Performance – The engines offered on the Mahindra KUV100 NXT are the same as before. You get a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 82 HP of power and 112 Nm of torque mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel engine is also a 1.2-litre unit maxing out at 77 HP of power and 190 Nm of torque. The oil burner too gets a manual gearbox but Mahindra will start offering an AMT next year onwards. The car that we got for testing was the diesel variant. The engine is smooth and NVH levels have also definitely improved and the cabin feels pretty silent. The engine noise can be heard in the cabin only at high RPMs.
The diesel engine on the KUV100 has been tuned perfectly for city driving and the gearbox complements it perfectly
The diesel motor also offers pretty good driveability and makes the KUV fairly easy to drive around. Power is adequate for normal city and highway runs and a regular driver won’t really complain. The KUV also gets a Power mode but it doesn’t make a very big difference to the way it drives. Fuel efficiency from the diesel engine is good and in the city you can expect 16-17 km/l while on the highways expect that figure to touch 19 km/l too. The clutch is very light and the 5-speed manual gearbox is matched nicely to the engine and it is also pretty slick.
Driving Dynamics – Now, the suspension of the Mahindra KUV100 NXT is well-suited to our roads and the ride quality at low speeds is comfortable enough but as the speeds increase, there is a lot of vertical movement for passengers and it gets pretty annoying. The steering feels heavy and doesn’t really inspire confidence at high speeds. Even on the handling front, the KUV100 hates being driven aggressively and is more suited to cruising. The brakes felt very spongy and the feeling is very scary when you stomp the brake pedal at high speeds because there is just no confidence. Mahindra has also improved the approach and departure angles of the car, meaning you can tackle bad roads easily. However, don’t expect the KUV100 to tackle hard-core off-roads.