India's leading utility manufacturer Mahindra has finally introduced the much anticipated compact utility vehicle, TUV300. Touted as one of the biggest launches of this year, this sub 4-meter vehicle storms into the compact segment with a powerful 1.5-litre mHawk80 diesel engine. It is available in seven versions among which, Mahindra TUV 300 T4 is the base trim. Being the entry level variant, it only gets a standard set of features including the air conditioning system along with power steering, windows and cabin lamps. Also, its bumpers are in black color, which gives it a regular look. It gets a tailgate mounted spare wheel, which is a signature element of any SUV. The company claims that its design is inspired from that of a battle tank, which has resulted in its masculine appeal. One of the key highlights of this sub 4-meter vehicle is its large cabin space and seating arrangement, enough to provide accommodation to at least seven occupants. Another such aspect is its long wheelbase of 2680mm, which is somewhat equivalent to conventional SUV. Talking about the safety section, it has a toughened high strength steel body shell featuring side impact beams and crumple zones to safeguard the occupants insides. Its specific bumper design also ensures minimized risk even to the pedestrians. This four wheeler will now take on the segment's best-selling Ford EcoSport to earn a firm foothold in the market.
This latest SUV is built by the Mahindra's in-house design team by taking inputs from the Italian firm, Pininfarina. Its entire design is inspired and based on a battle tank, which is the reason for its intimidating stance. It is built with a total length measuring 3995mm and with an overall width of 1835mm. This trim looks pretty standard unlike other variants, as it gets non-body colored bumpers. The radiator grille is in body color, but it emphasizes the bold design language. The headlight cluster on either sides has an edgy design and they are equipped with conventional halogen lamps. Its overall rugged appeal is amplified by the company's logo positioned above this grille. On the sides, it has black colored ORVM caps and door handles as it is the base version. Its fenders have a unique design and they are mated with steel rims featuring tubeless radial tyres. Adding to this, its B and D pillars are in black color, which makes it look somewhat trendy. The rear section has an intimidating look like its front profile, thanks to the spare-wheel mounted tailgate. The brake light cluster blends into its boxy look and amplifies this facet. Currently, it is available with six exterior paint options like Bold Black, Dynamo Red, Glacier White, Molten Orange, Verve Blue and Majestic Silver.
Like specified above, its cabin is surprisingly spacious and can take in seven passengers in all. Soon after entering the cabin, one can notice the eye-soothing dual tone color scheme. The seats are covered with good quality vinyl upholstery and are well cushioned. The attractive factor of its interior is the twin-pod instrument cluster that houses speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and numerous warning lights. The steering wheel has an attractive four spoke design and is complimented by Mahindra's logo. Although it is the sub 4-meter vehicle, it has a large 384 litre boot storage. For utility purpose, there are cup holders, storage units and bottle holders, which adds to the passenger convenience.
Engine and Performance:
This version of TUV 300 is powered by a new generation 1.5-litre mHawk80 mill. Having just 3-cylinders, it displaces 1493cc and is integrated with a 2-stage turbocharger. This BS4 compliant motor also has a common rail fuel injection technology for optimum supply of fuel to the combustion chamber. It can unleash a power of 84bhp at 3750rpm along with a torque of 230Nm between 1500 to 2250rpm. This vehicle is claimed to be delivering a mileage of 18.49 Kmpl, which is considerably good.
Braking and Handling:
The life span of any utility vehicle majorly depends on its suspension and braking mechanisms. The company being one of the pioneers in this segment have been very stringent in this section of the vehicle. The front and rear wheels have been integrated with a pair of discs and standard drum brakes respectively. On the other hand, its handling part is being taken care of by equipping it with a double wishbone based front suspension. While the rear axle has been given a rigid axle based multi link system to keep it balanced on any terrain. Whereas, being a utility vehicle it has a compact minimum turning radius of about 5.35 meters, which is quite good when compared with other contenders in this segment.
This is the entry level version in its model series, but the company has still given it quite a few comfort aspects. To begin with, its power steering is very responsive with tilt adjustment facility. There is a powerful HVAC (heating, ventilation with air conditioning) unit that has well placed vents on the dashboard. The external wing mirrors can be manually adjusted from inside making it easier for the driver to see on both sides. To add to the passengers comfort, all its doors have power windows, while there is a mobile charging point in the front row for added convenience.
This is one of the most important as well as a significant section of any vehicle. This being a base trim sure does lack the bells and whistles in the security section, but at the same time, the company has given it several necessary protective aspects. To start with, it has door locks that automatically lock its doors, while this vehicle reaches a certain speed. Then there is a seat belt reminder in the instrument cluster along with several other notification lamps. There is also a digital engine immobilizer fitted to this variant, which helps in warding off any unauthorized entry into it. The steering wheel is quite responsive and also has a collapsible column that helps in protecting the driver in case of any head-on collision. The side profile has been protected with intrusion beams along with other crumple zones that help in minimizing the damage if there is any untoward incident.
1. Seating arrangement is quite comfortable.
2. Engine power and performance is rather remarkable.
1. Lack of essential comfort features are disappointing.
2. Fuel economy is rather poor.