Jointly developed by Mahindra and SsangYong, this Brezza-rivaling sub-four-metre SUV is high on appeal and features.
Mahindra took the Tivoli as a base and then heavily re-engineered it to develop the XUV300. Some of the ‘hard points’ like the front cowl, A-pillars and the overall chassis are the same, while a lot of the body panels are new. Most of the engineering work went into trimming the baby XUV’s length to 3,995mm (the Tivoli stands at 4,195mm) to avail the considerable tax savings sub-four-metre-long cars enjoy. Shaving those crucial 200mm has truncated the rear quite a bit and it looks as if the car has been reversed into a wall. Apart from this bit of design imbalance at the rear, the XUV300 is quite striking to look at.
Throw from the projector headlamp is average. DRLs grab attention.
Mahindra has styled the XUV300 to cater to the taste of Indian buyers and to give it that much-desired ‘SUV-look’, it gets body cladding all around, and the front and rear bumpers get fake silver bash plates. In fact, the entire suspension has been raised for India, so it doesn’t appear like a dressed-up hatchback. The chrome-studded front grille looks like a miniature version of the XUV500’s, and so does the flat, concave bonnet that does well to give it an imposing stance. There are some interesting elements inspired by a ‘cheetah’(in Mahindra-speak) – like the tear duct-like DRLs and the bold haunches on the sides. The attractive 17-inch diamond-cut alloys, and the two-tone paint combination with the floating roof design, add to its youthful persona, and the large LED tail-lamps do well to spruce up the rear.
LED tail-lamps look attractive and are standard across the range.
This compact SUV’s body comprises 68 percent high-tensile steel, which adds rigidity to the structure. However, lightweight it is not – the XUV300 tips the scales at 1,360-1,405kg, making it significantly heavier than all its competitors, and even the larger Hyundai Creta. The XUV is the widest in its segment; it’s even wider than the Creta and has the longer wheelbase too.
Console looks inspired by a ’90s mobile phone, and the buttons are fiddly to use on the go.