The Mahindra XUV500 has arrived, fresh from a facelift – and this time around, it’s been a major one. Besides granting the burly SUV a redone face and rear, the latest update has also made it more powerful, a little plusher and even more feature-packed than it was before.
If you are in the market for a Mahindra XUV500, you are sure to have given some thought to the Hyundai Creta and Tata’s Hexa, too. Yes, they are quite different in size and specifications but they are the closest models you could get in the same price bracket as the Mahindra XUV500. So let’s delve a bit deeper and see how the trio compare.
On the outside
Before we talk about how they look, it’s important to understand how they are put together. While the Mahindra XUV500 and Hyundai Creta use a car-like monocoque construction, the Tata Hexa is built on a hardier body-on-frame chassis.
Sure, everyone will have their own opinion on how these models look but it is the XUV500 and Creta which bear the more SUV-like silhouette. In comparison, the Hexa looks more crossover-esque.
In terms of size, the Hexa comfortably outdoes the other two. It’s both wider and taller than the mid-sized XUV500 and is also the longest, by a big margin. The Tata has the longest wheelbase as well, which the interior cabin space makes full use of. . With a ground clearance of 200mm, the Hexa also stands the tallest – great for people looking to go off-road in their vehicle. Meanwhile, the Creta offers 190mm of ground clearance while the XUV’s 160mm figure makes it the lowest.
The ladder-frame construction and bigger dimensions of the Hexa have also made it the heaviest of the lot, weighing in at 2,261kg. The monocoque frame helps to reduce the weight of both, the XUV and the Creta, making them weigh in at 1,785kg and 1,350kg, respectively.
Mahindra has fitted the new XUV with larger 18-inch wheels shod in 235/65 profile tyres – although these are only available in the top-spec, W11 (O) variant. All the other variants get 17-inchers wearing 235/60 profile tyres. The top XT variant of the Hexa gets 19-inch alloys shod in 235/55 profile tyres, but in an unusual twist, all the other variants get much smaller 16-inch rims with 235/70 profile tyres. The fully-loaded Creta rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 215/60 tyres and other variants get 16-inchers with 205/65 rubber as standard.
|Mahindra XUV 500||Hyundai Creta||Tata Hexa|
|Tyre Size||17-inch / 18-inch||16-inch / 17-inch||16-inch / 19-inch |
On the inside
The Hexa has clearly taken advantage of its length and width on the inside, as it offers the best cabin space amongst the cars in this comparison. Besides the cabin space, an important aspect of this comparison is the seat configuration. While the XUV comes standard with a seven-seat (5+2) configuration across its variants, the Hexa has captain seats on the top two variants – this means that it offers both six- and seven-seat configurations. On the other hand, the Creta is a strict five-seater though a spacious one at that.
The third-row of the Hexa offers more knee room than the XUV; however, you sit knees-up in the back of the Tata. On the other hand, the XUV’s third row offers less knee room but has a low floor, which provides a better sitting posture. The Hexa really stands out with its boot space. With all seats in use, it still has 128 litres of luggage space, which can be further expanded to a whopping 671 litres by folding the third-row seats. The XUV really falls short here: its 93-litre boot is hardly of any use; with all rows up, however, folding the third row will give you access to 405 litres of boot space – which is not bad, albeit much less than the Hexa. The Creta here has a decent 405 litres of boot space, which is adequate enough to for the five people it seats.
The feature list is one area where all three cars score almost equally. In all three, safety features such as dual airbags and ABS are standard on the base and mid variants, while the top-end has six airbags, ESP and traction control. Talking about infotainment, the Hexa gets a more acoustic JBL-sourced 10-speaker sound system offered on the Hexa. The system is accessed through a 5.0-inch touchscreen unit. The other two SUVs are fitted with larger 7.0-inch touchscreens. Moreover, the XUV has the advantage of a sunroof, electric adjust for the driver’s seat and a smartwatch connectivity option. Although the Creta is due for a facelift in the not-so-distant future, which also brings with it a sunroof and hopefully some more features.
All the facts and measurements aside, it’s the Hexa that really shines on the inside with its practicality accentuating its premium appeal. The new XUV500 has got soft touch materials on the dash and the seats also get slightly more premium leather but despite the same treatment being seen on the Hexa, the latter feels more upmarket and the seats are more comfy. The Creta, on the other hand, has a neat layout, and good build quality, fit and finish; but feels comparatively smaller (which it actually is). It also lacks soft touch plastics on the dashboard as seen on the XUV500.
|Mahindra XUV500||Hyundai Creta||Tata Hexa|
|Boot Space (3rd row / 2nd row)||93 litres / 475 litres||405 litres (only 2 rows)||128 litres / 671 litres|
The first thing that differentiates these three contenders is what’s under the hood. While the XUV500 and Creta are available with both petrol and the diesel engines, the Hexa is a diesel-only model. The Hexa has a 148hp and 320Nm, 2.2-litre engine on offer, which comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox – although we’d recommend the Hexa which is fitted with the 156hp version of the same engine that generates 400Nm of torque. The XUV is powered by a 155hp/360Nm, 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel motor that has received a power bump with this facelift. While this updated engine has nearly the same power figure, the Tata unit churns out a good 40Nm more torque.The Mahindra and Tata models are also offered with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system in the top variant but the Hexa is a step ahead, being equipped with multi-drive modes in the manual variant. The XUV500 and Hexa (mid and top variants) are both offered with the option of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The Creta feels like it belongs to an altogether different class when you look at its engine specifications. Its relatively small 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged (VGT) diesel mill produces a humble 128hp and 260Nm of torque – but you should consider that it weighs all of 1,350kg, which equalises things in the power-to-weight and torque-to-weight departments. Like the XUV500 and Hexa, this engine is also offered either with a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed torque-converter automatic.
In terms of petrol engines, the 140hp and 320Nm of torque generated by the XUV's 2.2-litre turbocharged motor has the upper hand on the Creta, whose 1.6-litre engine makes 121hp and 151Nm. However, where the petrol XUV500 only gets the option of an automatic transmission, the Creta petrol is available in both manual and automatic guises.
Note: The Creta is also offered with a smaller 1.4-litre diesel engine, which has not been included in this comparisonas it falls in a segment below on price.
|Mahindra XUV500||Hyundai Creta||Tata Hexa|
|Type||4-cylinder, turbocharged||4-cylinder, turbocharged||4-cylinder, turbocharged|
|Valvetrain||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC|
|Power||155hp at 3750rpm||128hp at 4000rpm||156hp at 4000rpm|
|Torque||360Nm at 1750 – 2800rpm||260Nm at 1900 – 2750rpm||400Nm at 1700 – 2700rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed MT / AT||6-speed MT / AT||6-speed MT / AT|
|Mahindra XUV500||Hyundai Creta|
|Type||4-cylinder turbocharged||4-cylinder |
|Valvetrain||4 valves per cylinder, DOHC||4 valves per cylinder, SOHC|
|Power||140hp at 4500rpm||121hp at 6400rpm|
|Torque||320Nm at 2000-3000rpm||151Nm at 4850rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed AT||6-speed MT / AT|
Which of these three SUVs you choose comes down to what you require. Since there’s such a vast difference in driving dynamics, capability and space, each of these vehicles caters to very distinct sets of needs.
From the price perspective, the Creta is the most affordable of the three but also has the smallest engine and can sit only five. However, city dwellers might actually prefer the Creta for its relatively smaller size. The XUV is just slightly cheaper than the Hexa but both the cars have their own highlights. While the XUV has some more features, the Hexa’s cabin feels more spacious and premium. You do get more options (as well as more car) for your money if you go for the XUV500 but to give you a definitive verdict on which one is better, we’ll have to wait until we can get all the contenders together for a full-fledged comparison.
|Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Mahindra XUV500||Hyundai Creta||Tata Hexa|
|Petrol||Rs 15.43 lakh||Rs 9.29-13.04 lakh||-|
|Diesel||Rs 12.32-17.88 lakh||Rs 13.69-14.60 lakh||Rs 12.49-17.89 lakh|