforced with the presence of child safety locks on the rear doors, along with ISOFIX child seat mounts as well. There are few more safety features like anti-slip clips for driver side floor mat, anti-theft security alarm and automatic hazard warning lamps on crash.
This variant has an edge over other variants, and it receives almost all of the features available in the entire model series. We thought that was a strong point. Other aspects that make the vehicle quite the bomb include the advanced audio system that comes along steering mounted controls, Mahindra's Blue-sense app along with Bluetooth and other basic connectivity features. Meanwhile, others could view it in a poorer light due to its lower scale of performance, weaker fuel economy and lack of cabin space.
It is available only in the top-spec K8 variant
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It is expected to launch in the first half of 2017
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