Despite being priced at a significant premium over the Hyundai Creta automatic, the Mahindra XUV500 feels more value for money in comparison.
Mahindra introduced the XUV500 facelift earlier this year with a host of new creature comforts but an automatic gearbox was surely missed on the otherwise well packaged product. Nevertheless, the auto version was under development and was launched earlier this week. However, Hyundai already offers an automatic version on the Creta in a similar price bracket. So, is Mahindra late to the party or does the XUV500 AT have what it takes to outshine the Creta AT despite a premium price tag? We do a quick spec comparison to find out.
Design – The XUV500 and Creta are as different as chalk and cheese and that is quite evident in the design. The Mahindra is big, brawny and quite the attention grabber with its quirky styling while the Hyundai looks younger, urban friendly and a lot more sophisticated making heads turn for its good looks. Both the models get chrome in abundance up front to appeal to the Indian buyer but the larger dimensions of the XUV make it stand out more prominently in comparison.
Dimensions – The Mahindra XUV500 boasts of much better road presence given the larger dimensions over the Creta which does make it a hassle on our narrow roads. This is where the Creta shines with its flexibility in space offering ease of access on narrow roads. Nevertheless, the XUV500’s larger wheelbase liberates more room inside the cabin and is happy to accommodate seven passengers when compared to five on the Creta. The cargo space does take a hit at just 93-litres if all three rows are occupied on the XUV, in contrast to the 400-litres of boot capacity available on the Creta. That said, fold the third row down on the Mahindra and around 702-litres is available at your disposal.
Interiors – Both the XUV500 and Creta get a well laid out cabin, but it’s Hyundai that wins the round with better quality materials as well as fit and finish. Now the XUV’s cabin isn’t bad but the Koreans know how to do it better. That said, the XUV500 gets a spacious looking interior thanks to the beige upholstered leather seats as opposed to the black seats on the Creta and also has more headroom and legroom in the second row. The third row is best reserved for young adults on the Mahindra but is useful nevertheless. You also sit at a more commanding position inside the XUV offering better all round visibility.
In terms of equipment, features like a touchscreen infotainment system, MID unit, auto climate control, power windows, multi-function steering wheel, LED DRLs are common to both models, but the XUV500 goes one up by offering an electric sunroof, 6 airbags and navigation as standard on all automatic variants. The Creta automatic comes on the SX trim missing out on premium features like side and curtain airbags, 60:40 split rear seats, speed sensing door lock, push button start, rear parking camera, leather-wrapped steering as well as console and door armrest.
Engines – A 2.2-litre diesel motor helps push the Mahindra XUV500 with 142 PS and 330 Nm of torque on offer. Given the larger dimensions and a hefty kerb weight of 1785 kgs, it should not come as a surprise that the XUV needs that kind of lugging power. In comparison, the Creta is lighter at 1200 kgs and offers a healthy power-to-weight ratio with the 1.6-litre diesel producing 128 PS and 260 Nm of torque. Both models use a 6-speed automatic transmission but the unit on the XUV is paired well to its engine. The Creta automatic feels sluggish that turns out to be a deal breaker. Talking about similarities, both SUVs use a monocoque chassis and FWD configuration while the XUV500 comes with optional AWD which makes it the cheapest AWD automatic available in the country at present.
Verdict – The automatic SUV buyer is looking at convenience in addition to the existing attributes of an SUV to help his long commuting hours pass with ease. Both the Creta and XUV500 offer lots of creature comforts and a well-tuned suspension for optimum ride quality, but what really creates a big difference between the models is the automatic transmission that feels more at home on the XUV than the Creta. Not only does it offer a better driving experience but the option of AWD will be appreciated by a host of buyers. That said, the Mahindra XUV500 automatic is still a good Rs. 2 lakhs more expensive than the Hyundai Creta but even at the premium, the W8 variant offers most features keeping the VFM quotient high.