GOOD FOR: Spacious interiors, ride quality, SUV presence
LOOK OUT FOR: Faulty AMT, suspension wear
It’s no secret that we just love SUVs here in India. Looking for a used one then makes complete sense. But does it really? Think about it. They’re heavy, gulp diesel, are ponderous to drive and it’s almost impossible to find a spot big enough to park them. All this is true, but in the Mahindra TUV300’s case, the aforementioned niggles are significantly altered. Firstly, it is a sub-four-metre car, which takes care of parking issues. Next, it has a relatively efficient three-cylinder diesel engine, which sorts out the fuel-guzzling issue. At the end of the day, it still has the Mahindra DNA, which means you can actually not be bothered with the road conditions in our country, thanks to the TUV’s excellent ability to tackle bad roads. The ride is supple and perfect for our battered roads. Other SUV credentials – like a good ground clearance, high seating position and ample space inside – are enough to consider buying a used model.
Launched in 2015, the TUV300 comes in seven variants. It gets a 1.5-litre diesel engine that makes 84hp and 230Nm of torque, and is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed AMT. If you want an automatic and are fine with the jerky gearbox, the AMT is a good option.
What you need to look out for, however, is an AMT warning light, which a few owners have reported could indicate a faulty gearbox. An ECU software flash can fix this. However, the warning light could also mean there is a faulty fuel module. If the TUV you are looking at has this problem, be sure to get it fixed, or avoid the car. Also, bear in mind that the AMT trim struggles with hill-starts, as the gearbox fails to hold and creep ahead.
Have a good look at the car’s suspension, too, as owners tend to drive such SUVs without worrying about the roads. For reference, changing just the front suspension will cost you Rs 6,000. Other checks include the basic wear and tear parts, like the brake pads and clutch, along with the interior trimmings and buttons for the infotainment and power windows.
Now, while used TUV300s start from a low price tag of Rs 5 lakh for a base variant, a decently equipped T6 version will cost you around Rs 6-6.5 lakh. However, a year after its launch in 2016, Mahindra fitted the TUV300 with a more powerful 100hp engine upgrade with a slight increase in torque, as well.In comparison, these examples are much better and cost about Rs 1 lakh more. There are top-spec models with just under 50,000km for around Rs 7 lakh and with a little bargaining, you could probably get that price down as well.
Maintenance cost of the TUV300 is relatively low, with a basic service costing Rs 12,000 for a year and annual insurance costing around Rs 10,000. The spare parts are readily available too, but aren’t exactly cheap.
Overall then, the TUV300 is quite a sensible buy. It is spacious, can take on the worst of roads with ease and has enough features for office commuting as well. Just keep in mind that it’s not the car to buy if luxury or driving pleasure are what you have in mind.
HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE
Buyer beware …
If the model you are looking at has the transmission light on, it could be due to a faulty gearbox or sensor. It can be fixed with a software flash.
Some owners have complained of start-up problems. Check for that and also if it stalls intermittently.
Check the front suspension for any rattling sounds; especially on models that have covered over 50,000km.
Buttons and knobs
Some owners have also reported the buttons and knobs wearing out, so take a look at that as well.
Also worth knowing
In 2017, Mahindra also launched a T10 spec that got an updated 7.0-inch infotainment system, faux-leather upholstery and visual updates. However, it commands a premium while staying mechanically identical to the other variants.
How much to spend
Rs 6-7 lakh
On-road cost of the TUV300 ranges between Rs 9-13 lakh, which is the same as when it was launched. So a two-year-old TUV300 with around 50,000km for Rs 7 lakh is a fair deal. That said, if you are looking for an AMT, the ones with the smaller 84hp engine are bound to be Rs 1 lakh cheaper. Also, look at the mid-spec T6 trims, they are likely to be cheaper and have enough creature comforts. Lastly, check for a full service history and avoid tourist cars as there are quite a few of them in the used market. These models tend to have taken a lot more abuse and aren’t in the best of shape.
|Price when new||From Rs 8.98 lakh|
|Engine||1493cc, 3 cyl, diesel|