The smallest SUV to come from Mahindra, the TUV300 is based on a ladder-on-frame chassis and gets a segment first AMT unit with power coming from a mHawk diesel engine producing 84 HP.

Mahindra TUV300 Price
You can either like or hate the design on the TUV300, love would be little overboard

Officially dropping all curtains off its highly awaited compact SUV, Mahindra has launched the 2015 TUV300 in the country with prices starting at Rs. 6.9 lakhs and going up to Rs. 9.12 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). With ‘T’ standing for Tough, the SUV is a true blue off-roader coming from the automaker taking inspiration from a battle tank in terms of design. The model also marks the re-entry of the automaker in the compact SUV space after the Quanto failed to make a mark and ticks all the right boxes in offering the right package. Here is what the extensively tested TUV300 has to offer.

Design – Distinctively symmetrical in design, the Mahindra TUV300 can be easily mistaken for a smaller Bolero with a tall body-shell and flat body panels. Unlike the competition, there is no black body cladding here (save for the base trim) for that rugged feel. The front fascia boasts of a upright stance with a very serious looking bumper featuring a wide rectangular air intake flanked by square fog lamps. The grille gets a honeycomb mesh with five vertically stacked inlets, whereas the headlight cluster sweeps a bit towards the back and comes with nice internal elements. The side profile looks flat with rectangular wheel arches and gets blackened pillars while there are roof rails too.

At the rear, the Mahindra TUV300 makes do with vertically stacked tail lights (no LEDs) and gets a stubby tailgate mounted spare wheel. The D-pillar gets a gloss black finish giving the rear windscreen a floating appearance. The compact SUV is based on the same hydro-formed ladder-on-frame chassis that also underpins the new generation Scorpio and has been tucked under the 4-metre mark. You also get new 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in meaty 215/75/R15 Ceat Czar rubber. The vehicle has a ground clearance of 184 mm, approach angle of 31-degree and a departure angle of 35-degree. The Mahindra TUV300 uses a double-wishbone suspension at the front and multi-link at the rear, both using coil springs.

Mahindra is offering the TUV300 in 7 colours – white, silver, red, blue, orange, black and a made to order combat green colour. The company is offering an optional armour kit with cosmetic updates to make the SUV look like a battle ship.

Interiors – The interior of the Mahindra TUV300 has been finished in a dual-tone beige and black colour scheme with brushed silver inserts that make for a premium looking cabin. The tall body shell makes for a large glasshouse area (even the rear quarter-glass is big) allowing more light to enter the cabin, while there is ample of headroom on offer. A 7-seater, the compact SUV comes with 2+3+2 seating layout with the third row getting single jump seats with all variants getting fabric upholstery.

In terms of features, the Mahindra TUV300 is loaded with a dual-din infotainment system, Intellipark reverse assist, static bending lights, follow-me-home, lead-me-to-vehicle headlamps, power windows, MID unit, electrically adjustable ORVMs, multi-function steering wheel with audio controls and voice messaging system. You also get Bluetooth telephony with USB and AUX connectivity and automatic climate control on top variants of the compact SUV. The instrument cluster is a twin pod unit and houses an MID unit in the centre with all the tell tale lights on the top.

The TUV300 has a boot capacity of 384-litres which can further be extended to 720-litres by folding the rear seats. The company claims the vehicle has the best in class head, shoulder and leg room. The base T4 variant gets power steering, AC, power windows, Eco mode and tilt steering while the T4+ adds safety equipment like ABS and airbags to the vehicle. The T6 trim comes with body coloured bumpers and door handles and ski racks, it also gets ABS as standard. The T6+ gets airbags. The T8 variant is the top of the line and gets all the above mentioned features.

Engine – The TUV300 is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder mHawk80 diesel engine (uses dual mass flywheel) which produces 84 BHP of power and 230 Nm of torque. The company states that this engine is built from scratch and is totally different from the motor powering the Quanto. The oil burner channels power to the rear wheels and comes paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the real surprise is the autoSHIFT Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) unit that has been co-developed by Mahindra and Ricardo and is a first from the automaker. The AMT box is offered on the T6+ and T8+ variants. There is no petrol engine on offer.

Safety – An appreciative move by Mahindra, all variants of the TUV300 get dual front airbags and ABS, EBD (optional on base and mid variants and standard on top trims). This Mahindra compact SUV is compliant with the upcoming 2017 safety regulations.

Fuel Efficiency – The TUV300 gets Micro Hybrid technology similar to the Scorpio and also gets an Eco mode for enhanced fuel efficiency figures. The compact SUV returns an ARAI certified fuel economy of 18.49 km/l.

With a competitive pricing under its belt, the new Mahindra TUV300 gets a competitive edge over rivals like the Ford EcoSport as well as base variants of the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. The AMT variant too is priced at a marginal premium and will certainly find more takers. Despite the rugged off-roading characteristics, the automaker has not introduced an AWD variant of the compact SUV, but has hinted towards the possibility later in the timeline. The Mahindra TUV300 comes with a best in class warranty of 1-lakh kms or 3-years (which ever is earlier).

Mahindra TUV300 Prices (ex-showroom, Pune) –

* TUV300 T4 – Rs. 6.90 lakhs
* TUV300 T4+ – Rs. 7.25 lakhs
* TUV300 T6 – Rs. 7.55 lakhs
* TUV300 T6+ – Rs. 7.80 lakhs
* TUV300 T6+ AMT- Rs. 8.52 lakhs
* TUV300 T8 – Rs. 8.40 lakhs
* TUV300 T8 – Rs. 9.12 lakhs

Mahindra TUV300 Interior
The interiors look premium on the TUV300 finished in beige & black
Mahindra TUV300 AMT
The TUV300 returns an ARAI mileage of 18.49 km/l, comes with the option of AMT
Mahindra TUV300 Side
The alloy wheel design looks good and is similar to the ones found on the XUV500
Mahindra TUV300 Rear
The ladder-on-frame chassis is similar to the one that underpins the new age Scorpio