New Mahindra Scorpio review, test drive

    Mahindra has made massive changes to its popular body-on-frame SUV, the Scorpio. But just how big a step forward is it?

    Published on Sep 25, 2014 01:16:00 PM


    What’s it like to drive?

    Mildly retuned and with a different set of gear ratios, the 118bhp mHawk engine has been further honed in the new Scorpio. There's a bit of vibration below 1,000rpm, but low-end response is strong as ever and the Scorpio skips forward effortlessly in a way that belies its weight. Spin the engine harder and there’s a corresponding increase in power as well, which also feels great. This sensation of plenty of torque and power carries on if you shift up early. But past 3,800rpm, the engine starts to strain and gets a bit vocal.

    However, the mHawk is pretty smooth for a big diesel; in fact, it’s the most refined engine in its class. There are, however, some vibrations around 2,000rpm, especially when you get off the throttle, but it’s not obtrusive. What’s less than perfect is the gearbox, which feels quite notchy and needs an extra shove to slot through the gate. The clutch is a bit heavy too, so shifting gears in the new Scorpio isn’t exactly fun.

    The biggest area of improvement, however, is ride and handling. The new chassis and suspension have made a world of a difference to the dynamics of the car. For starters, the ride is better – the stiffer chassis has allowed the engineers to use more supple suspension aggregates. The Scorpio is now really pliant at low speeds and that takes the edge out of the bumps and potholes. The ride is also much flatter and more settled, there’s less pitching and bobbing, and for absolute ride comfort, it comes close to the mighty Innova. It’s only when you gain momentum that this softly sprung SUV has more vertical movement.

    The wider track has also helped make the new Scorpio feel more planted at high speeds. The Scorpio still gets tossed around a bit, but now it almost never feels unsettled, allowing you to drive with a lot more confidence.

    The steering is well weighted and has a decent amount of feel, and the Scorpio is now far happier to change direction than before. Yes, you do feel the weight of the tall SUV roll around behind you, and no, you can’t flick it around like a hatchback, but this Scorpio is now so much nicer to drive, it adds hugely to the not inconsiderable appeal of this car.

    Mahindra Cars

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