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Mahindra KUV100 is the brand new product from Mahindra to arrive here in India. Internet portals were abuzz and going gaga over every little information that surfaced from quite a few months. Now, it has officially entered the country's automobile market in more than 20 variants with petrol and diesel engine options. With this latest vehicle, Mahindra also introduced a new engine for the family of mFALCON, which are compact, powerful yet fuel efficient. Will it help the manufacturer to break into the compact segment? Let's find out.
1. It is packed with all the essentials, which are more than what you can ask for.
2. Its refreshing exterior design with SUV cues makes it a unique product.
1. Its fuel economy is a big let-down. Its competitors like Swift deliver better mileage.
2. Lesser interior space. Taller individuals will find it a little congested in the rear cabin.
1. An infotainment system with 3.5-inch display along with Bluetooth, USB and AUX-In connectivity. Also it has an in-built driver information system.
2. Power-ECO modes let you choose a driving style you desire. The Eco-mode helps in reducing fuel consumption.
Mahindra, the Indian automotive brand is known for making rugged vehicles for Indian enthusiasts. We've seen it with all its vehicles and now, it does it again, but in the sub-compact segment. KUV100 is indeed a bold move by the manufacturer, at least in the segment where it is placed. Currently, it comes in a total of 24 variants, and we are reviewing Mahindra KUV100 mFALCON D75 K6 Plus 5STR, an upper end version in the line-up. Let’s take a look into its exteriors, interiors, specifications and features.
This newest micro SUV looks different unlike anything we've seen in the automobile market, or at least from Mahindra. Its front facade carries a signature radiator grille that has a strong resemblance to the XUV500. Adorned with the company's insignia, this grille makes a bold statement. On either side, the headlight cluster has a typical design that flows on top of the fenders. It also houses a thin strip detailing that renders a distinct look. But the massive bumper is the thing that really gives it an intimidating look. Its sides however, have a more feminine touch with neat curves and creases. Its second row doors get Beat-like door handles and it comes in a metallic finish. There is an extensive use of plastic all around making it look sportier than conventional hatchbacks. The window sills, roof ski-racks and B pillars are all done-up in black. But the big let-down comes in the form of smaller wheels, which makes it look embezzled. The rear profile looks even different, but in a positive manner. It has everything that can engage the onlookers. Be with its rear spoiler, typical light clusters dual-tone bumper or beautifully carved boot-lid, this car grabbed our attention in the first sight. The overall design of the car is not ground-breaking nor it is awful, it scores well with its perfect build, neat curves and SUV proportions.
We at Cardekho felt that the interior of KUV100 has a decent build quality unlike other hatchbacks of today. We have to credit the company for its extraordinary work done with respect to the interiors. Soon after stepping inside, you'll notice the stylish dashboard with extensive metallic and piano black accents. However, the interior color scheme looks cheap and may fail to attract young buyers. This is a five seater trim with two individual seats in the cockpit and bench seat in the second row. Coming as a next-in-line trim to the top end variant, this K6 Plus is loaded with tons of features on board. It features list includes an infotainment system with 3.5-inch display, multi-functional steering wheel, height adjustable driver seat, power windows on all doors and rear defogger, which ensures great comfort experience to the occupants.
In our opinion, this diesel version of KUV100 performed just as expected. Under the hood, there lies a 1.2-litre mFALCON D75 oil-burner, which is perhaps the smallest diesel mill in Mahindra's family. It produces 77bhp of maximum power at 3750rpm along with a torque of 190Nm at 1750 to 2250rpm. We have to admit folks, the drivability on city roads is perfect. However, it runs out of breath on open roads. But the fact is that it feels relaxed even at the 100 kmph mark. Its top speed clocked at 130 kmph with three passengers on-board. This diesel version also gets Eco-power modes, which can change the characteristics of the motor. The transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed manual gearbox and shifting between gears had no problems whatsoever.
Ride and Handling:
This car has an Independent McPherson Strut layout with dual path mounts at front and semi-independent twist beam type of arrangement at the rear. With this suspension mechanism, the car can easily deal with the rough and rugged roads of India. Additionally, presence of coil springs and gas filled shock absorbers can offer jerk-free traveling experience. We felt that the steering is light and easy to operate, which is a positive factor. You can single handedly maneuver the car at tight corners and parking spaces, which is indeed a good thing. The braking mechanism on the other hand comes with disc and drum braking combination, which is fine for a city car. Inclusion of anti-lock braking system and electronic brake-force distribution is another relieving factor.
Although it doesn't have the ground-breaking features, safety levels of KUV100 are indeed a sigh of relief for an average customer. It gets ABS with EBD as standard fitment along with a set of dual front airbags. This vehicle gets segments best-in-class features including speed sensing automatic door locks, anti-theft alarm system and automatic hazard warning lamps on panic braking. Presence of engine immobilizer will offer protection from theft. There are few other features like collapsible steering column, child safety locks on rear door and anti-slip clips for driver side floor mats.
If you are looking for a car with decent features, better mileage and looks, then KUV100 K6 plus is the car for you. Its 6.6 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag seems to be a bit expensive, but this car has everything that you can ask for thus justifying its price tag. Also, it has distinctive styling unlike any of its nearest rivals. However, it comes with a little lows in the form of poor interior color scheme, low cabin space and harder seats, which is really uncomfortable. Another factor is that the after-sales network is not as sound as Maruti or Ford in India. Apart from these niggles, its really a good car to go with.
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