The diesel engine has a strong mid-range and offers good driveability

Performance – The AMT is offered only with the diesel engine which is a 1.5-litre unit producing 117 HP and 300 Nm. The 6-speed gearbox is sourced from Marelli and it is way better than the AMT offered on the XUV300’s siblings like the TUV300 and NuvoSport. The engine is the most powerful and torquey in its segment and it shows in the way the XUV300 pulls. The mid-range is very strong and this compact SUV actually feels fun to drive. The AMT gear knob has the drive mode on the left, reverse at the bottom and neutral on the right.

The XUV300 gets a creep function along with Hill Start Assist

The 6-speed AMT is refined but sometimes the shifts do feel a bit jerky

Fire up the car and the engine impresses with its refinement. Slot the gear into A and let go of the brake pedal slowly when the creep function of the AMT kicks in and the XUV300 starts pulling in a linear manner. It also has hill hold which comes in to be very useful when you’re starting off on an incline and it prevents the car from rolling backwards. The AMT works smoothly if you don’t go hard on the throttle but still, you do feel some jerks while changing cogs. However, this is much better than most other AMTs that we’ve seen on mass-market cars.

Tiptronic mode allows one to take manual control of the gearbox

On the highways, the AMT functions well and when you’re in the need for more power and mash the throttle, the gearbox does downshift a cog or two but getting in the right powerband takes some time and that’s when the tiptronic mode comes in handy since it allows you to take manual control. The manual mode isn’t very quick either which is typical of an AMT. Fuel efficiency figures haven’t really gone for a toss with the AMT and the XUV300 diesel continues to offer low running costs.

Ride quality is impressive and the XUV300 has good high speed stability

Driving Dynamics – The Mahindra XUV300 has a very sorted suspension setup which offers a really good ride on all kind of roads. The car feels well-balanced when you drive over undulations and on the highways too it feels very composed and stable. Same goes with the steering which is direct and comes with different modes like Comfort, Sport and Normal, altering the steering’s response and feel. The steering feels noticeably lighter in Comfort mode which is useful in the city while Sport mode is handy on the highways when you want some more weight out of the steering. The brakes offer good stopping power but the modulation could have been better.