• It’s an easy-to-drive car with light controls and a smoot...
    It’s an easy-to-drive car with light controls and a smooth engine.
  • Interior design and colour theme are contemporary and mod...
    Interior design and colour theme are contemporary and modern. Quality of some textured bits is very good.
  • Space isn’t too bad for adults. An Innova-like reclining ...
    Space isn’t too bad for adults. An Innova-like reclining function would be nice.
1 / 0
Rating 8 8

2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, road test

3rd Oct 2018 2:41 pm

A spacious and contemporary MPV that slots right between the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Toyota Innova Crysta.

  • Make : Mahindra
  • Model : Marazzo
We Like
Refinement
Ride comfort
Spacious cabin
We Don't Like
Engine lacks punch
Pricey higher variants

Is the MPV segment really shrinking? Perhaps, but one look at individual sales figures and two models stand tall – the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Despite the price having doubled since the previous-generation version was launched, the Innova still clocks over 6,500 units monthly, while the Ertiga, now in the last few months of its current iteration, still managed over 3,500 units in August. These two have proven that if the packaging is right and the product is dependable, sales are inevitable.

Interestingly, there’s a Rs 5 lakh vacuum between the Ertiga diesel (Rs 8.78 to Rs 10.69 lakh) and the Innova 2.4 diesel (Rs 15.77 to 20.71 lakh). Yes, the Renault Lodgy does sit in this space, but it’s failed to make a mark. Enter the new Mahindra Marazzo. Priced at Rs 9.99-13.90 lakh, it sits neatly between the two, making the carmaker’s intentions quite clear – it’s gunning for buyers from both sides.

Mahindra Marazzo front static

Developed from a clean slate by the Mahindra North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Michigan, USA, the Marazzo looks and feels vastly different from any Mahindra before it. It’s built on an all-new platform, is powered by a new 123hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine, gets a new six-speed manual gearbox, and, crucially, it wears a design language that’s safe and contemporary.

Mahindra Marazzo

Rs 11.57 lakh * on road price (New Delhi)

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The Marazzo’s footprint is larger than any other Mahindra passenger vehicle on sale, at 4,585mm in length, 1,866mm in width and 1,774mm in height. This makes it shorter and lower than the Innova Crysta, but it’s wider and has a longer wheelbase too.

Mahindra Marazzo side static
Prominent C-shaped body crease is reminiscent of the Ferrari 456.

Mahindra’s designers, this time, have stuck to a more conventional styling theme and haven’t gone overboard with excessive design elements. So, while the Marazzo might not evoke a ‘wow’ feeling at first, you can’t accuse it of being garish or over-the-top like some other Mahindras; it wears a mature and contemporary design. The face sports Mahindra’s signature toothy grille, the headlamps appear a bit timid, and the LED DRLs would have been more impactful and attractive attached to the headlamps than the fog lamps, which is where they are currently located. In profile, the Marazzo is your classic, monovolume MPV, but with some likeable elements like the prominent C-shaped character lines on the doors, attractive 17-inch wheels, a rising waistline and a rather tasteful use of chrome highlights, you could even call it sophisticated. That said, the upward sloping window line, and the oversized tail-lamps make the rear end seem bulky and the rear wheels a bit small.

The all-new platform underpinning the Marazzo is quite unique – it sits on a ladder frame, with a transverse engine powering the front wheels. The company claims this setup was adopted to add the requisite dose of toughness to the MPV while providing a more traditional car-like driving character.

Mahindra Marazzo alloy wheel
Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels look good in this shade of gunmetal grey.

The structure is 52 percent high-strength steel and, with weight-saving in mind, the front suspension is aluminium-intensive. However, though several components under the hood are made of plastic, the Marazzo still tips the scales at a hefty 1,650kg; lighter than the 1,855kg Innova, but 400kg heavier than the Ertiga.

Like the exterior, the Marazzo’s interiors too portray a sense of maturity. The clean and clutter-free dash looks great, while the beige-and-black colour theme and mix of materials complement the aesthetics well. The gloss black fascia finish adds some appeal to the cabin but, on a sunny afternoon, this surface becomes very reflective. Also, the white, ceramic-like highlights on the dashboard and the purple instrument cluster might seem a bit quirky to some. As for quality, the feel of the textured plastics and fit and finish in certain areas is surprisingly good.

Mahindra Marazzo front seats
Individual armrests, lumbar support adjustment add to front seat comfort.

The driver’s seat offers a commanding, panoramic view thanks to the expansive glass area, and reversing this long MPV is quite easy with its large rear windscreen and easy-to-judge edges. The wing mirrors offer a clear view back, as does the inside rear-view mirror although it is set quite low and at times can come right in your forward field of view.

The seats themselves are large, very supportive and upholstered in leather. The front ones even get lumbar support adjustment and individual armrests, adding to the overall comfort. In the seven-seat configuration, the middle row gets captain seats, while the eight-seater gets a bench that slides and reclines in a 40:60 split. Unique to the Marazzo is the rear air-conditioner, which has the blower unit running the length of the car with side-firing vents. There is also a selectable ‘diffuse’ mode that releases air in a nice, gentle flow.

Mahindra Marazzo rear seats folded
Second row has an easy, one-touch tumbling mechanism (kerb-side only).

Because the C-pillar is pushed far back, the rear door cavity is wide and makes for easy ingress and egress. The left captain seat or 40 percent of the bench in the eight-seater variant (the one closer to the kerb) gets a one-touch tumbling function for easier entry to the third row. Once seated in the third row, headroom isn’t much of a concern and space isn’t too bad. Sure, the seat is a bit low so one sits in a knees-up position, and because of the middle seat rails, you need to wiggle your feet to find room. But compared to some of its rivals, this row can accommodate adults quite comfortably for a considerable amount of time. This seat, however, isn’t wide enough for three people and a backrest recline function, like in the Innova, is missing.

Cabin ergonomics is one area where Mahindra should have put in some more effort. The placement of the dead pedal is too far to the left, the front USB slots are placed too low (below the gear console), the cup holders can’t be accessed when the front armrests are in place, and the bottle-holders in the rear door bins can’t be accessed without opening the doors. These aren’t deal breakers but irritants which Mahindra should have thought through better. Some might also find the steering wheel rim too thin, and the gear lever a bit too tall, and then there’s the ‘aircraft-inspired’ handbrake. It may look neat, but it’s fiddly to use and most testers felt a conventional lever would have worked better.

Mahindra Marazzo bottle holder
Wide seats mean you’ll struggle to reach a bottle in the rear doorpad.

Storage areas are aplenty throughout the cabin – there’s a large open cavity on top of the dashboard, the large door bins can easily hold 1.0-litre bottles and there are cupholders in every row. The front and middle rows also get USB charging slots. With all rows in place, the boot is a tiny 190 litres, which is just enough for two soft bags. However, fold down the second and third row and it liberates 1,055 litres of cargo area, though it doesn’t have a flat floor.

The all-new 1,497cc, four-cylinder diesel engine belongs to the mFalcon engine family (which debuted on the KUV100 in three-cylinder guise). This engine gets a new variable-geometry turbocharger that helps it achieve a peak power output of 123hp at 3,500rpm. Peak torque is 300Nm and is developed between 1,750-2,500rpm.

What’s noticeable right from start-up is just how refined this engine is. There aren’t any vibrations to speak of, neither through the pedals nor the steering wheel. Nor does the gear lever dance about like the one in the Innova. The engine uses a plastic cam cover, aluminium oil sump, low-friction pistons and an offset crankshaft, all to keep weight and vibrations low, and all this seems to have paid off. At low and moderate speeds, refinement is remarkable, and it’s only when the motor is spun beyond 3,500rpm that it gets vocal. Wind and road noise are well contained, and the vibration-free, hushed cabin truly impresses.

Mahindra Marazzo side action
Ride comfort is the Marazzo’s strength. It flattens bad roads like they don’t exist.

The way it performs at city speeds is also commendable. It pulls cleanly off the mark, but doing so calls for careful modulation of the clutch and the throttle; we did stall it a couple of times. There is a bit of turbo lag but it’s quickly overcome as the engine picks up revs. The short gearing helps responsiveness and the big Marazzo pulls well from as low as 1,000rpm.

Once the turbo has spooled up, there’s a nice wave of torque from a little over 1,500rpm and it lasts
for a good 2,000 revs after. Though there’s no real surge in performance, the engine pulls well enough to close gaps in traffic and perform quick overtaking manoeuvres. Performance begins to taper once the revs cross 3,500rpm, and there’s no point pulling it beyond that to its 4,400rpm redline, as progress is slow and the engine sounds strained; it is best to upshift early to make quick progress. Flat-out, this MPV accelerates from 0-100kph in 14.47sec, which is not too much slower than the more powerful and torquier 2.4-litre Innova (13.11sec). Impressive then that, in fourth gear, the Marazzo accelerates from 40-100kph in 11.18sec, which is 0.8sec faster than the Innova (11.98sec).

Mahindra Marazzo hand brake
Thrust-lever-like parking brake is more aesthetic than functional.

There’s an Eco mode on offer for those looking to maximise efficiency. Power is restricted to 100hp but there are two preset engine maps – one for partial engine load, which would typically be while cruising or in city driving conditions, and the other for full engine load, which provides the desired performance, useful in scenarios like overtaking. Going from 0 to 100kph is almost a second slower in Eco mode, and 20-80kph in third gear too is 1.4sec slower; 40-100kph in fourth, though, is identical between the two modes.

It isn’t all good news, however. While this 1.5-litre engine, with its 300Nm of torque, feels sufficient to haul this MPV’s bulk, as well as the weight of seven passengers, a larger, torquier engine would’ve felt more effortless (like the 2.2-litre mHawk). Also, when loaded up with passengers, it struggles on inclines, again due to the relatively small engine and its front-wheel-drive setup.

Mahindra Marazzo dead pedal
Dead pedal is placed too far to the left to be usable. The clutch pedal is positioned quite high.

Driving the Marazzo can best be described as light and easy. The steering is light and so is the clutch, although the travel is long. The gear lever is a bit too tall and the throws are on the longer side but here too, effort is minimal.

The Marazzo gets a double-wishbone front suspension with a stabiliser bar, and a twist beam setup at the rear. That, coupled with 240mm of suspension travel, has done wonders for the way it tackles the rough. It does, however, jiggle a bit at low speeds, with a lumpiness typical of a ladder-frame chassis. However, true to the Mahindra ladder-frame DNA, the Marazzo feels indestructible over bad and broken roads. Road shocks rarely filter through and lateral rocking movements are very well controlled. Some vertical movement or pitching can be experienced at high speeds, but it doesn’t feel excessive at any point.

Mahindra Marazzo boot
With all seats up, the 190-litre boot is good for a couple of soft bags only.

The electric power steering (EPS) is light and with a small 5.25m turning radius (an Ertiga’s is 5.2m), this nearly 4.6m-long car feels quite nimble to manoeuvre through traffic, and is easy to park. The EPS weights up consistently as speeds build and offers ample feel when turning into corners. Push the Marazzo hard on winding hilly roads and its handling remains safe and predictable. The grip from the tyres and the overall mechanical grip is so good that this MPV feels confident around corners and elicits a sense of stability and a planted feel that’s quite unlike what you get from Mahindra’s SUVs. Yes, it is a tall car, so body roll is inevitable, but never does it feel nervous. Braking is another area where the Marazzo performs well. The pedal has a spongy feel because the bite point is further down the travel range. However, the all-wheel disc brakes bring this MPV to a halt briskly.

Mahindra Marazzo roof mounted AC vents
Position of roof AC is effective. There are ‘direct’ and ‘diffuse’ functions to help control airflow.

Overall, the driving dynamics of the Marazzo are so sorted, they’re easily the best we’ve experienced from a Mahindra so far.

In Eco mode, the Marazzo returned some respectable efficiency figures. In the city, it achieved 12.5kpl, slightly better than the lighter 110hp Renault Lodgy’s 12.3kpl and much better than the Innova 2.4 MT’s 10.6kpl. Out on the highway, the Marazzo returned 15.5kpl, also better than Toyota’s 14.3kpl, but not quite as good as the Lodgy’s 17.5kpl (due to the Lodgy’s taller fifth and sixth gears).

Mahindra Marazzo navigation
The onboard navigation system even gives you turn-by-turn prompts on the multi-info display.

 

The 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use, with good touch sensitivity and an interface that’s quick to respond. What’s nice is that it gets Android Auto, but Apple CarPlay isn’t available for now. The user interface, too, is fairly easy to work with, but it could still do with a bit more spit and polish. The integrated navigation system works precisely, and it will even give you turn prompts on the multi-info display between the dials, which is useful. You can also sync a phone via Bluetooth while on the move, though for safety’s sake, it’s best to let your passenger do it for you.

Mahindra Marazzo infotainment

There’s only one engine and transmission option currently available across the Marazzo’s four variants – M2, M4, M6 and M8. Safety kit like ABS, EBD, dual airbags, all-wheel disc brakes and Isofix child seat mounts are standard on all. The bottom three variants get both eight- (second row bench) and seven-seater (second row captain seats) options, whereas the top trim is only available in the seven-seat configuration. Features like a 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Android Auto, a reversing camera and sensors, 17-inch alloys, a rear wiper and washer, part-leather upholstery, rear air-con, climate control, projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and cruise control are part of the equipment list in the top variant.

Mahindra Marazzo storage
Access to the well-executed cupholders is restricted when both front armrests are in place.

 

Mahindra has outdone itself with the Marazzo in terms of design and quality. As a people mover, it is spacious, comfortable and well equipped. The engine’s refinement and effortlessness in the city are highlights and the car’s light controls, high seating and excellent visibility make it nice and easy to drive. The body-on-frame construction gives it a sense of indestructibility over bad roads, and its ride is quite simply the comfiest in its segment. This 1.5-litre diesel engine could have done with stronger performance, particularly with a full load of passengers, and some cabin ergonomic quirks should have been sorted out. While its starting price is attractive, Mahindra could have priced the higher variants a touch more aggressively. But on the whole, the Marazzo is a huge leap forward for Mahindra and for those looking for an easy-to-drive, plush and spacious seven-seater family car, this MPV is certainly the one we can recommend. 

PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 9.99-13.90 lakh -
Warranty 3 years/unlimited km -
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Type / Propulsion Diesel -
Engine Installation Front, transverse -
Type 4 cyls, turbo-diesel -
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1497cc -
Bore/Stroke (mm) 76.0/82.5mm -
Compression Ratio 16+/-0.5:1 -
Valve Train 4 valves per cyl, DOHC -
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 123hp at 3500rpm -
Max Torque (Nm @ rpm) 300Nm at 1750-2500rpm -
Power to Weight Ratio (hp/tonne) 74.54 hp per tonne -
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/tonne) 181.81 Nm per tonne -
Specific Output (hp/litre) 82.16 hp per litre -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Drive Layout Front-wheel drive -
Gearbox Type Manual -
No of Gears 6 -
1st Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 4.15/7.39 -
2nd Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 2.3/13.33 -
3rd Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 1.46/21.00 -
4th Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 1.03/29.77 -
5th Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 0.8/38.33 -
6th Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 0.66/46.47 -
Final Drive Ratio 4.118:1 -
BRAKING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
80 - 0 kph (mts, sec) 26.35m, 2.42s -
EFFICIENCY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
City (kpl) 12.5kpl -
Highway (kpl) 15.5kpl -
Tank size (lts) 45 litres -
ACCELERATION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
0 - 10 kph (sec) 0.56s -
0 - 20 kph (sec) 1.17s -
0 - 30 kph (sec) 2.28s -
0 - 40 kph (sec) 3.30s -
0 - 50 kph (sec) 4.45s -
0 - 60 kph (sec) 6.05s -
0 - 70 kph (sec) 7.63s -
0 - 80 kph (sec) 9.57s -
0 - 90 kph (sec) 11.93s -
0 - 100 kph (sec) 14.47s -
0 - 110 kph (sec) 17.51s -
0 - 120 kph (sec) 21.58s -
0 - 130 kph (sec) 26.60s -
0 - 140 kph (sec) 33.48s -
1/4 mile (sec) 19.10s -
20-80kph (sec) 11.18s -
40-100kph (sec) 11.18s -
MAX SPEED IN GEAR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
1st (kph @rpm) 32kph at 4300rpm -
2nd (kph @rpm) 59kph at 4400rpm -
3rd (kph @rpm) 93kph at 4400rpm -
4th (kph @rpm) 133kph at 4500rpm -
5th (kph @rpm) 159kph at 4100rpm -
6th (kph @rpm) 175kph at 3800rpm -
NOISE LEVEL Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Idle (dB) 41.8dB -
Idle with AC blower at half (dB) 52.7dB/54.3dB (rear AC on) -
Full Revs, AC off (dB) 59.5dB (at 3000rpm) -
50 kph AC off (dB) 58.2dB -
80 kph AC off (dB) 63.4dB -
BODY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Construction Body-on-frame -
Weight (kg) 1650kg -
Front Tyre 215/60 R17 -
Rear Tyre 215/60 R17 -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Independent, double wishbone, coil springs, stabil -
Rear Non-independent, twist beam, coil springs -
STEERING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type Rack and pinion -
Type of power assist Electric -
Turning Circle Diameter (mts) 10.5m -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Disc -
Rear Disc -
Dimensions Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Length 4585mm -
Width (mm) 1866mm -
Height 1774mm -
Wheel base 2760mm -
Front Track (mm) 1600mm -
Rear Track (mm) 1600mm -
Rear Interior Width (mm) 1470mm -
Ground Clearance (mm) 150mm -
Boot Capacity (Lts) 190-1055 litres -
INTERIOR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Cruise control Yes -
HVAC type Automatic climate control -
Rear AC vents Yes -
Touchscreen Yes -
Navigation Satellite -
Android Auto Yes -
EXTERIOR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Headlamp type Projector -
Rear wiper and washer Yes -
Rear parking sensors Yes -
Parking camera Yes -
SAFETY FEATURES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Airbags 2 -
ABS Yes -
2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, road test
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