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Mahindra & Mahindra recently released the new KUV100 series, available in both petrol and diesel variants. Altogether, the compact SUV comes in 7 variant offered in 7 different colors. When you take a look at the vehicle, you can feel a blueprint of Mahindra's trademark design and its body looks. It is easy to tell that the brand has set its sight on first time buyers and youngsters with this new release. The compact crossover is priced at around 4.42 lakh for the lower end trims, rising to nearly 5.22 lakh for high-end variants. Mahindra usually hits the right chord with its SUVs, and we're going to have to delve deeper into this model to see if the company can replicate their success another time.
1. Its unique design imprint makes it stand apart.
2. A load of security features are sure to bring peace of mind to the occupants.
1. The lack of large storage areas could have an impact on long drives.
2. For an SUV, it suffers from a smaller cabin area.
1. This high end variant comes along with the advanced Micro hybrid technology, and this enables higher efficiency when driving.
The vehicle is powered by Mahindra's in-house manufactured mFalcon engines which enable good performance without letting down on the fuel economy. This variant really struck us with its impressive cabin arrangement, lengthy comfort features and rich exterior delights. Starting on the inside, a never ending list of features come to your aid during the ride, from adjustable seats to power windows, under-body storage, a door ajar warning, 12V power outlets and many more. A solid entertainment experience is brought forth with the advanced Infotainment system, the Mahindra Bluesense App compatibility, and the Bluetooth facility. We thought that this variant didn't hold back with the exterior glamour: Body colored door handles, alloy wheels, dual tone bumpers, sporty looking mud flaps and many more elements come together to make a truly admirable portrait of the car's design.
Its dimensions bring a sense of harmony and balance, spawning 3675mm in length, 1655mm in height and 1715mm in width. The front fascia of this variant is muscular with a powerful bonnet and striking creases over it. The trademark Mahindra grille comes along a chrome pattern. The headlamp clusters have been included with LED daytime running lights and many other vital lighting units. We thought that the sharp design of the headlamps adds power to the look, going perfectly with masculine front layout. Strong lines flow over the bonnet, while the fine body curves stretch into the side profile, and we thought this was a marvelous touch. The side profile makes a trendy mark with alloy wheels, stylish roof tails and cladding on the wheel arches. However, we personally thought the large gap between the wheel and the arch looked odd. The front door handles and OVRMs are body colored, and this does blend into the image well. Meanwhile, rear door handles come with silver accents for a more refined touch. The rear of this muscular machine is clean with conventional tail-lamps, and a crease over these tail lamps gives a snazzy finish. On the whole, we thought that this petrol variant struck a bold and modern note that is sure to go well with today's car base.
The insides of the K8 5 seater are warm and welcoming. This piano black interior along with the mood lighting system set a more distinguished tone for the cabin. The dual tone dashboard comes with a vertical central console housing an AC control, music controls and a joystick-like gear lever. We thought that the controls were positioned within the reach of the driver, and there was a note of strong ergonomics in the layout. The leather dressed steering wheel gives a more enriched quality to the cabin, while the incorporated audio controls make for ease of working. The seats have also been dressed with fine upholstery, and they come with strong support systems that relieve hassle for you through a long drive. The presence of headrests, armrests, and many adjustable facilities further boost the overall drive tone. The only let-down about the inner design, we personally felt, was the plastic finish, which could have been of better quality.
This high-end variant is operated by a 1.2 litre, light-weight mFalcon petrol engine. This engine comes along with a dual variable valve timing facility, which does ease the operation. Apart from this, a multi-point fuel injection system ensures smooth passage of fuel. The engine enables moderate performance, with an engine displacement of 1198 CC. It touches a peak power of 82bhp at 5500 rpm and generates 115Nm of torque at around 3600 rpm. This goes along with a decent fuel economy for its class, with mileage figures of 18.15kmpl at highways and 15.5kmpl within the city. The engine has been melded with a 5 speed manual transmission, and we thought shifting was a smooth, pain-free affair for the driver.
Ride & Handling:
The vehicle is able to handle road irregularities well. Pot-holes, bumps and other anomalies found on Indian roads are digested easily, but you won't be spared in more rugged road conditions. Its suspension has been well adapted for our roads, with an independent McPherson strut at the front that comes along with dual path mounts. A semi-independent twist beam secures the rear. With a minimum turning radius of 5.05m, the driver can easily push his way through corners and tight turns. The decent manoeuvrability goes along with a good steering response, as we thought the power steering system does deliver on its promise. The body lag is very light in this vehicle, and you're likely to feel more at home here than at other, huskier SUVs that have more robust designs. Both the axles have been rigged with hydraulic gas charged shock absorbers and coil springs, and we thought this did a good job in eliminating vibrations during the drive. Braking is also a pleasant affair, with a combination of discs and drums that ease control.
The Compact SUV is loaded with many security facilities that promise a well-guarded ride. This being a high-end variant, it comes with optimal safety features such as dual air bags, hazard warning lamps, crash sensors, an engine immobilizer and an anti theft alarm. An ISOFIX child anchor on the rear seat boosts safety in the presence of children. A techno side is also brought forward, with an anti lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, automatic speed sensing door locks and power door locks. Aside from all of this, the machine has been moulded with a strong monocoque body structure that helps to minimize damage to the occupants in case of a mishap.
We would definitely look at a vehicle like this and feel impressed. The 5 seater K8 petrol variant comes with a slew of engaging features both outside and within, and an average person would enjoy the power-packed drive it brings. The design element of this mini SUV is remarkable and Mahindra has suffused comfort and entertainment within the cabin in this Young SUV. The engine noise may deter some people, however, along with the lack of cabin space. Along with this, adventurous people may feel let down by the engine performance and specs. At the end, this vehicle is for the average car lover looking for moderate comfort and stylish looks. On the other end, for those looking for performance, over-the-top luxury, and many other aspects in a vehicle, it would be best to give this model a pass.
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