In almost every way, this is a regular TUV300, with 'almost' being the operative word here. While the body, mechanicals and interiors of this car are exactly like that of the standard TUV300, the pulling power of the engine is now different. The engineers at Mahindra have modified the unit’s calibration to extract an additional 16hp of power and 10Nm of torque, thus giving the car a higher power and torque rating of 100hp and 240Nm respectively. The more powerful engine, badged mHawk100, is the same unit that powers the Mahindra NuvoSport.
According to the carmaker, this 100hp variant has been developed due to the feedback received, from both customers and professionals, regarding the underpowered nature of the car. In our road test of the TUV300, we too had pointed out that the car is very slow, mainly due to a poor power-to-weight ratio. Though it pulled well in lower revs, it ran out of breath and delivered a lacklustre performance when pushed towards higher speeds.
The 100hp TUV300 has been launched with both manual and AMT options. We got to test the manual version, and the additional power and torque isn't immediately apparent when you take off from a standstill. The reason being, in the lower rev range the pulling power of this version is identical to that of its lesser-powered sibling. However, as the rev needle climbed into the mid range, the extra power and torque became more evident. The 240Nm of torque is available from as low as 1,500rpm, and is delivered in a linear manner all the way up to 2,800rpm, as compared to 2,250rpm in the mHawk80 motor. This helps provide the car with a much-needed additional thrust.
In fact, we pitted the two versions against each other, and the 100hp TUV300 quite effortlessly left the 84hp one in its wake. This extra thrust is likely to come in handy when overtaking, or simply cruising at higher speeds. The engine also maintains a mostly refined character, at least until about 3,500rpm, following which it gets noisy.
The added power, however, does come at the cost of fuel efficiency, with the claimed fuel efficiency falling from 18.49kpl in the standard TUV300 to 18.05kpl in the new one.
On the inside, Mahindra has increased the length of the rear seat cushion by 30mm, and raised the height of its under-thigh padding by 19mm to improve thigh support for rear passengers. However, the low seat height of the rear bench relative to the floor still leaves the passengers’ thighs suspended mid-air. The bigger seat cushion will be available on the 84hp TUV300 as well.
The 100hp TUV300 has been launched at Rs 8.98 lakh for the T8 manual variant and Rs 9.72 lakh for the T8 AMT (it is not available in the base T4 and T6 trims) – a premium of Rs 8,000 over the 84hp TUV300 T8 manual and AMT variants respectively. The more powerful TUV300 will be sold alongside its lesser-powered sibling.
(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)