Mahindra Gusto Long Term Review
The Mahindra Gusto features various first-in-class features and has good power
Mahindra acquired Kinetic-Sym in the year 2008 to get a foothold in the booming two-wheeler market of India. Initially, the company tweaked Kinetic products and relaunched them with new names. Come 2014, the company launched the Gusto with several first-in-class (and useful) features. Combine that with an attractive price tag, the 110c scooter was expected to be an overnight success. After riding it frequently over the past couple of months, we have come away impressed with most aspects and not so happy about a few. One question would be popping in most minds. Is the Gusto worth buying? Read on for the answer.
The Mahindra Gusto is an extremely important product for the company since this is the first scooter which has the potential to shake the market. The major reason for this is the non-offensive styling which contains a few bold elements in typical Mahindra style. The faux grille at the front breaks the monotony of the design and couple that with the contemporary looking indicators and LED pilot lamps, we feel it’s a well-designed scooter. However, the headlight would remind one of older scooters like the Duro. The Mahindra logo sits prominently on a matte silver coloured strip between the front indicators. The tail lamp section looks funky and incorporates the Mahindra naming in between on a glossy black enclosure. A reflector right over the number plate frame serves its purpose very well.
Since the Mahindra Gusto is purely a commuter scooter, the handlebar position is set to make daily riding through traffic as little cumbersome as possible. The seats are very well bolstered and provide good comfort. The major selling point of the scooter is its height-adjustable seat mechanism (not available in the base DX variant) which is extremely useful. Most of the people would say it’s a gimmick thinking, what difference does a 40 mm travel range make? We tested it by letting people of various heights adjust the seat according to their liking and then try riding around. All of them appreciated the feature as it helps shorter heighted people lower the seat by a considerable amount.
The legroom of the Mahindra Gusto is something tall riders would certainly appreciate. More legroom also enables the rider to lug a lot of shopping bags without any worries (something girls would appreciate). The ride quality of the Gusto is fabulous thanks to the brilliant suspension setup. The front features a telescopic suspension and the rear comes with a single monoshock which is similar to many scooters but the tuning is what makes the difference. The suspension is stiff enough to aid handling but doesn’t compromise on ride quality and soaks bumps very well. However, under hard braking, we found a bit too much feedback on the handlebar which can be unsettling for many.
Powered by a 109cc engine which produces 8 BHP of power at 7500 RPM and 9 Nm of torque at 5500 RPM, the Gusto will surely surprise you. The low-end and mid-end power delivery is excellent which makes riding in the city a breeze. Out on the highway, the Gusto topped out at a speedometer indicated 90 km/hr which could have been higher had the scooter been on a diet. The added weight hampers its fuel efficiency too and this was one of the gripes we had with the scooter. Prior to the first service, it delivered a ridiculous mileage of 27 km/l. After the first service, things improved a bit and the mileage rose to 35 km/l if ridden sedately and 32 km/l if ridden with enthusiasm. The heavier 120 kgs of weight is to blame for the rather poor fuel efficiency numbers.
The cracker of an engine is complemented with very good brakes. Although the Gusto misses out on a front disc brake, it has excellent braking capabilities and never disappoints regardless of the speed you brake from. The tyres it is equipped with are MRFs and they do not lose grip unless you absolutely force them to do so. All factors combined, the Gusto gives immense confidence to ride hard and is extremely stable at all speeds thanks to its higher weight.
Having spoken about the good things, let’s talk about the bad things now. Since the very first day, our Gusto wouldn’t start in the first go. This didn’t only happen in case of a cold start but happened whenever we tried to crank it. The other issue we faced was when the scooter would stall suddenly if the speed went too low or if one accelerated after idling for a minute or so at a traffic signal, this problem needs to be rectified immediately. The Mahindra technician sorted the issue in five minutes flat! However it did reoccur just recently.
To sum it all up, the Mahindra Gusto is definitely a step in the right direction by the auto giant. It has the performance, comfort and usable features which make it a good scooter for anyone looking at a feature loaded option. The additional equipment over the competition for a similar price makes it a value for money buy too. But where the scooter fares rather poorly is mileage. The extra weight makes it quite heavy when compared to its competitors and that does hamper the efficiency numbers. That said, it’s an interesting scooter and a good alternative to other popular offerings in the segment.
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