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Mahindra is just the brand that you'd expect a vehicle such as this KUV100. Just recently, the company had half of the auto news space soaked up with reports of this micro SUV. Upon its release, it brought out generally favourable reviews, and we've got to admit, you have to give credit to the company for a daring exterior design, along with decent comfort features within. But we're ready to delve a little deeper to find out exactly what gives this model its shine.
1. Smooth and responsive handling, despite its bulky size.
2. Loads of comfort features for this variant.
1. Its mileage of 18.15kmpl places it way behind competitors such as Swift, and Grand i10.
2. Its fuel tank capacity of 35-litres is below par in its class.
1. The Infotainment system is one of the most attractive feats of the cabin, and it comes along with Bluetooth and a driver information display.
2. The exterior design gives it a distinguished and attractive demeanor.
At first sight, the vehicle makes a promise of class and quality, and it succeeds on many facets. This variant, the Mahindra KUV100 mFALCON G80 K6, is second to the top end variant, and we felt that it lacks comfort or quality in no amount. The exteriors are creative and genuine, while the cabin environment is serene. A more vibrant experience is brought to the table with comfort features such as power windows, a remote keyless entry, a cooled glove box, and various storage spaces. The entertainment experience is bolstered by the presence of a 3.5-inch screen, along with USB, Aux-In, Bluetooth and many other interesting features.
It has a very intriguing shape indeed, and one almost goes to the extent of wondering if it falls under the compact SUV or hatchback category. While conventional SUVs come with a wide, masculine bonnet, this KUV100 infuses a feminine touch to it. The hood rises up in a gentle fashion, before taking off into the slanting front windshield. There are prominent body lines on the bonnet, and they imbue the image with a more powerful effect. We were personally taken by the tweaked design of the Mahindra's characteristic grille, which is slim and discrete in effect. The marquee of the company is posted right at the focus, and we're sure that this one minute design element will rake up more attention for the vehicle. The people's love for chrome is exhibited in the company's design, with delicate chrome inserts on the grille that blend into the honeycomb mesh perfectly. On either side, the headlamp clusters are sharp and menacing, leaking into the side profile in a thin trail. We personally felt that the dual tone bumpers exert a more sophisticated effect over the vehicle's face. This is improved by the small fog lamps by the corner of the front skirts. The wide air dams play a vital part in enhancing the macho persona of the vehicle. The cladding around the wheel arches adds to the opulent design formula, while the body colored door handles and outside mirrors bring some harmony in the overall image. The body chemistry is made stronger with the bold line that crosses the front door, while the well clad line that swipes down from the rear is all too sweet. The beefed up position of the rear engages the viewer with a more majestic effect. In our opinion, the roof rails make for a more functional image, while the black-out effect on the B-pillar reinforces the vehicle's plush aura.
When entering the vehicle's cabin, you're likely to be hit by an overwhelming effect. The size of the interiors, paired together with the well laid and lavished effect of the design, makes quite the statement at first sight. The layout of the dashboard makes for a mix of elegance and sophistication, and you're sure to like the quality of the wood furnishing it. Tucked away at both corners of the dashboard are small AC vents. The glove box hangs at the bottom, with a large and visible handle positioned towards the gear-shift. We were to see the company imbibe some good luxury over the place, with a neat trail of piano black inserts on the upper side of the dashboard. Coming to the center console, you can't help but feel awed at this fresh and futuristic design. The console leans out towards the front passengers, with the radio system incorporated at the top half, and the gear handle at the lower end. The steering wheel bears the characteristic mark that most Mahindra's wheels have, and although it's great looking, there's nothing extraordinary about it. Packed into the instrument cluster in front are two dials holding the speedometer and the tachometer, and the vibrant illumination is sure to go well with you. The door-sides of the vehicle come furbished with long piano black inserts, and color the atmosphere in a brighter effect. When you seat yourself in here, you're sure to feel the flawless ergonomic structure of the seats, for it leaves very little room for comfort. The headrests and armrests go along with this to make a complete and wholesome portfolio. Twin cup holders have been integrated into both of the armrests, and you can't help but get the idea that the company makes the best of what it has.
The machine is armed with an mFalcon G80 power-plant that displaces 1198cc. The train's capacity is further detailed in its specifications, with a power of 82bhp at 5500rpm and a torque of 115Nm at 3500rpm to 3600rpm. The engine has been equipped with a multi point fuel injection system, ensuring flawless fuel passage. The presence of dual variable timing function is also sure to delight passengers. A 5-speed manual transmission completes the function of the engine, and we'd have to say that the shifting could have been a tiny bit smoother. Apart from this, the engine gives a mild shudder when you turn it on, something sure to delight auto-lovers. The throttle response is decent, and the swift acceleration leaves you pinned to the seat.
Ride and Handling:
The suspension is strengthened with an independent McPherson strut on the front axle, and the presence of dual path mounts brings some added peace to the ride experience. The rear arm of the chassis has been rigged with a semi-independent twist beam. Coil springs and hydraulic gas charged shock absorbers for both of the axles solidify the entire arrangement. We were surprised to find a very minimal deficit in terms of ride quality and comfort. You could take the vehicle to a roll over harsh roads all day long. The robust inner design helps to freeze most road anomalies without taking a toll on ride comfort. We did, however, detect a slight body roll, but it is far from the scale that would get passengers on their tenterhooks. The braking process is made smooth with a combination of discs and drums, and the stopping distance is passable.
The company levels up a strong safety parameter for the vehicle, and this includes ABS and EBD, a collapsible steering column, speed sensitive auto door locks, automatic hazard warning lamps, and even anti slip clips for the driver's side floor mat. An anti theft security alarm enforces security for the vehicle, aside from just the passengers.
We've got to tell you, this variant does have a sizeable bag of plus points. First, there's the awe inciting body design, the intense cabin design, the sound comfort features, along with many others. But you're going to have to face some downsides too in the form of a smaller fuel tank, weak performance figures and a smaller than expected cabin. If you're the type that just enjoys the small thrills, this machine could suit you. But if you insist on all rounded perfection, then you would be better off focusing on other brands.
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