2012 Mahindra Quanto Test Drive Review
2012 Mahindra Quanto – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Mahindra Quanto Review

Car tested: 2012 Mahindra Quanto C8

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8,86,753/-

Compact cars are becoming the flavour of the season. It all started when Tata Motors chopped off the Indigo’s derriere to produce the first Compact Sedan. Soon others followed and sub 4-meter versions of the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Premier RiO hit the market. Now many automakers are working on sub 4-meter vehicles, which benefit largely from lower excise duties. Mahindra recently launched its first sub 4-meter vehicle, the Quanto compact SUV. Known unofficially as the mini-Xylo, we take the Mahindra Quanto for a spin to find out if it really is a mini-Xylo!

Exteriors – The Quanto looks a lot like the Xylo and that is because Mahindra hasn’t done much to the design of the vehicle. The Mahindra Quanto features a slight bulge on top of the front grill and slightly different colored head lights at the front. The side profile is also similar to the Xylo, but only up to the rear doors. The rear of the Xylo has been chopped off to keep the length of the Mahindra Quanto at bay. The windows have butterfly flaps and are very small. The tail lights are wrapped around the D-pillar. The spare tyre has been mounted on the tail gate to give the Quanto SUV like presence. The Quanto has smaller wheels, which along with the Xylo’s height gives the Quanto very abrupt proportions. Overall the Quanto’s styling will not draw eye-candy, with the vehicle being very similar to the Xylo in most regards.

Interiors – Step inside and you will feel you have entered the Xylo. Everything is Xylo like including the dashboard (with lighter colors) which comes from the MPV (except the steering wheel which comes from the Scorpio). The top of the line C8 variant is loaded with features including dual airbags, reverse parking sensors, digital display (DDAS), ABS, arm rests, 2-din audio system with SD card, USB and Aux ports, rear wiper, etc. The height of the Mahindra Quanto gives the driver a very good view of the road ahead and the cabin is extremely airy (in the front two rows).

The Mahindra Quanto shares the 2760 mm wheelbase with the Xylo, which translates into acres of space inside the cabin. The middle row of seats have good amount of legroom and headroom but under thigh support could have been better. The second row of seats are a bit too upright and are not adjustable. There is no protrusion of the transmission hump, which means three can sit in the middle row with utmost comfort. However the fifth passenger doesn’t get a headrest. There are two trays (one each behind the front seat) and the overall plastic quality of the Mahindra Quanto is acceptable.

The Mahindra Quanto is a 7-seater and the last row has two jump seats. These jump seats are not designed for humans with very little width and headroom. There are no seat belts for these jump seats either and the small glass area can make passengers feel very claustrophobic. The jump seats can be folded to make way for decent luggage space. The hook to hold the jump seats in folded position are not easy to use. There are charging points on all three rows of seats.

Ride, Handling and Braking – When ever we saw the vast number of Quanto test mules, we only hoped Mahindra is testing the driving dynamics of the Quanto to ensure it doesn’t have body roll like the Xylo. Sadly that hasn’t happened and the Quanto drives very much like its elder sibling. The Quanto uses the same suspension as the Xylo, which results in ride quality being good on smooth roads but choppy on bad roads. On potholed roads (current state of Mumbai is all of it), the Quanto felt quite bouncy.

The Mahindra Quanto’s handling is not really inspiring. The steering although light (good for city driving and parking) lacks feel and is too big to make quick direction changes. The Quanto suffers from high amount of body roll, which can be attributed to the height and small tyres on the vehicle. Brakes are good but lack pedal feel. Although equipped with ABS, the brake pedal is too hard to operate and one needs to literally stand on it for quick deceleration.

Performance – The Mahindra Quanto is a sub 4-meter vehicle and thus it also gets a sub 1.5-litre diesel engine. The 1493cc motor is called the mCR100 and is a downsized version of the 2.2-litre mHawk engine. Using a twin-stage turbocharger (not to be confused with twin-turbo, twin-stage is a two-stage turbo) and inter-cooled engine, the Quanto produces 100 PS of peak power at 3750 RPM and 240 Nm of peak torque between 1600 – 2800 RPM. All this sounds cool on paper but one must not forget that the Quanto tips the scale at 1.64 tonnes, which blunts performance.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8IRjkRWG38 540 375]

Step on the pedal and the Quanto will reach 100 km/h in 17 seconds, which is by no means quick. However the engine is driveable and has more than enough juice for normal city driving. Turbo kicks in at 1600 RPM and power delivery is linear. It doesn’t run out of breath but being a 3-cylinder, it does have some amount of vibrations and noise. Mated to this motor is a 5-speed manual gearbox, which vibrates quite a bit on start up. The gearbox is quite rubbery and the shift gates are very inconsistent too. The Quanto will return a mileage of 14 km/l in normal city driving conditions, which is very good for a vehicle of this size. Due to the high vibrations of this 3-cylinder unit on start-up, the Micro-Hybrid system is something many would simply like to turn-off.

Conclusion – The Mahindra Quanto might not be the best vehicle to drive but it is certainly a very spacious and practical offering. While the Quanto is not an alternative to a hatchback, it does make sense for those looking for space and mileage. The Quanto is largely an alternative to the Xylo. For those looking to buy a Xylo but don’t require 7-seats, the Quanto is the perfect bet. Not only is the Quanto much easier to park and maneuver than the Xylo, it is more frugal too.

Whats Cool

* Space
* Features
* Commanding view

Whats Not So Cool

* Handling
* Brake pedal feel
* Weight

Mahindra Quanto Specifications

* Engine: 1493 cc, 3-cylinder, Common Rail, mCR100
* Power: 100 PS @ 3750 RPM
* Torque: 240 Nm @ 1600-2800 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* Top Speed: 150 km/h
* 0-100 km/h: 17 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 13-14 km/l (City), 16-17 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Independent Duoble wish bone (Front), Five Bar Link (Rear)
* Tyres: 205/65/15 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Drums (Rear), ABS
* Safety: ABS, EBD, Dual SRS Front Airbags, Immobilizer, Reverse Guide System

Mahindra Quanto Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 3985 mm X 1850 mm X 1880 mm
* Wheelbase: 2760 mm
* Ground clearance: 180 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.4-metres
* Boot Volume: 690-litres (with jump seats folded)
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 55-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1640 kgs