Mahindra XUV500 Automatic Review
Car Tested: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Automatic
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 18.73 lakhs (W8 FWD AT), Rs. 19.94 lakhs (W10 FWD AT), Rs. 21.15 lakhs (W10 AWD AT)
Mahindra has made the XUV500 an even better urban package by offering an automatic now
Mahindra had launched the updated XUV500 in India earlier this year and we test drove it extensively just to conclude that it is an immensely capable vehicle with a lot going for it. The XUV then had good power, great space, a lot of features and good looks to boast off and the only thing that was missing in the package was an automatic gearbox. All of us knew that Mahindra will launch it sooner or later and now the Indian automaker has finally launched the XUV500 with an automatic gearbox.
On the looks front, the vehicle remains completely unchanged and it still has those masculine looks that also give the vehicle immense road presence. The vehicle now comes with a small automatic badge on the tailgate and that’s about it. There are no other changes to the exterior otherwise. Moving to the interiors, again there are no visible changes and the only thing that is different is obviously the gear knob. The seating position in the XUV500 is very good and one gets a very clear and commanding view of the outside.
The Mahindra XUV500 is loaded to the gills with lots of bells and whistles
The seats are large and comfortable. The SUV is loaded with features and it gets 6-way adjustable seats, electric sunroof, infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, projector headlights, cornering lamps, automatic climate control, six airbags, ABS, ESP, Hill Hold Control and Descent Control. The vehicle gets a 7-seater layout and this is one of the major reasons why the XUV500 has such good demand in the market. The black and beige cabin has a very pleasant feel to it but still there are certain rough edges compared to rivals like the Hyundai Creta which feels a bit more plusher.
Mechanically, it continues to be powered by the same 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine that is capable of belting out 140 horses at 3750 RPM and 330 Nm of torque between 1600-2800 RPM. The engine is really powerful and offers good performance. It also attains high speeds with ease and doesn’t really feel strained while driving long distances at speeds above the ton. The turbo kicks in at a shade above 1500 RPM and power delivery does feel very linear. Performance at even the low-end of the rev range is more than adequate for cruising around in the city. Fuel efficiency has dropped though and now the ARAI-claimed figure is 13.85 km/l, real world mileage will be in single digits.
The 6-speed auto gearbox is impressively smooth and responsive to throttle inputs
Mahindra is offering the W8 FWD, W10 FWD and W10 AWD variants with the automatic transmission. Let us talk about the gearbox now. The transmission is a 6-speed unit that is sourced from the SsangYong Tivoli. The gearbox is manufactured by Japanese company Aisin. It comes with a stick-shift layout and it also has two overdrive ratios and two uphill driving ratios. We got the to drive the vehicle in a limited environment at Mahindra’s test track and I personally came out quite impressed with it. The gearbox has been matched very nicely to the engine and it feels very smooth in its operations.
The vehicle starts picking up good speed with mild throttle inputs and the gearbox responds brilliantly. The gear shifts are very, very smooth and there is hardly any delay between the shifts. The way this vehicle passes through the cogs and reaches triple digit speeds is certainly very impressive. The gearbox also gets a manual mode which can be activated by moving the lever to the left from D mode. There are two buttons on the lever itself, similar to the ones on the Ford EcoSport, that can be used to toggle through the gears. However, the manual mode isn’t that quick and you’d be better off using the D mode itself. However, in manual mode if you do not wish to use the buttons, then the XUV keeps pulling till approximately 3750 RPM before upshifting. With sedate driving in D mode, it upshifts at 1500 RPM. Ride quality is good but not the best while handling is decent although there is a some body roll which is quite evident. Brakes offer good stopping power while the XUV stays planted at speed.
All in all, the XUV500 is a great package and now it really feels like an all-rounder. The automatic gearbox was much needed and Mahindra has catered to a lot of people’s demands by launching the SUV with this transmission. For someone who requires a 7-seater with the convenience of an automatic gearbox, the XUV500 is a clear pick while the Hyundai Creta also remains a promising 5-seater automatic. Mahindra is charging a premium of roughly Rs. 1 lakh over the SUV’s respective manual variants and we think that the additional price is certainly justified, making the XUV500 a very tempting buy for what it offers.
Further Reading –
2015 Mahindra XUV500 Test Drive Review
Mahindra XUV500 vs Hyundai Creta vs Renault Duster
Mahindra XUV500 vs Renault Duster vs Tata Safari Storme vs Skoda Yeti
Mahindra XUV500 vs Hyundai Creta vs Renault Duster – Video