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New Mahindra Scorpio automatic review, test drive

2nd Oct 2015 2:28 pm

The Scorpio is back with a six speed automatic gearbox. Here are our first impressions from behind the wheel.

  • Make : Mahindra
  • Model : Scorpio

What is it?

The heavily updated Scorpio was launched last year, but was available only with a manual gearbox. Now Mahindra has added an automatic to the Scorpio line-up.

The automatic Scorpio now comes in two versions – a two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, both based on the top-spec S10 trim. The vehicle we've got our hands on is the one that's likely to be the more popular of the two, the rear wheel drive only version.

What's it like to drive?

The new Scorpio automatic gets the same gearbox used in the earlier car. This unit is a six-speed one, manufactured by DSI. Mated to the common 2.2-litre mHawk motor seen on its manual sibling, it churns out the same 118bhp and 28.55kgm. The six-speed unit is said to have been tweaked to improve shift quality.

The updated Scorpio automatic does feel mildly refined, especially during upshifts, when compared to its predecessor. Drive casually in the city, and upshifts are relatively smooth. You do feel the gearbox upshifting, and at times there is a bit of a  lurch or a clunk. But what it also does is cruise smoothly as long as you drive it in a sort of relaxed manner.

The gearbox doesn't like shifting in a hurry, go hard on the throttle and you will notice some reluctance. It likes to take its own time when going down a cog or two and at times this is a bit frustrating. But what you do appreciate on the Scorpio auto is not having to go though the chore of manually engaging and disengaging the clutch and putting an effort into shifting gears, and that makes it much more relaxing to drive.

What really isn't nice however is the flimsy build of the gear selector. The materials used, the manner in which it functions and the overall lack of robustness aren't impressive.

The updated Scorpio of course gets the all-new chassis and suspension system. The all-new front suspension is lighter and sports service-free hubs, whilst the rear axle is now supported by a newly added anti-roll bar.

 

Ride quality is improved over the pre face-lifted car and is similar to its manual counterpart, thanks to the stiffer chassis that allows the engineers to use more supple suspension aggregates. The Scorpio is now more pliant at low speeds and that takes the edge out of the bumps and potholes. The ride also feels a bit flatter and more settled.

The new car also gets more comfortable front seats along with the all-new, neat dashboard and better built steering wheel. The power window switches are shifted from the centre console to a more accessible location on the doors. The metallic highlights inside the cabin look good. There are, however, some cheap-looking bits and the plastics are still not up to scratch either.

The loaded S10 tested here gets almost as much kit as the XUV500. Features include large alloys, projector headlamps, automatic climate control, dual front airbags and a height-adjustable driver seat. You also get follow-me-home headlamps, tyre pressure warning system, speed alert system along with rain and light sensors, cruise control, steering-mounted audio controls and a touchscreen infotainment system with GPS. The front grille and AC vents get chrome garnishing, and the headlamps come with LED strips.

Should I buy one?

The updated Scorpio Automatic, priced at Rs 13.13 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) offers more convenience and a more relaxed drive, and that's quite appealing for anyone looking at the Scorpio. So if you're in the market for one, make sure you check it out. You will get a lot of SUV for your money, as well as the tough and seemingly indestructible build. Still it's important to remember, the Scorpio automatic's price now puts it in striking distance of Hyundai's more car like Creta auto that at Rs 13.47 lakh, is not too far up the price band.

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